Effort To Dump Ceasar Started With Criminal Complaint


The effort to get Democratic Party boss Mitch Ceasar kicked out didn’t start today with a news release from the so-called Broward For Change.

It started more than a month ago with a complaint to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.

Two Democrats sympathetic to Broward For Change filed a complaint with prosecutors.  They alleged that a number of committee members were ineligible to be elected in the August 26 primary.

They were right, according to State Attorney documents.

There were committee members who were either not Democrats or won office to represent a precinct they didn’t live in. 

Obviously only Democrats are eligible to serve on the party’s Broward Democratic Executive Committee, or DEC.  These members of the DEC, which is the governing board of the local party, will elect the new chair December 7.

But was it a crime when some members were discovered to be ineligible?  Was it necessary to file a criminal complaint to solve a political feud?

Was it a good tactic to clog up the court system and threaten to lock up a bunch of folks?

Well, you know what happened.


Prosecutors have real crimes to deal with, but they still had to investigate this complaint.   They found no criminal intent among the accused committee members.

The whole matter was turned over to the Florida Democratic Party.  About 30 of those elected August 26 were found to be ineligible.

They either weren’t Democrats or didn’t live in the right precinct. One poor guy who is legally blind bungled his signature and got disqualified.

About 30 out of more than 900 committee members got the boot.

It is no surprise that Broward For Change started its campaign playing hardball.  Former U. S. Rep. Peter Deutsch of Hollywood, the group’s leader, is known as an all-elbows guy. 

Deutsch’s slash and burn campaign against Betty Castor in the 2004 U. S. Senate primary is credited with smearing her so badly, Republican Mel Martinez went on to win the race.


That doesn’t mean Deutsch would be a bad Democratic chair.  Deutsch promises to beef up registration efforts and make better use of computers to fine tune data. 

Robin Rorapaugh, Broward For Change’s spokeswoman, talks about raising five times more money for the  the 2010 election than Ceasar raised in 2008.

What isn’t in Tuesday’s news release?


It is widely assumed Rorapaugh would be named executive director by Deutsch.   He would need a strong executive director since he spends much of his time in Israel.  

Rorapaugh is rumored to have been promised a yearly salary of at least $100,000. 

She would be worth it.

A long-time political professional who has managed statewide campaigns in Florida and Texas, Rorapaugh is a savvy operator.  She is Deutsch’s former Washington staff director.

Deutsch would have to win before Rorapaugh could spin her magic.

“Nobody has offered me a job, she says. 

We were talking on the phone so I couldn’t see if her tongue was in her cheek.


“I’ve got the votes, Ceasar says.

“We’ve got the votes, Rorapaugh says.

On Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, we’ll see which side is the best vote counter.


3 Responses to “Effort To Dump Ceasar Started With Criminal Complaint”

  1. robin rorapaugh says:

    Buddy- thank you for the kind job recommendation. But, as I said to you earlier today, no job has been discussed, offered or rumored.

    I am helping a great group of people move the Democratic Party forward. A better party means more Democrats win elections! That, of course, is good for me and every Floridian.

    As for Peter’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.

    At no time did Peter’s campaign “slash and burn” Ms. Castor. His television, direct mail and phone messages were always positive.

    A review of the “negative 527” campaign that people wrongly assume was directed in some way by PD in fact only raised and spent about $200,000. That is chump change in a primary that saw expenditures of over $2 million from Emily’s list alone on behalf of Ms. Castor.

    He did fight back against a $2 million independent expenditure campaign mounted by big sugar against him. The mail/TV live calls that were directed at him were particularly troublesome as they truly misrepresented his record on, of all things, Medicare.

    After the primary, Peter assisted in every way requested by Ms. Castor and her campaign. He made introductions for fund raising, campaigned where they wanted him to and, of course, strongly endorsed her candidacy. Many forget that the top of our ticket, John Kerry, was also not successful in Florida. Possibly if Broward County had improved its turnout numbers that year, Kerry and Castor could have won the state.

    As for “elbows”- All who know Peter Deutsch knows how hard he fights for what he believes is right. That hard charge personality may not win him friends in some places but it sure served his constituents (and all Floridians) well.

    Politics is about winning campaigns so public policy is improved. The chairman of the Broward County DEC needs to be dedicated to winning elections for Democrats. That is what Broward for Change is all about, giving the tools to local Democrats so that we can WIN elections.

    I am confident that the “good guys” will win on Pearl Harbor Day.

  2. TherealDem says:

    Ceasar might need a good kick in the pants out the door. I’m not sure that Peter Deutsch is a good replacement. Why not somebody new?

  3. DEC member says:

    Buddy, have you looked at Robin’s record since, uhhhh… I don’t know when. In this last cycle, she worked for Wiley Thompson, Ed Sugar, Carlton Moore, Ken Gottlieb… not a winner there! And although they weren’t all her fault, that didn’t stop her from getting paid nicely! Oh, and then there was Bill McBride who fired her after he WON the primary!

    Although Mitch and Diane have done nicely under their so called leadership to fatten their own pocketbooks, we can’t afford more of the same kind of politics. I’m all for change, but as long as this is the option, I’m sticking with Mitch!