In its quest to convince the political establishment to give it taxpayer funds, the Miami Dolphins decided to attack personally Norman Braman. So, they purchased a full page ad in The Miami Herald.
It is an age-old debating tactic that if the facts are on your side, you argue the facts. But, if you don’t have the facts, then you argue the law. And, if you have neither, then you attack your adversary’s character. Was it really necessary to stoop so low?
Braman has contributed to our community as a philanthropist, civic leader and businessman. He has created many jobs for local families. He has not asked for taxpayer funds to help his business.
As former legal counsel to Braman in the Marlins lawsuit, I know that he believes, as do many others in our country, that private businesses should not be given taxpayer funds, particularly very successful and prosperous ones. That conviction is an American traditional value. It is based on the belief that our private business sector should not be subsidized by taxpayers and that our limited taxpayer funds should be used to help those truly in need and for essential government programs, such as national security, law and order, and public education.
Braman has demonstrated leadership, sorely lacking in our community, by his courage to speak out against what he believes to be bad public policy and the wrong use of taxpayer funds. He does not have anything to gain, financially or otherwise, by doing so. In fact, he runs the risk of making enemies of many powerful and wealthier people.
Braman has stated that the public should be given the right to vote in a referendum on the public funds the Dolphins want. Surely, there is nothing more democratic than to let the voters decide.
Apparently unable to address the merits of Braman’s arguments, the Dolphins decided that the best way to challenge Braman’s respect for the public was to attack him personally.
Is it any wonder that the Dolphins organization has lost so much fan support recently when they treat one of the most respected members of our community with such crass disrespect?
The Dolphins should trust the public as much as Braman does and support the use of a referendum to let the voters decide. What is the Dolphins management scared of? Is it afraid that it will lose that vote? No one knows the answer to this question until the public answers it.
Bob Martinez, Miami