BY BUDDY NEVINS
Surrounded by fienemies who say she shouldn’t be a judge, Ilene Lieberman was hit hard by another former friend this week.
Dan Lewis, the veteran political consultant, sent a blast to his extensive e-mail list denouncing Lieberman. The piece is devastating.
Lewis knows Lieberman. And he is just one of the people knowing her who doesn’t believe she is qualified to be on the bench.
I know her, too. I agree with Lewis.
In my opinion, Lieberman is running for Broward County Court solely to pump up her pension.
She now earns roughly $95,000 annually as a county commissioner, which is a joke in itself. That will go to roughly $150,000 as a judge. Her pension is calculated heavily on the last years of a public officials’ work history.
You get the picture. And you will pay the bill.
Judges must retire at 70 and she is 65 years old. Despite critics who attack her over this, I believe she can serve her the whole six years under Florida’s Constitution, because she turns the mandatory retirement age of 70 after half her term is over. Her age is a non-issue. It is not Lieberman’s problem.
This woman has no substantial legal experience. She has been a politician all her life.
Her own campaign literature does not name concrete judicial experience she has. Her opponent Katie McHugh has years of trials and courtroom practice under her belt.
Even some of Lieberman’s friends and close acquaintances, some of who donated to her campaign, believe she shouldn’t be a judge.
Call them frenemies.
“She keeps calling me (for a contribution), but I’m not taking her call,” one frenemy volunteered to me. “The idea of her on the bench is preposterous.”
“All her chickens are coming home to roast,” another long-time Lieberman crony told me. “She treated people like crap for years and now she expects them to fall in line for a job she shouldn’t be doing.”
Another who has been to Lieberman’s house for dinner many times said: “Ilene doesn’t understand why (elected officials) aren’t lining up to endorse her… Ilene hasn’t had a primary ever and it’s been a long time since she had a race at all. I think she is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the whole thing having forgotten what campaigning is like. In typical Ilene fashion, she is trying to control everything from the poll workers to the TV script. She is incapable of letting others help her and she can’t let go.”
Yet another said, “Oh, she may win because a lot of Democrats are fools who will only see the Lieberman name. She shouldn’t. No way. Her whole life is one big scandal. Is there another judge who has been as political and as investigated?”
Which leads me to Dan Lewis’ blast e-mail. It’s below:
From: “Dan Lewis” <Judicial@OurFloridaCourts.org>
Date: July 18, 2012 10:04:58 PM EDT
The Miami Herald endorses Katie McHugh as the best choice for County Court Group 6. I agree. Not only is Katie the best choice, she is the only reasonable choice in the group. Katie McHugh has impressive credentials and a very judicial demeanor – her opponent is disgraced and in our opinion is an ethically challenged County Commissioner. Ilene Lieberman has a non-existent record in the court system and no relevant experience to be a Judge.
Commissioner Lieberman is generally known as an arrogant know-it –all on the Commission. There are numerous reasons to vote against her. Lieberman (who uses her married name “Michelson” as a lobbyist) can compete with Katie only because she can raise truckloads of cash as a County Commissioner from people appearing before the County Commission. I forget the story about lipstick and the pig, but I think it fits here.Don’t be fooled by slick advertisements (either mail or TV) – select McHugh in this County Court Group.Dan Lewis, Civic & Community Activist.
A sampling of published headlines and articles about Ilene Lieberman you should read if you are thinking of voting for her.
A Commissioner Under Oath: The Lieberman File
“In other words, it was sleazy politics 101, but that’s a given. Why did Lieberman initially deny it not once but three times? When she came back from the recess, had she decided to tell the truth or had she decided to tell a lie?””
Did Ilene Lieberman’s Public Bailout of Operative Buy Loyalty?
“Of course Lieberman’s vote is for sale, certainly in the legal sense. She’s always been ridiculously cozy with this town’s influence peddlers, developers, and other special interests (so long as they have cash).”
YOU Are the Distraction
“We all knew that Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman — once perhaps the most powerful woman in the county — disappeared for a few months, missing commission meeting after commission meeting without explanation. … But theextent of the hooky she played while collecting her $90,000-plus public salary is pretty staggering. The county’s visitor lists reveal that from December 10 through March 30, Lieberman had only five days when she met with anyone  at County Hall. That’s five days working in the office during a period of 16 weeks.
Scandal-Ridden Commissioner to Receive “Public Service” Award
“But I’m not sure these building officials are going to get much bang for their buck by sucking up to Lieberman. She’s been gutted by the corruption investigation and barely speaks anymore. It’s even odds at this point that she’ll even show up.”
Ilene Lieberman: From Political Godmother to Star Witness
“Make no mistake, Stracher — whom the Chaits say they paid more than $100,000 cash for her shady services — is at the heart of the corruption in this case. Interestingly, Lieberman hired Stracher last year, after the criminal investigation was under way, to work as an aide in her county office.”
Honey, I Rigged the Vote: Broward Power Couples Screw Each Other; Then They Screw Us
“Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman is married to a powerful Broward attorney, Stuart Michelson, the current city attorney in Sunrise. The couple owns an office near the Broward County Courthouse — and what do you know? Lieberman is gung-ho about building a new courthouse, which figures to have a positive impact on the value of that investment. So gung-ho that she seems willing to defy voters to make it happen. Or maybe that’s just the opinion of Ilene Michelson — the name she uses when she puts on her lobbyist hat”
Broward County bail bondsmen want to kill pretrial intervention, and the County Commission is willing to help
“At a recent meeting, however, Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman made a startling suggestion:She said that it may be time to kill the program, willfully violate the federal order, and overcrowd the jail system with inmates again.”
Politicians Feed At Super Trough
Ilene Lieberman, who in addition to lobbying for developersdefends corrupt politicians on the side …
Our Mayor, the Lobbyist
“The new revelation about Lieberman’s dealings with the insurance broker raises serious questions about whether she violated a Florida law that makes it a felony for public officials to profit from their governmental actions.”
Part Two: Ilene Lieberman Doesn’t Belong On The Bench
“Imagine a judge that received immunity to testify in a corruption case. Imagine a judge who was absent from work for months last year for “health reasons” that she has never really explained. Then imagine a judge who has been the center of controversy her entire public life – from ethics complaints against her to public shouting matches with her colleagues. And let’s not forget allegations that she was influence peddling when she was a paid lobbyist for a developer. Then imagine County Judge Ilene Lieberman.”
Sleazy Tales Of Corruption and Envelopes Full of Cash
“She is a disgrace. Why is she working as an aide to County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman on our dime?”
Garbage Deal’s Failure Weakens Ilene Lieberman
“Lieberman is said in numerous published reports to be under investigation in a corruption probe of the county commission.”
Lieberman’s Criminal Immunity Response Steals the Show!
“The hardest hitting question asked to explain why she was granted immunity in a criminal corruption prosecution casewhere she testified against her longtime friend Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco.”
Look Out Mango Thieves, Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman Wants To Be Judge!?!?
This email is an official political communication and does not represent in any way a commercial solicitation. Paid political advertisement paid for by Strategic Technologies & Research, Inc. independently of any candidate or committee.