Despite Tough Questions, Stern’s Appt. Approved



Controversial nominee Barbra Stern was grilled for almost an hour by a Senate committee Monday before her nomination to the state Elections Commission was approved.


Barbra Stern: Allegations About Her Brushed Aside (Photo: Art Seitz)


Stern, the daughter of well-known lobbyist and campaign consultant Judy Stern, was the only one of four Election Commission nominees that was extensively questioned.

An insurance defense lawyer who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Stern easily fielded pointed questions about her co-ownership of a Fort Lauderdale condo that is rented to Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs.

Internet reports alleged that Sachs leases the Fort Lauderdale apartment, but doesn’t live in it.  The reports say that senator uses it to fraudulently claim she lives in her northeast Broward and Palm Beach County district.

Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, did most of the questioning.  He said he wanted to know, “Is this Election Commissioner participating in flaunting the (state) Constitution?”

The Florida Constitution requires senators to live in their district.

Stern maintained that although she is the co-owner of the apartment with her mother, she knew nothing about the lease to Sachs and never visited the property.

She said her mother made her the co-owner for estate purposes.

“Would you have any idea whether anybody lives there?” Latvala asked.

“I have no personal knowledge,” Stern answered.

Stern blamed the allegations about the apartment on a Republican blogger who has been “bullying me” and her mother.

Latvala noted that the allegations were also in the Miami Herald. has written stories about the apartment, too.

Latvala told the Miami Herald after the hearing about Sachs: “I’ll kiss your feet if she spent one night in that condominium.”  He suggested Stern’s evasive answers were proof that she was part of a conspiracy to allow Sachs to violate the state Constitution.

There was a certain element of politics in this.  Latvala was a strong supporter of former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who Sachs beat to win her seat last year.

In the end, Stern’s nomination to the Elections Commission was unanimously approved.

It now goes to the Senate floor for final approval.

36 Responses to “Despite Tough Questions, Stern’s Appt. Approved”

  1. Hmmm says:

    Didnt she say something to the effect of she chooses to not know what her mother does? If so, that sounds like a good person to be on the Elections Committee.

  2. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The Elections Commission has for many decades had absolutely no power to enforce its so-called “fines”. It might as well be staffed with Beavis, Butt-head, Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum, and the Pillsbury Doughboy…. such appointees would much more accurately reflect its true significance!

  3. Classic head fake says:

    Jack Latvala has been around for decades and knows exactly what he’s doing. Buddy, keep staring at the painting on the wall and it will eventually appear.

  4. From the Palm Beach Post says:

    “When I’m home from session, my legal residence and where I live is that address in Fort Lauderdale,” Sachs said. She said she pays about $950 a month rent.”

    How many of you don’t know exactly how much you pay in rent or mortgage each month ?

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    And to end your little report”and nomination was approved.” Good answers Barbie. She did not sweat, she answered the questions politely, no drama-good job. Some republican bloggers(I’ll say) just can’t get enough of you Judy. Drinks on me guys……

  6. One Who Knows says:

    Election Commissioners are supposed to be non-political. Senators didn’t even ask Babs about her support of Lamberti on Facebook, e-mail, etc.

  7. put it to bed says:

    There seems to be a simple remedy to this residency question. Stern and Sachs should produce the utilities bills for the last 12 months. It has been reported that Stern had another tenant before Sachs so if Maria was living there it would seem that the electrical and water usage in the condo would be about the same for the last year, that is if maria was actually living there.

    if stern/sachs decline to put forth the bills it would seem obvious they are lying.

  8. Floridan says:

    “There was a certain element of politics in this.”

    No . . . it was all politics.

  9. Dear Future Candidates says:

    Use this as a learning lesson for whom to hire for your campaign. Yes every consultant has baggae but Stern’s baggage dwarfs the actual candidate. Do you think anyone would have cared about all of this if Maria had not let Stern open her reelection account on Stern letterhead? Even Stern’s own daughter said she chooses to look away from her mothers business dealings.

    Look at a good guy like Lamar Fischer, long time Mayor of Pompano, he was looking at running for the Jacobs County Commission seat but he doesnt live in the District. Do you think he wants to be associated with this and the Perry Thurston’s of the world who work with Judy and also play the residency game? Sucks for you Lamar you will be bound to Pompano for life due to your association with Stern.

