Will Wasserman-Rubin Leave The Commission?


I don’t have a crystal ball.  I don’t know how to foretell the future from the entrails of cattle.  I gave my Ouija board to Goodwill.

But I still know something about politics and which way the wind is blowing.

The wind is blowing against Diana Wasserman-Rubin.

Like vultures circle over a gravely injured antelope, the political vultures are circling Wasserman-Rubin.

After more than two decades on the Broward School Board and county commission, I don’t know if she is up to a tough re-election campaign.  She WILL be attacked because of her past ethics violations.

(She supported for park projects that benefitted her husband in Southwest Ranches.)

Will she run for re-election? 

She’s got a lot to brag about.

Her passion is mental health programs.  She fought hard and won millions of dollars for improving mental health.

She is the only county commissioner who can speak to Latin Americans in their own language.  That’s an asset in the development of international trade. 

She brought $90 million in neighborhood improvement money to south Broward.

Most of all, Wasserman-Rubin is a pioneer. 

In the early 1980s, the Havana-born politician was the first Hispanic on the South Broward Hospital District, which runs the Memorial Healthcare System.  

She was the first Hispanic elected to the school board in 1988.

She was the first Hispanic Broward mayor, in 2002.

She is an icon to Broward Hispanics.

Despite all these achievements, the widespread speculation in political circles is that Wasserman-Rubin won’t run in 2010. 

I believe that speculation.  I believe she won’t run.

Still, Wasserman-Rubin is not a rich woman. She needs a job.

Commissioner is a good job for her more than $90,000-a-year for part time work.

She is a few years away from Medicare.  She needs medical insurance, along with a salary to replace what she gets from her commission job now.

She has been in public life long enough to make plenty of influential friends.  Maybe one of them could hire her.

If she finds a job, its goodbye to the commission after her term expires. There has been a lot of publicity about Weston Mayor Eric Hersh challenging Wasserman-Rubin.

I don’t see Hersh as the strongest candidate.


So far Hersh has one issue: Wasserman-Rubin’s vote in favor of Davie Commons shopping and office complex.

That issue might sell among Davie Commons opponents living in west Davie near the proposed complex.

But surveys show the majority of southwest Broward residents favor the new upscale shopping development.

Several other candidates are talking about running for Wasserman-Rubin’s District 8 seat, which stretches across a large section of southwest Broward.

The most formidable candidate for Wasserman-Rubin’s seat would not be Hersh, but Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo.

Castillo (on left) with Wasserman-Rubin (right) campaigning for losing House candidate Sam Lopez.

His constituents middle-class Hispanics, blacks and elderly Jews reflect the district.  He speaks Spanish.

Castillo has solid experience.  He has been an administrator in New York City and Broward County’s government.

He’s a health care expert, always a big issue. He is the chief executive of Broward House, which offers residential care and other services for HIV positive patients.

And Castillo can build a campaign quickly.

He has connections to financial bigwigs through his work for Broward County, Broward House and the Pembroke Pines commission.

He has professional campaign help at home, right in his own bed. Wife Lisa Castillo works with campaign consultant Judy Stern.

Lisa Castillo told me that her husband wouldn’t challenge Wasserman-Rubin.  If Wasserman-Rubin leaves, all bets are off.

Angelo Castillo has the best chance to replace Wasserman-Rubin on the county commission.  Looking at the race from this far off, I believe that is what will happen.

14 Responses to “Will Wasserman-Rubin Leave The Commission?”

  1. STAY DIANA says:

    Buddy, I respect your opinion and agree with some of it- but I really do hope that Diana stays. I think she does great things for Broward County and is an asset. As a Davie Commons supporter, I wish she would have taken a positive position however, we will take what we can get. It is obvious that she listened to our letters and pleas and that is what a leader should do – speak for the people who cannot speak for themselves. And also, I really hope Eric Hersh runs against her because so many of us look forward to his defeat and I know she will beat him!

  2. No More Judy Stern says:

    Judy Stern!!!
    OMG! Do we really need another commissioner beholden to that lobbyist? Please stay Diana.

  3. We need Diana says:

    Diana is honest and upfront. Boo Hersh. He is the last person we need in her seat. Someone should speak to Diana to make sure she stays – we really need her.

