Pucker up

Lobbyist Lovin' Herald

We here at Miami New Times love Curtis Morgan. He's one of the Miami Herald's finest writers. And lobbyist Rodney Barreto isn't the worst influence peddler at County Hall.

But the decision by Morgan and his editors to publish a puff piece about Barreto in this morning's paper leaves something to be desired. C'mon guys. You left out critical stuff.

For instance, just a few days ago, the Herald's Scott Hiaasen and Jack Dolan showed in a blockbuster story that Barreto was partnering with former Latin Builders Association president Sergio Pino to circumvent laws that restrict building near the Kendall Tamiami Executive Airport.

Oh yeah, and last year, the newspaper's Noaki Schwartz pointed out that Barreto was a partner of restaurant owner and convicted felon Monty Trainer, who spent 133 days in the federal pen for federal tax evasion.

And by the way, maybe you've kept tabs on the majorly screwed up construction at Miami International Airport. Well, back in 2001, the Herald's Ronnie Green pointed out that Barreto was the registered agent for Dade Aviation Marketing — which received almost a half million dollars to lobby for contracts there.

We like Barreto. He's a nice guy. But the Herald didn't do its job this morning in describing his role as an envrionmental advocate. And that's bad for Miami.-Chuck Strouse

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