Broward Politics: Campaign Operative Allowed To Determine Dates of City Election





Anyone who still doesn’t believe that Fort Lauderdale City Hall is a shill for insiders should consider this:  A campaign strategist for one of the candidates on the ballot will have a key role in determining the dates of the next city election.

Judy Stern, a well-known lobbyist and campaign advisor for Commissioner Bruce Robert’s campaign for mayor, has been appointed to recommend what dates in February and March to hold the elections.


Judy Stern




Roberts is running in those elections.

Mayor Jack Seiler said it would create an appearance of a conflict if commissioners set the dates themselves.  So he suggested that Stern should help set the dates and the commission could approve her recommendation.

The mayor said Stern wouldn’t do the work alone. She would be acting as chair of the city’s Charter Revision Board.

But Stern is the only member of the board that frequents City Hall regularly. Stern is the one with the ear of commissioners and city staff. Stern de facto is the board, the only one making this decision.


Seiler wants to avoid a conflict. So he appoints a campaign operative for Roberts – Stern…and her board.

Stern understands elections. She surely knows if the election is held on certain dates it could benefit Roberts.

For instance, setting an election too close to the winter holidays could hamper any of Roberts’s opponent by shortening the time for fund raising and campaigning. Virtually no fund raising takes place between Thanksgiving and New Years.

An incumbent commissioner with access to political insider money, Roberts has been running and collecting donations for months. The date of the elections won’t matter as much to him as a challenger.

Seiler is not stupid. He has to know Stern’s conflicts.

Or has he been stricken deaf, dumb and blind by his years cloistered in City Hall conference rooms with a small cluster of insiders.

Here is a revolutionary concept:

Instead of appointing a lobbyist who doubles as a campaign operative, city staff should have handled recommending a date for the next election. That’s what they get paid to do.

Stern should not be contacting private attorneys on the behalf of the city on this issue, something she has already done.  Isn’t there a City Attorney?

The appointment of Stern and her charter board to recommend scheduling an election is bad optics. It looks wrong.

Stern’s appointment surely is not against the law. But like so much in Fort Lauderdale city Hall, it doesn’t pass the smell test.





29 Responses to “Broward Politics: Campaign Operative Allowed To Determine Dates of City Election”

  1. Bob bekoff says:

    Another fake news story.


    Mr. Bekoff has a right to his views.

    The readers of should know that the same Mr. Bekoff has been critical of me since I publicized him violating election law in 2004 and he ended up paying a $1,500 fine.

  2. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    First of all Judy Stern is one vote on this committee.It win.t matter a hill of beans if thhe primary is two weeks ahead or behind what is usually scheduled.Bruce Roberts knows and by judging by his comments yesterday at the infrastructure meeting he knows he has to do something fast.He knows that Brittany Wallman revelation about city man taking rev. Zfrom water and sewer will crush him in the ele tion.Now your talkin Bruce layoffs,hiring freeze ,putting City man.on a performance evualtiion(sound familar).Now your talking Bruce.Cause Dean Trantalis plays his cards right he could be next mayor.Only obstacle Charlotte Rodstrom and Tim Smith.Judy Stern is reassuring Comm.Roberts don.t worry because if Charlotte Rodstrom stays in mayoral race she will split the vote.Bingo.Bruce prevails.Stern is betti g heavy Charoltte goes nowhere and stays listening and taking direction frim her husbsnd and edp.Bill Scherer.My advice i would recommend Charlotte dropping out.Dean running against Roberts and Charlotte runni g for her old seat.Which by the wsy Judy Stern told her to do from the gecko.Now di you see bet heavy on Judy Stern.However,my experience with the grifters gives me a slight advantage.Stay tuned….

  3. Truth Teller says:

    I wonder when Fort Lauderdale will wake up and realize that Jack Seiler is nothing but a big p*ssy.

  4. The bigger problem says:

    Snipes is asking the cities to make the qualifying date for these March elections in October. Also, Snipes is not cooperating with any of the cities in nailing down dates. I agree with Walsh, Stern is one vote on a Committee, the Committee not the Commission voted her chair. She will not have singular control.

