Candidate Julio Gonzalez’s Compelling Story

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

I’ve seen literally hundreds of candidates give campaign speeches.

There are candidates who are windbags, and those who have nothing to say. There are candidates can’t put into words why you should vote for them.  There are candidates who are just bores.

And then there is Circuit Court judicial candidate Julio Gonzalez.

 

I had forgotten how good Gonzalez’s campaign speech was until I listened again this week at the Hollywood Democrat Club.  He sums up his experience and why he wants to be a judge in a compelling three-minute package.

Too many other candidates are unprepared.  They can’t compress their message into three minutes. Or they don’t know what points are important to touch.

Before running for judge, every candidate should listen closely to Gonzalez.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are others out there with good stories to tell. But I believe Gonzalez is the most interesting.

 

Reasons He is So Good

Perhaps most important, he was a judge before.

That’s not all. He has a great life story to tell.

Julio is not some rich kids son who graduated law school with a feeling of entitlement.  He struggled and fought his way up.  His story is the American Dream.

Dominican-born, Gonzalez’s family moved to New York City for a better life.  The way out for Julio was education and he excelled, graduating Syracuse University of Law.

His first job: Assistant District Attorney, Kings County, New York prosecuting all types of crime.  That’s Brooklyn for those of you not familiar with NYC.

Judicial candidates can talk about experience.  I don’t think there is any better experience than working as a prosecutor (or public defender) in a place like Brooklyn.

There is nothing you don’t see.  There is nothing you don’t experience.

Gonzalez knows enough that successful campaigners seek to find some commonality with their audience.  To make a connection with their audiences’  lives.  So he told the Hollywood Democrats he got sick of the snow and moved to South Florida…just like so many of them.

Connection!

He worked as a Miami-Dade State Attorney prosecutor, another pressure-cooker job where he learned a lot.

Was appointed a County Court judge in 2006. By 2008 he was rated the highest-ranking County Court judge in Broward by the Bar just before he was defeated for re-eleciton.

 Why He Lost: Bias

He was beaten for one reason — his name was Julio Gonzalez.  He was targeted because his name is Spanish.  And sadly, it worked.

He has been off the bench four years, doing general law.

That’s his experience, better than most running for the bench. With the clock running out on his speech, Gonzalez touched on why he wants to be a judge.

When he was a elementary school kid, his grandfather had a run-in with the cops for not cleaning up the sidewalk in front of his store. Young Julio went to court as the translator.

When Julio began to speak, the judge cut him off.  He refused to hear the grandfather’s story.

“We keep clean sidewalks in this country,” the judge rudely snapped and slapped the grandfather with a $100 fine.

The incident make an impact on young Julio.  When he became a lawyer, his goal was to become a judge who was different than the one he met with the grandfather that day.

He saw first hand that arrogance had no place on the bench.

He would become a judge that listens.  To all sides.  He would be patient.

Nobody would be treated like his grandfather was in his court.  No matter if they were rich or poor.  No matter where they were from.

And when he was a judge for two years, that is exactly what lawyers said he was: Fair.

It was a compelling speech on why voters should choose Julio Gonzalez… all in three minutes.

 XXXXX

 *I must add, for full disclosure, that Gonzalez worked for awhile for Ponzi scamster Scott Rothstein’s law firm. He has not be tied to any wrongdoing in the media or by the authorities.



27 Responses to “Candidate Julio Gonzalez’s Compelling Story”

  1. Patti Lynn says:

    It is a fact that a poll of attorneys rated Mr. Gonzalez as the MOST QUALIFIED of all of the sitting judges, and that decision speaks volumes. Had his name not had ethnic connotations that were viewed with suspicion, he would, and should, have been re-elected. His opponents have some excellent qualifications, however… the voters of Broward made a serious mistake when they failed to re-elect Mr. Gonzalez. I hope that they have the intelligence to correct that error.

  2. Just Beachy says:

    I found him to be compelling and quite charming. He exudes professionalism and competence.
    It was so good to see you once again Buddy!
    Stay well!
    Thanks for staying the course!
    Mom says hi !
    Kathy DiBona

  3. Broward Voter says:

    Julio Gonzalez is an exceptional person who has overcome great odds to reach the success he has earned. He’s all the more impressive because of that journey and has become a highly talented lawyer. Beyond that he a great judge.

    During his time on the bench, he was voted the best judge in Broward by his peers and not many can say the same.

