Gunzburger Leads In Money, But Geller Hasn’t Even Gotten Started Yet


If the election was decided by money, the 2010 County Commission race for southeast Broward would be over. 

Incumbent Commissioner Sue Gunzburger collected $72,104 in re-election contribution in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2008.  She added another $10,000 of her own money.

Challenger former state Sen. Steve Geller got $500 in donations in the fourth quarter of 2009.  He has a total of $17,022 in contributions.

Gunzburger is leading in the money race now, but apparently Geller hasn’t even started.  

The election is in the Fall, 2010.  A long way off.

Geller is the member of a large law firm with many wealthy clients. Geller was the Senate Minority Leader and has many friends in Tallahassee.  Geller was a major supporter of the pari-mutuel industry for more than a decade.

This money race isn’t over a long shot.

35 Responses to “Gunzburger Leads In Money, But Geller Hasn’t Even Gotten Started Yet”

  1. No Bargain Here says:

    Geller is a bag man for insurance companies, lobbyists, developers and gambling interests. He’s only interested in making money. His record as a legislator is profoundly undistinguished for a guy who served that long in the Legislature. There’s an ethical cloud forever over his head and that’s because he has been involved in too many sleezy kinds of activities. Perhaps it will catch up to him. Nobody wants him representing citizens at county hall except for those that have a buck to make as a result. He is extraordinarily bright, which is a pity because had he not chosen the dark side of the political force, he might have been so much different and dare I say better and more respected. Lots of people fear Steve Geller. Few like him. I don’t want a commissioner like that, who would.

    Sue Gunzburger’s been at the county much too long and should retire. She’s an integral part of the political gridlock that holds up progress in county hall. She is a profoundly weird individual and her personality makes it difficult for her to relate with people. Her distance from residents, which she intentional keeps, is rooted in that dislike of having anything to do with regular people except during election time. She’s usually rude and curt in her manner, duplicitous, snake-like in her politics, vindictive, and unnecessarily unkind. Her kind side is reserved only for those that do things that benefit her. But her votes reflect a great deal more integrity than anything we can expect from Geller. She knows her stuff, and for all her weirdness is a better choice for Broward than Steve Geller, who is ethically hopeless and only out for himself.

    For the reasons satated, of the two, and there will likely only be two candidates to choose from, I’d pick Gunzburger. But we could do better, there’s no bargain here. Too bad there aren’t more folks willing to come forward and truly represent this district, which really needs better, more active representation by the look of it.

  2. broward voter says:

    well said, and true. There probably are better folks out there.. but who can keep up with that kind of money!

  3. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Sue Gunzberger has always been weird even when on the Hollywood commission. She does not relate to people and I’ve hear her give speeches….they say nothing

  4. Husband and Wife Tag Team: THE BUS BENCHES says:

    Oh please “No bargain here”

    You know very well that Sue Gunzburger steered contracts and clients to her husband and son.

    If you are going to use these blog comments to smear, at least bring a few examples.


  5. Popeye says says:

    Geller aka Wimpy will get right on raising money after eating another hamburger.

  6. Try Geller says:

    Sue Gunzburger hasn’t done anything in 15 years in office and she wants another 4 years!!!!We need to try Geller. Maybe not ideal, but at least he helped us get slots. I work at a kennel club and his work saved my job and others here.

  7. Arnold says:

    Sue has to run or Little Ronnie wouldn’t have a job with Lori Parrish. Parrish keeps Little Ronnie around because Sue votes on her budget. Little Ronnie has had a succession of government jobs provided by Mommy.

  8. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Setting the record straight.

    1. I’ve never bid on nor gotten any government contracts ever … so the person who wrote that my mother “steered contracts and clients” to me is lying.

    2. I’ve been working in various capacities for the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office for over a decade — serving under Property Appraisers Bill Markham (R), Rocky Rodriguez (R) and Lori Parrish (D). My mother had nothing to do with this — as I had a friendship with Markham going back to my childhood when I had volunteered on his campaign. I knew him for many years before my mother ever met him.

