Davie Races Turn Nasty


The Davie election has become as nasty as the manure that dots the horse ranches in this metropolis.

Why Davie?  It’s all about the money development money.

The races are fiercely fought because the town — it is really a city but they like to delude themselves into believing it is still a small town — is planning for enormous development projects in the next two decades.

Thousands of units of apartments.  Huge office and university complexes.
Whoever is on the council will have a lot to say about those developments. 

Development interests are all over these races, secretly and openly. 
This week it got nasty.  It always does when money is at stake.

Flyers from a shadowy group says the issue in the campaign is the Davie Town Council buying $12.5 million worth of land. I believe it is a non-issue.

One attack ad hitting western Davie voters slammed incumbent Town Council member Marlon Luis for voting to buy the land, which Davie town officials say is needed to build a water plant and a park. 

A second ad being stuffed into mail boxes in central Davie inferred that Town Council candidate Freda Stephens would vote against such wasteful land purchases in the future.

What’s behind these pieces?   I see the hand of supporters of The Commons.  The Commons is the sprawling shopping and office complex proposed for construction within shouting distance of rural western Davie. 

The language and art work of the ads is similar.  They both were produced by a “group not heard from in the past — Protect Davie Taxpayers, which I could not find registered.

The group has an address in the same building as Stephens uses on campaign financial documents.

There is another clue in the Stephens piece.  A line in the ad directs readers to website run by Mitchell Chester.

Chester is a lawyer who has been quoted supporting construction of The Commons.  He is also a business associate of Traub, another outspoken supporter of the development.


That’s not all. 

An Internet attacks targeted Stephens.  An e-mail pretending to be from her was widely distributed.  When the e-mail is opened, it contained a video from Channel 10-WPLG which talks about campaign ads she reportedly didn’t pay for in a previous campaign.

And Traub was the victim of a mail piece using without permission a story from Browardbeat.com which details the $25,000 he received to persuade his neighbors to vote to buy a golf course from a real estate investor.   I believe the story is relevant, but to be fair the incident was years ago and Traub denies elements of it.

But both the attacks on Stephens and Traub are essentially accurate, although they are strident and mean-spirited.

Strident and mean-spirited.  Ah, that’s Davie politics!

30 Responses to “Davie Races Turn Nasty”

  1. Lori Parrish says:

    We have received a total of 5 pieces each from the group that claims to be Protect Davie Taxpayers in district 4 where I live. There are 4 registered voters at our home. We all received a card(20 pieces so far).
    The same thing has been happpening in District 2.
    This means someone wants to buy this election so BAD the person has put up about $20K so far.

    This is not an individual. This a developer. If it walks like a developer, talks like a developer and and whines like a developer it is a DEVELOPER.

    It won’t work. We will vote for Marlin Luis. Because we do not want the Commons or any similar project in our area.

  2. Ellis Traub says:

    First of all, Buddy, the more you insist that the story about “the $25,000 [I] received to persuade [my] neighbors to vote to buy a golf course from a real estate investor,” the more you perpetuate that manure you’re shoveling!

    Moreover, you KNOW it, because I’ve sent you the rebuttal to that story from that community’s leadership three times already!

    Here’s the URL again: http://www.davie4.org/CountryClub.html. Might you comment on it?

    Second of all, thanks for giving me some benefit of the doubt about these rogue mailings. I stood up before the Town Council last night and repudiated them. I have no use for anyone that sends out mail, makes phone calls, or even posts comments anonymously. If they aren’t willing to stand behind what they say, they’re pusillanimous putzes!

    Welcome to the fray, Lori! Nice to see another recognizable name on this site besides mine and Buddy’s!

  3. Prayin' for a miracle today says:

    Please hope for Marlon Luis to Win!

    Please hope for Caryl Hattan to Win!

    Please Pray for Susan Starkey to lose!

  4. SUNRISE Too says:

    Aw, that ain’t nothin’. Wait until our Mayor’s race gets-a-goin’ in ole’ Sunrise. Yee-haw!

