Candidates Thumb Noses At Non-Partisan Rules



Four candidates for judge are breaking the spirit of the law stipulating that judicial races be non partisan.

They may be violating the law itself and the cannons of judicial ethics governing campaigns for judge.

At the very least, the three wannabe judges and incumbent Judge Bob Diaz are skirting close to the edge.

How bad do they want to be judge?

Laura Marie Watson, Olga Levine, Roshawn Banks and Diaz are on as many as 1 million palm cards being distributed by Democratic activists.

The cards are emblazoned with the words: 2012 Vote Democrat!  It is called The Blue Card, as in blue for Democrat.

All four candidates are Democrats.

Now, I’m no legal ethics expert. I have no idea whether this is technically illegally.

Here is the state law:

A candidate for judicial office shall not: 

  • Participate in any partisan political party activities, except that such candidate may register to vote as a member of any political party and may vote in any party primary for candidates for nomination of the party in which she or he is registered to vote. (1)


  • Campaign as a member of any political party. (2)


  • Publicly represent or advertise herself or himself as a member of any political party. (3)


  • Endorse any candidate. (4)


  • Make political speeches other than in the candidate’s own behalf. (5)


  • Make contributions to political party funds. (6)


  • Accept contributions from any political party. (7)


  • Solicit contributions for any political party. (8)


  • Accept or retain a place on any political party committee. (9)


  • Make any contribution to any person, group, or organization for its endorsement to judicial office. (10)


  • Agree to pay all or any part of any advertisement sponsored by any person, group, or organization wherein the candidate may be endorsed for judicial office by any such person, group, or organization. (11)

Watson, in particular, appears to be most involved through her campaign consultant Dan Lewis, a wily and veteran political tactician. Lewis also was elected in August a Democratic committeeman.

The palm card states it is paid for by the Broward County Young Democrats.  Two leading Democrats told that they suspect Lewis may have either paid for the card or arranged to have it paid for.

“There is no way the YDs have that kind of money to pay for this in those quantities,” said one leading Democrat.

YD President Rick Hoye refused comment.

Lewis said in the following e-mail widely distributed to Democrats that he at least had a role in the printing of the palm cards:

One million ‘The Blue Card” with a union bug are being printed and will be available – free of charge, thanks to the BYD’s beginning as early as this Saturday.  Let Cynthia Bush know how many cards you want.   Her email is Cynthia M. Busch (e-mail address removed).

I have attached the printer’s proof pdf to this email.  The cards will be printed on glossy card stock and will be writable – that is,  when you write on them, the ink will not smudge.  You will note that the back side of the card can be customized with a “courtesy of:”  name and additional endorsed races through

(1) simply running the cards through your desktop printer or

(2) by affixing an inexpensive label  in the space provided.

 2012 Vote Democrat!

 Dan Lewis

Strategic Technologies & Research, Inc.

 Lewis is breaking no law.  In fact, his move is very savvy…if it passes the rules and laws governing judicial candidates.

But it doesn’t pass my smell test.

You decide.

22 Responses to “Candidates Thumb Noses At Non-Partisan Rules”

  1. Sam The Sham says:

    Sorry Buddy. The predominantly Democrat following you have cultivated on this website will turn a blind eye to anything a fellow Dem has done.

  2. they all do it says:

    Didnt Ed Kennedy of the BREC Executive Board come out for Julio and Nichols this week?


    Yes, he did. I doubt whether Kennedy will distribute 1 million copies of his endorsement. I also don’t know whether he is printing them up as a palm card for use at the polls. The Democratic palm card goes way beyond a single politician endorsing candidates.

  3. Show Me the MONEY says:

    Here is stench from RRA’s power play days, Rothstein hand picked soldier in action…….

  4. Noel says:

    I notice Bobble Head Bartleman is on there, too. She’s suppose to run non-partisan. We must get rid of anybody connected to the old corrupt Board.

