Grandstanding Pols Embrace Project They Had Nothing To Do With


Sorry Debbie.

President Barack Obama had little, if anything, to do with the expansion of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

But if you listened to the speech by U. S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, at the groundbreaking of the long-delayed project, you would believe that Obama had a key role in the project.

Obama is responsible for everything good in Debbie’s eyes, but none of the country’s problems. If the president were a little older, she would probably say he invented the planes that will be using the runway!

I can understand where Debbie is coming from.  She’s chair of the Democratic National Committee. She’s a leader of Obama’s hit squad for the upcoming election.

So I can excuse Debbie.

(Wasserman Schultz frankly gave lukewarm support to the project because of opposition from inside her district, i.e., Dania Beach.)

What about the rest of them?

Like the Florida Secretary of Transportation who praised the leadership of Gov. Rick Scott – Rick Scott, for God’s sake!   He wasn’t even in office when the project was approved. The only thing he had to do with Fort Lauderdale Airport is maybe he lands his private jet there.

Or U. S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who apparently discovered she represented part of Broward in enough time to show up. Wilson was there to take credit for something approved before she took office, too.

How about County Mayor John Rodstrom?  He drove the backhoe at the groundbreaking to turn the ceremonial first shovel dirt. That’s particularly ironic since Rodstrom voted against the project. 

Let’s get this straight:

Six county commissioners voted to approve the project. They took intense heat from bitter, vocal runway opponents who lived near the airport.

Of those, three remain on the commission – Kristin Jacobs, Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter.  These commissioners are much maligned, but the airport runway expansion is something they truly helped accomplished.

Jacobs, Lieberman and Ritter are responsible for the $1 billion project and the 11,000 jobs it supposedly will create.

Rodstrom, Lois Wexler and Sue Gunzburger may have applauded the project today but they can’t rewrite history. Five years ago they voted against it.

9 Responses to “Grandstanding Pols Embrace Project They Had Nothing To Do With”

  1. long memory says:

    Frankly, this all started in the ’70’s when the current airport was designed … WITH EXPANSION IN MIND.

  2. No Kool Aid for me thanks says:

    Debbie W-S has a big pitcher of Kool Aid in one hand and a tall glass in the other.
    Note to self: when DWS claims on national news that the unemployment rate has NOT gone up on Obama’s watch, remain calm and check pulse.

  3. Real Deal says:

    The runway project was delayed for 20 years because the county commission would not treat the affected homeowners with respect and pay for the impacts they would have to endure on their homes.

    Inevitably they were forced to do it. Had it been done sooner the runway would have been built years ago and the county would have made billions in taxes that it can never recover. It is the classic example of losing a dollar to protect a dime.

    Without FAA and EPA approval the project could not proceed. So there was a reason for the federal officials to be there.

  4. Airport observer says:

    Don’t forget Jim Scott, Joe Egglletion and Ben Graber. They fought the fight for the airport for years before this crew came along to take credit. Jacobs at first voted against it and Ritter is a Johnny come lately. Only Lieberman has been consistant over the years from the present commission.

  5. GOPapa says:

    The community largely agreed with the airport expansion for more than 20 years. The county commission didn’t have the fortitude to pass it years ago, when it first came up. That said, the commission finally did this. Buddy is right that they deserve the credit.

  6. Richard J Kaplan says:

    You have touched on a subject area that is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with my city, but I have seen this repeatedly from throughout the local area to the national arena.

    Politicians taking credit for things that they had little to do with, and maybe actually opposed.

    You see it takes years to create many of these capital improvements (though policy changes are relatively quick to make). In either case, killing or delaying an idea is easy.

    I have no problem when an elected official opposes an item and succeeds. In that case, they actually did it and deserve the credit irrespective if it was a good idea or not. Though this is not what usually happens.

    In most cases on a capital project, someone proposes a project or idea, not necessarily the politician, and eventually a vote takes place or order given to implement. With expensive projects it can be years later before the construction is even started or a result seen, and whoever started it may not be there at the end.

    However, whoever is there at the end seems to take the credit, even if they opposed it.

    Then who should receive the credit.

    My belief is the original proposer of the idea, and those that stuck their neck out to get it done (even if they were not there in the beginning because often there is a long time line until completion).

    Rarely is this a single individual, but far more people take the credit then deserve it. In many cases the people truly deserving of the credit do not receive little if any credit. They just happen to be in the room.

    On a policy change, often the impact can be quick, and when it has a positive result, whoever is in power should take the credit if they really did it, but often those that were thrown out of power will claim it was their work from years ago that caused the positive result of the policy change, and they try to take the credit.

    If the result is bad, the opposite happens.

    As it relates to the national economy, this has been happening continuously with the Reagan, Clinton, Bush x 2, and Obama administrations. They seem to always take credit for good things, and blame the other administration for the bad things.

    Sometimes this is true, and often it is not.

    My favorite one is when I see someone not deserving the credit not only tries to take credit, but also try to trash those that did deserve the credit. That is what politics is about, taking credit for someone else’s work, or laying blame, for political gain.

    Sometimes I truly believe that they believe their own misrepresentations.

    Then there is the third situation where the people in office had nothing to do with something that worked out, or actually tried to stop it and failed. It was just good timing or by accident.

    But then you see them take all the credit for being as fortunate as being in the right place at the right time. Again, politics.

    So the next time you see a plaque on a capital project with everyone’s name listed, or hear a speech by someone taking credit, the public should remember that it might not be necessarily true. Often they had nothing to do with it but took the credit anyway.

    And then there are those whose names are never on that plaque that had everything to do with getting it.

    Sad, but true.

  7. Sunrise McLovin says:

    I have an idea Mayor Kaplan, do away with the plaque (or the names anyhow)

  8. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    simple question to you Buddy how much federal dollars($$) went into this project??-Then we will have our answer.

    The project is estimated at around $900 million.
    The general split on such projects is generally 75 percent federal and 25 local. But I’m not sure that’s the deal here. My understanding is that any local money comes from user fees and other income from the airport, not property taxes. In addition, I believe the state DOT agreed to pay at least $65 million

  9. From the Bleachers says:

    Buddy, check out from where the federal funds came. I think you will find that the aviation Trust fund (a fund built over the years from fee of all kinds collected from the users, travelers and aviation entities such as private planes and commercial alike.