State Party: Ceasar Didn’t Steal Last Election

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

One of the narratives surrounding Mitch Ceasar is that he stole his 2008 election as Democratic chair.

Its been repeated so many times during the current campaign for Democratic chair, many believe it.

Again, I couldn’t care less who Democrats elect their leader on December 9.

But I was interested in this allegation of ballot stuffing and voting fixing by Ceasar in 2008.

Well, an independent state party group rejected the dissidents’ complaints about the December 2008 party election. The group approved Ceasar’s election.

I have the proof obtained from the files of the state party.

Three anti-Ceasar Democrats appealed the results of the election. Phil Busey, Linda Bird and Patti Lynn’s appeal was heard  on April 8, 2009 to the Florida Democratic Party Judicial Counsel meeting in Orlando complete with a power point presentation.

The Judicial Counsel consists of one party official from each congressional district.  These includes pols from places like Cantonment on the Panhandle’s westernmost end or White Spring, a stone’s throw from Georgia in northeast Florida – folks far removed from the turbulent infighting of Broward Democratic politics.

The judicial counsel denied the appeal of the three Broward dissidents, allowing the election to stand.

Dissidents may not be happy about the party judicial counsel’s decision.

But those the rules (click to enlarge):

 

 

 

 



28 Responses to “State Party: Ceasar Didn’t Steal Last Election”

  1. DEC Member says:

    Mitch didn’t need to play with the ballots. He had enough committeemen elected in the primary to win, both in 2008 and this year.

  2. Andrew Markoff says:

    “You may be sure that the party will work to improve these processes in the future.”

    Yet, according to Chair Ceasar, DEC members won’t find out what the processes for the election are until they get to the election in Tamarac on Sunday.

    If “DEC Member” supports Ceasar’s re-election, then that anonymous commenter should explain why.

    As yet, I haven’t seen one single comment or write-up anywhere about why Mitch Ceasar should be re-elected except for what he had written about himself and sent to voting members.

  3. Substance vs Sniping says:

    Supporters from BOTH sides are completely missing the point so far.

    The CENTRAL question in this election is:

    “Which candidate has a PLAN to modernize the Broward DEC and avoid a repeat of 2010?”

    That is the question, and any other sniping does a disservice to the very serious issues that need to be confronted.

    In my view, Mitch’s plan is more of the same. Cynthia has been talking about all of the right solutions for the party. The choice is clear to me. We need Cynthia, her fresh ideas, and her sense of urgency.

    I challenge any supporter of Mitch Caesar to respond to the question I put before you.

    Who has the better plan to modernize the party, and why is it better?

    How can we be guaranteed that the 2014 cycle will be different from the debacle of 2010?

    Anyone voting for Mitch without answering these fundamental questions needs to have their head examined. Either that or you have ulterior (surreptitious) motives, and that kind of behavior is NOT WELCOME in the Democratic Party. Period.

  4. Ballot Stuffer says:

    I can name a Committeeperson from 2008 who specifically told me that he had never been involved in Dem. Party politics before, got a call from Mitch Ceasar in 2008 asking if he’d like to be a precinct comitteeperson. He asked Mitch what he needed to do in order to serve, and he was told the only thing he needed to do was show up at the 2008 election and vote to keep him as DEC chairperson. He’s been the committeeperson for the past 4 years, has never been to a DEC meeting, never engaged in GOTV, nothing. All he was put in for was a vote for Ceasar.

    Banana Republic alive and well at the DEC.

  5. Broward Dem says:

    No one will know if the process will be fair because leadership cancelled the meetings prior to the vote to keep everyone in the dark. The management committee could not get a consensus to examine the process to provide fairness.
    You know why Mitch has votes? Because he gets people to be committee people who have little interest in helping the party or getting out the vote. Their sole purpose is to reelect him at one meeting. Then they do nothing until he calls on them again. This does not make the party stronger, but rather dilutes the energy and enthusiasm that exists among those who are active.

    as Andrew states, have also not seen anyone endorse Mitch publicly.

