Judge Jeri Cohen Wins Election, Approves Ballpark. Sleazy?

Is it just me, or did anyone else in Miami-Dade connect Judge Jeri Cohen's recent reelection and her decision to approve the Marlins ballpark as a "public purpose" on Tuesday.

Cohen's ruling was a model of contradictions, citing the Marlins refusal to make their finances public and the uselessness of the location to developing downtown. It was also unpopular among a certain set of activists -- people who feel strongly the thing is a waste of public money.

(Which I don't by the way. I'm a longtime fan.)

So why take a chance with such a ruling before election day. After all, some Cuban Americans opposed her reelection because of a decision on the return of a Cuban girl to the island.

I want badly to see the Marlins draw more fans, And I generally agree with Judge Cohen, But the timing of this decision smells to high heaven. I wish it could have been made in a way that would avoid future argument.

And to be honest, I wish that the stadium wouold have been built in downtown, where it would have a far greater chance of really drawing fans -- and helping develop the city's useless public transit system.

Chuck Strouse

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