Angelo Castillo’s Political Career On the Line Tuesday


One year ago, Angelo Castillo was one of the bright lights of Broward politics.

Angelo Castillo

He was a shoe-in for re-election in March, 2010 to the Pembroke Pines commission.

His name was already being mentioned for county commission. Insiders thought County Commissioner Castillo would be a countywide political powers in the next decade.

Only one problem:  He lost his race for county commission in the August 2010 Democratic primary.

Now he wants his old seat on the Pembroke Pines commission back.

So Castillo’s political future hinges on whether seniors in Century Village of Pembroke Pines turn out in Tuesday’s special election.

It looks good so far.

Castillo’s campaign says that as many as 500 absentee votes have  been cast in Century Village, a community where he won 97 percent in one precinct in the March 2010 city race.

Less than 2000 votes were cast in that March election for city commission, with about three-fourth of them from Century Village.

This time around, Castillo is battling former Commissioner Mike Rubinstein for the commission seat in the southwest part of the city.

The special election was called after Castillo resigned from the Pembroke Pines Commission to run a losing Democratic primary race for the County Commission.

Century Village was outside the county commission district he ran in and that may have cost him the August primary.

Most of the ads being thrown around in this race have been mudslinging garbage.  A good deal of it coming from Rubinstein.

A Sun-Sentinel article pointed out last week that much of the Rubinstein material was false.  Not only that, but Rubinstein sent a number of e-mails to Castillo over the past few years complementing him on the job he was doing.

How do you spell P-H-O-N-Y?

That said, another problem with Rubinstein is that he is Old School. He was in office before Century Village was even built in the early 1980s.

Rubinstein goes way back.  John Lomelo was strong mayor of Sunrise when Rubinstein first was on the commission.  Mayor Chuck Flanagan ran Pembroke Pines like a fiefdom at the time. Mayor Frank Veltri was shaping Plantation.

We’re talking about a time when Ronald Reagan was in his first term as president.

Rubinstein has been on-and-off the commission since then, a perennial candidate.  Castillo beat him in 2004 by a landslide — 68 percent.

Rubinstein is part of the past. The city needs someone who is part of the future.

True, Castillo has been around for awhile, too.  But the voters have only the two choices.  Castillo is a city government babe-in-swaddling clothes compared to Rubinstein.

Castillo has some modern day ideas about saving the city money, like privatization of some services. He’s a budget hawk,  voting against the city budget the last time around, against an increase in water fees and for a new auditor to ride herd on the commission.

Rubinstein seems to have wasted much campaign time filing state attorney complaint against Castillo.  Funny how these complaints only surfaced last week in the final moments of the campaign.

We will know Tuesday if Rubinstein’s dirt stuck on Castillo.  I doubt it.

When Rubinstein mentioned the claims of corruption against Castillo at a recent Century Village Democratic Club meeting, he was booed.

Still, the bottom line is that Tuesday is a make-and-break day for Castillo’s political future.

18 Responses to “Angelo Castillo’s Political Career On the Line Tuesday”

  1. Tiny Tony says:

    Angelo should be ashamed of himself for running for city commission and immediately running the county commission. We are paying for Angelo’s AMBITION with a special election. Go away Castillo.

  2. dems for dollars says:

    He immediately ran for County commission because that’s when the seat became open!

  3. Politico says:

    @ Tiny Tony

    Your comment is exactly the same as those said to me by a long-standing elederly politico in Century Village. She even could tell you the dollar amount this is costing the city.

  4. Pines Employee says:

    Angelo Castillo is a Republican in disguise. He would fire every city employee he could and replace them with low-paid, ill-trained workers supplied by his campaign contributors. This is not in the best interests of Pembroke Pines.
    Mike Rubinstein’s extensive knowledge of the city gained through years of experience is what we need. We don’t need someone who will leave the minute there is a new opportunity on the county commission or in the state House.

