Judges Kick Big Bucks Into Their Campaigns


Two Broward Circuit judges have decided the best investment they can make is in themselves.

Judge Lisa Porter

Carlos Rodriguez and Lisa Porter have each stuffed a lot of money into their own campaigns in the quarter ending March 31– six figures apiece.

Rodriguez added $110,000 to his campaign.  He had earlier put in $5,000 and collected $35,545.

His opponent is Frieda Goldstein, who uses a Miami address on her campaign forms.  She has raised $1,900 and kicked in $1,000 of her own.

Porter coughed up $90,000 to add to the $10,000 she had put in earlier in the campaign.  She has gotten an additional $26,730 from contributors.  

Porter’s opponent is Laura Seidman, wife of County Judge Lee Seidman and former general counsel of the North Broward Hospital District.  She has raised $3,850 and spent nothing on her campaign, leading many to believe she will not formally qualify to run later this month.

At least these two judges don’t have to count on campaign contributions from lawyers to run for office.  Although I’m sure they would prefer to get more contributions to replace their own money.

Both have well-known lawyers as treasurers.  Rodriguez’s treasurer is Bill Laystrom, best known as a lobbyist.  Porter has Dave Vinikoor, a longtime fixture in Fort Lauderdale legal circles.

11 Responses to “Judges Kick Big Bucks Into Their Campaigns”

  1. Law firm man says:

    Nothing matters. Both will lose.

  2. Judge Carlos A. Rodriguez says:

    Budy, You are still misspelling my name. AGAIN it’s Rodriguez, with a “g” not a “q”. How can I win this election if you keep misspelling my name? July 31, 2009, you did the same thing in your article and corrected it, after I wrote a response dated August 1, 2009. I hope you get the spelling right before the election on August 24, 2010! Seriously, the name is not a problem. About 1 out of 10 persons around the courthouse call me Judge Gonzalez. I take it as a compliment since retired Federal Judge Jose Gonzalez has to be one of the best liked and respected judges, both while he was on the Broward Circuit Court bench and Federal bench. Judge Julio Gonzalez is no slouch either as he was the highest rated judge in the Broward Bar Judicial poll. Bottom line, its not just about a name.

    However, the real question, the one that is NEVER ASKED OR REPORTED IN ANY JOURNALIST’S ARTICLE, is, “What are your qualifications as a lawyer to be a judge?” Isn’t that the main question the voters need asked, answered and reported?

    I understand the Sun Sentinel is considering not doing interviews or recommendations for the judicial candidates or sitting judges due to resources and the number of contested races. I understand the Broward Bar Association is not going to do it’s election time poll of the Broward attorney’s opinions about judge’s and candidate’s qualifications. Is Broward County so messed up that nobody cares to ask much less report the qualifications?

    Don’t feel bad for the incumbent or the candidate that looses, feel sorry for the residents of Broward County. Judges decide Constitutional issues like 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech or 4th Amendment issues like the right to be free from unreasonable searches, or perhaps, health care reform. Judges decide the taking of property and the taking of a person’s freedom. If they preside over a trial and they get the legal rulings wrong, chances are the case goes up on appeal and is reversed, whether its a “zero” verdict, a million dollar verdict or a conviction and prison sentence. If the unqualified person is elected, Broward suffers in a big way.

    So, Buddy, solve this problem. Change starts with you!

    I’ve just read over my post and I don’t see where your name is misspelled. If it is, I will correct it…of course. I still am not seeing it.

    I can’t do anything about the Sun-Sentinel or the Broward Bar. I can do something about Browardbeat.com.

    I have written several posts about various judges’ qualifications. I will do several in the future, but I am waiting until after the filing closes.

    As you know, the races will change before the end of April.

  3. Las Olas Law says:

    Judge Rodriguez expresses the frustration many of the judicial candidates have with the abrogation of responsibility by the newspapers. There is no source of independent information reaching the voters, except for the ones who go to websites like this one. Voters will vote based on names and those with Hispanic names will suffer.