    Julio has an extraordinary command of evidence law and trial practice. His temperament and ability to manage a court room fairly and professionally has been praised by lawyers that have both won and lost cases before him. Even those that lost cases thought their clients got a fair shot. That says it all.

    Because of those qualities, many believe that Julio could one day rise within the judiciary to much greater heights. His star is that bright.

    He was beaten the last time he ran despite clearly being the best and most qualified candidate running. The reason he lost should bother every decent citizen. But we have a chance to make it right. We can elect him now and send him back to work as a judge.

    That’s exactly what I plan to do.

    By the way, lots of honorable lawyers took jobs with the former Rothstein law firm. The vast majority of them had nothing to do with the events that toppled that firm. Those lawyers practiced law honorably without any knowledge or involvement in what the handful at firm’s top were doing. They were never implicated in the slightest way and Julio Gonzalez was one of those lawyers.

    Nobody deserves to be pinned with a scarlet letter for having had the misfortune of joining a company for a brief time at which illegal things were done in secret by higher ups. It’s wrong and unfair to tag people that way. What happened there could have happened to any innocent person working for a large company.

  4. Chaz Stevens says:

    Patty

    And why should we pay any attention to you?

    You have questionable ethics, been busted for drinking and driving, and tossed off boards. You’re not well liked nor respected.

    Personally, every time I read your stuff, I experience sever gastrointestinal distress.

  5. Firction or Non Fiction says:

    The story may be compelling but is it fiction and non-fiction.?

    There are a some buildings in Broward County that house those people who say that the Judge didn’t listen or believe them. They are called jail.

    The case seems simple an officer saw the trash, Mr. Gonzalez was responsible for the property. Sounds to me like the Judge weighed the credibility of Grandpa and the law enforcement officer and found the officer was credible. Many in jail tell stories of how the Judge believed the cop over them etc etc. Are we to believe this because its a part of a campaign performance?

    Buddy you reported that despite trying to sell his house before filing for Judge the price of the house was less than his mortgage (short sale because he was in foreclosure?) Then on his sworn financial filings (on line very soon) he claims the house is worth double. Why? So as not to appear underwater on his net worth? Can this be glossed over? No? Why? He is running for Judge, do we not expect a little more honesty and integrity in the position?

    Julio was being sued by American Express for unpaid bills BEFORE he was off the bench. Obviously he was living beyond his means. Why does this matter? Judges who live beyond their means are susceptible to bring bribes.

    Speaking of bribes, Gonzalez’s former employer Scott Rothstien has stated he bribed Judges during the time Julio worked there. Rothstien’s MO in bribing bankers etc was to get inside and then use that access to ingratiate himself. Everyone knows that despite losing his race for Judge, while working for Rothstien, Julio still used the private judges parking lot and elevators. Inside access, was it used for bad? Don’t know, but it has to be examined.

    Speaking of bribes. Look at Joe Eggelletion. He took bribes because he lived beyond his means. He skirted around financial filings just like Julio. Julio’s paid campaign manger Judy Stern was the person who brought us Joe Eggleetion. Note: Stern is also running the campaign of Chris Mancini against Mike Satz which many speculate was because Satz wouldnt sign off on Eggelletion’s early release.

    Many similarities between Joe Eggelletion and Julio, coincidences, that is for the voters.

    Why does Julio’s work history stop at 2008. I remember this time 4 years ago, Sarah Pain was popular like Julio. At that time Julio was and still is a registered Republican and endorsed by the tea party then and now. Maybe that is why the uninformed Jews didn’t vote for him he was a tea party backed republican. That does not seem like a dumb reason.

    Then to call out Jews as dumb voters who got it wrong is insulting to our electorate. Remember the same electorate voted in Joe Eggelletion that year as well. People have the right to vote for whatever reason they want, it does not make them dumb. I should add that Judge Feld has been a credit to the bench, besides the fact she is not in foreclosure, sued by amex and does not fudges her financial documents. Sounds to me that the dumb Jewish voters got it right as Judge Feld as been an asset to the Bench.

    If the voters are comfortable with puff stories about grandpa’s law breaking, fudging sworn documents, covering up his work history, being associated with Judy Stern, Joe Eggelltion and Scott Rothstien, does not give a voter concern then vote for Julio and you deserve what you get.
    P.S. Julio is charming, tells a good story, though it all lacks substance and ignore facts. You know who was also like that? Joe Eggelletion and Scott Rothstien, where have they resided for the last few years.

