Update: Democratic Meeting Snubs Demo Boss Mitch Ceasar


Guess the missing name from the list of Democrats at a Get-Out-The-Vote fundraiser in June?

Give up?

It’s Mitch Ceasar.

The Broward Democratic Party leader Ceasar is the most obvious name left off the host committee. The e-mail invitation is below.

The fundraiser is part of a massive effort by the state party to work around Ceasar, who is viewed by some as partly responsible for the Democrat’s debacle of 2010.

It is a charge Ceasar denies.

Reached in the Seattle airport, Ceasar was magnanimous about the new Democratic effort.

“I welcome anyone who wants to pitch in,”  he said.

He said his Democratic organization ran a training program last week with Obama For America  (OFA) for over 200 precinct committee people.  There are over 600 precinct members.

For Ceasar’s opponents, anything he does is not enough and they have the ear of state Party Chair Rod Smith, according to a source at the state Democratic Party.

Any move on the Broward chairman would have been a parliamentary mess that would divide the party. Ceasar’s term is until Dec., 2012 – one month after the election.

Smith: I Never Worked Against Ceasar

State Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said, “Chairman Smith never thought about, considered or wanted to remove Mitch Ceasar.”

Still, Smith and long-time Broward adviser Barbara Miller are putting together a major mirror Democratic Party organization.


Barbara Miller

The fundraiser is at Miller’s home.  The veteran Democratic activist and campaign guru has always been on the opposite side of Ceasar.

Jotkoff says my interpretation of  the event it way off base.

“This is nothing more than Chairman Smith has done in Orlando, Tampa and other places.  He is raising money for the Florida Democratic Party,” the spokesman said. “That is all it is.  This is not about the Broward DEC.  This is not about Mitch Ceasar.”

Here is how Miller explained by e-mail the meeting:

“With the disastrous turnout and ramifications of the 2010 election, it was apparent that Broward needed to begin laying a strong foundation for GOTV in 2012.  I contacted Rod Smith and volunteered to put together a grassroots organization, and Rod asked (State Rep.) Franklin Sands to work with me to get it started.  The team is called Team Broward and is an all volunteer grass roots group that includes DEC members, OFA activists, YD’s, and others who may not be associated with organizations.  We have coordinators and hundreds of volunteers all over Broward registering voters, although the Republican legislature has made it almost impossible to do voter registration, calling for absentee/vote by mail applications, recruiting other volunteers, rallying, and doing all they can to ensure a strong Democratic turnout in 2012.”

Another Shot At Ceasar

Sands’ involvement is another slap at Ceasar.

Sands was appointed the state party’s southeast Florida coordinator.  That rankled Ceasar, who didn’t want someone reporting to Tallahassee looking over his shoulder.

An interesting name on the host committee is Ana Gardner, who couldn’t participate in politics while a judge but is now in private practice.  She is obviously returning to her Democratic roots.  She is controversial since she left the courthouse under relentless attack by bloggers, who accused her of ethics violations.

Much of the rest of the list contains Ol’ Timey Democratic activists.

Many are part of the largely-defunct South Broward Democratic Mafia, like former U. S. Rep. Larry Smith and lawyer Larry DavisGeorge Platt was the party chairman back in the Stone Age, before becoming one of the leading lobbyists.   Bob Butterworth is a former Florida Attorney General, Broward Sheriff and Broward judge who lives in Hollywood with his wife, Marta Prado.

A lot is at stake with this bunch.

If Team Broward can get a viable GOTV program together, it would make the difference between victory and defeat for Barack Obama in Florida because he needs a big turnout in Broward.

And as Florida goes, so goes the White House.

Here is the e-mail invitation:



I am writing to ask you again if you will be a host for the Team Broward Fundraiser at my house, 442 Poinciana DR , Hallandale from 5:30-7:30 on Thursday, June 23rd.

The disastrous results of this past legislative session  have made it even more imperative to secure the resources to organize the get out the vote for 2012 for Obama and the Democratic ballot.  In fact, they even made it more difficult for us to reach our goal with their voter suppression legislation.  Now, more than ever, we have got to reach out to others and personally ask them to help. Your help can make a huge difference.

We need to raise as much money as possible for our volunteer grassroots GOTV campaign to add at least 65,000 more voters than in 2010.  We need money for materials, supplies, training, printing lists and absentee requests, canvassing supplies, refreshments for volunteers, and offices.

