The mechanics of lobbying are no different at County Hall. It's not even clear what the contract is for, but it doesn't matter: the instance at hand stands for the whole sorry mess of interactions between well-connected lobbyists and the politicians whose campaigns they sometimes control.
The case disclosed by Mr. Crespo involves the competition for a city contract between two companies girded for battle with competing phalanxes of the lobbyist corps. Often, though -- as in the recent case of FPL lobbying for permits necessary to build two new $30 billion nuclear reactors at Turkey Point -- it is a powerful corporation aiming to undermine laws and regulations whose clear intent is to protect the public interest. The chipping away is ceaseless.
The influence of lobbyist money in political campaigns virtually assures that the public interest will be damaged whenever there is competition between corporate profits and intangible benefits related to quality of life.
To this fact, anyone in a position of authority simply shrugs. That includes the owners of the mainstream press.
A decade ago, I watched and wrote how the building boom transformed elected officials from their purported roles protecting the health, welfare and safety of citizens and taxpayers into pawns for the zoning operations of the Growth Machine. My anger was based on observations, a decade earlier!, how the HABDI/ Latin Builders faction transformed the county commission, including former Miami mayor and now eminent grise Maurice Ferre, into lapdogs of campaign contributors.
Has it ever been different? Was it different during Steve Clark's incompetent reign over the last of the Anglos? I doubt it. Today it is Marin, Guttierez, JL, BM, DLP, and MDG. In the end, these characters and the roles they play are inter-changeable across generations. This is why the radical right must be called foolish when they complain that if only regulations were made to vanish, that corporations could police their own activities. It is exactly this manifestation of human nature and the reversion to corruption that requires government to lay down tough and enforceable prohibitions against insider dealing and manipulation of the public interest.
Where is the public official who will advocate that?