    FROM BUDDY:

    What you are saying is probably true, but the anti-Ceasar side made an exhaustive effort to elect committee people. They apparently failed, not only this year but in 2008, too.

    Ceasar is elected under the rules of the Democratic Party. He will have to be beaten by those same rules.

  6. Andrew Markoff says:

    By the way, Buddy, did you happen to look at that letterhead? The Chair was Karen Thurman, and the Vice-Chair was Diane Glasser. I mean, really!

  7. Mr. Lucky says:

    Buddy, How would you know how many committee people were elected for either side this year to make the assumption that anyone failed? Ceasar doesnt follow the rules- he makes them up as he goes along.

    FROM BUDDY:

    The answer is just common sense. The anti-Ceasar faction sued to get various committee people tossed off the ballot after the close of candidate filing. They lost.

    Would they have gone to court if they had it in the bag with candidates for enough committee positions to win? I don’t think so.

    But, of course, the votes can switch.

  8. Something To Hide??? says:

    Why did Ceasar bring ARMED POLICE OFFICERS to the last election to keep just about everyone from seeing the “vote-counting” that was concealed behind floor-to-ceiling curtains?

    What happened to the ballots afterward that prevented an independent recount???

    How can an election possibly be free and fair if one of the candidates is in total control of the vote-counting process and doing everything possible to hide both the vote-counting AND the ballots???

  9. David F. Carr says:

    The important thing now is that the 2012 election be a fair one. The handling of the 2008 election was sloppy and chaotic at best, but I agree Mitch Caesar had the votes to win then anyway. I think the more serious issue is the pattern of recruiting precinct committee representatives who show up for this one vote and never return. I don’t know how to prevent that.

    Still, this feels like a much more serious and authentic challenge than the one in 2008. If some fraction of those who attend this weekend come with either an open mind or a predisposition to vote for new leadership, we may see an actual change.

    And if not … I’d hope that this time the election is conducted to such high standards that everyone has to agree it was fair, even if they don’t like the outcome. Is that too much to ask for?

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Remember that Broward is the most powerful county in the Florida Democratic party, that Diane Glasser (whose election was also being challenged) was the Vice Chair of the party, that Mitch is a former Chair of the party, and that Mitch and Diane had at that point spent well over a decade schmoozing ALL the people on that Judicial Council.

    Add to that the fact that Karen Thurman’s own election was at risk if Ceasar & Glasser’s elections got overturned, because she relied heavily on Broward’s (i.e., Ceasar & Glasser’s) vote to make her the new FDP Chair.

    Add it all up, and the Judicial Council turns out to be about as independent of Ceasar and Glasser as Beverly Gallagher is honest.

  11. Bernie Parness says:

    Just because a judge or Jury does not convict convict doesn.t excuse the theft. I was there and witnessed it. I repeat ! “He stole the election.

  12. Substance vs Sniping says:

    Apparently none of Mitch’s defenders are willing to meet my challenge.

    Hmm, I wonder why!

    It is unfathomable to me that we cannot simply elect the person with the best ideas for the party.

    My challenge to Mitch’s supporters is still open. I would love to hear just exactly what is his plan to improve the party other than “raise more money”.

    Cmon people let’s get serious. The people of Broward County, and Dem constituents especially, are counting on us to do the right thing and not play these silly games.

  13. Oh Bernie YAWN says:

    “Just because a judge or Jury does not convict convict doesn.t excuse the theft. I was there and witnessed it. I repeat ! “He stole the election.”

    Bernie, in the OPINION of the triers of fact, it does mean is that there was not enough proof or evidence that Mitch stole an election.

    Berine you have the right to maintain your OPINION Mitch stole the election. Just like others can have an OPINION Obama was not born in this Country thus not an American Citizen. The same with those who have the OPINION that Bush was behind the 9-11 attacks.

    As they say, OPINIONS are like A-Holes, everyone has one.