  5. So What's The Truth says:

    Ellis, you say in the literature that one of your solicitors delivered to my door that ” will be your full time representative”. How is that possible if you run three corporation out of your Davie home? So says the Florida Division of Corporations web site. And should you have gotten Occupational Licenses (or whatever they are called now) for each one. Should you have paid Davie Business fees? How much do you owe the Town?

    On the same card you say you do “not – and will not accept campaign contributions from big property owners and land developers”. Now that’s bull. I went on the Davie web site and of the money in your campaign other than your own,it looks to me like 75% to 85% comes directly from people who are part of the Commons or do business with them. How many more lies have you told us?

    Forget it… I’m voting for Luis

  6. Davie Dave says:

    Traub is definitely a phony. Anyone who wants to put the Commons where we can hear it and see it from my backyard doesn’t deserve consideration.

  7. Salvatore says:

    There are too many people already in Davie and the concept of turning it into a major office destination is not what the residents want. I read that the federal building is going to be built in downtown. The traffic to get off I595 in the a.m. is now horrible and this will only make it worse.
    Stop the foolish overdevelopment.

  8. Ellis Traub says:

    Who is that masked stranger, “Davie Dave”?

    …or all the rest of you who have found a home here, sticking your tongues out and making faces like infants from behind the skirts of “mommy anonymity”!

    Phony? The phonies are the people that are afraid to state their claims because they know they’re untrue and would be libelous. So they hide behind nuance, tantalizing questions, and suggestions like “Ask my opponent….” or “…a newspaper article said…”

    I challenge you to run through all of Buddy’s diatribes about this race——and any comment by a real person——and find one statement of fact that is gutsy enough to actually claim any wrongdoing on my part!

    Buddy, of all people, knows the libel laws well! ;o}

    Ellis Traub

  9. Ellis Traub says:

    Well, “So What’s the Truth,” — an unusual name. What nationality might that be? Your first name or your last?

    Anyway, if you’re going to make a claim like that, you’re going to need to tell us all the names of those corporations. I looked real hard to find them and couldn’t.

    Fact: The only corporation that’s at all active at this time——and has been for a long time——is my wife’s business. While it has its mailing address in Davie, it does business in Miami-Dade and pays all of the appropriate license fees there, of course.

    Of the three other companies, one was sold in 2003, one was a non-profit that employed no one and was working in DC to try to bring financial literacy to public school curricula, and the third was formed as a nexus for research to help with the affordable housing crisis in Davie. It also employed no one and the only money it spent was to sponsor a course at the University of Miami School of Architecture to develop affordable dwellings.

    Those are facts. Notice how the sentences are constructed.

    And geez, 75% to 85% comes from people who support The Commons. Well, golly, I should think that 100% of the entire $5,000 or so you’re talking about might come from friends who, like me, have supported The Commons in the past.

    And, gosh, would you care to figure the percentage that $5,000 might represent of what my opponent got from Austin Forman? Or, for that matter, the lawyers who represented The Commons? Or even The Commons developers themselves? C’mon. You’re going to have to do better than that!

    BTW, I’m sure glad Marlon’s sending everyone to this site! This is a great forum!

    Ellis Traub

  10. Ellis Traub says:

    Oh, and in response to the question, “How much do I owe the Town?” I would have to say that, if I did have, let’s say three, businesses that might owe occupation license fees, which I don’t, I would have to pay just about as much as Marlon needs to forfeit of his Sign Bond for breaking the law and plastering his signs all over the right-of-ways and our beautiful, green landscape! Somewhere around $300.

    Any more questions?

    Ellis Traub

  11. Ellis Traub says:

    Oh, and I’d like to thank “Praying for a Miracle” (another unusual name) for recognizing that, given those wishes, it might require some kind of divine act for those things to happen…well, a couple of ’em anyway.

