Project’s Lobbyists Throw Fund Raiser, Get Vote


County Commissioner Al Jones had a fund raiser thrown for him last week by a lobbying firm representing the Diplomat Hotel project.

Today he voted for the huge project.

Coincidence?   You decide.

On Tuesday, the Diplomat asked that a 825-unit condominium and 500-room hotel be approved just off  Hallandale Boulevard.

Neighbors opposed it. Planners warned that Hallandale Boulevard is already so clogged it is rated level “F” for traffic.

That’s the worst rating unless traffic engineers adopt a new one — “G” for gridlock,  one project critic told the commission.

The project was defeated 6-3.  

Who were the three who voted for the project? 

Commissioners Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter and, you guessed it, Jones.

Lieberman and Ritter have seldom seen a construction project they didn’t like.


He was romanced by Diplomat lobbyist Bernie Friedman and his Hollywood-based law/lobbyinsg firm, Becker & Poliakoff.

I asked Bernie at the commission Tuesday:  How much did you raise for Jones’ election?

“You’ll find out when the financial report is filed, Friedman answered.

The champs in this vote are Mayor Ken Keechl and  Commissioners Suzanne Gunzburger, Lois Wexler, Kristin Jacobs, John Rodstrom and Diana Wasserman-Rubin.  They opposed this unnecessary development in one of the most over-crowded corners of Broward.   

Supporters of this project said Broward needs that the jobs the Diplomat development would create.

What Broward really needs is to diversify its job base.  We need an economy dependent on more than just the capricious development industry and the low-paying hospitality business.

17 Responses to “Project’s Lobbyists Throw Fund Raiser, Get Vote”

  1. Geller Is A Tool says:

    Today’s firm stand against this developer is another reason why voters should choose Sue Gunzburger, the environmentalist.
    Always remember that Steve Geller is a developer lobbyist.

  2. Truth Teller says:

    To be fair, this was the second vote on this project and Jones voted for this initially along with 3 others…Buddy you know that vote took place last month. Report the facts and be straight down the middle.

    FROM BUDDY: Some others changed their votes between the two votes. He didn’t.
    Maybe the fund raiser was a reward for his earlier vote and a way to keep him in the Diplomat’s fold. Maybe.

  3. Unbelievable says:

    Lemme get this straight. Al Jones, who was put in place of disgraced/convicted commissioner Eggelestion, is falling into the same trap? Only legal this time. Campaign donations for votes. Tsk tsk.

  4. Catherine says:

    geesh, Comm. Jones didn’t mention that fundraiser when I spoke to him Friday…I was wondering why he seemed to be leaning “pro” when the laughable affordable housing component should have made him vote “no”. guess he showed his true Republican color…

  5. Resident says:

    I have to say that I have watched Commissioner Jones several times on TV during televised meetings. For someone who was a City Commissioner, an appointed member of the School Board, I believe appointed to some other board, he really doesn’t know anything about voting, or what is going on.

    One such case was he tried to abstain on a matter without a conflict till everyone told him he couldn’t. It was embarrassing.

    He really doesn’t understand any of the issues he is voting on. But he does understand how to tow the line and get campaign contributions.

    Fortunately, he has little chance of winning as a Republican, though I don’t think that if Moore wins you will see anything different (though Moore is smarter).

    Bates, Holness, and Jackson are the only choices for a change.

  6. Geller Is A Tool says:

    Geller is responsible as a lobbyist for how many of the high rises along Hallandale Beach Boulevard? At least five!
    When you are stuck in traffic along Hallandale Beach Boulevard, think about how much of it was caused by Geller, the developer’s lobbyist who has been quoted as saying he would like to see more high rises on the beach and Hallandale Beach Boulevard.

  7. Another Voice says:

    Catherine wrote: “geesh, Comm. Jones didn’t mention that fundraiser when I spoke to him Friday…I was wondering why he seemed to be leaning “pro” when the laughable affordable housing component should have made him vote “no”. guess he showed his true Republican color…” Is this the same Catherine who has been showing up at every Diplomat public hearing to preach about what is right and wrong? Is this the same Catherine whose husband was indicted on Federal charges (with Eggeletion) for money laundering? Living in a house on Diplomat’s golf course purchased with ill-gotten money? I guess you showed your true Democratic color…

  8. Gunzberger is a two faced politician says:

    Gunzburger told us at the Hollywood Beach Condo meeting just last week that she SUPPORTED building the hotel but not the residential. Talk about having it both ways. Once it was clear that they wouldn’t win, Bernie Friedman gave his puppet Gunzberger the OK to vote no. The hotel would have done just as much damage to the “environment” and the traffic problems on Hallandale Beach Blvd.

    Didn’t Gunzberger vote for just about all condo high rises on the beach?

  9. Get Facts Right says:

    This is in response to the ridiculous misinformed nonsense posted by “Geller is a tool”. Geller didn’t vote on this project and didn’t lobby for this project. It even states in Buddy’s blog that Bernie Freidman was the lobbyist on this project. Maybe we should blame Geller for all the traffic in Broward county and maybe we should throw in all the problems in the Middle East as well.


    To Geller Is A Tool:

    you, my friend, are a moron.

    why don’t you bring up Sue YuuuckBurger’s vote for her hollywood neighbor, the insurance consultant, represented by the fine firm of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler at the time, who lobbied successfully for Commissioner YuuuckBurger’s vote, the same week RRA give $10K in contributions to Suzie Q(uid PRO Quo).

  11. WTF? says:

    Gunzburger campaign:

    Maybe you guys need to spend a little more time in Hallandale. There aren’t 5 high rises on Hallandale Beach Blvd. in Hallandale. I’m not surprised that you guys aren’t familiar with Hallandale, we’ve never seen Sue there until Geller began running against her. I drive that road every day, and unless you’re including side streets like Golden Isles Drive or Layne Blvd., there just aren’t a total of 5 high rises.

    I know that you guys blame Geller for Global Warming, the loss by any favorite sports team, the war in Afghanistan, and will blame it on him if we get hit by a hurricane this year, but blaming him for traffic caused by buildings that don’t exist seems a little extreme.

  12. Git R Done says:

    Oh Please, Bernie Friedman is such a
    A-HOLE, he is the nastiest lobbyist when it comes to getting what HE WANTS. He only supports those who will give him what he wants and then some. I just can’t believe he would stoop so low as to do this stuff and he needs to be gone, along w/Sterling, Stern, Miller and several others.

  13. Angelo Will Be Next says:

    You wrote that Angelo Castillo is Bernie Friedman’s next target. If he ever gets on thecommission,watch how he climbs in Friedman and Judy Stern’s pockets. He has been a creation of the lobbyists since taking office.

  14. Truthiness says:

    The reality of lobbyist Steve Geller (pro-developer) and Comm Sye Gunzburget (environmentalist) is very clear. No amount of campaign ads will obscure or blur these basic differences.

    As to the ponzi money, it was Geller who took $50,000 from Rothstein and $21,000 from Mutual Benefits. It was sleazy Geller who was named in the ongoing court case depositions as playing a role in the Mutual Benefits mess. It was slimy Geller who gave a custom-made superhero costume to his pal Scott Rothstein, which Rothstein displayed to all in his office. Those are facts, printed in the newspapers.

    But fell free to spin the facts, you Geller-ites.


    to “xxxxxINNESS” (previously known as “truthiness”):

    I have changed your name to the above because
    1) your comments are obscene and deserve an
    “x” rating

    2) you speak NO TRUTH!

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