    New candidates, rule #1 a consultant should never overshadow the candidate with good or bad press.

  10. Stern says:

    Judy Stern should be ashamed dragging her daughter into her dirty deeds. Not living in their district is standard for her candidates like Lois Wexler, Joseph Gibbons and LeMar Fischer & Sachs.

  11. Gee Whiz says:

    Maria Sachs faked her state expense reports for limo rides. People are now surprised that she lies about where she lives!

  12. Jess says:

    While I can’t blame Sachs as much for having to find a place of residency in the district with the redistricting mess created last year, It is business as usual with Judy Stern, continually getting anyone she is associated with bad press and providing poor guidance. Everything this woman touches turns to shit.
    Even her own daughter distances herself from her mother.

  13. B. Feinbush says:

    I am so sorry to see you go through this. You are such a good person and it is a shame to see you get caught up in your mother’s difficulties yet again. Keep your chin up and I hope you remember the importance of living your own life as you want and not how others want you to live it.

  14. frank says:

    She blamed it on (red Broward) lauder. She mentioned him by name.

  15. SAM FIELDS says:

    The fact that Barbara
    Stern does not know much about the property, even though her name is on the deed, is no big whoop.

    This sounds like a “Ladybird Deed” (yes, it’s named after Ladybird Johnson) and it’s done for estate tax purposes as well as Homestead.

    My home is titled that way and I am sure that neither of my kids has the slightest notion of the details such as taxes, insurance, etc.

  16. Oh Sam says:

    The issue is not about estate planning or what she didn’t know.

    The issue is…

    The Miami Herald broke a story with allegations that a condo she owns, yes owns, was being rented out to Sachs possibly to avoid or cure residency problems. Stern at the time was seeking reappointment to the Elections Commission. A quasi-judicial Board whose participants viewed similar to Judges who are expected to stay away from the mere potential appearance of impropriety. Where Sen. Latvala so expertly pointed out and took issue, was with the fact that despite the press reports and duty to the Elections Commission, Stern never took any steps to determine Sachs residency issues and the condo. The Stern uses the line made famous over the years by mafia wives of, I choose not to know of my mother’s business affairs. This is the problem.

    It is obvious that Stern went out of her way to not know what was going on at this condo in order to have plausible deniability. Problem is we are not a court of law but a court of public opinion. Public opinion seems pretty clear that Stern, like mother like daughter, are ethically challenged yet again.

  17. Latvala still the lion of the Senate says:

    The previous poster is correct, Latvala took issue with the fact that a story broke April 4 and Stern testifies 10 plus days later that she didn’t even look into it. I promise you Sam that if you bought a rental property

  18. Latvala still the lion of the Senate says:

    For your children and they made it a crack house or some out place of nefarious activity that was reported in the paper, you would at least have a responsibility to look into the situation after ten days if your name was on the deed.

  19. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @16 – That’s exactly the point! People serve on the Elections Commission in order to get a firsthand look at just how totally impotent it is.

    This helps them to clearly understand that ethics among Florida politicians may be nice to have, but are certainly not required.

    Then having seen firsthand how corrupt elected officials simply point and laugh when the toothless Elections Commission pretends to fine them, they are then properly emboldened to go out and shamelessly plunder Florida if they wish, without even the smallest shred of the slightest concern about possibly someday actually being held accountable.

  20. Dear Feibush says:

    I think you are right on. Most parents want more for their kids than what they had. Judy was successful and made good money but the price was her reputation and hatred of many in town. What is sad is that if she cared about her daughter she would have done everything to keep her as far away from her toxicity as possible. Instead Judy threw her daughter right into fire.

    Look at this thing with Sachs, Maria could have rented a place anywhere from anyone. Why would Judy use a condo owned with her daughter (who is on the Elections Commission), knowing it could only bring bad press to all. It looks like Judy is willing to sacrifice anyone including family for the greater glory of Judy. Sad.

