Politics To Watch In 2015: Chapter Two






This is the second installment of politics to watch in 2015.


I’m sure you’ll tell me what you think:





The Sunshine State News this month named Edwards, D-Plantation, a political winner in 2014. She joined state Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican powerhouse, to push a Charlotte’s Web medical marijuana bill through the reluctant, conservative Legislature.

She is different from many Democrats in the Broward Delegation who are content to oppose anything the GOP proposes. Edwards is intent on working with Republicans.

“Edwards and her practical centrism — social liberalism and working with the business community to grow jobs — also looks like a winning bet for Florida Democrats. . .” the Sunshine State News wrote.

I agree.

Broward can expect some great things in the future from this pragmatic politician.


katie edwardsState Rep. Katie Edwards






These two veteran House members also aren’t wedded to the “we-oppose everything” drum beat of the Democrats.

Expect both to find common ground and work with the overwhelmingly Republican leadership.

For instance, Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, has filed a bill to correct a problem he sees in Florida law. It would exempt child abuse talk from the law which prohibits conversations from being recorded without the consent of both parties. That would allow such recordings to be used as evidence in a trial.

Moskowitz filed his bill after the Florida Supreme Court overturned a sex offender’s life prison sentence earlier this year. The Supremes ruled that the conviction for sexually abusing his stepdaughter was based on a recording she made without his permission, thus shouldn’t have been used as evidence.

Moskowitz surely has found a bill that will have legs with Republicans.




The daughter of super lobbyist Ron Book, Lauren Book is an internationally-known advocate for victims of child abuse. She has already backed Moskowitz’s bill.

An almost certain state Senate candidate, Lauren Book has a whooping $420,000 in her political committee as of November 30. That should scare away all but the most foolhardy opponents.

I expect Book to walk into the District 33 Senate seat now held by state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. Sobel is termed out in 2016.

As a young state Senator, Lauren Book immediately will be a leader among the new generation of Broward Democrats.





Don’t count out a candidate you’ve never heard of and who isn’t anointed by the political Pooh-Bahs. That’s the lesson for 2015.

If 2014 taught anything, it was that money and the support of the insiders doesn’t necessarily equal victory at the polls.

Take Clauda Robinson.

The courthouse crowd gave Nicaraguan-born Robinson almost no chance to beat incumbent County Court Judge Ian Richards.

Richards had $163,771. Robinson had $11,609 and one true believer, consultant Mike Ahearn.

Robinson won.

Ahearn did lose the $155,000-plus judicial race he managed for Russell Thompson. But it’s his work with Robinson, who had no money to pay him, that will enhance his reputation as a go-to consultant for judicial races.





The West Park Democrat has shown his work doesn’t end when the legislative session is over.

Jones was brought into the campaign for the $800 million school bonds by Superintendent Robert Runcie. He helped it pass.


HousePhotoSized4935State Rep. Shevrin Jones in the House


A lifelong Broward resident whose father is mayor of West Park, Jones has a good feel for his constituents. He filed a bill that would require police to wear body cameras. The bill signals the importance of the issue of police misconduct is to members of his minority community and others.

An up-and-coming leader in the black community with a good handle on social media, there is talk already about Jones running for Senate, County Commission or for Congress someday. He’s a legislator to keep an eye on.




There are campaign consultants. And then recently, there is Amy Rose.

In the past two years, Rose has built up an impressive record of victories – Mark Bogen, who just was elected to the county commission, is the latest.

Granted, Bogen had boatloads of cash. And Rose’s campaign for Sheriff Scott Israel — her 2012 highpoint — had beaucoup help of political strategist Ron Gunzburger.

Still, Rose’s grassroots connections, hard work and her skill in hooking up with winning candidates makes her the one beat in 2016.




The former Sheriff Al Lamberti is still said to be considering a campaign to regain his seat from Israel in 2016. At this point, Lamberti appears to be the only (realistic) candidate being mentioned.

Lamberti is expected to announce his decision sometime in 2015.

Don’t do it Al!

You are carrying more baggage than an airport redcap. Do I need to mention your connections to Ponzi scammer Scott Rothstein?

And why would voters turn against Israel? He has made virtually no mistakes that will resonate and has done a lot of good.

Israel’s policy of giving first time, non violent juvenile offenders a second chance is a great move. His deputies now give kids alternative sentencing to keep them out of the criminal justice system.

“My success will be measured not by how many children we lock up, but by how many children we can keep out of the criminal justice system,” Israel says.

Makes sense to me…and it will to other voters.

Lamberti or any other candidate considering a run against Israel should realize this: They are walking into a campaign abattoir.

