BY BUDDY NEVINS
Barbra Stern, the daughter of the well-known lobbyist Judy Stern, is scheduled to get her nomination hearing before the Florida Senate.
Stern was nominated to the Florida Elections Commission by Gov. Rick Scott in February 2012. The nomination requires approval by the Senate.
A Tallahassee snafu thwarted the Senate confirmation last year. Along with dozens of other gubernatorial appointments, Stern’s nomination was never passed because key senators forgot to bring it up before the legislative session ended.
This year the situation may be different.
The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee has scheduled two hours of confirmation hearings next week and Stern is on the agenda.
Barbra Stern’s nomination has been controversial in Broward because of her mother Judy Stern.
It is not immediately known whether being lobbyist Judy Stern’s daughter had any role in getting Barbra Stern the nomination hearing. Judy Stern is close to Democratic state Sen. Maria Sachs, who is a legal resident of a condominium that the lobbyist owns.
Although Sachs is not on the Ethics and Elections Committee, in the quid pro quo world of the Florida Senate it is plausible she made a deal to get Stern the hearing.
Expect this nomination to continue to get vocal opposition.
At least one local Internet publication has speculated that the Senate was “disinclined” to approve Stern’s Feb. 2, 2012 nomination because it is alleged she backed candidates in the 2012 election and thus is not impartial.
Stern denies the allegation.
It has also been speculated that Stern was nominated by the governor to get her out of a 2012 race against state Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale.
Despite Stern’s role on the Elections Commission, rumors have again surfaced in the Broward political world that Stern will challenge Moraitis for his Northeast Broward seat next year.
Stern is a labor law lawyer with the downtown Fort Lauderdale firm of Bohdan Neswiacheny. She has no known role in mother Judy Stern’s lobbying and campaign consulting.
The nine-member elections commission staff investigates sworn complaints about violations of the state elections law. Commissioners then determine whether violations of the law have taken place and what penalties should be imposed.