GOP and Democrats Fight For Control of Plantation



Plantation candidate Jerry Fadgen, his campaign for mayor re-energized by a surprise endorsement from the Sun-Sentinel, has made a last minute appeal for donations to push him over the top.



Jerry Fadgen

Fadgen had raised $48,694, compared to candidate Diane Veltri-Bendekovic’s $53,674 as of mid-February.

The Plantation mayor’s campaign the most important on next Tuesday’s ballot is a key test of the strength of the Republican and Democratic Party organizations. Although municipal races are nominally non-partisan, both parties are working hard behind-the-scenes to win.

Fadgen is a Republican.  Bendekovic is a Democrat.

Both are long-time city commissioners.

The prize is the last big city strong mayor in Broward.  The mayor of Plantation runs the city hall.

A win by Fadgen would be a big victory for the Broward Republican Party’s new organization and particularly its new Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. Petrocelli was a commissioner in Plantation and is a friend of Fadgen.

Endorsement Will Help Fadgen

The endorsement last weekend from the Sun-Sentinel was a boost to the Fadgen campaign.

Weakened from the ills of the newspaper industry in general, the Sun-Sentinel is still the major media outlet in Broward.  It is the only outlet that reaches  all demographic groups.

Websites and bloggers get a lot of buzz.  Comparing them to the Sun-Sentinel is like comparing a high school baseball team to the New York Yankees.

The Sun-Sentinel delivery team throw more papers in puddles every day than those websites — including this one — have readers.

A major newspaper endorsement is traditionally worth 2-5 percent of the vote in municipal races. That would be enough to win the race for Fadgen.

In this race, however, the turnout is expected to be so light that only very informed and committed residents will vote.  That could dilute the influence of the endorsement because these are are the very voters who make up their own minds.

That said, it is better to have the endorsement of the Sun-Sentinel than not have it.

I get a personal kick out of endorsement of Fadgen.  The candidate is among the most right-wing Republicans office holders in Broward. His endorsement is proof that the Sun-Sentinel is not part of some liberal plot, a conspiracy which was always a fantasy in the mind of Republicans like Fadgen anyway.

The third candidate Warren Meddoff has raised very little after putting $50,000 of his own in the campaign.  He has made no effort to spend the bulk of this money yet.

The question is not whether Meddoff wins the election he won’t.  The question is who he will steal votes from.

Meddoff could end up costing Fadgen the race.  At least, that’s what the Bendekovic campaign hopes.

The race was once Bendekovic’s to lose.  Now it looks like a toss up.

Here is Fadgen’s letter:


Dear Friends,


You have been among our closest and strongest supporters during this race to be the next Mayor of Plantation. You have contributed to the campaign in so many ways (contributed money, attended campaign events, placed signs in your yard or neighborhood yards, signed or gathered petitions to get me on the ballot and saved the campaign a lot of money).


Your efforts in helping the Campaign get our message out have paid off handsomely, with the very strong recommendation by the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board… Jerry Fadgen the ‘clear choice’ for Plantation Mayor.


Our printed material is almost completed and paid. However, the postage for the final mailer is not fully covered as of now, and we are expecting a need to respond to a late attack by my principal opponent. Unfortunately campaigns are very expensive, particularly the postage.


So I am making this urgent appeal to you, if you can, before the final contribution cutoff date (Thursday night March 3, 2011), to contribute $25, $100, $200 or whatever you can afford, to insure that we get across the finish line, with the necessary resources available.


Time is very short, so you must move quickly before the contribution deadline. Aggregate contributions from any one individual or business entity cannot exceed $500.


If you know others who support the values of limited government, and a passion for eliminating duplication, waste and inefficiency, but who have contributed neither time nor money to our Campaign as of yet, this may be their opportunity, if only asked.


Thank you for all your support!



Jerry Fadgen


PS Deliver contributions to 21 East Acre Drive, Plantation, FL or call 954-684-1370 so we can pick up the check.


