Buddy’s Political Tidbits



A lot of people in politics spend a lot of time watching Judy Stern.

She’s the sometimes-political consultant, sometimes lobbyist who some love.  And some just love to hate.

Now her rivals lobbyists are worried that Stern could have four good friends on the Broward County Commission after next years election. That would gave her an advantage over other lobbyists when soliciting business.  We’re talking thousands and thousands of potential dollars.

Here is the math that Stern’s rivals are using:

Stern is a long-time pal of Commissioner Lois Wexler.  And last year, she helped get Commissioner Tim Ryan elected.

That’s two.

Next year she will be helping the county commission campaigns of Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher and state Rep. Joe Gibbons.

If they win, that’s four.

That’s potentially four votes at the commission for her clients.

The thought sends chills through the other lobbyists.

One person who should be watching all this is Sheriff Scott Israel.


Israel and Stern had a falling out after his 2008 losing race, which she managed.

The sheriff depends on the county commission for his budget.

I can guarantee this: Stern is at the Government Center all the time. The more commissioners she has easy access to, the worse it will be for Israel.

Because when she is whispering in commissioners’ ears, she won’t be saying nice things about the sheriff.


Building Her Rolodex


Katie Edwards at a House committee meeting earlier this year. 


Katie Edwards is building a network of friends in city halls in her district the old fashioned way: By helping them get elected.

The freshman Democratic state representative from Plantation, Edwards is helping Plantation Commissioner Bob Levy’s re-election with campaign strategy and advertising.  In 2011, Edwards worked on the campaign of Plantation Mayor Diane Veltri-Bendekovic.

This is nothing new.  Former County Commissioner Scott Cowan helped office holders in the 1980s with their campaigns and in return got their support.

Cowan is also involved in the Plantation race. He’s helping with Plantation Commissioner Pete Tingom’s re-election advertising.

He also showed up at a recent fund raiser for Jeff Holness, along with Mayor Bendekovic.  Holness is running against former Commissioner Jerry Fadgen.

Fagen is a Republican and his winning back the seat is one of the goals of the Broward GOP.  Holness has support among many Democratic activists, like Barry Harris and Cynthia Busch.

Scott Cowan shakes hands with Barry Harris with Jeff Holness in middle.





Who’s Side Is He One?

Lauderdale Lakes financial quagmire has put it at odds with Broward County.  While it tries to straighten out its books, the city has been slow in paying for police protection from the Broward Sheriff’s Office. County commissioners fear that the county eventually will have to bail out the Lauderdale Lakes.

So two commissioners have called for a state audit.

Enter über-lobbyist Ron Book.  He is now registered to lobby for Lauderdale Lakes at the County Commission and in Tallahassee.

That’s funny since Book is the county’s lobbyist in Tallahassee, too.

So will he be lobbying for an audit or against an audit?

“If this city has the money to hire a county lobbyist, maybe the city should consider paying its overdue bills to BSO,” one county commissioner told Browardbeat.com. “If it has discretionary dollars to hire a lobbyist to kill an audit maybe it should give some relief to its residents instead, especially considering its 9.5 millage rate.”


Ron Book and his daughter, Lauren Book 


Breakfast With Bagpipes

While mentioning Ron Book, I can’t ignore his daughter Lauren Book who will be named Humanitarian Of The Year at next month’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Gala.

Lauren is chief executive officer of Lauren’s Kids, an advocacy group and resource for child abuse survivors.

The St. Patrick’s Day Gala is one of the longest running political events in Broward.  This is its 63rd year.

It is popular with the courthouse crowd because judges are forbidden by the cannons of judicial ethics from attending political gatherings. But they can go to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

So it usually draws a good number of judges.

And where judges go, the lawyers are sure to follow.

Along with the other pols.

The shindig is organized by the non-profit Emerald Society of Fort Lauderdale.

The guy behind it this year  is Michael Ahearn.  He’s  a lawyer and local political consultant who is close to Mayor Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale.

So maybe it  isn’t a surprise that this year’s Irish Person of The Year is Seiler.

And the Honorary Irish Person of the Year is Circuit Judge Dale Ross.  Ahearn handled Ross’ re-election last year.

There are other awards, too.

So if you want bagpipes and step dancing with your Danish, write EmeraldFTL@gmail.com.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, 9:30 a.m. at the Bahia Mar Resorts on Fort Lauderdale beach.

18 Responses to “Buddy’s Political Tidbits”

  1. LaMarca makes 5 says:

    The Sheriff knows the ties between LaMarca and Stern. LaMarca is her 5th vote controlling the BSO budget if she gets Fischer and Gibbons it. She would probably run his campaign if he has an opponent

    Remember this article below from Bob Norman about Chip and Judy

    Stern backs LaMarca, that much is sure. Today I asked the GOP chair if Stern would run his campaign if he challenges Keechl. Stern, you see, can’t stand Keechl since he beat her old boy, Jim Scott, the previous lone Republican on the board. It would be sweet revenge for the bitter Stern to come back and crush Keechl with LaMarca.

