Geller Outraises Gunzburger



The momentum continues for former state Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller.

steve geller

Geller outraised his opponent, County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, by almost two to one in the third quarter.

The two are locked in a battle for the southeast Broward county commission seat held by Gunzburger since 1992. The Democratic primary is in August, 2010.

The achievement is more remarkable because Geller is out of office and is challenging an incumbent.

Geller raised $79,320, both hard and soft money, in the third quarter.

Gunzburger received $44,025.

Geller now has raised a total of $269,512.  Gunzburger has raised $208,574.

“We will both have as much money as we need in this race, Geller said.

The bulk of Geller’s money comes from über-lawyer Scott Rothstein, who cut him a personal check for $50,000.  The money went to Geller’s committee Floridians for a Stronger Tomorrow.

Rothstein, his corporations and associates gave Gunzburger about $10,000 in the spring quarter.

Real estate investors Austin Forman and Bill Murphy also gave Geller $2,500 through various companies.

Developer Michael Swerdlow gave Geller $1,000.  He is best known for selling land at Port Everglades a decade ago to the county for twice what some appraisals said it was worth. 

 Gunzburger was on the losing side which opposed the Swerdlow purchase.

Southern Waste Systems and its companies donated $1,500 to Geller.  The company wants to break in a bigger way into the waste disposal business in Broward.  

Geller predicted that he would remain in front of Gunzburger in fund raising, unless the millionaire commissioner threw thousands into her own campaign.  

He used the opportunity to take a swipe at the incumbent and her taking money from clients of lobbyist Bernie Friedman.

Friedman is know as the lobbyist closest to Gunzburger. Clients are known to hire Friedman just to get access to Gunzburger and have a chance of obtaining her vote.

“I will substantially outraise her,” Geller said. “How many more clients does (lobbyist) Bernie Friedman have? Every client and every relative of every client has already given (to her)?”

18 Responses to “Geller Outraises Gunzburger”

  1. You mean... says:

    Pay-to-play exists on the Broward County Commission? Wow. I don’t believe it.

  2. anonymous1 says:

    Both are not ideal candidates because they are too close to the existing power structure. I am troubled about both having been mixed up in scandal. Sue’s husband sold plastic furniture to the county and is much too close to lobbyists. Steve is mixed up in the Mutual Benefits scam somehow. We need some fresh blood in that race.

  3. Sleazy says:

    I am unimpressed with Mr. Geller’s fund raising and with his past dealings. No amount that he would raise could change my vote. Hollywood has had enough disappointment with the elected officials that run in his same circle.

    He is just too sleazy and I am tired of his gang running things in our city.

  4. Hollywood Resident says:

    Hmm…I prefer Geller to Gunzburger because she has not done a single thing for Hollywood since she left the City Commission. Not only that, Sue’s biggest supporter runs the Hollywood Commission: Becker Poliakoff. They actually tell the commissioners what to do by shouting in the middle of the commission meetings…it’s disgusting.

  5. Out with the old says:

    This is just further proof that people are tired of business as usual in south Broward! Let’s elect Geller and then work on getting rid ofthe rest of the bad apples who pretend to represent us!

  6. If That's The Best says:

    If Steve Geller is the best that Hollywood can produce to run for county commissioner, then that’s not saying much about our city. This is all I can say. I truly have had enough of all of them.

  7. Sue Gunzburger says:

    If you look at the actual campaign contributions — the ones written by real individuals and subject to the $500 maximum contribution limit — we collected far more than Steve. But, when it comes to a contest of who can collect giant mega-checks (not subject to any limits) from special interests to finance his shadowy ‘swift boat’ attack committee, Steve clearly won this round.

  8. Dear Sue says:

    How can you claim that Steve Geller us funding a ‘swift boat’ attack committee? You are the one who paid to have opposition research from a company that’s motto is to play dirty politics. You are the one who has repeatedly refused to accept Geller’s proposal to come up with campaign rules so both sides can be positive. Now you are throwing mud and claiming the Steve Geller is fighting dirty. I’ve seen plenty of attacks from you and your son Ron, I haven’t seen any attacks from anyone directly linked to Geller’s campaign. If anyone is using ‘swift boat’ tactics, it is you!

  9. the early bird says:

    Sue, the dirt digger you hired for $10,000 (so far) sure works fast. “shadowy swift boat attack committee”. The only “swift boating being done is by you with your, or your son’s, year long and constant innuendos that Geller is under this or that investigation, about to be indicted, etc. NONE OF WHICH HAS HAPPENED. Who did you hire to write your stuff… Carl Rove…that paragon of republican virtue. I GUESS THAT DIRT WASN’T STICKING SO YOU HAD TO HIRE A “PROFESSIONAL REASEARCHER”. ONE WHO IS A “PRO” AT SLINGING MUD. YEH, I JUST WENT TO THE WEB SITE OF THE TEXAS FIRM YOU HIRED. REAL NICE PEOPLE YOUR IN BED WITH NOW.

    Shame on you Sue. I see that you posted your comment above at 5.25 am..can’t sleep?

