Geller Answers Internet Critics; Gunzburger


Former state Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller has been savaged for months by anonymous Internet users posting in the comment section of this website and others.

Now Geller has struck back.

In his most complete response to date, Geller answers the Internet crowd who attack him daily.

Geller blames the attacks on the campaign of County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, his opponent in the August Democratic primary.  The two are fighting for the South Broward county commission seat now held by Gunzburger.

His response comes after a previous post on April 12 entitled Geller Crushes Gunzburger in $$$$ was filled with anonymous criticism of  Geller.

Here is his reply, with my notes at the end:  

I do get weary of the repeated lies and distortions told by my opponent’s campaign. I normally do not respond, but this one time, I will make an exception.

I am not PLEEEAAAASE, nor is David Brown (1). I do not know the identity of PLEEEAAAASE, but assume that they are a supporter of mine, or oppose of my opponent.

Most of the Broward County Lobbyists have not been supporting me. They are afraid of retribution from a sitting Broward County Commissioner, and have been the main fundraisers for my opponent. George Platt, Blosser and Sayfie, Mike Moskowitz, Bernie Friedman, Bill Scherer,(2)  and multiple engineers or developers and other lobbyists have have all either hosted fundraisers or raised large sums of money for my opponent. None of the people I named have held a fundraiser for me, nor raised me any substantial amount of money.

The statement that I make my living as a developer lobbyist is incorrect. I am an an “A-V rated lawyer, meaning that I have been accorded the highest ratings for both legal skills and ethics, and have practiced as an attorney in zoning and land use. It was never my entire practice, and I have not appeared in front of any City Commission in Broward or the Broward County Commission (except to receive awards)for about 2 years.

The only time in years that I have appeared as an attorney in front of a Commission anywhere in the State was in North Florida, and I appeared there on behalf of a group of neighbors opposing development.

I have repeatedly told people for months, as Buddy has verified in a prior column, that regardless of what ethics rules or laws are or are not adopted, that when elected, I will not appear in front of any governmental body in Broward, except in my capacity as a County Commissioner.

I did not take $50,000 from Scott Rothstein (3) personally. Other than at political or charitable events, where hundreds of people were present, I have met Rothstein twice. A Political Committee that I chair did take $50,000, all of which was returned.

The Committee only took this money after my opponent had first taken at least $9,600 in bundled contributions from Rothstein. The Committee went to considerable time and expense to make sure that the victims of the Rothstein scam received the proceeds of the return of the entire amount.

My opponent’s campaign instead took the easy way out, and returned the money to the law firm, where it could be used for operating expenses of Rothstein’s firm, instead of going to the fraud victims.

My opponent’s campaign has repeatedly referred to the $21,000 that my Senate campaigns received from people or groups related to Mutual Benefits,(4) and then claim that I voted for legislation supported by Mutual.

The $21,000 referred to by them was over either 3 or 4 election cycles, meaning 6 or 8 years. My opponent’s campaign has received more than that from individual lobbyists or lobbying groups in this election alone.

The one bill that they’re referring to was not sponsored by me; although Mutual was located in my district, I never sponsored any legislation for them, and, in fact, was the sponsor of the tough legislation that helped put them out of business. The bill that they’re referring to was sponsored by the Insurance Committee Chair, then-Senator (now Congressman) Bill Posey.

It passed the Senate by a vote of 37-1, and the House by a vote of 113-1. EVERYBODY voted for it.

My opponent’s campaign refers to high-rises outside Century Village, and in a post about a week ago referred to a Car Dealership outside of Century Village. Shame on them! Trying to scare Seniors by lying to them.

 To be absolutely clear, I don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about in either case. I know of no plans to build a car dealership, high rises, or anything else near Century Village. I can assure everybody that if there are plans for any development that I don’t know anything about it, and do not and will not have anything to do with any such plans.

The letter refers to wanting development along Interstates like I-75. Again, I know nothing about this, but assume that it’s talking about a concept named “Transit-Oriented Concurrency (TOC). If that’s what the letter is referring to, I should point out that my opponent voted for TOC while on the County Commission. Not having been a County Commissioner, I haven’t voted on this issue.

I have not referred to my opponent by name once in this response. If you look at my website, , you will not see her name or picture once. You will only see my name and picture.