  5. Angelo Castillo says:

    Hey Tiny,

    Sorry but I feel no shame at being asked by my neighbors and friends, by elected colleagues, community and business leaders from all over Broward to run for an unexpected vacancy on the Broward County Commission. Shame was and isn’t at all now an emotion that I felt.

    Humility? Yes. Regret about the timing of it all, also.

    Diana’s timing was terrible. But once she decided not to run again SOMEBODY was going to have to step up and run. I happen to be the one many people turned to. There is no shame in that. Events turned out as they did, and I have no regrets or bad feelings for anyone. Sorry you feel some for me, that’s your business to sort out.

    Buddy’s post is very important especially because of what’s going on around the country right now, best evidenced by tragic events we saw in Arizona this weekend.

    We have lost our ability to control our thoughts, our discourse, and our sense of right and wrong. Anger, self-importance and incivility are eating at the soul of this nation. Morally, we are not even a fraction of what this nation used to be. There is no such thing as civility. We flip the bird to each other on the roads. We hurl anonymous self-indulgent filth at each other in blogs. Nobody with two cents worth of brain can believe what any newspaper or worse TV or radio station offers up as “news.” The lines between editorial and news have long been erased. Informing us so we can decide for ourselves was long ago replaced with spin and mind control. Society today has become an informationally and emotionally manipulated puppet reacting as instructed by the “news source” of their choice.

    And how few of us are prepared to stand up and say “Hey, that’s bullshit.” I have no such fear.

    In my little city commission race, we see a clear example of one of the most morally reprehensible things I think anyone can do.

    KNOWINGLY, my political opponent bears false witness on another purely for his personal political gain. He does it officially which is a crime. He does it publicly which robs him of his honor. Worse, he did it in a synagogue full of seniors. Which is a sin.

    And you write me about ambition?

    Worse, our newspapers have allowed themselves to become the stooges of his filthy campaign by printing his lies even after independently verifing that his claims were legally baseless.

    Why? Because to a reporter there’s nothing more juicy than a “corruption allegation.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s true. Journalistic ethics? Professional discipline? Nah, forget all that.

    The prospect of writing a story like this is irresistable. It’s like putting a crack vial in front of a whore. Just gotta get that hit. Let’s light up.

    Forget that a false character attack in the last weeks of a campaign is the oldest and dirtiest trick in the book. Forget that we’ve seen that tactic used tons of times, even in this community recently. Shall we count them all?

    Forget that the newspapers see this for what it is. They take it to print anyway, even after they verify it as bogus. And in their self-righteous humbris will refuse to admit there’s anything ethically corrupt about it.

    Everyone’s morals are fair game and open to discussion except theirs. There is the arrogance of power. They will tell you that
    “the truth” is not the news. I will tell you that the truth IS SUPPOSED to be the news.

    Yet our news sorces claim to have the credibility to report on the culture of corruption when they themselves are knee deep in it. How’s that for a kick in the pants?

    No wonder society is in trouble, isn’t there anyone we can believe in anymore?

    And notice — in case you missed it somehow. I have NO fear to say it just that way. NO fear of any man, official or not. Or of any accusation because I KNOW that I live a clean and law abiding life.

    Come on and look at whatever you like, we’re open for business.

    So, tomorrow Tuesday, residents of my city’s district will get to make a choice between me and my opponent. Only one will be chosen to represent their future interests in City Hall.

    Let me wrap this up by using that oldest and wisest cliche in American politics.

    May the best man win.



  6. Jack Moss says:

    Angelo Castillo = class act.

    Moss served on the County Commission from 1972 to 1980, including one time being picked by his colleagues as chairman. He also served over the years on the United Way, the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, the Performing Arts Center board, the Sawgrass Expressway Authority and the Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse.

    He ran a losing race for state House against state Rep. Tracy Stafford in 1994, his last attempt at elective politics.

  7. mustbecrazy says:

    Well said Angelo. Good luck to you.

  8. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Angelo is needed in Pines to oversee the City Manager, who has basically run the City into the ground. He, Iris Siple and Carl Shechter are the three that independently and correctly keep him in line.

  9. Broward Lawyer says:

    I second that. Good luck Angelo.