    Fort Lauderdale should ban lobbyists from being on Charter Review all together.

  5. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    In all fairness the “COUNT”saw my observations recently as well.For the good of the city Charlotte and as much as i respect you drop out….You will then be in the drivers seat.You will get and achieve anything you desire.Win.Win.Win situation this puts you in.Dean Trantalis make nice,nice with Tim Smith before Bruce Roberts offers him the sun,moon,stars.Again,Judy Stern telling Comm.Roberts don.t worry Charlotte staying in race will prove to make you win.Drop out Charlotte….

  6. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Comm.Trantalis get your dancing shoes on.Never a supporter but your actions on the dais this year proved me wrong.Romney Rogers you and your martini talk that Dean could never win Rio Vista.Keep Rio Vista and tell atty.Bill Scherer the same thing.

  7. covering all the bases? says:

    Stern is not only an “advisor” to Roberts, she is one to Ben Sorensen running in Dist 4 and Commissioner McKenzie. She appears to have no ties to the Moriatis campaign. Remember it has been speculated for years that Rep. George Moriatis supported Judy’s daughter Barbra being put on the Florida Elections Committee by Gov Scott in exchange for Stern not running against George again.

  8. sick of politics says:

    Jack the Dealer stacking the deck, he owes Judy Stern, and having her on the Charter review board is a conflict no matter if its one vote or not.

    She is a known lobbyist that owns Mayor’s and Commissioner’s the political stage would be set in they’re minds, however, Bruce has not been the most adverse Commissioner thus far.

    He has gone along with tax and spend policies because he has no choice, Jack and Judy want it right or wrong he goes along.

    Judy pushes her weight around and these spineless men do as she wants.

    As far as picking election dates that should be the sole duty of Brenda Snipes,
    Do we need more corruption?

    This is just more of the same, Jack wants to safe guard his wrong doings by having Bruce hold the Mayor seat, the chickens are coming home to roost over the unchalleged policies of the past 8 years , when you shake out the rugs from all of this Stern’s finger prints are all over the place,
    Developers got what they wanted Judy got paid and the spineless Commission will rubber stamp the next deal even if they drove to a Commission through a foot of raw sewage they are her robots more yes votes.
    Trantalis has challenged the Commission with using his good judgement, unlike the rest he owes nothing to Stern, his votes are always no.

    Look at the voting record of Bruce 15 new more mega buildings downtown where we have the most infrastructure failures was all a yes vote, and now he wants to change his tune now. TOO LATE BRUCE THEY ARE APPROVED

    You showed up late to the dance so sit down and look what you were part of history has never been rewritten you are part of the blame owe up and retire its over. Collect your pension and get out of the race.

    A horror movie of a City under sewage.

  9. Charlie King says:

    After 8 and half years of “Crooked” Jack Seiler, his boy “Little” Lee Feldman and their discount City Attorney Cynthia Everett it is getting real hard to tell right from wrong and legal from illegal at City Hall. When I spoke up at the City Conference Agenda a while back when “Rio Vista” Romney Rogers proposed appointing Judy Stern I questioned why the Charter Review Board should be packed with only lobbyists and campaign managers most legitimate citizens can’t bear to be in the same room with. Romney attempted to grand stand and yelled at me for daring to question his ill-advised if not unethical appointment of Judy Stern because she was replacing Clay Shaw who had passed away. This bunch is the worst and their chickens have come home to roost in the form of turds in our streets, parks and waterways. Really makes you wonder what sentient person would vote for one of these world class sellout to be elevated to mayor and hide their fiscal crimes through “Little” Lee Feldman for another election cycle. Maybe they are planning on holding the election the Tuesday after New Years? I guess we will just have to wait till Mayor “Jack” decides if it is right or wrong for Bruce Roberts’ campaign manager to pick the date of the election. Recusing oneself when they have a conflict hasn’t happened much on “Crooked” Jack’s City Commission dais, so why would we expect Judy Stern to recuse herself from an obvious conflict she stand to benefit from on the Charter Review Board, right?