Of course, if you look at my opponent’s Facebook page, you will also see my name and picture. No person in my campaign(with the exception of anonymous bloggers that I do not control or even know who they are) has attacked my opponent.

My opponent’s Son and Campaign Manager(5) has directly and repeatedly attacked me. Are you sure that you want a “scorched earth campaign?

I spent 20 years in the Florida Legislature before I retired and returned full time to the private sector. I’m proud to run on my record and my vision for the future of Broward.

My opponent has been in office continuously for 28 years. I hope that she’ll be willing to run on her record and vision for Broward. Can we give the voters of South Broward a clean campaign, or should I expect a nasty response to this letter, filled with lies, distortions, and innuendo? I think we all know the answer, but I was hoping that this could change.


Senator Steve Geller



(1) PLEEEAAAASE is the name used by a person who comments on, usually attacking Geller’s opponent, Gunzburger.  David Brown is Geller’s campaign manager.

(2) George Platt, the firm of Blosser and Sayfie, Mike Moskowitz, Bernie Friedman, Bill Scherer are lobbyists at or have business with the Broward County Commission.

(3) Scott Rothstein was the Fort Lauderdale lawyer who pleaded guilty to operating his law firm as a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.  He was a major contributor to political campaigns. Most of those who received his donations have returned them.

(4) Mutual Benefits was a Fort Lauderdale insurance company which was a major campaign contributor from the mid 1990’s until 2004, when it was shut down.  The firm bought life insurance policies, many of them from AIDS patients, and sold investments in their death benefits. Authorities now say the firm was a $1 billion Ponzi scam.

(5) The person referred to here is Ron Gunzburger, Sue Gunzburger’s son and campaign manager and campaign spokesman. 

13 Responses to “Geller Answers Internet Critics; Gunzburger”

  1. Truthiness says:

    I have never heard any credible stories that lobbyist Steve Geller has ever supported highrises next to Century Village. But he does support highrises on the barrier island so gigantic that the people in Century Village can probably see them from there!!

  2. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Truthiness says:
    so gigantic that the people in Century Village can probably see them from there!!


  3. Tommy the Fry Cook says:

    I’m glad Geller addressed so many of the points that the GONESburger camp has been trying to distort and flat out lie about.

    Campaign managers may set the tone and message, but ultimately the candidate is responsible for the type of campagin that is run on their behalf.

    If Sue doesn’t repudiate all the lies, then she “owns” them as if she had scripted them herself. I’ve complained for months that the Gunzburger campaign is more concerned with sliming Geller than in discussing issues.

    So here’s my challenge to Sue’s camp:

    Using FACTS and EVIDENCE instead of rumor and innuendo, if anything that Geller said is this post is wrong, then PROVE it. If he’s not telling the truth, then he deserves to have egg on his face too.

    But if the Sue camp can’t back up it’s smear campaign, then Sue herself needs to denounce those tactics and admit that Geller is telling the truth.

    Anybody want to take bets on what will happen next?

  4. Sue Gunzburger says:

    Ignore all the nasty comments posted on the blogs, Steve, as neither you nor I can control anonymous postings by our sometimes over-zealous supporters.

    Instead, let me assure you I will run a campaign which is entirely truthful and independently verifiable. That means we will discuss the facts about my record, AND the facts about my opponent’s record.

    We’ll lay out the record about my hard-work which repeatedly cut property tax rates, created jobs, preserved our beaches and green space, and expanded our libraries — plus the many years I’ve spent working to toughen ethics reform laws in government.

    Likewise, we will detail Steve Geller’s lengthy history of highly-paid work as an elected official who simultaneously worked as a registered lobbyist for developers and other special interests, his close ties to the billion dollar Mutual Benefits ponzi scheme, the huge government bailout he arranged one of his wealthy developer clients, and some really odious votes (anti-woman, etc.) he cast during his 20 years in Tallahassee.

    But all that is for another day. When we get to that phase of the campaign, we will publish online copies of all his lobbyist registration forms, the legislative record detailing the votes, the complete newspaper articles, the financial disclosure forms, deposition transcripts, and other original source documents which back up everything we will be discussing. You’ll be able to get beyond the spin, read the documents yourself, and form your opinion. You’ll see that everything we say is truthful and fair. Now Steve can try to bully me all day long to not discuss his record, but he cannot bully away the facts which are documented on those pages.

