Broward Politics: Facebook Still Valuable To Campaigns

BY BUDDY NEVINS


Sniping in the race to replace retiring Broward Public Defender Howard “Help Me Howard” Finkelstein has begun in the preferred venue of modern candidates — Facebook.

More than a year before the primary election,  Facebook is shining light on 2020 campaigns just taking shape. 

This is especially true in down-ballot, low-visibility races like Broward Public Defender. Anyone interested in these obscure campaign can get day-to-day information from Facebook without leaving home. 

Newspapers and other websites may write one story about low-interest local campaigns before the election. But low interest doesn’t mean no interest. The courthouse crowd and a handful of others are paying attention to the PD’s race now. 

Facebook is filled with day-to-day news and musings directly from PD candidates…or whoever they hired to write the posts. 

The first shot in the campaign was naturally in a Facebook post.

It came from candidate Tom Lynch, the former judge. It was a swipe at his opponent Gordon Weekes, longtime manager of the Public Defenders’ Office as Finkelstein’s deputy. 

Lynch charged that Weekes committed “dereliction of duty” by holding up the release of a video portraying police brutality — roughing up a suspect in a hospital bed by a Broward Sheriff’s deputy.

Tom Lynch

Gordon Weeks

He told Browardbeat.com that Lynch’s comments were disingenuous.

Pretty strong language. 

 “Dereliction of duty”!!!

Weekes fired back. 

The police body cam video was first used to pry a better deal out of prosecutors for the defendant. 

Such use of video is routine in a criminal case, Weekes said. 

The tactic was a success. One charge of battery on a law enforcement officer was dropped and a second count of resisting arrest without violence was not adjudicated. 

Once the deal was sealed, the video was released to the public. 

 “Our first duty is always to our client,” Weekes said. 

Sounds to me like a swing and a miss for Lynch. 

Lucky for Lynch that 99.9 percent of the voters are not yet paying attention. But it is that interested .1 of voters that saw Lynch’s charges on Facebook. 

Those are the .1 percent who will provide campaign contributions. The .1 percent that will work on the campaigns. The .1 percent who talk other voters into supporting a candidate.  

That is Facebook’s value. 

The website provides the ultimate narrow targeting, providing information to only those interested. 

Facebook is surely controversial. The website is far from perfect by any gauge. 

They mine your data and sell it. They allow posting by crazies, who fill it with racist garbage. They don’t do enough to halt misinformation and downright lies, especially about national politics and conspiracy fantasies. 

Yet everything is not black -and-white about Facebook. 

The website also allows hundreds of scattered retirees from the South Florida media community to stay in touch. It allows many to see what their far-flung friends or families are doing. 

And it keeps any one who cares posted on local campaigns.

Given Facebook’s record, Broward voters are lucky about one thing:

Local campaigns are not of interest to Russian intelligence service, who polluted Facebook with fakery in the last election.

Russian bots leave the Broward Public Defender’s race alone. The Public Defender’s race is not on Kim Jong-un’s hit list. The Iranians or Chinese don’t care about Gordon Weekes or Tom Lynch.

And Broward’s local baddies have not adopted the worst strategies available on Facebook…yet.


Facebook is also valuable for routine campaign information, like this invitation to a fund raiser for Lynch at the home of former Property Appraiser Lori Parrish on May 5. Notice all the courthouse and political insiders backing Lynch.



8 Responses to “Broward Politics: Facebook Still Valuable To Campaigns”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Atty.Weekes had every right to release the video in regards to the BSO deputy punching the defendant while he was cuffed to the gurney.And for Lynch here to use this a political campaign ploy.

    By the way this deputy is was also discovered another defendant in custody and this deputy( oh this guy is John Wayne) shoves the defendant into a wall.

    No,this deputy in question, criminal charges are warranted.

    I mean all is fair in love and war but don.t use this video either of them as political fodder.As far as Facebook and using it as a tool is the newest thing to get your message out.Does it work is not the question but rather is it( Facebook)effective.Will see….