  14. FDP "reform" says:

    Outgoing FDP Chair Rod Smith just published his suggestions for reforming the party. He completely fails to mention the urgent need to reform local party bylaws to radically increase transparency and to properly regulate abusive County Party chairs… :-(
    ~~~~~~~~
    http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/rod-smiths-prescriptions-fla-democrats

    Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith will hand over the proverbial gavel to a new chairman Jan. 26 after party officials hold an election in Orlando. Having served as a state senator and run for statewide office, Smith has a good, big picture sense – from the local Democratic executive committee to the fundraising by legislative leaders – of how the minority party works, and how it doesn’t.

    Buzz asked Smith what he would do if he could single-handedly restructure the party.

    “If we’re going to turn the little engine that could into a freight train we’ve got to change some processes,” said Smith, who advocates “massive charter and rules reform for the party.” The bottom line? He would give future state party chairmen much much power.

    In no particular order, here are Smith’s recommendations:

    1. Change the way party chairs are elected, opening up eligibility to everyone rather than just to party activists who have been elected local state committeemen or state committeewoman and county chairs. The current system breeds “real subterfuge” where would-be chairs, himself included in 2010, at the last minute strike a deal to get elected to their local party leadership (as Annette Taddeo-Goldstein was elected Miami-Dade chairwoman Monday night).

    “We eliminate lots of good candidates who might bring a special skill set to the chairmanship with a process that makes no sense to me,” said Smith, noting that under current rules two-term governor and three-term Sen. Bob Graham would be ineligible to be state chairman unless he finagled his way onto his county’s local party leadership.

    Smith tried to get that system changed, but was shot down by state party leaders. Why? “It’s about some people who are empowered and have disproportionate political attention because you have to go to them and get their support to be chair of the party…when they might not even have much influence in their own county,” Smith said. [Gee, I wonder who he is referring to here... could it be CEASAR???]

    2. Restructure the way statewide and legislative fundraising and campaign planning is conducted. This one would be tricky: Smith would like to see the fundraising and campaign operations of so that state Senate and state House fundraising and campaign operations more centralized under the umbrella of the state party, rather than how they operate now – essentially three different efforts.
    Legislative leaders by nature are mainly focused on how to grow their respective caucuses every cycle, while the state party chair should have a longer-term approach, said Smith, recounting how donors often don’t even understand whether they’ve written a check for the state party or for the House or Senate “Victory” efforts.

    “You do need to have a more powerful chair – not me – but that position ought to be one where people have more confidence in the process,” said Smith.

    3. A longer-term reapportionment effort. “You need to start years in advance planning for reapportionment,” said Smith, who would like to see the party spend much more time and effort preparing and recruiting candidates for once-a-decade redistricting.

    4. Aggressive efforts to continue/ramp up outreach and communication with key elements of the “Obama coalition,” particularly African-American, Hispanic and young voters. In non-presidential elections, for instance, “student voters ought to be understanding that the state of Florida has a much greater and immediate impact on the quality and cost of their education than electing the president.”

    5. “Focus on becoming the more welcoming and broader-based party,” said Smith, adding that while Democrats should be thrilled with this year’s results they should fret that Obama lost 56 of Florida’s 67 counties.

    “We make a mistake if we make our party unwelcoming to people who may not agree with us on one subject,” said Smith, citing abortion as one of many possible examples. “Go into some of the areas where we’ve not been as strong, and I promise you we’ll find there are one or two subjects alone that are keeping them out of our party.”

    That’s all the more important, Smith said, as the Florida GOP moves increasingly to the intolerant, and extreme right: “The Republicans must have watched what we did and decided we could do it even worse…If we continue this idea of having these litmus tests within the parties, you’re going to find wider differences between the parties and less ability to compromise and make government work.”

    5. Continue and probably expand the concept of a board of trustees for the party (Orlando developer and mega donor Jim Pugh led the board of trustees put in place by Smith), not only as an important vehicle for raising money but also as a sounding board for ideas and initiative the chair may be looking at.