  6. a former student says:

    Julio Gonzalez was one my professors at NSU. He is an intelligent, ethical and upstanding man who deserves to be returned to the bench. I hope that the voters of Broward County make the right decision and do so.

  7. voter says:

    to the disclaimer he worked at RRA firm, so did a lot of other attorneys. I imagine few were privy to what rothstein had going on. unless the ex-employees are indicted I can overlook it.

    and if gonzalez is as well regarded as you write, he will be elected. I would consider voting for him.
    thanks Buddy.

  8. Barbra A. Stern says:

    Dear Fiction or Non-Fiction – I find it sad that you would choose to hide behind an annoymous name in commenting on something so important as a judicial race. You are not fooling anyone and if I had to bet money, I would guess you and I once worked for the same person. Funny, if you are who I believe you are, that you were very vocal in supporting Mr. Gonzalez last time around along with Catalina Avalos. I guess the support goes along with who is paying you, and who you are aligning yourself with these days.

    Julio Gonzalez was an exceptional Judge with great credentials- to imply anything else in light of the Bar investigation with the other candidate makes your commentary less than credible.

    I challenge you to come forward with your real name if you are going to make defamatory statements about a candidate. I suppose you would never do so because the exposure you would have brought onto yourself.

    When you talk about Fiction perhaps you should look at your own words in the statements you have made about Scott Rothstein, Joe Eggelletion and Mr. Gonzalez. I am currently defending a defamation suit filed in another county in which someone made similar overtures about a person. I suggest you get your record straight and stop attempting to mislead people with your bogus accusations and annonymous name.

    That being said, Julio Gonzalez was the best candidate and should have been sent back to the bench last go around. Without a doubt he and Catalina Avalos was targeted and Julio Gonzalez deserves to be put back on the bench where he can continue to serve as the best Judge we had on the County Court bench.

    Fiction or Non-Fiction – I am not afraid to use my real name – even though it will bring on an onslaught of unrelated commentary directed at me and my mother – why wont’t you?

  9. Barbra A. Stern says:

    Buddy – I would like to clarify that in terms of a Bar investigation I am referring to the complaint filed by a Palm Beach Judge (I believe David Crow) regarding several rules violations and against one of the candidates running against Julio Gonzalez.

  10. A dumb jewish voter says:

    I am so tired of hearing that we Jewish voters were ignorant to have voted for Judge Feld over Former Judge Gonzalez. In 2008 I met both of them, I thought Judge Feld had much more experience and had a great demeanor. I met then Judge Gonzalez and I thought he was very arrogant that it was racist and insulting to have to run for what he said was “his seat”. I have seen Former Judge Gonzalez speak recently and I see the same sense of entitlement almost to the point his is reclaiming what is rightfully his. I agree if the lawyers did nothing wrong working for RRA then I dont understand why Former Judge Gonzalez’ professional resume in his speechs seems to have a large gap after he lost his election. I think Rhoda Sokoloff has made the best impression of those in this group. I am sure Julio and his handlers will be critical but I believe Rhoda is the best choice and not because she is Jewish.

  11. John Fusaro says:

    Good Guy.

  12. Plain Language says:

    I think that the fiction post above cements my decision to vote for Gonzalez. Clearly written by an opponent or their supporter, the suggestions in there are so far fetched and outrageous that for no other reason I’m supporting Julio. A person that would actually write or condone that stuff doesn’t belong as a judge over anything.

  13. Consultant says:

    The above Firction or non-Fiction writer are his mud slinging opponents Oliver Parker and Rhoda Sokoloff, both of whom ran in 2010 against incumbents and lost.
    Oliver Parker is a clown. To see him is to laugh.
    Rhoda Sokoloff ran against Eileen O’connor in 2010 and lost 70%-30%
    Let’s be clear to all, Black, White, Jew, Christian,etc, etc
    JUDGE JULIO GONZALEZ IS CLEARLY THE CHOICE IN THIS RACE.
    PS – We have already voted absentee for you Judge Gonzalez.

  14. Maury says:

    I want to vote for him, but I just saw that he is a fan of Allen West and Karen Harrington. Those two are nuts and now I question his judgment.

  15. Iris Siple says:

    Sokoloff is the absolute WORST. A big mouth lawyer with no ethics. She does not belong in the judiciary and is a disgrace to the legal profession. Ask opposing counsel on her cases about her behavior.

  16. Not a Lawyer says:

    Just in case you don’t know who Barbara was talking about, it wasn’t Parker or Sokoloff. Yes, it was the “other one”.

