Kosher or Not Kosher? Election Commissioner At Demo Fund Raiser




So what is a member of the supposedly impartial state Elections Commission doing at a Florida Democratic Party fund raiser?

Barbra Stern, who was appointed to the commission in 2012, shocked some readers this week by attending a reception for state Democratic Chair Allison Tant.

“What did she think she was doing? If I was a Republican, I would demand she recuse herself from my case,” one lawyer said.

Such a motion probably wouldn’t get anywhere at the commission that polices state election laws and hands out civil penalties to errant candidates. Stern broke no law or rule.

State law only stipulates that a commission member can not be “a member of any county, state, or national committee of a political party; be an officer in any partisan political club or organization; or hold, or be a candidate for, any other public office. No person shall be appointed as a member of the commission who has held an elective public office or office in a political party within the year immediately preceding his or her appointment.”

The law also forbids lobbyists from serving.

It says nothing about attending fundraisers.

One reader e-mailed, arguing that Stern’s attendance created “the appearance” of partisan bias.

But the Election Commission was designed to be impartial, not non-partisan.

How can the commission be non-partisan when the governor makes the appointments from a list of names provided by the Senate President, House Speaker and minority (currently Democratic) leaders of the House and Senate?

One of the nine members, Alia Faraja-Johnson, is a former spokeswoman for GOP Gov. Jeb Bush.  Member Patricia Hollarn was the Supervisor of Elections in Okaloosa County in the Panhandle for two decades.  Others contribute to campaigns.

“I think people forget I was the House Democratic appointee,” Stern texted “…My attendance at the event was rather short. I think my record of votes on the FEC speaks for itself as far as impartiality.”



Barbra Stern (in the center) with Democratic activist Seth Platt and state Democratic Chair Allison Tant at Broward fund raiser this week (Photo: Facebook) Barbara Stern with Allison Tant and Seth Platt






3 Responses to “Kosher or Not Kosher? Election Commissioner At Demo Fund Raiser”

  1. From the Horses Mouth says:

    For those who want to listen to some great hypocrisy watch the video above from 96:00-100:00.

    It is Ms. Stern so eloquently stating how all the different scenarios she would have to recuse her self and would never hear matters involving her mother, mothers races etc.

    Moving to the other night. Judy Stern was a host Chair of the FDP event. For someone under Oath who went on and on about even if there was the mere appearance of a need for recuse she would, she is attending this event.

    People who are selected for the Election Commission have an expectation, similar to a Judge, of staying away from situation where there could be slightest question raised. Why attend this event where you know you attendance will be questioned and people will move to recuse you.

    Maybe she is done with the Elections Commission and has to be seen in that room because she is going to run against Scott Herman…

  2. Babs says:

    Is this the same Barbra that has been begging candidates to run against George Moraitis? (If she had run in 12 she would be in that seat) I didn’t think she would be allowed to work actively on campaigns but apparently she disagrees.

  3. Real Deal says:

    Illegal? No. Unethical, immoral? Possibly.

    Does it smell bad. Yes.

    When you take a job like election commission member you really shouldn’t be a partisan.

    Stern is a lawyer and a political operative. She should know better than to create or expand relationships with the very people she might have to judge cases about. When you take on memberships like that you then take on the responsibility to do it honorably and that means keeping a distance from things that would look fishy.