BY BUDDY NEVINS
Susanne Gunzburger likes to portray herself as a white hat on a county commission of black hats.
Don’t believe it.
When it comes to lobbyists and campaign contributions, there are no white hats on the Broward County Commission.
Check out this invitation:
MITCHELL BERGER, CHUCK LICHTMAN and DAWN MEYERS
and Committee in formation
IN HER RACE FOR RE-ELECTION TO
BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION
AND CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO A LUNCHEON
IN SUPPORT OF HER CAMPAIGN
Friday, February 13, 2009
12:00 noon to 1:30 pm
At the offices of Berger Singerman
350 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Please RSVP to Mitchell Berger at (954) 627-9900, or to Dawn Meyers at (954) 627-9915
Checks may be personal, corporate or PAC. Suggested contribution may not exceed $500. Checks should be made payable to “Sue Gunzburger Campaign and sent to Suite 1000, 350 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
Who is Mitchell Berger? His law firm’s lobbying clients – Chuck Lichtman and Dawn Meyers work for the firm – include some major businesses.
There is a huge roofing contractor, the managers of the convention center, a waste disposal facility, a firm which had plans to build a prison in west Broward and a retail company operating at the airport.
Why does Berger and his lawyers care enough about Gunzburger to throw money at her campaign?
Maybe because Gunzburger voted over the years:
- To give Berger a six-figure contract to represent the county in an airport project.
- To allow a Berger client to dock a gambling boat at Port Everglades.
- To permit a prison in west Broward for a Berger client. The prison was never built, but not because of Gunzburger’s opposition.
- For a settlement reducing the fire service fees for one of Broward’s biggest developers, a Berger client.
- For a housing project in Bonaventure that 2,000 nearby residents petitioned against. Berger was pushing the development.
I guess Berger & company believe they owe Gunzburger something.
Let me be clear. Gunzburger is not unusual. The ENTIRE county commission is hooked on campaign contributions from lobbyists and other special interests.
The current system created commissioners who ignored the petition from 2,000 voters and allowed a hated project to be built.
Gunzburger wasn’t alone in voting against the wishes of 2,000 petitioners in favor of Berger’s client. Four of her fellow commissioners joined her.