How The Broward County Commission Does Business


Did lobbyists’ campaign contributions sway the votes of Broward County Commissioners Sue Gunzburger, Diana Wasserman-Rubin and Ken Keechl?

Is the Pope Catholic?  Are there bears in the woods?

Here’s the story. You decide.


sue gunzburger number two

Gunzburger:  Did Big Money Lobbyists Sway Her Vote?


On June 22, County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger’s re-election campaign was given at least $8,500 from lawyer Scott Rothstein, his firms and clients.

Rothstein’s firm lobbies for Judicial Corrections Services, a company that does probation management and supervision. That’s a job now done by the jails’ division of the sheriff.

On June 23, Gunzburger recommended that the county study taking over the jails from Sheriff Al Lamberti.  The study was her idea.  She made the motion approving it and the study passed with only Commissioner Kristin Jacobs opposed.

If the county takes over the jails, probation would be in play.  It could be privatized and Rothstein’s client could benefit.   A study is surely the first step towards privatization, if it was to happen. 

One day Gunzburger receives money.  The very next day she proposes a study which has the potential of benefitting the contributor. 


Gunzburger is adamant that she is against privatization of county services.  Still, the timing of the contributions makes me wonder:

Was Sue Gunzburger swayed by campaign contributions?

While you’re pondering the answer, remember Gunzburger was not alone.

Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin’s re-election got $5,000 from Rothstein, his partner and his firms the day before the vote. She voted to approve the study.

Commissioner Ken Keechl’s re-election received at least $5,500 from Rothstein and his firms four days after the votes.  He received another at least another $1,000 earlier in June.

Keechl voted to approve the study.

That’s only three out of nine commissioners receiving the money and voting for the study.  There is an easy explanation: 

Those three are the only ones running for re-election.

21 Responses to “How The Broward County Commission Does Business”

  1. One Party Rule says:

    Same song, different day.
    The same liberal democrat commissioners who are trying to crush the republican sheriff are up to their chins in corruption.

  2. Sue Gunzburger says:


    Not sure what prompted you to write this inaccurate and speculative leap of logic. To date, I met Scott Rothstein just once, we exchanged “hello’s” for a minute or so, and that was it. My friend Grant Smith, who I’ve known since he was a teenager, was the one who organized the fundraiser that produced the contributions you referenced. And Grant has never once spoken to me about privatizing the jails.

    As I’ve told you previously, I do NOT support privatizing the jails. Without equivocation, I will NOT vote to privatize the jails. I cannot be any more clear, and I’ve discussed this with you previously.

    Why did you not even bother to speak with me before running this highly misleading story?

    Sue Gunzburger
    County Commissioner – District 6

  3. No Coincidence says:

    Once again, a commissioner so deep in scandal that she has to resort to the blog comments to defend an indefensible position.

    Either admit that you took Rothstein’s cash for your vote, or admit that this whole Sheriff dispute is pure politics and you are wasting the County’s time.

    It has to be one or the other.

  4. Truthiness says:

    Am I missing something here?? Wasn’t Scott Rothstein one of Lamberti’s top 3 fundraisers? Rothstein and his pals gave like $100,000++ to the ECO which hammered Scott Israel for months!!! Rothstein wouldn’t be part of any move to hurt Lamberti.

  5. All A Bunch of BS says:

    The County Commission has a budget crisis. The Sheriff refuses to help. The Commission is therefore looking for options to save money. It has nothing to do with a campaign contribution. Certainly not from Rothstein without whom Lamberti could not have gotten elected. It has to do with money. You people continue to miss the point of this BSO thing. In fact these facts are so clear that it now appears intentional. That people WANT to spew misunderstanding about the situation because the TRUTH hurts BSO too much.

  6. Joy Cooper Fan says:

    Ms.Gunzburger portrays herself as above the politics at the Broward commission. She is the same as all of them. Rothstein is a businessman and businessmen only invest when they expect a return on their investment. Why did the Republican Rothstein give Ms. Gunzburger so much money unless he had a business motivation?
    Geller is just as bad. He is a developers’ tool.
    We need a new face — Joy Cooper.

  7. anon says:

    Rothstien gave over a 100k to Israel. He is all about business not candidates.

  8. Wow says:

    Ron Gunzburger, the great political genius, really slipped up on this one.

  9. Democrat says:

    Political Genius???
    Didn’t he lose his own judicial race?

  10. She's Sick says:

    Diana shouldn’t run. She is very sick and can hardly campaign.

  11. Who is Joy Cooper Fan? says:

    Do you like her for her looks or for her brains?

    I bet the former.

  12. Broward voter says:

    how is it you think Ron Gunzburger slipped up on this one? I think Steve Geller had no idea what he was getting into, which is why they have to come up with this spin every few weeks to still keep the race interesting…

  13. anon says:

    ron gunzberger worked with rothstien and roger stone against israel…

  14. DEC Mbr says:

    Except for his mom’s new race, I don’t think Ron Gunzberger has been involved in any local campaigns for at least 5 years. I think the last race he did was Parrish’s race against the Markham kid. He’s been almost invisible politically since then. I go to fundraisers and kickoffs and campaign rallies and the monthly DEC meeting and I don’t think I’ve seen Ron at anything political for several years. He’s totally dropped out from the political scene.

  15. Joy Cooper Fan says:

    Joy Cooper has been an outstanding voice for Hallandale and for cities in general. She works hard and is responsive to the public. She would make a great county commissioner.

  16. Broward Resident says:

    Joy Cooper? Seriously? If you think there is corruption in County Hall now, wow you’d be in for a rude awakening with Mighty Mouth on the dais…

  17. Dominic says:

    Not a surprise here. Just check Keechl’s contribution reports…many $250 and $500 contributions from the bail bonds industry on January 22 ,just before he votes to support a change in the county’s pretrial release program; a change lobbied for by the bail bonds industry!

  18. One More Time says:

    I’ll say it one more time.

    Steve Geller could run around Broward with eight pounds of pork chops around his neck and not even a dog would give him decent odds of beating Sue Gunzburger. And Sue could grow horns out of her head and become a Hindu and she would still beat Geller 3:1.

    It’s going to be a landslide. Especially after the Mutual Benefits prosecutors come looking for him.

  19. Hmmm says:

    Where do you get this stuff “One More Time?”

    Geller has twenty points on her and that Mutual Benefits stuff is the most overblown issue that everyone, save Bob Norman, has forgotten about already.

  20. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Everytime I see Diana W-Rubin she is upbeat and looks great!!! What does “she’s sick” know about her health. She never misses meetings either.

  21. Not Twenty Points says:

    Twenty inches maybe. But not twenty points. No way, you must be referring to some push poll designed to help raise the big guy some cash. Take a real poll, ask the real questions that will come out in the campaign, and see where that leaves you.