  10. Steve Geller says:


    Let’s be real here. You talk about collecting checks from “real individuals” and not “special interests”? By my count, only a few weeks ago you raised over $15,000 at one fundraiser from people that you’re about to vote for on a parking garage less than one month after the fundraiser. Most of your money is coming from these special interests, on issues that you’re about to vote on, or have recently voted on. As you know, I’m not in office now. Nobody is giving to me or any of the committees that I’m associated with because of my voting. I’m not voting on anything except things like where to go on vacation. And I’m usually outvoted there by a coalition of my wife and children.

    And please, let’s not talk about my “swift boat attack committee”. I haven’t attacked you. Although I’ve been the subject of relentless false attacks and innuendoes, I’ve not responded in kind. All I’ve done is try and seek the high ground, offering to run a campaign where I will only mention my name, and use my picture, and not use your name or picture, if you’ll agree to run a campaign where you only use your name and picture, and not use mine. I’ll run on my record and view of the future, you run on yours. You’ve refused this, saying that you want to attack me on my record. I think that there may be more pictures of me on your Facebook page than of you. I don’t mention you in any of my literature, website, etc.

    It’s not too late. We can still agree. But please don’t talk about my “swift boat attack committee”, when I haven’t been the one doing the attacking.

    Steve Geller

  11. Why Is Geller So Afraid? says:

    I just don’t get it. If Steve Geller is so proud of his record, then what’s the point of begging Sue for these special rules? He must know what is coming and fears it. But why if his record is so sterling? Hmmm.

  12. Criswell says:

    I predict: This race will see at least $2 million spent.

    I predict: This race will pale in comparison to the Geller/Bogdanoff Senate race.

    I predict: The Casino/Gaming industry will figure prominently in the outcome.

    I predict: Buddy will have a great deal of fodder for future articles.

    FROM BUDDY: My favorite part of this comment is the name: Criswell.

    Obviously this is not the famed entertainment “psychic” The Amazing Criswell because he died decades ago. I don’t think even Criswell is comtributing to this website from the Great Beyond.
    Criswell was a frequent guest on the Jack Paar Show, which is now called The Tonight Show.

  13. Tommy the Fry Cook says:

    Geller has all the momentum going for his campaign. If Gunzburger COULD stop it, she would have. It’s a bad sign for her campaign that she’s not keeping up with the fund raising. The flip side to that coin is that she has the money (in part because her husband sold plastic wood to Broward County while she was a commissioner) to write herself a check to fully fund her campaign without bothering to fund raise.

    Are either of them perfect candidates? Hell, no! But I think Sue’s better days are long passed and Geller is the best choice for the future.

    They’ve both commented on this blog about running clean campaigns. Don’t hold your breath. Ron Gunzburger is Sue’s demon-spawn and he will manage the filthiest, most sh*t-slinging, scorched earth campaign in the history of Broward politics in order to protect his mom. He HAS to. Without her influence, he’d have to rely on his own skills and abilities for the first time in his life which means he’d starve to death inside of six months. With “Mommy/Gravy Train” out of the picture, so goes Ron’s career, so expect a slime-a-thon.

  14. Think about it says:

    “Why is Geller so afraid?” who do you represent? Seriously, I think you must have a horse in this race. What voter wouldn’t want a clean race? We’re tired of this nonsensical bashing of opponents. It was just raunchy and nasty in the last Senate Seat for Hollywood and I would hope that all of our candidates would not run dirty campaigns. I would imagine everyone would want a clean race like the Demo AG primary.

  15. Dear Think About It says:

    Maybe Geller is afraid of another dirty race based on lies. Maybe he wants to avoid a race similiar to what we saw for his old Senate seat in 2008. Maybe Geller wants to keep the race clean in order to keep out the third party committees that have very little oversight and control. It seems that Geller wants to take the high road so often ignored by politicians. Gunzburger apparently wants to walk in the mud and filth that is often found on the low road!

  16. I don't Buy It says:

    I don’t buy it. Campaigns are about contrasts. People’s records are absolutely relevant. It is not mud to point to how somebody voted and criticize. That’s factual. It’s mud to suggest things that never took place and try and pass that off as truth.

    So long as what is said is true, that’s not mud. If Geller has no mud then he should have no worries. Same for the Gunzburger candidate. Let them have a spirited debate on their records so that voters can decide who deserves OUR county commission seat, not theirs mind you, our seat.

  17. Just maybe says:

    Steve has a ECO and Sue gave a cagey answer that denounces Steve’s ECO without saying she won’t use one either. Why don’t Sue and Steve both agree to not have any ECOs, not to work with any ECOs, Steve would abolish his, Sue won’t form hers (you know Ron’s certainly planning to use an ECO for attacks on Steve). Then they both need to put their names on the attack pieces (or positive pieces) without any fake puppet committees.

  18. Out with the old says:

    I just want to know why sue is afraid to pledge a clean campaign? Is it because she has no accomplishments of her own to campaign on? Sue and Ron have been the epitome of everything wrong with Broward and given their refusal to be clean, it is time for both of them to go!