So far our host list includes:

  • Bob Butterworth
  • Marta Prado
  • Shelly Spivack
  • Sandra Coleman
  • George Platt
  • Estelle Loewenstein
  • Sean Phillippi
  • Carlos Verney, Jr.
  • Ann Zucker
  • David Singer
  • Judi Robaina
  • Maggie Macaulay
  • Maggie Davidson
  • Amy Rose
  • Wally Eccleston
  • Cynthia Busch
  • David Bogenschutz
  • Ana Gardiner
  • Sen. Eleanor Sobel
  • Alec Schultz
  • Comm. Alex Lewy
  • Larry Smith
  • Rep. Franklin Sands
  • Rick Hoye
  • Ellen Hawks-Gaek
  • Shelly De Marco
  • Joanne Goodwin
  • Larry Davis
  • Janet Krop


Please let me know if you will join the list.  The commitment is to reach out to recruit others, help raise funds, and attend the event.l help. Try to let me know by next Wednesday, May 25.

Barbara Miller

PS. We can’t have 2010 redux.  I don’t have to tell you the price we are paying as a result of the far right agenda of the state legislature, governor, and US House.  You can really make a difference.


17 Responses to “Update: Democratic Meeting Snubs Demo Boss Mitch Ceasar”

  1. Elroy John says:

    What’s important is that the work gets done, not who gets credit. Hopefully all involved will remember that and come together to ensure we don’t have a repeat of 2010.

  2. Democrat says:

    Mitch Ceasar does nothing except troll for lobbying clients. He needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, Buddy is right. It can’t be done until after the election. The next best thing is to work around him which is what Team Broward is doing. We may have a chance next year because of Rod Smith, Franklin Sands and Barbara Miller.

  3. In the red corner says:

    Barbra Miller and Franklin Sands and in the white corner Judy Stern and Mitch Ceaser.

    Judy has been having GOTV meeting with Dems, she had one a few months ago at Davie Town Hall. I think Mitch may have been there.

    Sad thing is that besides Amy (who essentially works for Miller) Rose there does not seem to be anyone on that list under 40, heck maybe under 50. Same old has beens singing the tunes of yester year about Broward’s big demo condo past.

  4. Huh??? says:

    There are four members of the BYD Executive Board on that list. Three of whom are in their 20’s and the other of whom, President Rick Hoye, is in his early 30’s.

  5. Fake Harry S Truman says:

    “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”


    Actually, the quote came from Will Rogers, the humorist.

  6. In the red corner says:

    This is more and more like boxing. You would think a list like this would have our great legislators, Evan Jenne, Perry Thurston, Joe Gibbons. Like in the 80s I guess they are under contract to Judy “Don King” Stern. Where is Kiar? Ari? Ok if the above poster claims there is some youth on the committee I will stand corrected but lets be serious the “star” Butterworth. I mean this with no disrespect as the General is a great public service, but it seems weak that he is the only top dog broward democrat that gets put out on the dog and pony show. God forbid anything happens to him, the broward dem party would be sunk.

  7. Broward Politico says:

    Dave Bogenschutz??? Hummmmmm
    Isn’t he a Republican? Aren’t him and Ana Gardiner shacking up?
    Ana Gardiner lied in deposition and to the JQC and resigned her judgeship before getting booted out. She’s got a lot of enemies, but then again so does Barbara Miller. Interesting! What did Abe Lincoln say about a house divided? Hummmm

  8. DeeDee says:

    Rod Smith and the Democratic Party seems on the right path. They are working to turn out Democrats here and the more the merrier. Some of us who refuse to work with Mitch Ceasar will find a home.

  9. Democratic GOTV 2040 says:

    I picture in 30 more years there will be a similar GOTV email (or whatever is being used at that point) that has on the host committee the frozen head of former AG Bob Butterworth.

    Jeebus can someone let the man go into that long goodnight of politics already?

    It goes to show how lame the Dems are in this community that we can’t get someone who’s held elective office in the past decade plus to actually serve as host.

    I thought the Democratic Party was about empowering youth for tomorrow’s leadership.

    Glad that there’s a handful of non-geriatrics on this committee but wow, the slogan for this dem group should be….Empowering the Elderly from Yesteryear’s Leadership.

