Early Voting Dirty Tricks Hit Black Community




Once again, someone is violating the election laws by passing out palm cards without the required disclosure.

This was going this weekend in the African-American community outside at least one early voting polling location.

This card may violate the rules governing judicial candidates which forbids them from partisan campaigning.  The card, which contains a list of candidates for judge on its reverse side, is clearly labeled “Vote Democrats.”

An often-used dirty trick in ethnic communities like the inner city and condominiums, phony palm cards without disclosure are often used to offset legitimate cards from legitimate organization. The strategy is highly cynical. It assumes that African-Americans and elderly condo residents are too gullible to realize they are being tricked or that they would automatically vote a ticket on an anonymous card.

Phony cards are almost always plumped up with a full list of candidates to disguise whose campaign actually distributed them. That might be because distributing a card without disclosure is against state laws.

Prosecution is hard, though.

One of the only serious investigation of a sham endorsement list I can remember targeted consultant Judy Stern.  She was accused of engineering bogus list, but a State Attorney and Elections Commission investigation in 2003 was dropped after the charge couldn’t be proved.

In a text message to me, Stern vehemently denied any involvement in the current palm card.

Here is what I wrote at the time the state commission decision:

The Florida Elections Commission has dropped its investigation into former Broward County School Board member Paul Eichner’s 2002 campaign after his political consultant denied taking part in any Election Day dirty tricks.

Consultant Judy Stern had been accused of having a role in printing a counterfeit Black Voter’s Guide, which was distributed at polls on Nov. 5. She was investigated for allegedly violating two state laws by failing to place the words “paid political adv.” on the literature and not stating the identity of the person who paid for the ads.

The real guide, written by various black elected officials and civic leaders, endorsed School Board member Darla Carter, Eichner’s opponent and the winner of the election. The phony guide endorsed Eichner.

Eric Lipman, a commission lawyer, said he was unable to substantiate the allegations of community activist Janice Boursiquot, who filed the complaint. He said he based his decision on a sworn denial from Stern of any involvement.

Witnesses saw individuals wearing Paul Eichner T-shirts handing out the bogus guides. Eichner told investigators he had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the fake guide.

This time around, one observer blamed the campaign of state House candidate Bobby DeBose, the Fort Lauderdale commissioner running for state House District 94 against Commissioner Levoyd Williams of Lauderdale Lakes.  Some palm cards were being handed out by folks wearing DeBose shirts.

DeBose could not be reached for comment.














18 Responses to “Early Voting Dirty Tricks Hit Black Community”

  1. Oh really says:

    At least they have pictures of all the candidates nothing illegal about that at all. So no disclaimer is there so what!


    It violates the law.

  2. Surprised says:

    This is a big surprise because this is Amy Rose and Sheriff Israel’s specialty. Sheriff Israel even used Stephanie Bromfield to make fake palm card saying he was endorsed by Michele Obama. They were handed out as the “Broward Elections Recommends” of course in all the African American communities. This just tells everyone certain people can’t win on their own record or they know they don’t have a record to run on or their records are deplorable.

  3. Sten is a stern is a stern says:

    Dubose, Perry and Judy go back a long ways. No shock here.

  4. Judy Judy Judy says:

    Everone in town knows that Stern HATES Feld over the nasty race between Feld and Stern run Judge Giselle Pollack.

    Maybe that is why whomever made this card put Mark Rickard on a palm card.

    Whomever made the card, Leaving off Bailey for Rhoda was a nice touch to keep people to from thinking it was stern, if she was involved in this card.. Of course since Bailey is a Republican, it would be easy to speculate Stern had a hand in it since she is running the Bailey campaign

    Just speculation of course ….

  5. Just guessing says:

    Lots of rumors over the years about Stern being involved with Judge Richards in his win over Judge Avalos. It was always speculated that Ian made too many good moves for a novice that year. Mclawrence seems to be supported by Judy pal and old boss Hel Me Homard

    Things that make you go hmmmm

  6. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    This business of quoting unnamed observor to attack bobby dubose like blog postings without names of posters really isnt fair. The late unregisteted lobbyist free weekly gossip columnist a c weinstein was infamous for blackmailing n extorting miami n miami beach businesses n political leaders or even honest community activists with this kind of attack based on observors never identified. Lets not attack a candidste like dubose without a named source or sources