    6. Reconsider the value of full-blown state Democratic conventions. Jefferson-Jackson dinners raise significant money for the party, but conventions “are enormously expensive to put on and they are enormously expensive in terms man hours that probably could be spent better (elsewhere).”

  15. Tim Ross says:

    I am upset that BOTH SIDES do this every four years with recruiting people for just this one vote. It hurts the party, because we have too many people who do nothing else (and many of them do not even show up for this one vote). Because they do not come to meetings, we have not had a quorum since the organizational meeting in 2008.

    If you are coming to the meeting on December 9, for the sole purpose of voting for a specific candidate, and nothing else, do the party a favor and resign after you vote. If you miss more than three meetings in any year, the bylaws call for your automatic removal anyways, but it would do the party an immense favor if you resign after you vote in this election. If I am re-elected as Recording Secretary, I will regularly review the attendance at meetings of the Broward Democratic Party, and insist on automatic removal of ANYONE who has not asked to be excused from missing more than three meetings as required by the bylaws. Please save me the time on this by resigning. The favor you will do the party is to allow us to legally conduct business. Thanks.

  16. Bernie Parness says:

    When you make a deal with the judge it is easy to see why Mitch won. Ask him what happenned to the ballots ???? Were they really stolen from Dianne Glasser’s car as reported ?????I was part of the team that registered voters in the last election and would testify in court that I was ordered to give people ballots who were not on the official list by Dianne Glasser. I saw people put multoble ballots in an open box. Some peiople with multible ballots. WE WILL NEVER KNOW IF MITCH ACUALLY WON THE LAST ELECTION. wE ARE GOING TO GET A FAIR ELECTION THIS TIME AND WE WILL SEE IF MITCH WHO REGISTERED SOME NON DEMOCRATS TO BE PRECINCT COMMITTEE PEOPLE WILL PREVAIL.

  17. Boring Bernie says:

    Give it up,

    You could have 5 of your most trusted friends, 6 nuns, 3 rabbi’s, Walter Kronkite, the United Nations, Jimmy Carter observe these elections and if Mitch won you would still say it was fixed.

  18. Let's Test That!! says:

    Let’s put that theory to the test! Here’s the experimental procedure:

    1) The ballot counting shall be performed on stage in front of the live audience, with no curtains or other impediments to viewing or listening.

    2) Audience members shall be allowed and encouraged to bring and use video cameras, cameras, microphones, and similar devices to record the vote-counting process, and shall not be impeded in any way from posting the resulting video and / or audio files online.

    3) Immediately upon the completion of the vote-counting process, all of the ballots shall be fully photographed and posted on the County Party’s website for public inspection, along with the list of persons who received ballots and their ballot receipt signatures, and shall remain there as a historical record throughout the entire terms of the officers thereby elected.

  19. to the test says:

    Really, that has to be the dumbest idea ever. Lets post the signature of all of our party officials and invite fraud. Lets let snipers edit video to make things appear as they are not….

    You must be that idiot who believed everything on tv

  20. Mr. Lucky says:

    Mr. Ceasar is as innocent as OJ Simpson.

  21. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Here’s an inconvenient fact: the signatures of Mitch Ceasar and Richard Mead are easily viewable online RIGHT NOW:

    http://www.browardsoe.org/getdocument.aspx?id=2115

    And those signatures have been online for many years. Yet, amazingly, both individuals seem to be living their lives free of any difficulties with fraud whatsoever. In fact, one can easily Google the signature of President Obama and many other high-ranking Democratic Party officials, all of whom are similarly unaffected by the falsely predicted epidemic of fraud.

    Similarly, the freedom of citizens to videotape events has not led to the predicted epidemic of Photoshopped videoclips, and the free press has been quite capable of detecting and discrediting any Photoshopped images that might arise. This is especially true for high-interest events that are photographed and videotaped by multiple cameras simultaneously, which facilitates the detection of inconsistencies.

