Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is forming a Florida-based political action committee to support Republican Gov. Rick Scott's reelection effort and to help other candidates in state races, according to Politico.
The creation of the Florida Jobs First PAC followed the failure in the legislature of a one-cent hotel bed tax increase to help fund a multimillion-dollar overhaul of the Dolphins' stadium. Ross, a real estate mogul, wanted a public referendum on the stadium deal and reportedly spent $10 million on the effort.
According to Politico, Ross claims that GOP Speaker Will Weatherford lied to him about allowing a vote on the question and instead let it die, apparently taking note of a recent voter poll showing a strong majority opposed
to the stadium deal.
Ross' PAC is expected to play a role in both Republican and Democratic primaries, Politico reported, citing a source close to the NFL owner. The PAC plans to target incumbents, apparently in a move aimed in part at hitting back at Weatherford.
Ross plans to keep his PAC involvement in politics local, with perhaps the heaviest effort aimed at helping Scott get re-elected in 2014. The Republican governor is expected to face off against former GOP Gov. Charlie Christ, now a Democrat.
The source close to Ross described Scott as a "pro-jobs governor," adding that the PAC effort is aimed at ensuring his re-election "with a friendly legislature that will support his pro-jobs agenda.”
Mailings for soliciting contributions for the PAC started going out last week with an emphasis on the jobs the Dolphins stadium overhaul plan would have brought in and on the economic activity that would be lost in the Miami area and the state if the aging stadium loses out on hosting future Super Bowls.
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