  2. Cmon Buddy says:

    Gordon is right, he used the video to get a good deal for his client. Of course Gordon does not try cases, so it was someone else’s case in the office. No dereliction of duty.

    Where there was dereliction of duty was using the video in an attempt to score political points 3 weeks after the plea.

    Here are the questions that needs to be asked and goes to what Lynch was getting at…

    The Defendant plead on April 1. Why did Weekes wait over 3 weeks to release the video and address the issue with the Sheriff?

    Why was the video released at the same time Gordon Weekes announced the PDO was moving to be taken off the Cruz case.

    Coincidence, I think not.

    What Lynch called out was that people are tired of watching Howard and now Gordon use Public Defender clients as props for their own grand standing political agenda.

    If in early April, Weekes brought the video to the attention of the Sheriff maybe the incident at McDonalds does not happen? By putting the safety of our residents in jeopardy by failing making the Sheriff aware of the video, was a dereliction of duty.

    FROM BUDDY:

    All good points. Thanks for commenting

  3. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    You mean the RESPONSIBLE POSITION OF PUBLIC DEFENDER is down to an older White Guy with ridicous long hair n a younger Black Man with thug like braids?

    I mean NO DECENT LAW FIRM WOULD LET EITHER THRU THE FRONT DOOR.

    I have been in Law Libraries Courts n in Legal Conferences from San Diego California to Wellington NZ from Montreal Quebec to Key West Monroe County AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH TASTELESS INAPPROPRIATE HAIRCUTS. If THIS IS WHAT THE LEGAL n POLITICAL COMMUNITIES THINK IS APPROPRIATE I understand now WHY THE SCHOOL BOARD IS HOPELESS CORRUPT N.EVERY LARGE PUBLIC PROJECT IS OVER BUDGET OR COLLAPSES OR IS CORRUPT.

    People would ACTUALLY VOTE FOR EITHER OF THESE CLOWNS?

    FROM BUDDY:

    First of all, what does a “thug” look like. Al Capone? Hitler? The three white nationalists who dragged a chained James Byrd Jr.down a Texas dirt road in 1998 simply because he was black. Or the thugs in Washington?

    Second of all, Weekes always looks very professional when I see him.

    Third, Lynch has a very good record as a former assistant public defender. He was an elected judge for many decades so obviously voters don’t care about his hair.

    Fourth, hair really means nothing. I had hair to my shoulders when I was a daily newspaper columnist. I would pay major money to be able to grow that hair today, but alas my locks disappeared along with my youth.

  4. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I had hair down to my shoulders when I was a young reporter is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from a GROUND UP LAWYER let alone a Judge or Public Defender. That BROWARD COUNTY VOTERS WOULD ELECT EITHER shows why ON THE INTELLECTUAL FRONT BROWARD IS THE PITS! While Palm Beach Miami Dade Sarasota n other counties graduate scientists n national n international leaders Broward produces a few lawyers out of private schools of local fame at best.

  5. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Good point Buddy in regards to #3.And to point out Atty.Weekes cut his dreads months ago.

  6. Larry DeLitto says:

    Re: Invitation
    Lynch has already received most of the support from big lawyers and others. Doesn’t that mean the race is over since nobody else cares?

    FROM BUDDY:

    No.

    Those high-rollers represent a fraction of the fraction of the voters — perhaps 200-300 voters and their families and friends.

    The rest aren’t paying attention yet and will decide who to vote for based on the candidate’s (1) name, (2) ethnic background and/oir (3) gender.

  7. Ron Mills says:

    Question RE Weeks, if you have not tried cases in a long time do you get rusty, asking for a friend

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr Nevins’ reply to #6 is NOT NECESSARILY SO IF A CANDIDATE HAS A POSITIVE ACHIEVEMENT. I won Democratic Primaries n a General Election based on the.Black n Hispanic Vote because I supported merit rentals in Publicly owned or Financed Housing. There arent many Polish monarchist votes.on Manhattan’s West Side.

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