    3. “a succession of government jobs.” My mother had zero ties to Congressman Dick Gephardt — I don’t believe to this date she has ever met him or spoken with him — and that was my first real job starting back in 1981. My mother had zero ties to the ranching industry, and my next job was working in DC on the government affairs staff of the National Cattlemen’s Association. I then went to work for Congressman Clay Shaw in 1984 (note: my mother had supported his opponent in his first campaign shortly before). Over the years I’ve also been a litigation associate (and later partner) in what was then a Top-100 national law firm, started my own website/business (which I still run 11 years later), and was COO/General Counsel for a few years for a dot-com in the DC area.

    Bottom line, Arnold: you’re wrong, too. But — if all of you who bash my mother here think it would be a great thing to elect a special interest lobbyist to the Commission — it’s certainly your right to support Geller.

    Here are some highlights of Geller’s recent career, as reported in some independent news sources:

    “Florida Rep. Steve Geller has announced that he is running against Sue Gunzburger for county commission. This isn’t surprising, as rumors have been swirling about Geller’s plans for weeks, but it should rival the Rodstrom race for drama. It’s got a compelling subtext: The ethics activist versus the lobbyist.”

    – Bob Norman, New Times Blog (1/15/08)

    “When the City of Hallandale Beach bailed out a developer by wasting millions on a bad land deal, state Senator Steve Geller … wasn’t there to fight for taxpayers. He was trying to pry more of their money from the city for the developer for whom he was working …”

    – New Times (4/10/08)

    “But the lobbyist-politician who concerns [Hollywood City Commissioner Dick] Blattner most is state Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller … Geller is paid by private developers to represent them. … And Geller has registered as a lobbyist in Hollywood and Pompano Beach. …”

    – Miami Herald, 6/10/07

    “How much worse could it get? Plenty. Mr. Geller and seven other Democratic senators are hosting a fundraiser for [convicted felon Gary] Siplin, who is up for re-election in 2008. Please, be embarrassed for Mr. Geller [and the others] … They have obviously lost the ability to be embarrassed for themselves. Oh, and one final, sad irony: This shameful fundraiser for the only felon ever to serve in the Florida Senate comes less than a year after the passage of the most sweeping lobbyist reforms in the country.”

    – Orlando Sentinel, 12/27/06

    The choice is yours.

  9. I.P. Freely says:

    Siplin’s conviction was politically motivated and overturned. He is not a convicted Felon.

  10. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    So many other offices have TERM LIMITS….why not county commission, school board, property appraiset, supervisor of election, etc.???? where do we start???

  11. I.P. Freely says:

    Term limits are bad and shift the power to the unelected staff and lobbyists. Just look at Hollywood if you think the process doesn’t work. I’d bet Mara feels otherwise.

  12. broward voter says:

    the county commission has term limits… 3 terms of 4 years each. They started after it got put into the charter in 1999, so Gunzburger got her 12 years starting then.

  13. Steve Geller says:

    I know it’s a mistake for me to get involved in responding on website’s, but I had to respond to Ron. Once only. If I’m ever on this or any other website, I’ll always use my real name. While I’m here, I’ll respond to “No Bargain Here”.


    You appear to have tried to examine both sides. Let me address some of the issues that you raised.

    I have no idea why you connected me to insurance companies. I fought the insurance industry the entire time I was in Tallahassee. I fought for easier access to health care, lower windstorm rates, etc. I was the one who demanded sworn public hearings from the Insurance Industry.I received awards from Doctors, lawyers, consumer groups, etc. for my work on insurance issues. I’ve never received an award from insurers.

    I have supported the parimutuel industry, which I believe is part of the historic framework of Florida, and which generates many jobs in this state. I’ve opposed convenience gambling, such as slots at reataurants or laundromats. I’m a nationally recognized authority on gambling issues. I don’t understand what your problem is on that.

    There haven’t been “many sleezy (sic) kinds of activities”. I’m an “A-V” rated attorney, who practices extensively in the area of zoning and land use. As such, I sometimes appear in front of local government bodies, which is specifically contemplated in Florida statuttes. Everyone admits that such conduct is legal. Some people, primarily muckraking reporters and political adversaries question whether or not it’s something I should do. We may disagree on this issue, which has occurred in different cities, but this is only one issue. My reputation in Tallahassee was always as one of the most ethical legislators in town.

