School Board Tidbits: Contributors Ignoring Race To Replace Kraft


Not too many care about who replaces School Board member Stephanie Kraft  judging from the number of people willing to contribute money. 

I’m amazed by how little money has been spent in this race to date.  

I expect that to change once the insiders decide on a candidate. 

The reason is simple.  The winner will be one of nine votes on billions of dollars over the next four years, deciding on what is built and what is bought.

It is sad but true.   Parents care about education.  The high rollers funding campaigns care about the money and contracts that School Board members can hand out.

The leader in the primary was J. P. Taravella High teacher David “Dave Thomas.  I would guess I said this on television that many who voted for him thought he was the late and very visible Wendy’s fast food tycoon.

Coming in second was Jaemi Levine, a parent activist.

Thomas raised about $5,700 and kicked in $12,450 of his own as of September 12.  Levine raised just over $800 and loaned her campaign $3050 as of August 20.

Thomas has the best experience for this job in the classroom.  He obviously didn’t have campaign experience when he started the race.

Thomas spent a ridiculous amount of money for his campaign manager Barry Harris. Of the $14,355 he spent, $8,000 went to Harris’ Sunshine Political Connections in Tamarac.   

I hate to attack a guy like Harris for making a living.  He does have political experience.  Enough experience to know those fees were too high.  

I couldn’t reach Thomas, but one Internet blog says he will not use Harris for the runoff November 2. 



I’ve heard a lot of pols making fun of Jennifer Gottlieb for ducking a runoff by a razor thin.02 percent of the vote.

She’s being called “Landslide Jen”, among other things.

Don’t forget that Gottlieb got 60,997 votes, which is 25,000-plus more than second place opponent Susan Madori’s 35,884.  That’s a resounding victory… regardless of her 50.02 percent!

In Florida, non-partisan candidates need 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff in the November general election.

9 Responses to “School Board Tidbits: Contributors Ignoring Race To Replace Kraft”

  1. Parent says:

    Hiring Barry Harris shows a lack of judgement. I’m voting for Jaemi!

  2. Politico says:

    Good read Buddy. This one will be interesting to follow as election day draws near.

  3. More tidbits says:

    I volunteered for 2 candidates for the Primary. Everytime I saw Barry Harris during early voting he was always wearing a Steinstaltz shirt and handing out her material. I saw Dave at Coral Springs Library looking like a sad sack holding up a sign that looked like he made himself at Kinkos. A friend told me Harris got paid two thirds less from Steinstaltz. Odd


    Harris’ Sunshine Political Connections got $3,000 from Steinstaltz’s countywide judicial campaign, which spent almost $59,000 total.

    Steinstaltz did also pay a Coral Springs business, R & C Marketing, which I couldn’t find on the state corporation rolls, over $20,000 for media and Out of The Box, a company owned by consultant Mitch Topel, over $3,000 for promotional items.

    Regardless, your comment proves my point. Harris charged Thomas too much.

  4. Insiders? says:

    Buddy, who are these so-called insiders? Do they formally meet to decide who is their candidate? How is this decision made?


    I know you are being sarcastic.

    Insiders are the individuals intimately involved in campaigns or government. They are the lobbyists and others doing business with governments, political consultants and some others in campaigns, big money donors, media types and the electeds themselves. Because of their involvement, they have access to information about the political process that most don’t possess.

    That information and access to others in the political process gives them tremendous influence over government and the elected officials.

    No, these insiders usually don’t hold formal meetings.

    They do get together at fund raisers and political events, where you see the same folks night after night trading gossip and discussing politics. Some of them are friends and socialize with one another.

    There are Republican insiders who attend GOP fund raisers and events together. There are Democratic insiders. There are business types who do not confine themselves to a party, but go with who they think and hope will win.

    Each government has its own collection of insiders, but they sometimes overlap from one to another.

    For instance, the Forman family is involved in state and county politics. The family owns businesses that are regulated by the state and county. They also are involved heavily in cities where they have real estate interests, such as Davie.

    Some of these insiders actually recruit candidates. (There is an active effort underway to recruit a candidate to run in 2012 against both Sheriff Al Lamberti and State Attorney Mike Satz by different groups of insiders.)

    How do they decide who to back? Usually the same way many voters decide who to back — self interest. People vote for candidates because they believe they will do a better job for their town, schools or country, i.e., for them.

  5. another point says:

    Only real deep insiders know who the power players are. You hear about Stern, Miller, Friedman, Rubin, Platt etc, but they do the bidding for the real powers that be. The real power people know how and where most things fall and everyone else is shooting at a dartboard trying to get lucky.

    What you write is true to a certain extent. However, the real powers talk to folks like Stern, Miller, Friedman, Rubin and Platt and listen to their advice. People such as developer Ron Bergeron, AutoNatiion CEO MIke Jackson and investor Wayne Huizenga are too busy making money to worry about the nuts and bolts of day-to-day politics.

  6. boo boo says:

    I have to say, regardless of what most may think, we have to go back to the days of the “Condo Commandos” and how much influence they had on an election. Naturally that was when everyone was running county wide but there are still certain districts that do have condo concentration that can make or break an election. The most important thing to remember is that we have that right to vote.


    Condo leaders are important because they are thought to control hundreds, sometimes thousands, of votes. Votes trump money any day.

    I had a county commissioner tell me that he would rather spend time with a condo leader who spoke for 5,000 voters than a rich guy who would donate $5,000. The $5,000 would never equal 5,000 votes, he said.

  7. Sorry Buddy, Gotta Disagree says:


    Condo leaders are important because they are thought to control hundreds, sometimes thousands, of votes. Votes trump money any day.

    I had a county commissioner tell me that he would rather spend time with a condo leader who spoke for 5,000 voters than a rich guy who would donate $5,000. The $5,000 would never equal 5,000 votes, he said.

    Sorry Buddy, tell that to all the judicial challengers that got their asses handed to them despite having the “condo leaders” supporting them.

    How did the candidates challenging judges and going for open seats that had the support of the Diane Glassers, Gert Weinbergs, Adele Bergers, etc. do this year.

    I think they got SQUADOOSH!


    You are right. Their power is mostly a thing of the past, as I have written before.

    The key word is “thought”. They are still “thought” by many political consultants to control lots of votes, although election results in recent years have proven both them and the condos much less powerful.

    These leaders still have some influence among their neighbors but the days when they controlled hundreds or thousands of votes is long past.

    Remember that some of the condo leaders backed the incument judges who won. Democratic leader Mitch Ceasar made a major effort to get those incumbents on various condo leaders’ “palm cards,” those sheets of endorsements handed voters as they enter the polling places.

  8. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Barry is a dweeb and your typical runt in a bathing suit getting sand kicked on him!

    and he needs to be pinned for cheating his client!

    Stone Cold is not happy with Barry WORM-IS!

  9. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:


    Mitch Brutus is no Democratic Leader…..