Israel is so popular that he could be the king of Broward politics, if he was more political.


Scott IsraelSheriff Scott Israel


There could be an Israel political machine. He could sponsor candidates.  He could win elections.

But Israel tells me he just wants to be a good cop.

That’s part of what makes him so popular. He is a good cop and that’s all.

Unless Israel falls on his face between now and election day, 2016, no one can beat him.



16 Responses to “Politics To Watch In 2015: Chapter Two”

  1. Question? says:


    Not one black or Hispanic doing good in politics that’s worth making it on your “little” blog? Not one minority? Smh….


    My mistake. I was actually planning to write something about an up-and-coming black pol and you reminded me to add him. Thanks.

  2. Michael G. Ahearn, Esq says:


    Thanks for the mention. I am honored and it is much appreciated.

  3. I live there says:

    You’re kidding, right? Scott Israel is all about politics… and he’s a lousy cop! Ask people who live in contract cities! It’s the worst policing since we contracted with BSO! He puts political hacks and incompetents in positions of authority at headquarters and at district level. Yes, Al Lamberti has a lot of baggage. I wish a different viable candidate would emerge. But the bottom line is safety. I will vote for who protected the residents of Broward County better… and that is Al Lamberti by a mile!

  4. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    Shevron Jones….I hoped he was smarter than this:
    He filed a bill that would require police to wear body cameras. The bill signals the importance of the issue of police misconduct is to members of his minority community and others.

    That statement is nonsense. This is a media driven bandwagon.

    Buddy, you are right about Lamberti…. he should have been a CONVICTED felon by now.

  5. Broward says:


    You talk about Israel like he is something special. He had had the worst tenure personally and politically than any other sheriff in history. Why don’t you add in your one sided articles guilty of ethics violations, convicted felons visiting his office, lying or intentionally failing to file campaign reports, his rothstein money. 180,000.09 in. 2008, accepting Eco money from criminals, hiring people lying on employment applications, irresponsibility with tax payer dollars paying indicted former north bay village city manager for 20k, campaign manager Amy rose running his campaign with outstanding warrants and much more to come. You write one sided articles and intentionally leave out lots of relevant stuff. Politically he will have more dirty literature out there getting a taste of his own dirty campaigning medicine. Israel and rose have shown with stone and Gunzberger they have no ethical boundaries and will tell lie after lie about people. You call that the character of a top political position.

  6. curious says:

    The employees from the sheriffs office are excellent employees, like every department. Some go bad and they are dealt with in the department. Or the courts,our sheriff is doing a good job and it appears body camaras will be the future,but since he wants ti be a good cop and does not want to be polical would. he be willing to wear a body camara to set an example as the leader of the agency?.imagineif lamberti had a body camara with his conversations with jenne and Rothstein. would have made interesting. news

  7. Just Saying says:

    “I will vote for who protected the residents of Broward County better… and that is Al Lamberti by a mile!”

    Ummm … Sheriff Israel has protected you better. Our local crime rates are down in every category compared to when Lamberti left office. In fact, Israel created specialized police units that produced sharp drops in violent crime rates (down 13% in one year) and residential burglary (down 30% in one year) — drops hugely bigger than the statewide and regional crime stat drops.

    That can only any reasonable person to believe your anti-Israel griping is entirely over politics (you were a Granteed and/or Lamberti backer) and not over public safety.

  8. Florida PBA Rep says:

    Mr. Buddy,

    I was driven to your page by the members. The Reps that you have listed have been in great support of our organization. To the guy who speaks of Rep. Jones, I would have you to know that Rep. Jones had a conference call with our entire board, and he is working with us to make his bill make more sense. He really is a great guy, and one of the only Reps I know who are not hyped about publicity, but listens to the concerns of the PEOPLE. Great choice, Mr. Buddy.

  9. count lf chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    I wish people would separate political consultants into those who run campaigns and do not lobby or otherwise influence government and those who use political consultancies to later influence to their own political n financial advantage. There is a huge ethical difference between the two catsgories

  10. Sober As a Judge says:

    For all I know Lauren Book is the perfect candidate for the Senate seat Sobel has held for a while. We could use a good represenative in that seat. The thought does bother me that simply because this relatively young person has a big lobbyist for a dad, and has therefore been able to raise considerable dollars, that she is a shoe in for a senate seat without opposition. The seat is important to Broward. She should be challenged and forced to say what she stands for. I also don’t like the lobbyist appearance one bit.

