Gunzburger Answers Geller’s Attack Ad

Geller Distorts, Misleads in His New Attack Ad

For Immediate Release:

May 26, 2010

 County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger quickly responded to a television attack ad launched today by the campaign of lobbyist Steve Geller.

 “I understand Steve Geller is used to getting his way by distorting facts and bullying opponents — based on his many years of work as a powerful developer lobbyist — but I will not let him slander my late husband and his environmental recycling work,” said Gunzburger.

Here are the verifiable facts:

  • Sue’s late husband Gerry was the co-founder, a co-owner and the CEO of a Broward-based plastic recycling company named BTW Industries, Inc. (“BTW”). Source: Ronda Division of Corporations.
  • BTW was a local start-up company, incorporated in 1990, which created factory jobs for Broward residents.
    • BTW made plastic “lumber” (a wood-substitute product) by melting and compressing plastics reclaimed from
      curbside recycling from throughout Broward. This ensured Broward’s used plastic drink jugs and bottles were
      recycled into quality products used in local parks. Before recycling companies like BTW came along, these discarded
      non-biodegradable plastic waste products were dumped in landfills where they will linger for thousands of years.
    • BTW’s lumber was used to construct sturdy walkways at Anne Kolb Nature Center, West Lake Park, and other parks;
      park benches; car parking stops; and other products which are still in use today – and which will likely remain in use
      without needing replacement for another 50- 100 years.

The recycled plastic product was environmentally-friendly, saved trees (wooden lumber), and was the most cost-effective product for Broward’s taxpayers.

  • BTW participated in a competitive bidding process with Broward County, in which the contract was simply awarded to
    the lowest qualifying bidder in a sealed-bid process. This is the most cost-effective procurement process for taxpayers because it ensures products are competitively acquired by government on the open market at the cheapest price possible. Source: Sun-Sentinel, 2/21/99, and official Broward County procurement records.
  • BTW was the low bidder awarded its first contract from Broward County in 1992, before Sue was ever elected to the
    County Commission. Sue obviously played no role in awarding this $103,483 County contract as she was not yet a County Commissioner. Source: Official Broward County Commission Minutes.
  • Sue asked for and received an official opinion from the Florida Ethics Commission (FEC) in 1994. FEC Executive Director Phil Claypool issued a formal advisory opinion that BTW could lawfully and ethically bid on future Broward County contracts under the competitive, sealed-bid process so long as Sue abstained from voting on the contract and played no role in the procurement process. Source: Sun-Sentinel, 2/21/99.
  • As a Commissioner, Sue NEVER – repeat: NEVER – voted on any BTW contracts. Source: Official Broward County Commission Minutes, 7/8/97 and 8/22/00.
  • As a Commissioner, Sue NEVER played any role in the County procurement process on any recycled plastic contracts.

Source: Official Broward County Commission records.

  • As a Commissioner, Sue NEVER directly nor indirectly discussed BTW’s bids with any County staff members.
  •  After Sue was on the Commission, a rival company (ARP) submitted a lower sealed bid than BTW in 1995, As a result, ARP won the competitive sealed-bid contract for the plastic lumber services in 1995. In 1997, BlW was once  again the low bidder over ARP, and BlW was thus awarded the plastic lumber contract. BlW’s sealed bid in 1997 of 664,812 was significantly cheaper than the next lowest bid. The County’s competitively bid contracts with BlW cumulatively saved taxpayers over $300.000 versus the higher prices submitted by the next lowest competitor.
    (Source: Official Broward County Commission Minutes 1992 and 1997 and Sun-Sentinel, 2/21/99.)
  • In 2000 – after Gerry and his partners sold the company – BlW was once again the low bidder by a significant amount of money, and was awarded a $232,181 contract. Source: Official Broward County Commission Minutes,
  • Gerry and his partners sold the company in 2000 at an overall value loss to Gerry and the BTW investors. Gerry also
    ceased serving as a BTW corporate officer when the company was sold. Gerry continued to sporadically work part-
    time as an independent consultant for the new owners until he retired in 2003. Gerry also retained less than 5%  interest in the new entity, which eventually failed.                                                                        

“Gerry was, unfortunately, years ahead of its time with this visionary environmental product. The product closed the recycling
loop for plastic waste. The competitive bid process saved hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. Yet Gerry and the investors all
lost money in this venture,
” said Gunzburger. “This was a great product, it helped improve our public parks with accessible walkways and sturdy benches, was environmentally friendly, and saved tax dollars.