  17. Thanks Babs says:

    Sorry, with Babs Stern (wasnt she in the news paper photo with joe eggs yesterday?)and Iris Siple whose last election was run by judy stern chiming in, Fact or Fiction seems to be right on if you want someone tied to Judy Stern/Eggelletion/Rothstien step right up and vote for Julio.

  18. absentee vote counted says:

    I voted absentee for Julio Gonzalez because he is the best qualified, best temperament and one of the most humble, genuinely nice people in the legal world. With the exception of Watson, the other two are big mouthed bull shitting bobble-heads that need a “job” to pay off their underwater homes and credit cards. Rhoda, please think before speaking! You have no talent and certainly no class to speak of and most people don’t really like you. (with the exception of those you might be paying) And Parker? seriously? You have some big ones to put yourself out there after your embarrassing career record. VOTE GONZALEZ! And bring our courts back to balance and integrity!

  19. Nora H says:

    This is a Blog people, we all know people do nOT use their real name. Take it with a grain of salt, this is satire. If you see a post and a name,it is most likely not the person writing.

  20. John Henry says:

    Sounds like this guy was motivated to become a lawyer with his hatred towards the white man–in particular the judge that threw the book at his grandfather.

    FROM BUDDY: Why do you automatically assume the judge was White?

  21. CW Perkins says:

    This guy can’t control something simple like his own personal finances–AmEx Collections–and he wants to control others in a court of law??? Does anybody else see a problem with this?

  22. John Henry says:

    @Buddy

    Its easy to assume the judge was white. If the judge was hispanic the grandfather wouldn’t need a translator–he’d simply speak spanish to the judge himself.

    There is a chance the judge might have been black but that would have been less likely since this happened 30-40 years ago.

    Lastly, looking at the demographics of our County,State, & Federal Judicial system most of the judges are caucasian.

    Therefore its easy to assume the judge was white.

  23. ROLMAO says:

    Hmm the daugher of Judy Stern implies that someone is bad if they at one time supported a candidate then later that “support goes along with who is paying you, and who you are aligning yourself with these days.”

    I wonder if the Rodstroms, Lori Mosely, Kristin Jacobs, to name only a few, find the irony in that position.

  24. Run the numbers says:

    Avalos: 49.22 46,087 votes
    Richards: 50.78 47,547 voets

    Bober 38.30 36,770
    Dijoles 30.80 29,569
    Levy-Cohen 30.90

    2012

    Nichols 49.36 60,654
    Rebollo 50.64 62,215

    *Goldstein 42.05 53,304
    **Rodriguez 57,95 73,448

    *Frieda rarely campaigned and was out spent almost 20-1
    ** Rodriguez spent $222,475

    What does this all mean?

    Looking at the first three races, the Hispanic Judge won or lost by a very small percentage. Rodriguez won by a larger margain but also spent over $200,000 and had the least active challenger of all candidates listed above.

    Feld 61.39 58,583
    Gonzalez

  25. Run the numbers says:

    Avalos: 49.22 46,087 votes
    Richards: 50.78 47,547 voets

    Bober 38.30 36,770
    Dijoles 30.80 29,569
    Levy-Cohen 30.90 29,577

    2012

    Nichols 49.36 60,654
    Rebollo 50.64 62,215

    *Goldstein 42.05 53,304
    **Rodriguez 57,95 73,448

    *Frieda rarely campaigned and was out spent almost 20-1
    ** Rodriguez spent $222,475

    What does this all mean?

    Looking at the first three races, the Hispanic Judge won or lost by a very small percentage. Rodriguez won by a larger margain but also spent over $200,000 and had the least active challenger of all candidates listed above.

    Feld 61.39 58,583
    Gonzalez 38.61 36,850

    Gonzalez raised 85k and Feld 15k. Julio had all major endorsements that year.

    So Buddy if as you say, Julio lost due to bias against those with a hispanic last name, it does not make sense that he would lose by almost 12% where the other Hispanic candidates that year and in 2010 (exception Rodriguez) won or lost by a very small margain. The numbers seem to indicate that while there could have been some bias, losing by almost 12% indicates that maybe more people just found Feld a better choice

  26. Iris Siple says:

    BUDDY: This is the real Iris Siple. I did not respond or make any comments regarding anyone running for any office. Need to set the record straight. I don’t participate in any blog. Iris Siple

  27. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    @The Real Iris Siple

    You just did dearie.

    Welcome to the Information Superhighway.

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