Elected Officials Can Act To Limit Lobbyists

Guest Columnist

 jm naugle

 Jim Naugle, when he was mayor

I don’t remember if it was reported much in the Scum-Sentinel, but for my last three years in office I suspended all lobbyist.

If a lobbyist contacted my office, my assistant Safeea told them that the mayor would not meet with them. They could not make an appointment.

They were advised that their principal could contact me directly to set up an appointment, and I would allow the lobbyist to be present if they wish. (Some of the lobbyists were also acting as their attorney and I did feel that they should be allowed if desired.)
I did this for several reasons.

I felt uncomfortable that a lobbyist appeared to be charging for access to the mayor (or other elected officials).

Also, when I started out in 1985, a party would hire one lobbyist. Then as time went on, particularly at the county and school board, multiple lobbyists were being deployed. That also started happening at city hall.
At the County and School Board, a party may think they need to hire a different lobbyist for each vote they need.
Lobbying becomes a tremendous expense in the cost of purchasing goods and services.  It also adds the cost of housing or other development.

One great example of this was the county purchase of those voting machines. Or look at the failed attempt to build a convention hotel, when the county picked a firm with no money, when Mr. Marriott willing to write a check.
I remember when The New Times published a list “Who’s Your Daddy,” an outline of who you needed to hire to get the vote of each commissioner.
In addition to restricting my access to lobbyists, I made a voluntary restriction on campaign contributions from lobbyist in my last election (though I did have two very weak opponents).
Well, I must say that the current efforts of the FBI and others has been an economic stimulus for the local legal community. I hope they make a real effort to clean up the culture of corruption that has possessed the County Commission for so long.
(Jim Naugle was the longest serving mayor of Fort Lauderdale in history, 1991-09. Before that, Naugle was a city commissioner from 1985-91. He was born in Fort Lauderdale in 1954 and is married to Circuit Judge Carol Lisa-Phillips.  They have one daughter.)

7 Responses to “Elected Officials Can Act To Limit Lobbyists”

  1. Fort Lauderdale Joe says:

    I thought we were finally finished with Naugle and we were becoming a city that wasn’t laughed at by anybody who believed in fairness and justice. Just go away Jim.

  2. What does this mean? says:

    anyone else hear that jaablog was shut down by an injunction? just read it on norman’s blog


    FROM BUDDY: This has not been confirmed. Jaablog is still up as of Tuesday morning.

  3. news says:


  4. Floridan says:

    Although I disagree with many positions taken by Naugle, he is spot on in this instance.

  5. Just maybe says:

    Notice Naugle didn’t do this until he won reelection for his last time and was term-limited and finally didn’t need the lobbyist campaign dollars any longer (“for my last three years in office”) …… and only then did Naugle institute this policy. Before then when he always saw another campaign around the corner he was happy to meet with them and take their contributions. Count me as totally unimpressed.

  6. Dave R says:

    He didn’t do much for corruption clean-up either!

  7. Howdy Doody says:

    So sayeth our homophope former redneck mayor — he is exactly the stereotype that Broward needs to move away from, and sorry but I won’t be taking ethical advice from Jim Naugle.