  10. Rick Hoye says:

    The important thing to take away from this article, is there are people(many of which are political newcomers)assisting in the effort to advance the best interests of Democrats, which is hopefully in the best interests of Broward as a whole.

    The Broward Young Democrats (BYD), for example, have been proactive in executing our field plan, that is consistent with very necessary and measureable GOTV checkpoints in this election cycle. Yes, several of our board members, myself included are indeed co-sponsoring this event.

    Irresepective of what, or how many entities steer the wagon, the bottom line is clearly, that there is PLENTY of work to go around.

    “Team Broward” was formed to combine experience, passion and tireless workmanship into a dynamic movement with one goal in mind–Democratic victory in 2012!


  11. samantha johnson says:

    I am new to this area, But there is nothing better “FOR THE GOOD OF THE PARTY” than a change.:-)

  12. Davie D. says:

    I’m a voter living in Fort Lauderdale, registered Democrat and I vote in every election. I have been contacted by candidates many times and the Obama people two years ago. I never been contacted by the local party. I believe the state party is needed here because the stakes are too high.

  13. DeathFrog3 says:

    The youth is important but the experience and MONEY that comes with the older leaders are important too.

  14. Broward Democrat says:

    Total disorganization, apathy, no ground game, lazy members that talk but do not walk. Party officials exposed as corrupt yet do not resign proving their interest is self not party. Weak, spineless members do not demand change. Rod Smith will do nothing to bring change no different than his failed predecessor.

    That is the Broward Democratic Party.

    Everyone knows the party needs new leadership. This will happen because Democrats are cowards that forgive failure. Republicans may have fewer voters but they are courageous and demand success. That’s why they are in total control of the state. They have discipline and guts. We appear spineless and unworthy.


    There has been talk about need for new leadership in the Broward Democratic Party for years, but who will lead?

    With the exception of Peter Deutsch, who could have done a good job and still was overwhelmingly defeated by Ceasar, where are the new leaders? Where is someone who has the ability to mold the sluggish party into a fighting campaign machine?

    It would require many new committee members who would promise to work their precincts and who would work for the party on every Election Day. It would require a game plan to reach out to the single-family neighborhoods and the new demographic groups moving into the county. It would require someone who would organize the huge pool of potential volunteers on the county’s four college campuses. It would require someone who has the political skills and management skills, like a Lori Parrish (I’m not saying our property appraiser is interested.). And it would require someone to work for free.

    Until there is someone viable to replace Ceasar, all talk about new leadership is fruitless.

  15. not on the list says:

    Where is Mayor Jack Seiler? Senator Ring? These guys are local electeds who have been touted to run Statewide in 16′. A Hollywood event without Mayor Bober? No Lori Parrish?

    Let me let you in on a very open secret. Every major elected in Broward knows there is no benefit from the Broward DEC to get or remain elected. Do you really think Seiler or Ring need the DEC?

    The electeds know that its their own volunteers, GOTV and grass roots efforts that win it for them not the DEC or circle jerk committees like the one discussed here.

    You probably mean 2014, not 2016, because that’s when the statewide elections are being held.

    Yes, Seiler is talked about for governor. I’ve heard Ring mentioned for Chief Financial Office. Both are viable candidates.

    You have to remember that the Democrats have a dearth of statewide candidates. It is only natural that the ones being talked about are from the only county where there are a lot of Democratic office holders — Broward. The question is whether a Broward candidate adds anything geographically or ideologically to a statewide ticket? Thar’s fodder for another day.

  16. Kevin says:

    As I have been saying in my Florida Politics class at FIU this summer: “There is only one major organization in Florida dumber than the Republican Party of Florida: the Democratic Party of Florida.”


  17. Local Lawyer says:


    You’re making an assumption that the new leadership of the Democratic Party has to come from the DEC itself. As evidenced by this effort, that’s not the case. There are plenty of other groups out there doing a lot to help candidates out.

    That being said, I’m glad Mitch is finally making some sort of an effort to help in an election.


    I absolutely do not believe the leadership has to be a current DEC member. I also agree that there are individuals outside the DEC who are doing a lot to elect candidates.

    However, party rules probably require the chair to be a DEC member. So anyone seeking to be the leader of the party organization would have to be elected precinct committee member in the 2012 primary.