  21. Fly babs fly says:

    Hmmmm saw someone who looked like babsy stern at the airport yesterday. If so, who could blame her, i would hide out from the public after the week she had too.

  22. Sterns on Stern says:

    Barbra Stern Ha! Shit your mom text me:
    Mom:Shevrin Jones, Pastor Jones’ son from West Park would be ideal to help rebuild party politics for the black community in south broward. That is exactly what his degree is in from FAMU and he organizes professional mentoring programs for young black high school and college youths. Shevrin’s phone number is

    Me:Mom share this with someone who is trying to rebuild in the black community. U are making me feel like u are trying to make me into ur messenger and u need to stop.

    Mom:I am not looking to use you as a messenger. I am exchanging ideas for out of the box thoughts since Team Broward has ignored diversity.

    Ricki Stern really? the guys name is shevrin?

    Ricki Stern she’s such an ass. she uses any available platform to air all her arbitrary political thoughts she has at any given moment. STFU!!!!

  23. Ouch says:

    Now that is just sad…

  24. ricki stern says:

    you’re really posting my facebook comments…. really??? don’t any of you have work to do?

  25. ricki stern says:

    can i thank ron gunzburger for posting that??? just wondering. to clarify… i am not in the political game and my mom is. she is always discussing her issues. my point was, that i don’t want to hear it on facebook! but my mom and my sister fight for what they believe in, and i am proud of both of them

  26. ricki stern says:

    another point that everyone has left out here…
    to quote the infamous Buddy Nevins
    “In the end, Stern’s nomination to the Elections Commission was unanimously approved.”

  27. Not quite says:

    Sorry dear, your sister made it out of Committee she has not been confirmed by the Senate.

    As for your mother, you called her an ass. On that point we all agree.

    Good for you for being proud of your mom. Daughters should be proud of their mothers.

    I always found it interesting when Barbra begs to not have her mother’s name brought up when she was campaigning or dealing with the media. Then add in the fact that she chooses not to know her mothers business dealings on a condo they co-own seems to imply Barbra is not a proud of her mother as you are.

    I would think most people who had 1 or 2 good parents would be proud to be compared to them.

  28. Oh Ricki, I feel so badly for you... says:

    She has not received the final approval of the senate yet so don’t count your chickens before they are hatched sweetie.

  29. Chaz Stevens, Malcontent says:

    Who is Ricki Stern and why should we care?

  30. Feibush says:

    Ricki, 3 posts at 2 something am. You are right you are not involved in politics, then you make 3 posts. Don’t get sucked into your mother’s orbit it can only end badly. You have done well, made a good life for yourself. Stick with what you do best, living your own life far away from here.

  31. ricki stern says:

    this is boring….

  32. Chaz Stevens, Malcontent says:


    It’s readily apparent to the seasoned political observer you’re definitely not ready for the prime time.

    I’d opine, not even the factory seconds, of factory seconds.

    And no, that’s not the same as sloppy seconds.

  33. ricki stern says:

    so so boring
    not an intelligent or valid response at all.
    not worth my time.
    someone posted something i said, and i responded

    listen, i live in new york, which is basically the center of the world. i live and work in a global arena… far far beyond broward and florida politics. far far beyond the scope of the likes of most of you

    @feibush – why hide behind a fake name and yet insinuate that you know me. even if we were quasi friends 15 years ago, you don’t know me. do not presume to. and are you really clever using my mom’s maiden name?

    everyone else -talk about me all you want, i don’t care. it is irrelevant.

    and to my mom and sister – don’t sweat this crap. i would only worry if the people stop talking…

    now i am officially done with this silliness

  34. So sophisticated says:

    Just another Stern looking for attention. The irony is if you never commented on the post about you calling your mother an ass it would have been long forgotten by people commenting on other stories. Hey, you big city folk are so much smarter then us hicks.

  35. Rotten Apple says:

    You think New York is the center of the world and your mom thinks she is the center of Broward politics. You are clearly doing really important thing up there. How does trashing your mom through social media may out in the “global arena”? I can’t say I blame you for leaving. And so boring that you continue to engage. Go have a cosmo with Carrie and the girls…..

  36. Stern trash says:

    Who knew there was another Stern spawn? Yuck.