The effort to get Democratic Party boss Mitch Ceasar kicked out didn’t start today with a news release from the so-called Broward For Change.
It started more than a month ago with a complaint to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
Two Democrats sympathetic to Broward For Change filed a complaint with prosecutors. They alleged that a number of committee members were ineligible to be elected in the August 26 primary.
They were right, according to State Attorney documents.
There were committee members who were either not Democrats or won office to represent a precinct they didn’t live in.
Obviously only Democrats are eligible to serve on the party’s Broward Democratic Executive Committee, or DEC. These members of the DEC, which is the governing board of the local party, will elect the new chair December 7.
But was it a crime when some members were discovered to be ineligible? Was it necessary to file a criminal complaint to solve a political feud?
Was it a good tactic to clog up the court system and threaten to lock up a bunch of folks?
Well, you know what happened.
Prosecutors have real crimes to deal with, but they still had to investigate this complaint. They found no criminal intent among the accused committee members.
The whole matter was turned over to the Florida Democratic Party. About 30 of those elected August 26 were found to be ineligible.
They either weren’t Democrats or didn’t live in the right precinct. One poor guy who is legally blind bungled his signature and got disqualified.
About 30 out of more than 900 committee members got the boot.
It is no surprise that Broward For Change started its campaign playing hardball. Former U. S. Rep. Peter Deutsch of Hollywood, the group’s leader, is known as an all-elbows guy.
Deutsch’s slash and burn campaign against Betty Castor in the 2004 U. S. Senate primary is credited with smearing her so badly, Republican Mel Martinez went on to win the race.
That doesn’t mean Deutsch would be a bad Democratic chair. Deutsch promises to beef up registration efforts and make better use of computers to fine tune data.
Robin Rorapaugh, Broward For Change’s spokeswoman, talks about raising five times more money for the the 2010 election than Ceasar raised in 2008.
What isn’t in Tuesday’s news release?
It is widely assumed Rorapaugh would be named executive director by Deutsch. He would need a strong executive director since he spends much of his time in Israel.
Rorapaugh is rumored to have been promised a yearly salary of at least $100,000.
She would be worth it.
A long-time political professional who has managed statewide campaigns in Florida and Texas, Rorapaugh is a savvy operator. She is Deutsch’s former Washington staff director.
Deutsch would have to win before Rorapaugh could spin her magic.
“Nobody has offered me a job, she says.
We were talking on the phone so I couldn’t see if her tongue was in her cheek.
“I’ve got the votes, Ceasar says.
“We’ve got the votes, Rorapaugh says.
On Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, we’ll see which side is the best vote counter.