    You said that few people like me. Both polls conducted on this race, by 2 different pollsters, months apart, remarked on how extraordarily high my favorable numbers are. Seems like lots of people do like me. I’m a likeable guy.

    You commented on my only being interested in making money. I’ve rejected many clients that I could have legally represented because I didn’t feel it was the ethically right thing to do. I’ve been practicing law for over 25 years, and earn a good living. I probably earn less than the average “A-V” rated lawyer with my experience who isn’t an elected official. I’ve been in public office even though it costs me money because I believe I can help the community.

    You commented that my record as a legislator was “profoundly undistinguished”. My colleagues elected me as the Senate Democratic Leader, a/k/a the Senate Minority Leader. I was widely regarded as one of the most powerful Minority Leaders in recent history. If the Democrats had been in power, as Senate Democratic Leader, I would have been the Senate President. Newspapers described me as the most influential Senate Democrat in Tallahassee. I was elected as National President of 2 different Legislative bodies. I was elected as Chair of the Broward Legislative delegation twice. I was one of the very few Democrats to serve as a Committee Chair under the Republicans. As Senate Democratic Leader Designate, I raised more money for the Senate Democratic Caucus than any other leader, before or after, has raised. I passed many major pieces of legislation. I’ve received Senator of the Year, Legislator of the Year, or similar awards from Police, Firefighters, the League of Cities, the Association of Counties, Lawyers, Teachers, Doctors, disability groups, the PTA, the Jewish Federation, the Cancer Society, and on and on and on. With all due respect, if you regard that as an undistinguished career, don’t you think that your judging standards might be a little too high?


    I know that you’re known for running viscious attack campaigns. You may want to check with your mom before you start the normal sliming process here. I’m not the same type of candiodate that Sue has run against before. I know how to fight back.

    You think that you have negatives on me. I know I have negatives that I can attack on also. I hope that that’s not the kind of race that we’ll be running, but I will if I have to.

    I spent 20 years in elective office. Your mom has been in office longer than me. We each have records that we can run on. Why don’t we try that? I haven’t said a bad word about you or your mom. Let’s try and keep it civil, and discuss our visions for Broward County.

  14. Under His Nails says:

    Somebody needs to look underneat Steve Geller’s fingernails. You will find a lot there. Not just salami.

  15. P.G. 13 Barnum says:

    Zing… For whatever you can say about Geller, the man has balls.

  16. Ron Gunzburger says:


    “I know that you’re known for running viscious attack campaigns.”

    You too, Steve …

    “The race between Steve Geller and Ellyn Bogdanoff rarely rose above the gutter. While Mr. Geller won the election, the Republicans edged the Democrats for sleaze. Both parties soiled their skirts …. Mr. Geller, who groused at every turn about Ms. Bogdanoff’s tactics, resorted to throwing dirt himself.”

    – Miami Herald, 3/19/98.

    Further, I’d give the response Harry Truman gave when someone once famously yelled “Give ’em hell, Harry.” Truman responded: “I just tell the truth — that makes them feel like they’re in hell.”

    My so-called reputation for running “dirty” campaigns is just a sour grapes line thrown out over the years by a series of pro-developer incumbents who refused to accept any responsibility for their own defeat at the hands of environmentalist challengers. Those incumbents were simply way out of step with their environmentalist constituents). The campaigns I’ve run have always been focused upon the official public record and public actions (votes, junkets, quotes in newspaper articles, etc.). Not once in all the campaigns I ran did I ever delve into a person’s private family life, attack a candidate’s relative, or launch an attack that anyone could honestly say was false or misleading. In fact, in the last few campaigns I was involved in, my candidates did not produce any single negative spots or mailings.

  17. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Actually Steve, I’d offer you a proposal that would put one big concern “out of play.” Please join my mom in openly supporting an ethics reform change to the County Charter that would prohibit any sitting member of the County Commissioner from being paid to represent (“lobby”) any person/corporation before any other governmental entity so long as he/she serves on the County Commission. To be fair and protect first amendment rights, her proposal would provide an exception allowing Commissioners to lobby on behalf of the County, themselves (i.e., something involving their own home or personal views), and on behalf of their own employer or a business in which s/he owns an interest. The roughly $90,000 a year salary should be sufficient to justify banning sitting commissioners from being hired (as a lobbyist or “government affairs attorney”) to lobby before city commissions, the legislature, the planning council, and state agencies. Do you support this charter change?