    Per the Sunshine Law motto, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” – free and open public records will create confidence in the DEC election process.

    A dark, hidden process controlled completely by candidate Ceasar, complete with ballots that instantly disappear and can never be verified, is absolutely worthless, except as a means by which an usurper can improperly seize power. That kind of “election” can never credibly claim to truthfully represent the will of the voters!

  22. Cassius says:

    “And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?
    Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,
    But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
    He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
    Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
    Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,
    What rubbish and what offal, when it serves
    For the base matter to illuminate
    So vile a thing as Caesar!”

    – William Shakespeare

  23. Ditch Mitch!!! says:

    The Election Meeting of the Broward Democratic Party will take place this Sunday, December 9, 2012 at Diamantes, 6501 W. Commercial Blvd. in Tamarac. The sign-in process will start at 12:30 PM.

  24. Festivus says:

    If Mitch Ceasar is defeated, I propose the construction of a Festivus pole in front of DEC headquarters, built according to the procedure posted at Chaz Stevens’ website, but with one change: instead of the atrocious Pabst Blue Ribbon, I propose that every single can be pure, fresh, clean BUSCH!!!

  25. Palm Beach Dems says:

    New Times has this report from the Palm Beach County DEC election event:

    http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2012/12/palm_beach_democrats_meet_squa.php

  26. Palm Beach Dems says:

    More on the Palm Beach DEC event here:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/turnout-unusually-high-among-democratic-officials-/nTRBw/

    “The normally low-profile race for [State] committeeman drew a remarkable 88.5 percent turnout at Thursday’s Democratic Executive Committee meeting, with 254 of 287 eligible voters casting ballots. By comparison, only 227 people voted earlier in the evening for the more visible position of county chair, which Terrie Rizzo won.”

  27. Busch Wins (1st Vice Chair) says:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/broward-politics-blog/sfl-broward-democrats-election-20121209,0,6189657,full.story

    Mitch Ceasar re-elected Broward Democratic chairman
    By Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel
    4:42 p.m. EST, December 9, 2012

    TAMARAC— Mitch Ceasar was re-elected chairman of the Broward Democratic Party on Sunday afternoon.

    He survived a tough challenge, winning 340 votes [58%] to 242 votes [42%] for Cynthia Busch. She [Busch] was later elected first vice chairwoman of the party. [844 people were eligible to vote, thus 262 people failed to cast their vote]

    But the biggest news of the day was the end of the party career of Diane Glasser, the second most prominent leader in the Broward Democratic Party as the state committeewoman for 24 years.

    Glasser, 84, who’s been in the news lately as a witness in the corruption trial of one of her fellow Tamarac city commissioners, stunned the hundreds of Democrats by announcing she didn’t want the job again. But when she couldn’t procedurally nominate the replacement she wanted, she decided she would in fact seek another term.

    Glasser was defeated by Maggie Davidson, a longtime Democratic activist, 285-196. Davidson is president of the Democratic Women’s Club of Northeast Broward.

    Glasser said she decided more than a year ago she didn’t want to serve again and told no one — including her close ally Ceasar.

    [...] Four years ago, the anti-Ceasar forces complained about the election procedures. This year, the state Democratic Party dispatched well-known election lawyer Mark Herron to monitor the races and advise on any issues that arose.

    Busch said she had no complaints about the conduct of the election or the validity of the results. [...]

  28. Moskowitz Out! says:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/broward-politics-blog/sfl-broward-democrats-election-20121209,0,6189657,full.story

    [Updated] 5:40 p.m. EST, December 9, 2012

    Other winners:

    State Committeeman, Ken Evans.
    [replaces Michael Moskowitz]

    Second vice chairwoman, Betty DiMaio.
    [replaces Diana Pittarelli]

    Treasurer, Diana Pittarelli.
    [was Second Vice Chair, replaces Richard Mead]

    Recording Secretary, Tim Ross.
    [incumbent, re-elected]

    Corresponding Secretary, Darren Covar.
    [replaces Alexander Johnson]

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