“And Steve, you know perfectly well that I never once voted on any of these contracts.  Shame on you, Steve.”

14 Responses to “Gunzburger Answers Geller’s Attack Ad”

  1. Roger That says:

    Both use their political positions to make money.
    Geller’s law (lobbying) practice was contingent upon his being in office and being able to pressure his fellow elected officials into voting for his client.
    Gunzburger’s husband sold benches to the public while she was a commissioner. Her entire family was living off the taxpayers.
    We need somebody clean. We need Peter Bober.

  2. Taxpayer Joe says:

    There 66 other counties in Florida. Why is Gunzburger’s husband selling to this county?
    Your nose is growing, Sue.

  3. shekfu says:

    people dedicating themselves to public service are not “living off the taxpayers”…I’ve fought Ron Gunzburger in court on tax cases for Ms. Parrish’s office…he’s tough fair and knowledgeable..there is no game playing or hiding documents…what difference does it make who his mother is..

  4. Gimme a break says:

    Sue, Do you have any idea of how ridiculous you truly sound. People should believe that Geller had influence over the cities as a so called lobbyist because he held office in Tallahassee. However, you had no influence over the Broward County Commisssion that you sat on in awarding your family business contracts. Oh Please! Then you say your husband did it because he was an environmentalist. Does that mean you donated all the money you made to environmental causes? No, I didn’t think so!

  5. Rastas says:

    I do not believe it’s legally possible to slander the dead.

  6. Resident says:

    Sue, weak response. The truth doesn’t matter anymore, you know that. Its only how bad the accusation sounds that counts.

    There are two sayings, “You break it, you bought it.” The other is “Don’t wish for things, cause sometime you get them.”

    Well both broke it and both wished for it. Now you got it, and it is only going to get worse. Both could have taken the high road, but in the course of claiming the high road, neither followed it.

    “Roger That” has it right, and both will pay. Its both sides Achilles Heel.

    Truth is not a defense, its the victim. Perception is Realty.
    Let the games continue.

    Can’t wait to see Sue’s next ad, followed by Steve’s, on and on as it gets worse.

  7. Watch Out says:

    Lori Parrish needs to watch out who she supports. She says she is friends of both Gunzburger and Geller. Geller is a lobbyist for developers. Does she not think that he will vote in favor of The Commons?

  8. G.B. says:


    If these are just the coming attractions, I’m going to need a lot more popcorn for the feature.

    Maybe there will be cartoons too?

  9. Gonesburger lies says:

    Hey Sue,

    Why don’t you answer why, after voting in favor of Rothstein’s client, did you accept a campaign contribution from him?

    Why don’t you answer why, after Lamberti fired your daughter for lying and not doing her job, did you try to punish BSO by privatizing it?

    Why don’t you answer why, if your husband’s bids were so clean, then how come no other county awarded him a contract?

    Why don’t you answer why your little son is allowed to work on your campaign while he’s being paid by taxpayers to do his job?

    Oh, that’s right, you don’t want to talk about facts…just distort the truth on Geller. You need to go and maybe S. Broward wouldn’t be such a disgusting, dirty place to live.

  10. Tommy the Fry Cook says:

    First off, I’m going to submit a bill for consulting fees because that ad hits on the points I’ve been making for months. Listing the members of the GONESburger family that have NOT feasted at the public trough would be easier than listing the ones have that. There’s some I didn’t even know about so it’s even worse than I realized.

    Sue, you want us to believe that you and your family didn’t benefit from these plastic-wood contracts??? What a bunch of bull. Here’s why:

    If my business operations clear $100,000 in a year, but I then pay myself $100,001 in salary as top chef, my business corporation technically “lost” money even though I personally walked away with $100K in my pocket.