    FROM BUDDY: A very interesting proposal which should be seriously debated. But why wait for the next election? It should be considered now.

  18. Steve Geller says:

    ok, Ron. I guess I have my answer as to how the campaign will be run.

    Please check with your mom first and verify if this is really how she wants to do it, especially this early. I’ll repeat, you’re not the only one with files and stories.

    My future communications will only be candidate to candidate. You want to debate me, get into the race.

  19. Return of No Bargain Here says:

    Hi, I’m back and glad to see we’ve heard from both camps. As to Mr. Geller, you sir were the honcho of all things insurance in Florida for nearly 15 years of the many more you served in state office. Insurance rates under your watch skyrocketed, needlessly against true actuarial projections, and when faced with a revolt last year on storm insurance, you huddled with Charlie Crist to produce some marginal savings as compared to the hosing Floridians were taking all along. And you want us to thank you for that? If you were so in opposition with the insurance companies, if you were their foe, then why did they pour so many thousands into your campaign accounts over the years?

    As to your awards, they only mean that you have many endebted special interests. This means nothing. Including your seniority related positions in the Senate, and your rotating duties at the Legislative deligation, where the chair becomes chair only because it’s their turn. You want to talk distinguished? Go find Howard Forman or Jim Scott, Rod Smith. I could name a hundred of them. You sir are not in that league of accomplishment. But since you see it differently, since you are so distinguished, especially as a democrat, then why are you running for the county commission and not to ensure that a democrat gets hold of Mel Martinez’ seat?

    AV rated lawyers get rated that way, duh, by being basically competent, which you are, and not having gone to jail. Which you have not. Yet. As to your protecting gambling, let’s call it like it is Steve. Sure, maybe you do believe in maintaining the historic framework of Florida. But he tons of money you make at it doesn’t hurt either, isn’t that right? I mean, admit it. If it wasn’t for the money you make, would you be as eager a historian?

    You make a living trading your political power for money in your law practice. That is going to be a problem in a county that has a higher ethical standard than the State does. In Broward you have to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and that appearance is all over the way you do business. I have stated my views about your opponent but I now see that her campaign has chimed in also. The proposal they present is a fair one designed to protect the integrity of the county and office holders. I note that you chose not to answer the question directly but to issue yet another threat. Which is what you do when cornered, you don’t yeild to what is in the public’s best interest but to your own. This is what makes you unsuitable for local office and why Gunzburger despite her other issues is the better choice. You and your financial plans are at odds and in conflict with your official duties and responsibilities.

  20. THE BUS BENCHES says:

    So No Bargain Here strikes again! Damn dude, you finally showed your true colors that you’re just out for Geller.

    Well, I still don’t see any specific references to any misdeeds you claim you stake. Just something about insurance that you have no idea about.

    In 2006, they passed a very bad insurance bill that gave insurance companies unfettered access to higher rates. Here is a link to the bill:

    If you go down to roll call 36, you will notice that Geller voted against the bill. However, there were more Republicans that Democrats (and this bill did pass along party lines), so where is this insurance bias you’re talking about? Please, give me one simple example of when Geller was an advocate for the insurance lobby. Please bring something to the table except empty and improper characterizations. Please!

  21. Observations says:

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that Ron is posting on blog forums in the middle of the day? Supporting his mom’s campaign while on County time? Disgusting.

    Now I know why our property taxes are so high. Broward employees are wasting county time to do campaign work, and for their mothers no less. Didn’t she ever teach you not to….never mind.

    How disturbing.

  22. Sorry Bus Bench says:

    Truth be told, every State insider knows that every insurance deal without exception that ever went down was personally crafted by Senator Geller who is truly an expert in insurance. Ask him and you will hear an half an hour about why. The other Senators are too dull to understand the depths that Geller does about the subject. Politicians may cast their votes subject to their political needs, but Geller’s work is all over that bill. Ask any member of the House or Senate and they will tell you Geller was the point person for both parties on insurance, a role he played for years and years.

  23. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Not posting during the work day, as Buddy can attest. The clock settings on Buddy’s blog comment feature are set to the wrong time zone. I’m posting this comment at what my watch says is 5:48 PM on Friday. Compare that to the time date-stamped on this post.