11 Responses to “GOP and Democrats Fight For Control of Plantation”

  1. Rage Against The Machine says:

    In Plantation it would be nice to have an election without the Plantation Machine involved. We can decide who to vote for without Jerry’s signs being tampered with or Warren suing Diane. The old guard in dying on the vine. The age of information brings a better educated voter. Vote for the best choice to represent Plantation, not the most creative smear campaign.

  2. Lost says:

    Diane has been without her usual campaign consultant Beverly Stracher during this campaign. Stracher was nabbed by Satz taking $100,000 in cash from developer Chait. Now she is talking to the prosecutors and staying very low. If Diane loses, she will be another victim of the Chaits.

  3. Plantation 55 says:

    Rumor is that political consultant Katy Edwards is running Diane Bendekovic’s campaign, not Cowan or Beverly.

  4. Get Real says:

    Fadgen in Plantation… Grace and Phipps in Dania Beach… the Sun-Sentinel apparently made a conscious decision to endorse the sorriest candidates on the ballot this March!

  5. To Get Real says:

    The Sun-Sentinel doesn’t ever cover Plantation. Do you ever see a story from the commission meeting or any other story about Plantation? So how do they know who to endorse.

  6. Bill Bzdek says:

    actually they do , if you were to google , lisa Huraish is at almost all meetings , maybe not great reporting but they are there and I suspect most of you commenting are not. She has been there for like 10 years
    (so in today’s world the city govt of Plantation cannot do webcasts of meeting?)and why are we talking about Plantation ( like a dinosauer ) everyone else with a brain has moved their election to Nov . saving big bucks !!!

  7. Joseph J Mercogliano says:

    I have just received a copy of Councilman Fadgen’s latest mailer that hit Plantation mailboxes today.
    To say that it is filled with inaccuracies, falsehoods, fear mongering and misrepresentations is to say the least!
    Let me start out by saying that when the FOP interviewed Councilman Fadgen, he said he would be honored to receive our endorsement. It is understandable when a candidate does not receive an endorsement they are disappointed, but the manner he has handled this is immature and unprofessional. His unprofessionalism started when he did not receive it and he posted on his website, “Surprise, Police Do Not Want Jerry!” From that point forward, he has made it a point to cast the dedicated brave men and women of the Police Department as liars and untruthful.
    I would now like to point out the falsehoods in his mailer:
    1. He states, “With less that 200 unionized employees, and pension funds totaling $171 million….” It might be true that all 3(Police/Volunteer Firefighter/General Employees) total that, it is important to know that all 3 funds are funded to almost 80% and are in excellent financial shape for future employees and current retirees. It is also important to state that this total amount($171 million) covers over 600 current employees and at least 100 retirees. The fire pension is actually overfunded. I also find it extremely hypocritical for him to talk about pensions while he all well knows that he will receive a $60,000 + pension for life when he leaves office if elected…all the while he has not paid 1 dime towards it while city employees contribute millions each year to ours. The pension that he will receive will be fully borne on the taxpayers!
    2. “We must bring public employees in line with the private sector business” Last time I checked, there are no civilian firefighters or police officers. In comparison, Plantation’s Officers make comparable…not the best, salary and benefits while our hard working General Employees to include the Fire/Rescue personnel, are some of the lowest paid as compared to comparable cities.
    3. “Will you allow the Police Union to dictate the outcome of this election?” The Union has been exercising our 1st Amendment rights to endorse and participate in this country’s political process. I find it highly hypocritical that Mr. Fadgen would of took our endorsement, money and personnel to assist his campaign but now is asserting that is wrong another candidate received it.
    4. He states that our residents are “In fear of certain types of rising crimes.” Yet, he has made no claims on increasing manpower at the PD. The truth is that while on his watch, he has allowed 20 officers to be attritioned out and we presently have 3 frozen vacancies that we are not permitted to fill. Most recently Mr. Fadgen in the Sun Sentinel stated “(Fadgen) has developed a reputation for dogged creativity when it comes to budgetary matters. He would continue in that role as mayor, vowing to review city operations — particularly in the city’s police and purchasing departments — carefully for cuts and consolidation as needed. How do you combat crime when you are looking to CUT and CONSOLIDATE (another term for BSO which he has stated he would consider)
    5. He states he has spoken to residents who have no health insurance yet since 1999, he has been receiving FREE health insurance for him and his wife,…all the while making a $29,000 yearly salary as a Councilman for a Part-Time job!
    6. “My principal opponent in this election will not stand up to the Union when their demands are excessive.” Really???? Over the years, the one thing we have always wanted was parity with our surrounding agencies in salary and benefits. To say it is excessive is ludicrous. Even more ludicrous is that since Mr. Fadgen has been on City Council (1995), he has voted FOR every Police Contract which included modest salary increases and pension benefits.
    7. “My principal opponent has bragged about her police union endorsement. And they await her payback.” I can assure you there has been no promises with any of the candidates. I am very proud that all 4 of our endorsed candidates are proud of our endorsement and “brag” about it. The reality is that in 2012, the city and FOP will meet at the negotiating table and do as we have done since 1983….NEGOTIATE a contract with no promises.
    In closing, Jerry has been extolling that he will run and has run a clean and honorable campaign. What he has just done with this mailer is illustrate that he does not respect his employees….not just the Police Officers and is willing to lie, slander an organization who has been serving this city since 1965 to be elected Mayor. Over the years Mr. Fadgen has sat on council, he has had ample opportunity to reign in costs, make changes, balance budgets but the TRUTH and REALITY is that he sat up there silent, voted for big ticket items and only speaks up to grandstand at budget time. Not quite the definition of a Fiscal Conservative that he purports himself to be in his mailer. He is also making it seem that this city is dire straights and on the verge of bankruptcy. This is the farthest thing from the truth.
    Once again, if you want to know the TRUTH, please do not hesitate to call me at
    954-275-8744 or
    Joseph J. Mercogliano – President
    Fraternal Order of Police, Plantation Lodge #42