  10. Performance workplan says:

    Stern circumvents the City Attorney and Roberts puts the City Attorney on a performance workplan. Are any legal staff left from the esteemed Harry Stewart Esq days? Sounds like they all got purged under Seiler/Stern!

  11. What the hell says:

    What does the attorney do all day?

  12. Ricki says:

    I want the 4 minutes back that I spent reading this nonsense. (including the comments)

  13. Get your resume updated Feldman says:

    With Bruce as Mayor,Judy will have Lee Feldman packing. Lee never kissed her butt. I hear Stern has a crony in the city managers office in Hallandale all ready to be the next Fort Lauderdale City Manager

  14. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Buddy your hot right now.This story breaking all records.Im surprised its not collapsing your server Four calls tonite in regards to Charlotte dropping out and running for her old seat.Some say i have a hellva nerve,to Charlotte needs to step down in order for you predictions to fruition,to Dean goung to kick ass,to give Bruce Roberts a chance to hear his response.Wow.SEE YOU ALOT OF YOY ON THE 13TH.To discuss this almost 800 mill budget….Will see..Putting the clippers down.Im more exicted that i have the entire week off.Looking forward to dinner at Valentinos.Although my Jewish friends are telling me the portions are small and ovwrpriced.Im still going.A Jameson night….

  15. Blind chef says:

    Elect Mac from Dania!!

  16. Floridan says:

    The appointment of Stern and her charter board . . .

    Her charter board? I thought the members were appointed by the commission.

  17. Enlighten Us says:

    Nowhere in the article does it state that the Supervisor of Elections is asking the city to move the qualifying period and election dates to facilitate the return of overseas ballots. The article makes it seem as though the commission is arbitrarily moving dates.

  18. Barstool Trivia Game says:

    Can anyone name a major race (non judicial) that Stern has won in the last 5 years?


    Best of luck Bruce.

  19. Stern is the problem says:

    The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to take their City back is to not support candidates who are working with Judy Stern. Bruce Roberts, ‘Dr.’Ben Sorenson, and Robert McKinzie. It is time for Tim Ryan to get some distance from this toxic woman as well. Talk about sewage waddling through the streets.


    Any positions that Bruce Roberts and Robert McKinzie have taken can only be blamed on them. They have the votes, not Judy Stern.

  20. Miss Marple says:

    Bruce Roberts has seemingly found Jesus in our failing infrastructure. It is just too delicious to watch the videos of him in high dudgeon over the imminent need to do something, stat, about this! Dean’s reactions are also priceless watching Bruce – like, no kidding, Bruce, where have you been???
    Bruce Roberts has been on the wrong side of so many issues that I am amazed that anyone would vote for him. The one thing that might save him would be voter apathy – certainly not his record.

  21. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Pertaining to the last comment I agree with you Buddy.Alot of these commentors give her waaaay to much is it credit.They act like she’s the Don.She is a political consulant -lobbyist.No more no less.I have always liked her and find her to be very nice.Until i see different like Bruce Roberts getting rid of the city manager i will go the distance to support other canidates.Show me Bruce Roberts you will get the city on a productive course.And don.t say raise “property taxes”.The city man.has been doing this his whole time as manager.Sure raise the cost to live here(wait)and then raid the account to pay other depts.Then pay office help 100g.Staaart packing….

  22. Respectfully Disagree says:


    I must most respectfully disagree. It isn’t just elected’s that are at the core of the issue. Lobbyists, and especially Ms. Stern, are driven by opportunism and influence peddling. Stern games the system to the benefit of her clients regardless of the detriment of the public. That is her job … plain and simple. I’m not saying that she doesn’t have the right to make a living, but I certainly would say that she should not be insulated from criticism if, in fact, she is a corrupting influence simply because she “doesn’t have the votes.”

  23. New Blood says:


    Any positions that Bruce Roberts and Robert McKinzie have taken can only be blamed on them. They have the votes, not Judy Stern.