  24. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Translation of my post #22 for the math-impaired (as I can now see the clock on this blog is set to Mountain Time Zone 2 hours behind us).

    Post #16 = 5:51 PM on Thursday.
    Post #17 = 6:16 PM on Thursday.

  25. Hey Bus Bench says:

    What you don’t know is that Geller influenced the entire contents of that bill. Nothing in insurance got done by Republicans or Democrats in the Senate without Geller because even he will tell you his job was to be point person on any and all legislation regarding insurance. That’s part of why he and Crist are so close. If he voted no to his own bill to try and cover up his involvement, that’s par for the course. The fact that he didn’t put up much of a fight, that he didn’t bring bus loads of residents up to Tally when he could have, all that indicates the truth of it. Call some insiders like I did about Geller and find out for yourself. Nothing in insurance took place without Geller’s fingerprints all over it during most of his time in office. That’s just the truth.

  26. Observations says:


  27. Observations says:

    I believe your 22 and 23 posts. But then how do you account for post #8? That would make your posting at 8:56AM on Jan 15th.


  28. One Another Thing Bus Bench says:

    And here’s video proof of how duplicitously Geller voted. During his campaign he’s going to say he voted for this and voted against that. But here’s Senator Geller in action. Here’s how he “uses” the vote the people give him, which nearly cost Florida the ability to use their electoral votes. This is how he operates. With sarcasm, and he thinks others don’t notice but we do.

  29. Spectator says:

    JUst curious, but how do we know that “Steve Geller” and “Ron Gunzburger” are really Geller and Gunzburger? I could claim to be George W Bush, but I’m not really him. I believe both may really have been posted by them, or at least by people on their behalf, but just wondering how we can ever know if a post is real or a spoof/fake.

  30. All You Need to Know says:

    As to the comment about how thoughtfully former senator Geller used to cast his votes, watch the Youtube below of how he cast one of his votes and decide for yourself. I was ashamed for Broward that the people’s vote was used in so disrespectful a way on a matter of tremendous importance. The presidential primary.

  31. BUS BENCHES says:

    No Bargain Here, I thought we were talking about taking care of special interests? When did the presidential primary come into the discussion? Please, bring me proof of claims you make in post 1 and 19.

    And also, you said: “Call some insiders like I did about Geller and find out for yourself.” Please tell me what “insiders” you called so that I may also call them and speak to them directly.

  32. Out With Gunzburger says:

    Gunzburger steered a county park bench contract to her husband and got rich by being a county commissioner. The county has plastic benches because Mr. Gunzburger made them. She pretends she is above politics. She is just as phony a crook as the others.

  33. Spectator says:

    I thought Suzanne Gunzburger was already a multimillionare when she was elected, and is still a multimillionaire now. Isn’t she the commissioner who brags how she has always financed her own runs whenever she needed to.

  34. Geller and Mutual Benefits says:

    What involvement did Steve Geller have with Mutual Benefits? His fingerprints seem to be all over that issue…was cash involved also?

  35. I agree with bus benches says:

    Steve Geller is a good man! He has served his district and his constituents well. Broward County will go far having him on the commission.

    You asked what Steve Geller has done. The first bill Geller passed called for the most stringent ride inspections in the country for amusement parks. That bill alone, he has probably saved thousands of children lives. He also staked his political name on making sure children diagnosed with autism will get the coverage and therapy they need in order to be “mainstreamed”. As far as I know, when he passed his first bill he had not children, and I do not believe he has any autistic children in his family. That right there are two example of how selfless Geller is.

    I can go on about all Senator Geller has accomplished, but the list is too long. A little research by anyone who wants to know can research all the bills that has Steve Geller’s name on it.

    A better question is what has Sue Gunzburger done? Besides helping steer a contract to her husband so we could get plastic benches, what else has she done? Ask the residents of Century Village where she was when they were about to lose bus service due to cuts. Ask the residents of Hollywood where Sue Gunzburger was when they wanted a sound barrier on I-95. Ask the residents of Hallandale Beach why their street lights aren’t synchronized.

    Sue Gunzburger had her chances and she has failed! I for one want a proven leader. I want Steve Geller!