  4. Browardbet.com says:

    Buddy – are you starting a poker player’s site?

    In reading your response to Judge Rodriguez, you commented you would be posting things on a new website, http://www.browardbet.com.

    Just kidding with you man. You’ve done a great service to this community by posting about elections that the mainstream press can’t deal with this year. I’m shocked and saddened if Judge Rodriguez is right and the Sentinel elects not to make recommendations and conduct interviews of the candidates running for office this year.

    It will be up to you and the rest of the “new media” to pick up their slack.

    It will be a site featuring poker playing tips from Judge Steve Feren 🙂

    A typo. Its early in the morning. Sorry.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Judge Rodriguez is right. The Sun-Sentinel already announced that they will be tackling election coverage and endorsements in a “new” way. I have no idea what they have planned.

    Their parent company is emerging from bankrupcy and their veteran editor Earl Maucker is leaving. Thus, there is understandably some turmoil in the newsroom. I don’t think election coverage is at the top of their concerns at this point.

    I assure you that they will do their best. The Sun-Sentinel is full of fine journalists dedicated to providing news to the community. Tonya Alanez, their courthouse reporter, is very, very good. If she is given some latitude, I’m sure that the judicial races will be well covered.

  5. Goodbye says:

    Say goodbye, Judge Rodriguez. You will be a victim of the rabid defense attorneys and Howard Finkelstein who want you defeated so they can put a tame let-’em-go judge in office.

  6. Question for the Judge says:

    Dear Judge Rodriguez

    Correct me if I am wrong, two of your supporters and friends are Kevin Kulik and Howard Finkelstien.
    Why is it ok for Kulik to run Alan Bernstein against Judge McCarthy, Heidi Berkowitz against Judge Linda Pratt, Lloyd Golburgh against Judge Merrigan but you whine when the same tactic is done to you?
    Additionally why is it ok for your friend Howard to put Olga Levine against Judge Luzzo, Jackovich vs Judge Destry and Sandy Pearlman vs. Judge Aleman?

    In light of the above, quit your whining about how wrong it is you have an opponent since you are so qualified and deserving to be a Judge.

    It is your friends that nurtured and supported the atmosphere where someone with a Jewish last name should run “just because of that last name” regardless if the incumbent is a good Judge or not.

    P.S. I forgot to mention the speculation on the alleged “rumors” that certain local lobbiests may have persuaded Rhoda Sokoloff and Bob Nichols to not run against you but to run against Judge Oconnor and Judge Rebollo instead.

  7. Broward Lawyer says:

    @ Question for the Judge

    I agree with your post. Rodriguez got his karma when Freida Goldstein filed against him. He can post all the money he wants, but will he use spend it?

    PS Who is the lobbyist you are referring to? I’m an O’Connor backer.

  8. Judge Carlos A. Rodriguez (BUDDY: NOT THE REAL JUDGE) says:

    I am proud to call Kevin Kulik my friend and supporter. As for Howard Finkelstien, I cant thank him enough for his friendship and support over the last three decades. Both are trusted friends, unlike certain other “friends” who have encouraged my opponent to run against me.

    It is against the Cannons for me to comment on any other race but my own. I can say I had nothing to do with anyone deciding to run or not run against me.


  9. Lawyer says:

    Sure you did’nt Judge Rodriguez, wink wink, nod nod. You and Kulik and Co had nothing to do with getting Sokoloff to run against O’connor and bob nichols against your fellow hispanic judge rebollo?

  10. Typical Broward Judge says:

    So the Judge makes a bonehead comment and then gets some heat for it and claims he didn’t write it. Come on Buddy. I’m curious to hear how he proved it was not him. Rodriguez has been popping his mouth of on here and Jaablog. This time he stepped in it and is lying his way out of it.

  11. irva prives says:

    Lloyd golburgh probably should not runfor judge. It takes alotof emtoional stability to be a good judge.