  8. Patti Lynn says:

    Fagden has personally picketed women’s health centers and campaigned against a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Sorry, he’s much too right wing for Broward County. Government has no right to intrude into any woman’s body. Fagden needs to crawl back into the middle ages. KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF OF MY BODY!!!

  9. Thanks FOP says:

    Thank you to Joe Mercogliano and all of the brave officers of the Plantation PD who serve us proudly. It is shameful how Jerry has continued to lie about the FOP and misrepresent his record. However,the council minutes and Comcast broadcasts don’t lie.

    Jerry, what happened to running a positive campaign? You’ve stood by as your henchman have lobbed one attack after another at Diane and anyone that she is remotely connected to – wrapping yourself in your faith does not absolve you from guilt.

    I,too, am a Catholic and it is hypocrites like Jerry that leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.

    From what I hear, the SS endorsement has done nothing except inspire people to vote AGAINST him on Tuesday.

  10. Dave says:

    With Meddoff in the race, Fadgen looks like a centrist candidate. Tuesday will tell if it’s a strategy that bears fruit. You’ve got an establishment candidate which is under fire on fiscal grounds, throw a “Green Tea” type like Meddoff into the race to lob the Molotov cocktails then sit back and assume the mantle of responsible adult– Vote for me: I didn’t/won’t overspend and I’m not nuts.

  11. Susanna Bott says:

    Joe! Thank you for your comments > I agree. Jerry is far too wishy-washy and does grand stand @ budget time. Diane loves the City of Plantation and will be a fantastic Mayor!

    Diane has run a nice campaign. A VOTE for Diane Veltri Bendekovic is a vote FOR Preserving, Promoting and Preparing Plantation for a Prosperous, Promising Future!

    Susanna, Austin and Spencer Bott of
    Secluded Gardens, Plantation, FL