    I have pictures of DeBose folks handing out the cards. I just didn’t publish them. Also, the observer is well known to me and the world of politics, but prefers to remain anonymous

  7. Alice McGill says:

    It is the highest degree of discrimination, disrespect, and denigration for politicians to target any group of people to use for their own benefit. These politicians pander to the members of the group, knowing exactly which techniques to use.
    A Broward County commissioner once used a free bus ride, a T-shirt, and a chicken sandwich to lure condo residents to a public meeting so they could speak about a topic on which they knew nothing factual. A local mayor gives cash, school supplies, and pays back taxes for his ‘base” group.
    Whose fault is it to be taken in by those who consider themselves to be smarter than the group they use for their own personal benefit?
    The fault lies with both the perpetrator and the victim. However, the perpetrator acts outside the boundaries of ethical behavior.

  8. Mark William Rickard says:

    This is the first time I have seen this card. And, I do not have a campaign manager. I have also not paid any money for any endorsements and all of my printing has been through the same company.

    If any judicial candidate paid for or approved the card, it would be a violation. Since my name is on it without my knowledge, I have to assume the other judicial candidates listed are equally unaware.

    We cannot control what others do.

    Buddy, you have my number if you ever want to call me to discuss an issue.

  9. just one vote says:

    too funny
    these people think rules are made to be broken
    what will be funnier is the dem elected for state rep (and they are both dems) will be subject to the rough and tumble Tally way of the Republicans, under Gov Scott for four more years
    gets the gig will be grateful for term limits!

  10. The Blue Card strikes again... says:

    This is no different than the Blue Card that Dan Lewis manufactured in the last election that labeled each judge by party and was passed out to a half million voters at the polls. It is not free speech…it’s a first degree misdemeanor….a crime. If nothing else, shouldn’t a judicial race at least be legal? Broward County has once again done itself proud!


    One big difference: Dan Lewis did not hide his participation and the cards had disclosures. They stated that The Broward County Young Democrats paid for it.

  11. FTL Voter says:

    I would guess Sokoloff or Rickerd as the likeliest culprit. My money is on Sokoloff because of the people running her campaign.

  12. wahhh wahhh says:

    The only person who bitched about the Blue Card was Stern because Julio Gonzalez got his butt whooped by Lewis and the card played a big factor. If this card is illegal, how come Julio or Bob Nichols or any other Republican not on it never filed a complaint?

  13. Just Play by the Rules... says:

    Henry Kissinger “Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.”
    I have met Commissioner DuBose even in honesty I am not a supporter of him. However, I do not believe that he would have allowed this if he had knowledge of this “prank card.” After all, if I’m not mistaken Mark William Rickard is a Republican.
    This does at least in my mind speak directly to his leadership capabilities. If and I repeat “IF” people that represent his campaign, which in essence is a reflection of him are given voters inaccurate and honestly due to election laws illegal information. I would hope he would dismiss said workers and publicly apologize to the voters and to his opponent.

  14. Kevin Hill says:

    What I find interesting is that the card endorses both Governor candidates.

  15. Oh really says:

    To Just guessing says

    Judge Ian Richards received no help from any consultants or Judy Stern. Family and friends did help him with his campaign in 2008 as well as 2014. From what I am told
    about Richards he is a political junkie.

  16. Not a shocker says:

    The Stern run campaign of Dennis Bailey put out a card with an MLK photo to the black community and the same card to white voters with Bailey’s photo and his police endorsements instead of King. Is it any shock that people would think Stern is mixed up in this card too?

    As for Bailey, as the above poster said, he is a Republican and it would be too obvious if Stern is involved to have him on the card.

  17. Tired of the trickery says:

    I actually have a feeling this is coming from the DuBose camp. Interesting that Levoyd Williams who is ALSO a Democrat is left off this Vote Democrat List. There has been a lot of devious trickery going on. What is Done in the dark will ALWAYS come to light!!

  18. Right on #17 says:

    Exactly, now a days with camera phones, social media, texting etc people who play games with things such as phony black voter guides cant end up in simple he said/she said situations. If they had cell phone cameras years ago, the allegation that someone saw the phony black voters guide in the back of Stern’s car may have been resolved differently.

    The old timers don’t get it, the days of little or no media scrutiny to hide in the shadows regarding cards like this are dead. Now anyone with a camera phone can make a story.