    Frankly, I expect Steve will do likewise with me by combing through my public record. And he should. The voters deserve the truth about both of us, and responsible campaigns provide that much needed accountability in the political process.

    But — for now — if you’d like to keep up with my campaign, please visit our campaign sites, sign up for our email alerts, and help us win another great victory for the people.

    And please drop me a note or call if you have any questions.

    Sue Gunzburger
    County Commissioner
    District 6 – Democrat
    Hollywood, Hallandale Beach & Pembroke Pines

  5. Resident says:

    Commission Gunzberger, I believe you are wrong. You do have an ability to control anonymous postings by your sometimes over-zealous supporters. The problem is your son, and his admittedly method of campaigning. His style, which you approve of, turns off the voters, and encourages such postings. (I also truly suspect that he either writes some of them or directs some of them, which just adds to the situation).

    The type of campaign he runs doesn’t enlighten voters, but confuses them. The truth is completely lost, and what remains is a Sound Bite. Therefore many stay away from voting. Also that is why you have left the Super Voter. The ones that will put up with anything. Some Super Voters are even amused with the ongoings in a campaign.

    While I started out completely neutral in this race several months ago, because honestly I don’t see that between the two of you it will really make any difference on the Commission, I find the Mr. Geller’s approach is more reasonable, and acceptable to the voter. It has the possibility of bring a new era to the Commission, though that is probably naive. Either way, the Commission can’t sink much lower than it has, unless the rest of the Commissioners also get arrested.

    I reject the hard ball politics you and your son practices. Not to say Mr. Geller isn’t capable of doing it too. At least he is far more controlled about it than your campaign is.

    Only saying what I am seeing. Unfortunately.

  6. Rhuerta says:

    I am worried about my choice for county commissioner.
    Sue Gunzburger mentioned above some of the things she has done, but only in one paragraph. Steve Geller never talks about his record or what he wants to do for the voters.
    I don’t want to hear how bad each of the candidates is. I want to hear about the issues.

  7. Senator Steve Geller says:

    I agree with you about running a campaign based on our records and issues. I very rarely post on-line, and then it’s usually in response to an attack on me, with my asking that instead of attacks, we agree to focus on our own records and views for the future. You have not seen me attack my opponent. I rarely use her name. Unfortunately, as you can see in the letter above from my opponent, this means that only one of us believes in this type of campaign.

    Please go to my website, You will see my record and views for the future of Broward. One thing that you will not see is my opponent’s name or picture. I hope that this is exactly the type of campaign that you want.

    Senator Steve Geller

  8. They Both Stink says:

    It is truly a shame that this is what we have to choose between to lead this county. Between Geller’s work as a lobbyist while an elected official (and that stinks to high heaven no matter how you try to spin it Steve) and Gunzberger’s coziness with Becker Poliakoff and the shenigagans her slimy son pulls there really isn’t much to pick from. If I had a gun to my head and had to pick I would probably hold my nose and vote for Gunzberger because her sleaze factor isn’t as high as Geller’s, But really folks – is this the best we can do?

  9. Truthiness says:

    Rhuerta: I want to also know what each candidate supports, but what is unfair/wrong about a race where a candidate boasts “I support XYZ” … and the opponent says “Wait a minute, that’s not true. You have a record of opposing XYZ.”. Don’t you believe candidates gave a right to call BS on each other’s lies? I do.


    to Sue Gunzburger:

    When did you take the Rothstein contributions? was it within the same week you were voting on one of his/his firm’s clients issues? Why did you take his money the week his/ his firm’s clients had issues before you that you were voting on that week?



    to Sue Gunzburger:

    Why won’t you address a simple questions? When did you take the Rothstein contributions and was it right before or right after your voting on a selection committee in which his client was participating?

    Did you rank his client first?

    Please come clean.


    to Sue Gunzburger:

    Well, will you answer my question? Come on, it is a fair question.


    to Sue and/or Ronnie Gunzbugur:

    Ronnie, i will even accept your answer to my question about your mother and it is 5:17 pm so you should be off work right now today for 17 minutes, right, so you, Ronnie, can answer the question about when the Rothstein contributions were accepted by your mother’s campaign, in relation to her vote on his client.