  10. Floridan says:

    I have not always agreed with postions Angello has taken, but I’ve always known his votes were based on what he thought were best for the community.

    Today, when so many gutless politicians are busy trying to cover their tracks and convince people that their rabid rhetoric is being misinterpreted and so-called journalists who have no problem calling people crooks without the first bit of evidence lecture self-rightously others in the media that “words have consequences,” it is to his credit that Angello speaks out as he did above.

  11. question of the race says:

    So Angelo, is Judy Stern running your campaign? Discuss…

    Personally, I dont know or care about Judy Stern, but watching you squirm, babble and bs you way through that question leaves one to question your truthfulness and veracity.

  12. justme says:

    Good Luck, Angelo!

  13. Politico says:

    Angelo, do you support the $750,000 – $1,000,000 construction project to bring the metal artwork of the fire fighters indoors? I can’t believe the City of Pembroke Pines would spend tax money so frivolously when everyone’s disposable income is rapidly declining.

  14. Fake Angelo says:

    Dear Politico

    Metal artwork indoors? A million dollars? I am not going to answer that question. Its not relevant. I mean why dont you ask who is running my opponents campaign. Artwork, that is a strategy question. Why are you not asking my opponent his strategy. I dont have to answer that question.

  15. Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Friends,

    Good morning all.

    To my friend question — we didn’t need Judy for this race. It just wasn’t that serious a challenge. And that feeling of discomfort you sensed wasn’t squirm, etc. It was shock mixed with a tinge of nausea. Invited as I was to an Ed Board meeting, to discuss a new economic vision for the county, at a time when nearly 15% of Broward residents were out of work, I was shocked that the highlight question was about how I staffed my campaign.

    My reaction reflected that shock and a certain disgust at what a disservice that was to the ordinary citizen. I truly expected a serious discussion about fixing the economy! Silly me. Their interest was putting a Judy Stern pork chop around my neck. But that’s the risk one runs when they keep their minds in the “right” places. Ah well, anyway…

    911 Memorial. You know, I’ve been away from city hall for two short months and a mitzvah has been converted into a nightmare. I need to get back there quickly and put that project back on line. As I left, the projected cost was a fraction of the amount discussed and a clear plan was in place to pay for it with donations from the public instead of taxpayer dollars. How that got messed up we will have to see. As to this million dollar stuff? Ask them. I wasn’t there, remember? I’ve been out of office for two months.

    But thanks for asking. I know you’re rooting for me! See you soon.


  16. Angelo Castillo says:

    Friend Politico:

    No, I don’t support that and never did. My plan always was to put the 911 Memorial in a city park, built by and paid for volunteers with donations. This was never designed to be a taxpayer expense. That “concept” only arose over the last two months. While I was NOT on the city commission. When I get back it will be fixed, you have my word.


  17. question of the race says:

    If you were invited there to discuss a “new economic vision for the county” and Ms. Wallman and Mr. Lyons sandbagged you with questions about Stern, then your shock and dismay are certainly warranted.

    On the other hand, if you were there discuss your campaign as a candidate for County Commission, then the question was legitimate. As Mr. Lyons said, in light of the scandals at the Broward Commission it was a fair question. While its not as important as unemployment or cuts to services, in light of recent ethics reform, certainly the people have the right to know if a person who lobbies the County is running the campaign of a Commissioner that that person would later lobby.

  18. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    to “question of the race”:

    hey, Dinkeldorf! in regards to your second paragraph, you obviously don’t know AngelO!

    He’s a good man. Stern had no, none, zilch effect on Angelo when he served in Pines. If
    Stern had brought forward a stellar good deal, client, Angelo would have supported that. if she brought forward some of the garbage, shitty deals she is known for, Angelo would have rock bottomed and torpedoed them.

    A lot of the ethics reform is crap. You can’t legislate morality. A bad egg can’t be purtied up to smell good (us country boys like to use the word “puurty” vs. pretty).

    So get with it, Dude because Stone Cold said to smarten it up a tad!