BY BUDDY NEVINS
The much-publicized crackdown on the homeless in Fort Lauderdale hasn’t hurt the mayor’s re-election fund raising.
Mayor Jack Seiler said he raised roughly $21,000 today at a lunchtime reception at an East Las Olas Boulevard lounge.
“They are expecting more checks,” Seiler said.
The money raised was notable because Fort Lauderdale has a $250 limit on individual contributions and because it was held during the holidays, at a time when candidates usually find it hard to interest anyone in giving money to politicians.
It was also remarkable because the fund raiser was put together in seven days with invitations send by e-mail. The mayor said about 75 attended, many bringing multiple checks.
“It was wonderful to talk about the unemployment rate and redevelopment, the marine industry and tourism,” Seiler said.
Did the homeless controversy surface during reception?
“I can honestly say it never came up,” Seiler said.
The event was hosted by lobbyist Robert Lochrie and restaurateur Tim Petrillo, owner of the Q Lounge where it took place. The money came from the collection of usual suspects – the downtown crowd of real estate investors, builders, businesses, lobbyists and others interested in city government.
Seiler has no challengers yet, but always runs hard like he is 10 points behind. He said he would be walking neighborhoods and attending civic events before the March voting.
All that money raised today indicates that insiders like the mayor’s pro-business stance, regardless of the negative publicity about arresting homeless advocates.