Rodstrom, Jacobs Wrong Ones To Criticize Colleague


Before Broward County Commissioners Kristin Jacobs and John Rodstrom attack a colleague,  they should look in the mirror.

Rodstrom  — who has made a small fortune from peddling bonds to other governments only after he took office lashed out at Sue Gunzburger for going public and demanding ethics reform.

Jacobs whose campaign manager got a lucrative contract at the airport from the county’s taxi franchise shortly after she won office wanted to censure Gunzburger.

Since taking office in 1992, Rodstrom put together municipal bond deals for places like the City of Sunrise (Where he was once mayor!) and the Broward County School Board.

He is the ultimate expert at “lobbying down.

 That’s the term for lobbying political colleagues in other Broward cities and governments.  These politicians, out of fear of souring their relations with the county commission, have a hard time turning down a commissioner.  

Outside of Broward, Rodstrom’s role in financing Miami International Airport’s expansion has also been called into question:

“At the same time Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom was urging his colleagues to rethink longtime expansion plans at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last year, he was helping Miami-Dade finance the expansion of its rival airport, reads the first paragraph of Scott Wyman’s fine front page story in May, 2003.

Rodstrom also told me he was supporting efforts to overturn the county’s term limits laws, which the public overwhelmingly supports.  Some would say that effort is an unethical move to preserve the status quo.

When it comes to ethics, Rodstrom has dirty handsmaybe from counting all the money he made.  

Rodstrom’s salary in 2008 was $870,000.  In 1997, he earned $274,000. 

For Rodstrom to criticize Sue Gunzburger, who has been in the forefront of ethics reform for more than a decade, is obscene.

Then there is Kristin Jacobs. 

She has a reputation as an angel.  Yet Jacobs has a close relationship with lobbyists and has been feted at their homes.

Let’s do the math.

The commissioners’  long road to nowhere on ethics reform started in November 2002. Voters passed the first referendum instructing commissioners to enact an ethics law that would force them “to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.”

How did Jacobs do to stall ethics reform?  

Complain it was impossible to define “the appearance of impropriety. At the same time, she enjoyed freebees on the lobbyists’ tab.

Unlike Jacobs, Gunzburger demanded ethics reform…from the start.

Rodstrom and Jacobs on Tuesday accused Gunzburger of insulting the county commission by sending e-mail insisting on ethics reform. They said she called into question the commission’s integrity.

Commission integrity.  There’s an oxymoron!

When Rodstrom and Jacobs lashed out at Gunzburger on Tuesday, they obviously forgot one of my elementary school teacher’s favorite expressions:  When you point at somebody, three fingers point back at you.


The Sun-Sentinel’s Mike Mayo had a great take on the ethics reform battle at the county commission.   His column is here.

14 Responses to “Rodstrom, Jacobs Wrong Ones To Criticize Colleague”

  1. rotten apples says:

    throw the bums out!
    Nice Job Buddy
    They all are ethically challenged,

  2. Privacy 101 says:

    These people are all so despicable!!

  3. plastic benches galore says:

    this blog should end all doubt that Buddy is working for the Gunzburger campaign. and please note, neither Rodstrom’s nor Jacob’s family ever made money doing business with the county. now, as for Gunzburger….but Buddy won’t tell you about that. it would conflict with his role on her election team.

  4. B.S. says:

    All of a sudden, Sue Gunzberger is the queen of Ethics? That is absurd! Her big stand on ethics reform is merely a political stunt. She unethically made money as a county commissioner from her plastic benches for years. If she has been pushing for ethics reform for the last ten years (as you claim), it further proves what an ineffective commissioner she is (since obviously it hasn’t happened).

  5. City Activist Robert walsh says:

    This is what I have been talking about. Rodstrom and Jacobs and probaly most of them have made a fortune in being involved in County Gov’t . For Comm. Rodstrom to state that he was offended more or less by Gunzburger is absurd. Him with his bond deals etc. and connections he has made to point the finger at Gunzburger is shocking. That whole episode at the meeting on Tuesday was really them all trying to give Mrs. Gunzburger a beating in front of the whole county. I see there point to a certain degree in regards to how dare you up stage us or demand ethics Reform w/out consulting me John Rodstrom and others first. Lastly and then for Appointed Mayor Keechl and yes how easy on the eyes he looked in his sharp suit(we pay for that to)to slam is gavel down as if to say enough,well alot of us have had it with him and his over the top spending habits. This Comm. Gunzburger will live to be 100 for what she expierenced on Tuesday. They all do realize that if she wins she is are next Mayor. Maybe this explains the lynching she took on Tuesday sounds likes a bunch of Gellar supporters. Keep politics out of these meetings.

  6. Floridan says:

    All very nice, Buddy (and clever use of the passive “some would say” accusation), but refresh my memory: has Kristin Jacobs ever been charged with an ethics violation?

    As to her questioning the term “appearance of improprity,” there is no better validation of her point than this blog (or maybe Bob Norman’s); to you almost everything appears improper. Others will reasonably draw the line elsewhere.

    It seems to me that the reason we have written laws is to prevent everyone from making up their own definition of what is legal and what is not. If you don’t like the laws as they are, change them.

  7. Frank Aboudit says:

    When are we gonna get term limits for county commissioners???

    I wish there was some way we could scrap the entire commission and start fresh.

  8. Floridan says:

    Way to pay attention, Frank. Commissioners are already term limited.

  9. To Floridan says:

    To Floridan:
    The reasonable standard is used throughout this country.

    The Florida Supreme Court defines it as “the test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances that a reasonable inquiry would disclose, a perception that the judge’s ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality, and competence is impaired.”

    Just replace the word “judge” with “county commissioner”.

  10. Buddy Nevins says:

    I forgot to compliment Mayor Ken Kechel for quickly cutting off John Rodstrom’s nasty attack on Sue Gunzburger. He showed statesmanship.

  11. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    Statesmanship. Really? You are going with that?

    I was surprised the head of the gavel didn’t come flying off.

    FROM BUDDY: I thought he cut it off promptly and that’s what needed to be done.

    The commission really needs to get over Gunzburger. They are turning her into a martyr — attacking a widow for the alleged crimes of her husband. I say alleged because no one has proven she did anything to further her husband’s business and because the sheriff cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing.

    They are acting like children with their criticism of Gunzburger’s attacks.

    Do they really believe the county commission is above criticism?

    Gunzburger might be gone in November if she loses her re-election Aug. 24. I hope that won’t silence the criticism.

    I put my trust in you, Chaz, and staffers at the New Times and Britt Wallman at the Sun-Sentinel. And anybody else with a computer.

    Never allow these commission clowns a moment of rest when they do something wrong.

  12. Chaz go home says:

    i saw the some of the clip on the sentinel, keechle was the only one with any class. he seemed in shock and disgusted. he Buddy, your right on this one. keechle handled this mess well.

  13. Politico says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you Chaz.

  14. ChazBeen says:

    Chaz has not credibility ever since he made that stink about the ridiculous fdle report about commissioner Lamarca. A weak attempt at a hatchet job by a guy who is obviously out of material.