Fields: Israel’s Bungled Ads Killed His Campaign


I supported Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.

Nevertheless on October 10, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek critique asking if he was waiting until November 5th to start his campaign.

In heavily Democratic Broward, Lamberti had to go negative—early, hard and often.
Even done right, it was still an uphill battle.  But he had a secret ally — Scott Israel’s political strategists.
With no real evidence, Lamberti’s ads created an image that Israel was a crooked, violent cop who destroyed government records to cover up his evil ways.

The truth is not one of the complaints against Israel mentioned in the ads was sustained.  No one offered any evidence why these records were missing much less that Israel had something to do with the filched files.

It was all smoke and mirrors.
Israel’s campaign, trying to find their way through those smoke and mirrors, stumbled.

They fashioned an incredibly stupid centerpiece for Israel’s media campaign.  They repeated the allegations so he could then deny them.

Probably as many voters found out about the allegations from Israel’s response as from Lamberti’s attack ad.
Don’t think it’s a mistake?  Try the following experiment.  The next time you run into a friend, spontaneously offer that you are “not a child molester.”  

By the end of the week everyone is going to be wondering why you are not on Florida’s Sexual Predator list. 
Add to this mistake in the general election was a primary that left a bitter taste in the mouths of Israel’s Democratic opponents. 

By handing out miniature Israeli flags, his plan was to be the “Jewiest” Jew anyone has ever seen.  When your name is Israel this is overkill and downright tasteless. It leaves a lot of Jews uncomfortable and non-Jews resentful.

But when you’re not even Jewish–which Israel is not–it sinks to a level that’s hard to describe.
The result was that Richard Lemack and Bruce Udolf–both Jewish–failed to endorse him.  The remaining candidate, Wiley Thompson, endorsed Lamberti.
Did Israel potentially have a negative campaign equal to Lamberti’s? Yes, but his bumbling campaign team made that impossible. 

Israel could have tied Lamberti to the disgraced former Sheriff Ken Jenne recently released from Federal prison.  Jenne had promoted Lamberti and brought him downtown to the BSO inner circle.

You could have run the whole campaign on that with nothing more. It would not have been hard to find a picture or Photoshop one with their arms around each other.
Enter Todd Wilder, Jenne’s former Chief of Staff and the head of The Common Sense Coalition. Wilder spent six figures for the Israel campaign.

Due to the Wilder connection, any attack based on a Jenne/Lamberti connection was out of bounds.  Think of the Obama campaign if discussing the economy was off limits.

Broward is the most Democratic south of Atlanta. 2008 was the most Democratic year since 1974.  Nevertheless Israel lost. 

The Washington Generals finally beat the Harlem Globetrotters.

12 Responses to “Fields: Israel’s Bungled Ads Killed His Campaign”

  1. Broward Dem says:

    Wilder was not the only problem. Judy Stern was Ken Jenne’s campaign manager.

    Truth is, Israel is more corrupt than Jenne ever was.

    Sadly, I believe Lemack did in fact endorse Israel.

  2. gimme a break says:

    Actually if I believe the Kane and GOP Poll, Israel was down by 10pts with a week to go. So actually Israel came close to an upset. Israel’s strategy worked with early voters as he was up by 50k votes on them. Lamberti saturated the tv market with his neg ads and they worked.

    So genius what was Israel supposed to ignore the lies Lamberti said about his record and the legally expunged files? It is your inability to answer these questions which explains why you are not a Judge today.

    Then again Sam, what is the point of arguing with you, when is the last race you won? Oh thats right you couldnt beat Marcia Beach. Cowan, how is old Scott doing, is he still pushing the 2 slices and a pepsi special for 5 bucks?

  3. Sam Fields says:

    I was told Lemack attended a fundraiser but did not sign an endorsement card.

    I did not see Lemack’s name in the endorsement section of Israel’s website.

    I did not contact Lemack. If I am wrong I stand corrected.

  4. GOPapa says:

    Mr. Fields is right. The Israel ads were the greatest thing that happened for the sheriff. They just repeated the charges.
    But Mr. Fields is wrong about the validity of the charges. where there is that much smoke, there is fire. A defense attorney like him should know that the FLPD never charges a cop with violence against citizens. Their investigations are BS. But the facts are facts and that is why the files disappeared.

  5. Sam Fields says:

    Depending on ther kind of cop work you do you are more or less likely to incur civilian complaints.

    I am not unmindful that cops watch out for each other–my father was a Detective in the NYPD– but there is some thing to be said that not one of the complaints has stuck.

    Maybe where there is smoke there is a fire. But then again maybe there is only a smoke machine.

  6. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Gimme;

  7. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Gimme–you have proved my point. The early voting occured before Lamberti’s ads went up.

    You certainly need to respond but that’s all he did. He never went on the attack with somethng like a Lamberti-Jenne connection. I believe for the reasons I wrote about it.

    Your snide suggestion about Marcia Beach is contrary to her service on the bench. I have appeared in front of her many times. Thinking it over maybe the voters got it right.

  8. Bill says:

    Unfortunately, Israel’s campaign gave voters no reason to vote for him. As a result, over 50,000 voters who cast presidential votes did not vote in the sheriff’s race. And these undervotes were in Democratic strongholds.

    Just another example of how inept his campaign strategy was. Let’s see, the same people who couldn’t get Jim Scott re-elected to the Broward Commission with a budget of half a million dollars. Coincidence – I think not.

  9. Dennis Newman says:

    The sheriff should be above politics and it was a shame that both candidates felt the need to go negative rather than the issues

  10. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Again I must state the Broward’s Top Cop should not be an elected position or at the least should be nonpartisan.

  11. Geez Sam says:

    Gee whiz Sam….you must be taking the same drugs that people thought your buddy Bruce Udolf was taking during his involvement in the Clinton investigations.

    Israel not Jewish……having known plenty of folks that worked with his dad and knew both his parents (those two were certainly slapped a yamulka), to get into the self-hating Jew game by claiming that Scott isn’t one seems a bit pathetic.

    Whehter he’s “as good a Jew” as you is irrelevant. He was born Jewish to Jewish parents — as far as anyone should be concerned, he’s Jewish. He certainly hasn’t converted.

    But then again, we Jews have this whole self-hating complex that leads us to criticize the Judaism of others, so I really can’t blame you for it.

    There are many reasons Scott didn’t win…..claiming it had something to do with his religious background is pretty pathetic and certainly not one of the reasons.


  12. Sam Fields says:

    As far as I know he is not Jewish even if he or some of his family members were at one time. Perhaps he will set us straight.

    It’s one thng to recognize that the voters consider a candidate’s religion. It’s another thing for a candidate to pander to it. It’s a third and more outrageous thing if you are not in that religion. That’s just lying.