  4. Congrats Buddy says:

    As usual the Sentinle follows your lead…


  5. Spectator says:

    If Diana retired I would think several other people would also jump in besides Castillo. At least one of the West Park City Commissioners would run. Rep Joe Gibbons could take a look at it. I’d also give it 50/50 odds that Steve Geller would switch races because an open seat is usually easier than taking on an incumbent. Does Robin Bartleman live in this district, as she could be strong here.

    FROM BUDDY: You are right. Gibbons would be a strong candidate. So would Geller, who currently is running against Commissioner Sue Gunzburger in 2010. I’m not sure if Bartleman lives in the district, but she would be another good candidate.

  6. Mike Taylor says:

    Much the same as the late great Coconut Creek city commissioner who was criminally charged with ethics violations, so will Diana. Do you not think the recent piece in the Sun Sentinel was an accident or a well placed piece inviting scandal? Diana is already working a deal behind the scenes with Mike Satz to “retire” from politics in lieu of a misdeameanor false oath count. Stay tuned folks. More to come from the news desk.

  7. confused says:

    I am confused in Palm Beach you get a county commissioner criminally charged for voting to get her husband work what’s the difference in Broward?

    Also – Angelo is not the answer

  8. broward voter says:

    Not sure if she lives in the district, LOL… since when did that matter? It was cut as a minority access seat, it’ll never go back to anything else. Problem for Angelo is that Century Village (his base) is in Gunzburger’s district… going all the way back to a decision that was made to impact Sue Katz at the time.

    Doesn’t Diana have Parkinson’s or something? I had heard that years ago but wasn’t sure if it was true.

    The issue would be a behind the scenes consultant fued. When he ran the first time, Barbara Miller ran Angelo’s campaign. Then Lisa went to work for Judy Stern, who is Barbara’s arch-enemy in the business… Then it really got ugly between the 2 of them over Scott Israel and Lemack last summer. Bartleman is completely beholden to Barbara Miller, rediculously so… so who knows where the allegiances would end up.

  9. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Hasn’t anyone looked at the supervisor of election site? Diana is already in the race as of about one week ago. Diana is one of the most honest and honorable persons I know and I will do anything I can to help her get re-elected in 2010, if that is what she chooses to do. Go away all of you vultures!!!!!!

  10. Mike Satz Is Closing In says:

    Look over your shoulder, Diana. Mike Satz is closing in to close the jail door on your. You better cut a deal and resign.

  11. another Broward Voter says:

    Broward Voter,


    I saw Miller on Rubin’s team against Sharief. Has Miller always run Rubin’s campaigns?

    I assume that judy would run angelo to get back some clout that she will be losing through term limits in 2012 but who is miller looking at? any guesses.

    Judy ran Gibbons so I dont think he will bite.

  12. Buddy Correct says:

    Buddy is correct that if Diana does not run the most likely successor is Angelo Castillo. He is a super smart and popular with the people. There is no more respected or better liked local politician in that district than Commissioner Castillo. Nobody I can think of is even a close second.

  13. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Buddy and Friends:

    It’s always humbling to be considered in connection with higher office. However, my plans to run for re-election in Pembroke Pines were set months ago. That election takes place in March 2010 and it would take something totally unexpected for me to change those plans. My good friend Diana has filed to run for re-election to the County Commission in November 2010. I’m going to work very hard to get re-elected and I know Diana intends to do the same.

    As to my being beholden to any particular lobbyist, please go look at my voting record and decide for yourself. My votes are cast based on what I think is best for the community. I made my bones in life and government years ago and can make a comfortable living without being an elected official. Woe unto those that can’t in this business. And that’s a big part of why nobody holds any strings on me, and nobody ever will. The other part is because I just don’t operate that way. Under any circumstance.

    I wish you all a Happy New Year.


    FROM BUDDY: I still believe you are the best candidate for Diana’s seat IF SHE DECIDES TO RETIRE FROM THE COMMISSION. If not, I believe you will remain a dedicated Pembroke Pines commissioner. The public in Pembroke Pines wins either way.

  14. Yes!!! says:

    I totally agree w/Buddy. Castillo would be a great candidate to be on the County Commission, especially for that district. Besides, I’m not sure about Diana at this point because she’s so frail and I think she is ill. Hersch is an egotistic jerk and thinks he knows everything. So, why not Castillo? Have Diana step aside and not run and then it would be home free. Go Castillo!!!!