    Are you sure? She will need here robots in there next election

  24. In fairness says:

    Bruce is not a bad guy. Bruce plays a great supporting cast member but he will never be a leading man. It is well known when Bruce was Chief, Gretzas pushed Bruce around and gave him the nickname “Fife” as in Barney Fife. Bruce dutifully carried Seiler’s water and ducked out of town when there was heat, prayer breakfast mess, homeless problems, etc. Now he has to be a leading man and he is faltering. He has not been able to committ to a position on anything since he announced his candidacy for Mayor. Awful as a public speaker. He is the candidate by default for the money crowd because no one wants Rodstrom. Even the money people call Bruce an uninspiring candidate. That is why the mere rumor of Dean or someone else coming in have Bruce and Judy very scared.

  25. Judy Stern says:

    In answer to #8. Let’s see. Only Beginning in 2012? And Non Judicial? Hmmm
    Sen Maria Sachs
    Sen Gary Farmer
    Sen Perry Thurston
    Rep Joseph Gibbons
    Rep Barrington Russell
    Clerk of the Courts Howard Forman
    Mayor Joy Cooper
    Mayor Lamar Fisher
    Mayor Jack Seiler
    City Commissioner Bruce Roberts
    City Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom
    City Commissioner Jeff Green
    City Commissioner Jamie Curran
    And etc etc etc – Considering Buddy has been writing my name for 25 years….Just saying. Lol

  26. Ar they on the take? says:

    Fell in to this one….

    Answer this one Judy, how many of those campaigns actually legally paid you on campaign finance reports? As a campaign professional, if you are not being paid, you are really nothing more than a volunteer? Unless, by not being paid, there is a quid pro quo i.e.special favors to you from the electeds upon them taking office….

    Responding to blogs, looks like the heat is getting to you Judy.


    104.071 Remuneration by candidate for services, support, etc.; penalty.—
    (1) It is unlawful for any person supporting a candidate, or for any candidate, in order to aid or promote the nomination or election of such candidate in any election, directly or indirectly to:
    (a) Promise to appoint another person, promise to secure or aid in securing appointment, nomination or election of another person to any public or private position, or to any position of honor, trust, or emolument, except one who has publicly announced or defined what his or her choice or purpose in relation to any election in which he or she may be called to take part, if elected.
    (b) Give, or promise to give, pay, or loan, any money or other thing of value to the owner, editor, publisher, or agent, of any communication media, as well as newspapers, to advocate or oppose, through such media, any candidate for nomination in any election or any candidate for election, and no such owner, editor, or agent shall give, solicit, or accept such payment or reward. It shall likewise be unlawful for any owner, editor, publisher, or agent of any poll-taking or poll-publishing concern to advocate or oppose through such poll any candidate for nomination in any election or any candidate for election in return for the giving or promising to give, pay, or loan any money or other thing of value to said owner, editor, publisher, or agent of any poll-taking or poll-publishing concern.
    (c) Give, pay, expend, or contribute any money or thing of value for the furtherance of the candidacy of any other candidate.
    (d) Furnish, give, or deliver to another person any money or other thing of value for any purpose prohibited by the election laws.
    This subsection shall not prohibit a candidate from furnishing complimentary tickets to the candidate’s campaign fund raiser to other candidates.
    (2) A candidate may give his or her own personal or business funds to another candidate, so long as the contribution is not given in exchange for a promise or expectation that the recipient will directly or indirectly do anything to aid or promote the candidacy of the contributor which the recipient would not have otherwise done.
    (3) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and from and after conviction shall be disqualified to hold office.
    History.—s. 8, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 2, ch. 65-379; s. 26, ch. 71-136; s. 35, ch. 77-175; s. 52, ch. 79-400; s. 33, ch. 89-338; s. 617, ch. 95-147.

  28. Prefer Direct TV says:

    Ask Comcast how she gets paid. The list above spent quite a bit in tevelvision ads.

  29. Judy Judy Judy says:

    Agree with 26, 27 and 28.