    Ellis Traub

  12. quit the grandstanding says:

    gee Ellis, is this your free advertising forum?
    comment to the Sunrise folks, vote Sheila ALU for Mayor!
    …..ynuk ynuk ynuk…joking! oh, me thinks she is already going to run for State Attorney or something right, or was that caped crusader, I keep getting them there rumors mixed up.

  13. Clarify Dumbest Alltime says:

    to Councilmember Starkey throught BrowardBeat:

    is it true, Ms. Starkey, that you said Davie has a one billion dollar budget in a recent public forum. there are rumors to this affect cited by multiple present sources.


  14. CuriousO says:

    Did Susan Starkey recently say at a public forum debate, that Davie had a 1 Billion Dollar Budget?

    If she did, she should be removed from office for incompetency! How can you serve 9 years and not know the size of your budget (Davie’s is about 100 million or so).

    Was anybody there? Did anybody hear this? Can they write in to confirm this was said?? This goes to the heart if someone is competent enough to serve>

  15. Rarl Kove says:

    There is no way she could have said that. That is nuts. She would know the size of the Town’s budget. She’s been up there forever.

  16. Brad Anderson says:

    This is truly getting disgusting. Another piece of mail. From Protect Davie Taxpayers, 4611 South University Dr #424, Davie, FL 33328. It is a UPS Store PMB. Who or whom is this organization?
    There are election laws and I am going to find out. They have spent far too much money not to be registered with the state. This gutless outfit is slamming Marlon Luis.

    To make maters worse another garbage mailing came today directed against Ellis Traub . One quoted the BrowardBeat.Com story with additions in red and was identified as a political advertisement paid and approved by Marlon Luis with an address of 13251 SW 16 Court, Davie, Fl 33325. It almost looks like an endorsement from the Browardbeat and at first glance it looks as though they generated the piece which I’m sure is not the case. Image Plus was the mailing House.

    Finally the last piece was also directed against Ellis Traub from another anonymous source with the wording “Printed and mailed by a concerned Davie Citizen under rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution”
    Mailing address is 4774 Northwest 12th Terrace, Oakland Park, FL 33334-4802. That is the address of the mailing service LCS reflected in the stamped area.


    I think the Davie Voters have a right to know who these anonymous organizations or people are. To try and influence the outcome of an election and hide is absolute bull S!!!!! In addition I believe it is against the law.

    I will find out who is behind this stuff but, unfortunately, it will be after the election is over.

    In my humble opinion there is a cloud of suspicion over this election and I don’t think I will vote for either candidate.

    Unfortunately, there is no doubt that both candidates’, are being supported by special interest parties that don’t want us to know who they are.


    My post above explains some of my views about the ads being distributed. I did not give permission to run anything from Browardbeat.com.

    Court rulings have allowed the mailing of anonymous literature in Florida campaigns.

    The way to trace anonymous literature is to determine who it would benefit. For instance, who is the opponent of the candidate being slammed.

    If Marlon Luis is being slammed and this would benefit his opponent, Ellis Traub, well……

    I have no idea whether Traub knew about the literature. The literature attacking Luis helps only Traub. And I didn’t hear Traub distance himself from the anonymous campaign.

    Nor did I hear anything from Luis denouncing the anonymous attacks on Traub.

    They are not alone.

    Here are the players in the Davie race:

    In District 2, teacher Caryl Casey Hattan has the support of much of the political establishment. Her campaign is being handled by Amy Rose, a one-time chair of the Young Democrats who is associated with lobbyist Barbara Miller. Miller has represented development clients, although I don’t know if she has ever worked in Davie.

    Hattan’s opponent is self-styled business consultant Freda Stevens, who appears to have the support of development interests including those who want to construct The Commons shopping complex.

    In District 4, Ellis Traub, a former airline pilot and now an Internet investment advisor, appears to be supported by those who want to build The Commons, or at least have a favorable view towards development. Traub has been outspoken in the past supporting construction of The Commons.