  5. Bank on Banks says:

    No point in even listing Banks and Diaz on the palm card at all, since they are opponents in this 2-person runoff. It’s Democrat vs. Democrat.

    Between Roshawn Banks and Diaz, Roshawn Banks is the far better candidate!

  6. Thank You says:

    Thank you for letting me know who my fellow Dems are on the ballot in the non partisan races. IMHO its about time the Dems played it close to the line like those Rove Republicans have been doing for years.

  7. Rosen Runs Again says:

    In another nonpartisan race, Don Rosen is running for re-election to the Sunrise City Commission. His opponent is John Tomas Fusaro.

    A quick search on “Rosen” in the BrowardBeat search box shows that Rosen has been very heavily criticized by Buddy.

    Rosen is perhaps best known for having been former Sunrise Mayor Roger Wishner’s strongest ally. He’s a Democrat.

    Fusaro is the office manager of Al’s Transmission in Sunrise. He’s a NPA (No Party Affiliation).

    The party affiliations of ALL the municipal candidates are listed on pages 4 & 5 of the September 2012 Dolphin Democrats newsletter:

  8. Republican ruse says:

    While on Red Broward the Ed Kennedy endorsement appears to just be on person’s opinion to vote for Nichols and Julio one must dig deeper….

    As seen on Facebook

    Like Page
    Republican Party of Broward County, Florida shared a link.

    Register Here for Your Broward Republican Voter Guide

    Get Your Official Broward Republican Voter Guide!

    As you can see this link allows you to register to see Mr. Kennedy’s picks while at the same time get on the BREC newsletter via email.

    As well besides the Kennedy guide, the page states…

    Would You Like to Volunteer During the Final Push for the Republican Party in Broward County? (Mark Any That Apply)

    I want to be a Poll Watcher (Application Deadline Sensitive)
    I want to Make Phone Calls
    I want to Walk Door to Door
    I am an Attorney and would like to be part of the legal team

    Ed Kennedy
    Ed Kennedy’s Conservative Broward Voter Guide


    Thank you for this. It is not exactly on the same level since the voter would have to be motivated to find these endorsements. The Dems’ card is being passed out to any voter they can find.

  9. More Affiliations says:

    The Dolphin Dems also have a party affiliations guide which goes all the way down to Soil & Water District and Drainage District candidates:

  10. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Interestingly, this issue was just tested (again) in the US Court of Appeals last month. And, yet again, the federal appeals court found the US Constitution’s first amendment free speech rights protect the right of political parties to inject partisanship and partisan endorsements into judicial races. The judge candidates perhaps cannot discuss their own party label (perhaps it is okay: see 2002 US Supreme Court ruling in Minnesota v White), but the parties and political clubs can ignore all restrictions that prohibit them from publicizing the labels of judicial candidates. See:


    Thanks Ron. Very interesting.

    I personally believe that many of the strictures on judicial candidates are unconstitutional based on the First Amendment. You and Sam Fields, two judicial candidates who were unsuccessful, talked about this when you were running (a decade ago?). But nobody has ever challenged the rules in court.

  11. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Red Broward + Stephanie Kraft + Shelly Solomon + Cash – Disclaimers = blasting of Abby Freedman.

    Isn’t RedBroward all about “good, clean government”?

    What about the Tea Party’s hate-the-libs-at-all-costs mentality?

    How do you explain supporting a contender (Solomon) whose main backer is Kraft?

    Answer = cash.

    Cost for RedBroward to be bought? $450.

    “Handy” not included.

    Read the story here:

  12. Not quite says:

    Intereting I google “Red Broward” and “Chris Leggatt” and I find nothing that says Leggatt writes for Red Broward or otherwise.

    Poor Chaz, you just cant handle it when others call out corruption in this town and get any credit. You did good Chaz, but what have you done lately?

    Reminds me of all the huffing and puffing you did against Judge Hurley and Seidman in 2010. What happened there? Nothing. Looks like a pattern of going against anything Republican in Broward, no?