    LaMarca had conversations with Stern about the race but said that she would support his bid… Don’t worry, though; Stern would have her influence — she always does.


  2. Ethically challeneged says:

    There is an inherent conflict of interest in running an elected’s campaign and then being paid to lobby that person afterward.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Hey Buddy;

    Here’s the email that I discovered that exposed the Ron Book Double Agent ordeal.




  4. Independent says:

    Ethically challeneged, Now that’s an idea. Change the Broward Ethics Code to provide,

    “Anyone paid as a Consultant or Campaign Manager in a County Commission Race, is prohibited from lobbying or representing any organization for a fee before the entire County Commission for a period of two years from the date of the election.”

    That would go a long way to clean up what the County Commission does.

  5. Joseph O'Dwyer says:

    Buddy, I read your blog a couple of times a week, and I must say I find it hilarious that some how more often than not your posts turn into LaMarca bashing, I’ve also noticed you never say anything about what he is doing on the County Commission – someone obviously has it out for him.

    I live in District 4 and no I didn’t vote for Commissioner LaMarca (I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a republican after 8 years of Bush) nor did I vote for the hairdo… However, I have been surprised at the great work he is doing. I live on the Galton Mile and he or a staff member (more often than not it’s LaMarca) has attended every meeting of the building Presidents and has been proactive on all of our issues. Especially our top issue the beaches.

    My parents live in Leisureville in Pompano and got LaMarca after redistricting, before they had Kristen Jacobs and never saw her once-they see LaMarca all of the time and he helped with fix problems with a major road project in there.

    My sister also lives in Pompano and has been helped by his office with issues she has had with regard to a water project in her neighborhood. She contacted the office and within hours had a response and it has taken care of.

    I watch the county meetings on tv and must say, I like that he doesn’t speak to hear himself or for the sake of speaking! When he does speak it usually is making an important point. He has adds common sense solutions to the never-ending red tape and represents the residents and business community.

    On a side note since I’ve seen the post above several times about this Judy Stern and LaMarca I did some research. I went to the supervisor of Elections site and looked at his campaign reports, I found no mention of Stern being paid for anything. I did see his Aides name on there, so I guess he worked on the campaign, I would assume? But from what I’ve read over the years about Stern, I don’t think she would work for free. Since her name does not appear in his records I don’t see how anyone can continue to make this charge!

    Buddy I think you should look into this, and see if it is true. If I am right it maybe a chance for you to write something positive about him for a change.


    After November’s stupendous win by President Obama, Broward Democrats smell blood in the water. They view Chip LaMarca, a Republican, as a target next year who can be beat. That’s where the attacks are probably coming from in the comments section of Browardbeat.com.

    Can he be beaten? Anybody can be beaten.

    I will be posting about LaMarca. Look for it in the near future.

  6. Kevin Tynan says:

    Buddy – Thanks for the publicity on the Fort Lauderdale Emerald Society’s 61st annual St. Patrick’s day event – held this year on St. Patrick’s day (March 17). Ticket information can be found at http://www.emeraldftl.org.


    Kevin Tynan, a former School Board member and former Broward Republican chairman, is the secretary of the Emerald Society.

  7. voter says:

    Thank you Buddy for the reminder of the usual insiders helping each other out, and helping each other to our tax dollars. A few quick points- the BCC gig is the easiest gig LaMarca ever had to put $92K+ in his pocket. And it comes with short term influence (as long as he is in office) and chance to smooze non-stop. He makes the circuit with the local electeds at city level so he is watching and learning from the real smooze pros. Don’t forget this is the same guy that for a minute thought he would run for senator, just like one of his neighbors in LHP. lots of others want the same seat they covet at every level of gov’t. Unless someone quits BCC the next primary is Aug 2014 so its set for awile. If israel does a good job, or better a stand-up job, his budget won’t be cut without outrage from citizens (Hope Israel or high up staff member reads your blog). And that means kicking butt on the E911 merger asap with Mayor (Gov) Mike Ryan in your corner. If we are still talking and blogging about it as they set 2014-15 budget for BSO, he could be vulnerable to new BCC after Nov. 2014. So 2 term limited comm. will be packing, and if Fisher is NOT re-elected mayor next month, he’ll be running for BCC sooner. Will he have to resign to run and cost Pompano a special election? As to the wrestling match for gunzburger’s seat, that will be interesting as many mentioned so far would love a 4 year contract at $92K a year, chance to smooze and wield power. Keep up the reporting Buddy so we can follow the players making their plans. Aug 2014 is not that far away!

  8. Fictional Joe says:

    Interesting, that when using the Dan Lewis website that has the list of registered voters, the only thing close to Joesph O’Dwyer is Josephine O’Dwyer outside or Broward. On the Property Appraisers website there is only a Jeremy O’Dwyer. Also no O’Dwyer who lives in Leisureville in Pompano. Renters I guess.