    Traub is challenging Council member Marlon Luis, who has the support of development interests like Ron Bergeron and the Forman family. The incumbent’s campaign is being handled by the always combative, hard-knuckle political consultant David Brown.

    In District 3, Council member Susan Starkey has the backing of much of the town’s civic and business interests. Although a Republican, she also has support from many high profile Davie Democrats.

    Challenger Terry Santini is being supported by the Forman family real estate interests, who own much of the vacant land in the town. They dislike Starkey intensely. She is also supported by former County Commissioner Scott Cowan, who lives in Davie.

    Santini ran against Starkey three years ago. Surprise, anonymous mail suddenly appeared in 2007 targeting Starkey.

    I agree with the writer of the comment. Candidates who don’t have the guts to put their names on pieces don’t deserve votes.

  17. Lori Parrish says:

    We received another (this is the 6th piece) from the Protect Davie Taxpayers. This means that at a minimum $24K has been spent. This is obviously a developer and my guess is the Davie Commons interest.

    Western Davie voters aren’t fooled as easily as this. Hopefully all of us will vote and get our friends and neighbors to vote too.

    Let’s show the developers you can’t buy a Davie Council seat.

    I am supporting Marlin Luis. He is against Davie Commons.

  18. Ellis Traub says:

    Buddy, thanks for starting to commence to begin to almost strike a balance!

    However, your statement that I have not distanced myself from the anonymous mailing is just a little disingenuous in view of Comment #2 above, don’t you think? In front of Marlon and the whole world, I apologized to him for the anonymous mailings that I despise and have no control over or knowledge about.

    As for the notion of following the money, who do you think benefits from my being defeated? Austin Forman, Lori, Judy, or Marlon? Or all of the above? It certainly isn’t just the people who don’t like the Commons. With the anonymous pieces I’ve already received, they’re up over $20K already too and runnin’ scared! I guess Austin’s the only one in that “chain of command” with deep enough pockets for that!

    So let’s be really fair here! :o}

    …and Lori, if someone’s trying to buy one or more council seats, can you tell us who the owner is? It sure doesn’t seem to be the Davie taxpayers!


  19. Reality Check!! says:


    Come out of the closet NOW! be up front with Davie folk!! You are owned (they took out a Patent on you) by the Commons and similar developer type. You are at their beckon call. You don’t leave the house without checking with them.

    Be honest, Admit it. You are a PAWN! AND YOU LIKE IT!

  20. Lori Parrish says:


    Easy answer it’s a large developer who doesn’t want to have a majority of members on the Council against him or his project. We have 2 member of the Council against the Commons.

    The project can’t get the four votes it needs to proceed now, as long as Judy and Marlin represent our interests.

  21. Ellis Traub says:

    Hey, Lori, the question was “Who owns the Town Council?” and you’re probably right!

    You and he do have two members of the Council that favor the project and are trying to make sure no one gets on that’s against it.

    Only “the project” is an extra water treatment plant we won’t need for another 25 years, according to staff!

    BTW, how much did Wilma cost to clean up? If memory serves me, it was about $12 to $15 million. Right? And we yet have to collect our $3 million plus from FEMA.

    And that was only one, moderate storm. Where is it written that we’re restricted to only one storm? And where do the funds come from when we run out of our reserve? And where in the $20 million general fund reserve is there any accounting for the approximately $4 million shortfall this year and next which you have warned us is coming from the reduction in property values? And why did you leave the Budget Advisory Committee in a huff, if this Council’s so prudent and fiscally responsible?

    Just a few questions that occurred to me while I was playing here.


  22. Not So Hard To Find The Truth - ELLIS says:

    Traub, do you have an honest bone in your body?
    I just went on the Florida Division of Corporations web site and I FOUND THE TRUTH It was easy.. IT SHOWS YOU HAVE THREE “ACTIVE” CORPORATIONS AT YOUR HOME in DAVIE:
    Investware Corporation
    Quality Housing Corporation (it also lists Mitchell Chester as your VP)
    Diannell, Inc. (your wife is the Pres. and you are the Sec./Treasurer. (now who’s hiding behind skirts?)