  11. Helping Hand says:


    I don’t know what lense you look though or who you talk too but you are way off on your article about the Sheriff. People in the community do not like him behind the scenes and are just taking everything they can get because he’s the Sheriff. People think he is an embarrassment, a liar and his record in office shows he surrounds himself with a bad element, is a poor leader, lacks good judgement, hires people with criminal records with no business being in law enforcement, unethical people and will not vote for him again. It only matters what button get pushed in the booth. Do you not read stories written by other news sources. Clearly not. Lamberti had the green machine too and where is he today. OUT of office just like this Sheriff will be in 2016. He’s a one term dirty political hack who tells everyone he is not a politician and just a cop. RIGHT!! He was a glorified Fort Lauderdale Captain that was only promoted because they did away with the Lieutenant position. He’s a dirty campaigner and now will have to run on his deplorable record and your one sided stories won’t mean anything. How about his lack of responsibility with tax payer dollars thinking it’s his own personal slush fund. COME ON BUDDY!!! REALLY.

  12. Sam The Sham says:

    Scott Israel is not that great of a sheriff but because of the demographics, he most likely will get re-elected when he runs again.

    There are a lot of deputies that like Israel, being a deputy is a union job after all, and unions are a Democrat stronghold.

    Most deputies, however, fear Israel. If you are a captain or above, working at the pleasure of the sheriff, you better have some knee pads permanently in place to show your loyalty. If you are a lieutenant or below you can’t be fired for your political beliefs but you can be punished. If there is just a whisper that you are unhappy with your boss, you somehow get mysteriously transferred to the worst shifts possible. Just ask some deputies in West Pompano or Central Broward how they got there. Those places and Lauderdale Lakes are punishment assignments.

    Israel is a horrible speaker. He was elected with exactly zero administrative experience and has been learning on the job. He has made not just a few questionable hires but a shitload of them. He kisses the asses of anybody or any constituent group that can benefit him politically, and changes policy to suit them, not law enforcement standards. He prefers political correctness over effective law enforcement. But all that is OK because he is a Democrat and nobody (no Buddy?) will do any real expose’. The showboat idiot on Channel 10 does not count.

  13. Elaine Harmych says:

    Never underestimate Representative Edwards. She is intelligent, compassionate and a true progressive. She certainly is a rising star. With her strong tenacity,she can accomplish anything she wishes.

  14. Hollywood Veteran says:

    1) Scott Israel’s popularity in Broward is huge and growing. People like the job he’s doing. More importantly they like him personally. As it stands today he is virtually guaranteed re-election.

    2) Katie Edwards is a nasty, rude, obnoxious, stuck-up show-off. Nobody in Tallahassee likes her least of all Democrats and it’s easy to understand. Her “image” is at total odds with her real personality. Meet her in person and ask her a few serious questions about her views. See for yourself.

    3) If a candiate with talent challenges Lauren Book, despite daddy’s campaign money, she could easily lose. Most will conclude that she is way too young to be senator in her first race for officce. True, anybody would be an improvement over pathetic, wacky Eleanor Sobel. But money alone does not buy votes in that district.

    4) Amy Rose isn’t a lobbyist she just works campaigns. People respect that and no longer want campaign managers who are lobbyists. Too much baggage. That plus a strong winning record is why Amy Rose has become the most sought after campaign manager in Broward. That’s just a fact.

    5) Shevrin Jones is off to a good start but has many miles to go before we can reasonably discuss a future for him in politics.

  15. Broward Voteeeer says:

    Buddy, I appreciate your work on this article, but I wonder sometimes, and not to demean or to lessen political campaign consultants, but for example we have Ahern who was helping Thompson and then Robinson. Don’t you think it might be the luck of the drawer or name familiarity? Just because someone wins doesn’t mean they are a good person to hire. It’s a 50 50 shot or in Thompsons case a 4.1 shot, and he came in the lower 50%. So you tell me?


    Luck and a candidate’s name always contributes to a win or loss. I agree that a consultant has less to do with a candidate winning than the candidate.

    Good consultants, however, have grass roots contacts in the community that a novice candidate wouldn’t have. They also should know something about designing a media message (or know somebody who can do that). Most of all, a candidate needs someone savvy to bounce campaign ideas off.

  16. Broward Voteeeer says:

    And let’s talk about Dan Lewis who had the blue card but look who won and lost. I do not know, you never know what a vote is thinking? Seems like a crap shoot to me.


    Dan Lewis helped John Contini in his victory over Judge Steve Feren.

    Lewis is always a formidable force in campaigns and has a good record in judicial races, too. Lewis, his blue card and his other efforts which are largely hidden, can never be taken for granted. Broward candidates would be hard pressed to find a better strategist.