    Even better is the fact that despite being knowledgable on how to research Chip on the computer. Mr. O’Dwyer drove all the way to SOE to see if Judy Stern was paid on Chip’s campaign when it is on the SOE website.

    If I had to guess this is most likely the handy work of Chip or his is employees Ryan or John.

    Considering Chip doesn’t even usually drive himself to the office, he wouldn’t do it himself.

    John is the Chief of Staff and paid the most in the office this is probably below his pay grade.

    As for the other one, with major duties like being Chip’s driver, playing around on the internet is more of what a second tier guy would do if it were in fact him.

    Joseph O’Dwyer is about as real as the football player from Notre Dame’s girl friend.

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Kevin Tynan also provided a character witness during former Deerfield Beach Commissioner and current felon Steve Gonot’s trial.

    Sorry Kev… No amount of good deeds fixes that.

  10. Central Broward says:

    Sheriff Israel is going to have problems with his budgeting even without Judy Stern. Israel screwed Judy Stern over and everyone around Broward County know it. The thing people will figure out sooner than later, especially the County Commisison is he is well over his head and will try to lie his way out of things and of course, “It will be Lamberti’s fault too.” At some point Israel will have to accept responsibility for the Agency and that will include the finances. Israel is already abotu $15 million in the whole and keep appointing new Managment people even after telling Commissionrs he was goign to cut out Managment position to save money. I guess when you promise half the county jobs, contracts and a host of other things this is going to happen when you have no idea how to manage a big organization. The employees at teh BSo already know Israel was a mis-take and has no idea what he is doing, except to promote all of his friends, do back door deals with Jenne, already caught in lies to people, violate union contracts, retaliate against union reps and ignore contracts with contracted cities. Judy should just sit back and watch Israel’s world crumble because it’s a matter of time. Judy is a good person and if rumors are correct she will be running Granteed’s campaign in 2016 against Israel. This will be a good one……Israel won’t be able to hide and his diplorable record as Sheriff will speak for itself. He is a one term Sheriff and it’s already evident to many around Broward.

  11. What's the real story? says:


    I agree with Joe you obviously have an axe to grind with LaMarca. Why, what did he do that you don’t like?

    I don’t ever recall reading a positive post about him from you.

    What’s the deal?

  12. Zoltar says says:

    I predict LaMarca wins in a landslide!

  13. Slobbering Love Affair says:

    Buddy, what is your slobbering love affair with Ahearn?

    You also fail to mention she was also working on Seilers campaign, and has worked on his campaigns since he was in Tallahassee!

  14. TmetoFumigate says:

    Why is LL trying to squash any attempt by the State to audit its books? They’ve done nothing wrong, according to the fraud jon allen! Their books are supposedly in order…hell, they’ve even made strides in improving their fiscal condition…if you believe this thief! So why doesn’t he want anyone to take a closer look if he’s so damn proud of his work…and why is his commission also trying to stall or kill any investigation by the State? Come on people…this one is not that hard to figure out! Just listen to the remarks coming out of LL. You can smell the fear!

  15. C E M Esq. says:

    C E M says:
    Why is Mike Ahearn so busy on this blog? Didn’t learn any lessons with The Judge I guess?

  16. Who got ripped says:

    Damn cant you Lamraca supporters/employees/cronies don’t read so good…I don’t see LaMarca being ripped by Buddy at all. Buddy stated what anyone in politics sees, if the D’s come out like they did this past November combined with Chip getting more D’s in redistricting that would appear to make LaMarca vulnerable. If that is a rip job, I would hate to see what Buddy would do if he really wanted to rip someone.

    Typical Republicans, no one can ever state anything negative without overreacting.

    Chip don’t sweat it dude you are the king of Facebook, you attend all the events and have tons of FB friends. This combined with Rico running BREC, you have nothing to worry about in a reelection.

  17. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Here’s another juicy tidbit for Citizens policyholders…


    […] As news stories were documenting her $35,000 tour through four-star hotels in four countries, [Citizens CFO Sharon] Binnun was enjoying a $31,000 pay hike, boosting her salary 14 percent to $255,000.

    Several other top officials got pay hikes of more than $25,000 late last year as well, even as the company’s executive suite was enmeshed in a series of corporate scandals and questionable spending. […]

    Meanwhile, tens of thousands of other state employees have gone six years without a general wage increase. […]

    While company execs enjoyed big salary hikes and cushy perks, Citizens was pushing homeowners to pay higher insurance rates and slashing their coverage. […]

  18. One term commish says:

    Get real, Ask anyone who follows County politics. Chip’s colleagues really dislike him since he screwed so many of them. They redistricted his seat to make it impossible for him to get reelected. The only question is whether Keechl runs or another Dem with name recognition and money runs. It’s gonna be interesting.