    Red Broward to date is the only one smart enough to figure out that the problems in this town do not begin and end with the electeds but with the “consultants” like Stern, Miller and Rose to name a few.

  13. Floridan says:

    Just one more reason we should not be electing judges.


    I agree.

  14. Dem Voter says:

    Your article is very misleading. There is no evidence any of the judicial candidates did anything wrong. Dan Lewis, who is a very good political consultant, is free to distribute these palm cards. Next story, please.


    This is one campaign’s campaign consultant who had a role in printing this…Another words, the judicial candidate’s campaign is facilitating these cards. As far as the others, the law and ethics rules are that the race is non-partisan. They could disavow the cards. They haven’t. Thus, in my opinion they are thumbing their noses at the law and rules.

  15. Michael Mayo says:

    To me, the most interesting thing about this is listing both candidates (Banks, Diaz) in the same judicial race. If people vote for both, the ballot choice in that particular race would be voided. If lots of Democratic ballots are negated in this race, I wonder whom that would benefit.

    As you used to say Buddy, things that make you go hmmmmm.

  16. Misleading says:

    Buddy…the title to this article is completely misleading. Unless you have direct evidence of a candidates direct involvement in producing this card they are not “thumbing their noses” at any rules. Gunzberger is absolutely correct. The information about party affiliation of these candidates is public information. If a party (as the republicans have already done on several levels….i.e. Nichols and Gonzalez) wishes to produce any palm card or other literature about these candidates…simply put…they can. If you have direct evidence tell us. If not perhaps you should consider Changing the title…unless of course your a republican!


    This is one campaign’s campaign consultant who had a role in printing this…Another words, the judicial candidate’s campaign is facilitating these cards. As far as the others, the law and ethics rules are that the race is non-partisan. They could disavow the cards. They haven’t. Thus, in my opinion they are thumbing their noses at the law and rules.

  17. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    What have I done lately?

    The former Executive Director of the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority is currently under investigation by the SAO for bid rigging, nepotism, and the such. Subpoenas in that matter were just issued.

    The Palm Beach SAO has turned my Riviera Beach complaints over to the FBI, the Broward OIG is digging deep into Lauderdale Lakes, and Al Capellini is trying, once again, for a motion of dismissal.

    And then, well, there’s this…

    No really. I’ve not done anything lately.


    All done free of charge. Red Broward will sell their souls for $450.


  18. Totally agree says:

    I totally agree that non partisan races should stay non partisan! Leave it up to the party to screw it up for the non partisan races! They didn’t even bother picking just one candidate in the races, which is pure laziness.

    I know the democrats were dead set this time on electing democrats, even to non partisan races. With access to the VAN to check party registration, they don’t even have to ask a politician (or be lied to by them) to find that out.

    I’ll accept that criticism when I see democratic palm card endorsements showing up on candidate campaign literature.

  19. Jason says:

    There is no such thing as Non Affiliated,

    Especially in the School or Court,
    You could go into court and get a Right wing Leaning Judge and Be a Democrat the Judge will not give you a fair Trial, The Board members on School Boards could be Republican or Democrat and The students could be the opposite Party. This Non Party crap Puts a Judge who has conflict of Interest against a person Whom is on the other side of the ISLE.

  20. The truth about Dan says:

    Actually if Dan Lewis is such a good consultant name some races he has won in the last 5 years. List Porter? Please she ran against a Seidman, any idiot could have won that. He ran Earl Rynerson for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale 2x and got his ass handed to him.

    Why is Lewis a bad consultant? Because he always puts his own ego above the best interests of his candidates.

    In the Primary he sends out an email blasting Lieberman, costing Watson votes.

    Now this, I dont know if Lewis funded the cards or not, that is not my point. My point is that by even having a loose association with the card now causes accusations against Watson.

    All of this for what? So Dan can feel important.

  21. HaHaHa says:

    Did “Misleading” just accuse Buddy of being a Republican? That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks.

  22. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @ HaHaHa

    Buddy became a registered Republican more than six years ago…