    How much money did the GONESburger family make in salary while her husband served as a “corporate officer”, even though the “investors” supposedly lost money?!?

    Give me a devious enough tax attorney and I could win the PowerBall lotto and still show a “loss” on paper.

    If his company wasn’t making money, why the hell did they keep bidding on the contracts?? You want us to buy that garbage that they simply did it as noble enviromental “visionaries”???

    At lease Geller makes no excuses or apologies for earning a living in the private sector. GONESburger is trying to deceive the public. The ad has it right:

    “Shame on you, Sue.”

  11. Whoa! says:

    “Tommy the Fry Cook” and “Gonesburget Lies” should always remember to add at the end of their comments: “Paid political advertisement paid for and approved by Steve Geller.”

    After all, don’t forget David that Geller signs your consulting checks.

  12. Tommy the Fry Cook says:

    To “Whoa!”

    Hey…I’ve seen Dave Brown and I take offense to that.

    Sorry to disappoint, but this cook’s a free agent, not bound or beholden to either camp. I’m just sick of the whole Broward Commission and can’t believe that someone as unaccomplished as GONESburger can be there for 18 years.

    Steve Geller can be an arrogant, irritating jackass (can’t we all?) but at the end of the day, he represents, supports, and has voted for the issues that have had the most positive impact on my family, my business and my community.

    If it makes you feel better to think I’m Dave Brown, then knock yourself out because I couldn’t care less.

    I think the REAL truth is that it makes you nervous to think that there are a lot of us political OUTSIDERS that are passionate in opposing Sue because SHE HASN’T ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING! Unless, of course, you want to give her credit for bolstering the personal fortunes of her ENTIRE FAMILY AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE. If that’s your standard, then she’s the undisputed champ.

    But if you care about other people, she has been a void…a vacuum…a black hole…an empty chair on the commission dais for EIGHTEEN FREAKING YEARS!

    If she had any valid achievements, why was her first ad a “hit piece” against Geller? It’s because she’s got nothing else to campaign on.

    You keep worrying about whether or not I’m Dave Brown…the rest of us are going to be organizing our neighborhoods. See you on election day.

  13. Gonesburger lies says:

    Dear Whoa,

    I’m not Dave Brown. I do not know who that man is and I have never met that man. Every time I see someone mention Dave Brown’s name, I think of the author, Dan Brown.

    I am Sue Gonesburger’s worst nightmare. I am a 20 year old college student who is getting to vote in their first election. The reason why I have taken an interest in this race is because as a Political Science major I had to do a research paper on a race that I feel is important. I picked this one and I have learned and I am still learning everything I can about it. One thing is certain, the more I hear about Gonesburger and her family, the less I like.

    Here’s a story you probably will not hear from either candidate. When I was in high school two years ago, I won an award and I received an unsolicited congratulations letter that was eloquent and heartfelt from Steve Geller. It was signed by him and it is something I keep to this day. I then met Steve Geller at a town hall meeting he was hosting. I spoke to one of his aides about why I was there and he made sure Steve Geller recognized me. Steve Geller treated me as an adult and voter and spoke to my issue which was funding for higher education. After the town hall, Steve Geller talked with me for an additional 20 minutes about legislation affecting young people. He then agreed to write me a letter of recommendation to a scholarship based solely on the impression I left on him at that meeting.

    That summer, after I graduated, my parents called Sue Gonesburger’s office to get help on a county issue. They were blown off. Remembering my interactions with Steve Geller they called his office, and despite it being a county issue, they were able to get the help they needed.

    That is why I am supporting Steve Geller. He went out of his way for me personally. Meanwhile my family, when they needed help, didn’t have anyone to turn to on the County Commission. I know if Steve Geller becomes our next commissioner, people will have someone that will help them when they need it.

  14. SouthFLGIRL says:

    Gonesburger lies,
    Wow, great letter…and interesting too. I hope one day you do get into local politics yourself! You have a great start already.