    All the above corporations are “ACTIVE” “For Profit” listed at your Davie address. The State shows each has both its “Principal Address” AND “Mailing Address” at your home.
    So why do you refuse to pay any Davie taxes or fees on them like every other Davie business owner has to? You are just gaming the system and now you want people to believe you.
    NO THANKS. I will not vote to give someone like you the keys to our Town.

    Here is your totally dishonest explanation from above – just in case you forgot the “snake-oil” story you tried to sell us:

    “Anyway, if you’re going to make a claim like that, you’re going to need to tell us all the names of those corporations. I looked real hard to find them and couldn’t.

    Fact: The only corporation that’s at all active at this time——and has been for a long time——is my wife’s business. While it has its mailing address in Davie, it does business in Miami-Dade and pays all of the appropriate license fees there, of course.

    Of the three other companies, one was sold in 2003, one was a non-profit that employed no one and was working in DC to try to bring financial literacy

  23. Ellis Traub says:

    Just tried to post a reply and my message just up and disappeared. Am I being cut off? :o/

  24. Ellis Traub says:

    Ah, guess it was just a fluke.

    Hey, “Anonymouse,” if folks who have businesses listed in their names under their home addresses, but who don’t actually operate or manage a business there, are required to pay some kind of fee, then maybe you’ve come up with a great idea!

    Let’s pull up all the companies from that database that are listed at Davie residential addresses and turn them in to code enforcement. The Town’s budget needs a healthy boost to replenish the reserves!


  25. Not So Hard To Find The Truth - ELLIS says:

    “if” – “some kind of fee”
    Do you have any idea what the Davie ordinances say?
    You want to be on the Council but never even thought to find out about operating 3 businesses out of your home? Apparently you still have not called Town Hall to find out. You have NO RESPECT for your neighbors! You don’t have what it takes. I’ll vote for Luis.

  26. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle says:

    Does Marlon Luis Wife have the appropriate licenses, fees paid for her business at their home in Davie?
    Running a Psychology Practie from home is not part of the Davie Home Business Tax Receipts allowable uses is it?

    Florida Profit Corporation
    Filing Information
    Document Number P09000019144
    FEI/EIN Number NONE
    Date Filed 02/27/2009
    State FL
    Status ACTIVE

    Principal Address
    13251 SW 16TH COURT
    DAVIE FL 33325
    Mailing Address
    13251 SW 16TH COURT
    DAVIE FL 33325
    Registered Agent Name & Address
    13251 SW 16TH COURT
    DAVIE FL 33325
    Officer/Director Detail
    Name & Address
    Title DP
    13251 SW 16TH COURT
    DAVIE FL 33325

  27. Ellis Traub says:

    Oops. Hey, “Anonymouse”!

    In case you’re not familiar with the ordinance, it says:

    Sec. 13-17. Business tax required.

    “Every person engaging in or managing any business or engaging in any profession or occupation in the town shall be required to have a license…”

    I don’t do any of the above. And you don’t need to call the Town to figure it out.

    Take a nap, kid, you’re breakin’ the china!


  28. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle says:

    Right up to the end, Marlon Luis reports as of Mar. 5, 2010 taking more campaign money from the Davie Commons Attorneys/Law Firms of
    Ruden, McCloskey as well as Doumar, Allsworth, Cross, Laystrom etal…


  29. Davie Pissing Match says:

    Rather than “Davie Races Turn Nasty”, this piece should rightfully be titled “Davie Pissing Match”. What a bunch of utter maroons….so glad I do not live in Davie, which USED to be a wonderful town.
    This is what happens when big money sinks their claws into something.

    Oh and FWIW, Freda Stevens is a pompous and arrogant LOSER.

  30. fuck da commons says:

    The commons folks are lazing SOBs that think they can buy candidates/elected officials. Money does not buy loyalty or respect.