Ron Gunzburger: Al Jones Dumps GOP


Although he is known primarily as a campaign consultant, a former judicial candidate and the Property Appraiser’s chief lawyer, Ron Gunzburger is a very good Internet journalist.

He founded a very early political website — Politics1. The site is 13-years-old, ancient for the Internet.

Now he has a scoop.  He wrote today on his Facebook page that Broward County Commissioner Al Jones has switched parties.

Jones, appointed to the commission as a Republican, switched to the Democratic Party.  He dumped the GOP one day after the governor who appointed him to the commission left the party– Charlie Crist.

Jones is running for election to the post he was appointed to, a heavily-Democratic commission district in central Broward.  He has six Democratic opponents.  

Here is Gunzburger’s post:

Ron Gunzburger Ron Gunzburger Broward County (Fla) has an all-Democratic county commission again. Comm Al Jones (R) quietly switched parties this afternoon.
26 minutes ago · Comment ·LikeUnlike · View Feedback (1)Hide Feedback (1)

Jones was formally a Democrat and became a Republican years ago.  He was then appointed by Republican governors to the South Broward Hospital District and the School Board to fill a vacancy. 

I guess he exhausted all the possible GOP appointments for a black Republican in Broward.  It appears Jones really has been a member of only one party — the Al Jones Party.

He was appointed to the county commission to replace Josephus Eggelletion, who pleaded guilty to money laundering in federal court and participation in a bribery scheme in state court.

His departure from the Republican Party will cause most GOP insiders to withdraw their support.  But when he gained a vote on the county commission, he gained the immediate support of the lobbyists.

Democratic lobbyist Bernie Friedman held a fund raiser for Jones in April.  The appointed commissioner then voted for The Diplomat expansion project, which was a Friedman client.

By the way, I love Gunzburger’s Facebook picture, which is a play on his image as a devilish, scorched earth campaign consultant.  The picture — which you can click on to see better — shows him leaning up against a portrait of an angel with a halo over his head.   

14 Responses to “Ron Gunzburger: Al Jones Dumps GOP”

  1. Barack Obama says:

    Can the republicans hold onto anyone not associated with the tea party movement at this point? I smell moderate gains for them in November before party disunity disintegrates them for the next two cycles.

  2. thanksgop says:

    Well, it look like the broward republican party is in trouble.Chip leave us and lets the tea party peeps almost take over. Why. because his deesire for power in broward is more important to him and his wife. Now, everyone is jumping to the dems. Great job lamarca and judy stern. When its all over, you will be out of a LHP job, no one listening to you and still trying to pay your mounting bills. Maybe you should find a new boss to steal from. Ha

  3. Republicanism Is Dead says:

    Crist’s decision to abandon his party is proof positive that Republicanism has died in Florida. Replacing it are the Tea Party radicals; angry white people who can’t stand that America elected a black president. Their revolt offers no answers to today’s problems. There is no light to their agenda only heat.

    They say government is too big but offer no plan for how to reduce it. Empty rhetoric for an empty cause, and Marco Rubio is their leader. The same Marco Rubio that left Florida in the worst shape of any speaker in our state’s history.

    Now he offers to do the same for us in Washington. As a member of the minority party. Meaning he can’t even bring anything of value home to us. And some Floridians are stupid enough to go for that deal.

    Rubio’s Tea Party brand of politics amounts to a bunch of reckless, babbling, empty, reckless nothing. He sounds smart but there is nothing sound about what he says. He offers no plan, no answers to the nation’s problems. Only criticisms. Like his tea party friends, his specialty is empty and emotionally charged rhetoric. It all comes to you direc from the cheap seats.

    This is why Floridians will elect Kendrick Meek to represent Florida in the US Senate this coming November. The reason that will happen is that Kendrick’s biggest poltical friend will turn out to be the tea party republicans. Their unmasking, their undoing, their utter failure to offer anything worth following will make that victory possible.

  4. catherine says:

    Just how many times does he think he can ac/dc? Doesn’t matter which party he’s on. The voters will remember that he wasn’the on the people’s side on the diplomat!

  5. Diplomat says:

    The diplomat vote was terrible for the people. At a time when we need jobs and economic activity they voted no to a project for no good reason. That vote was pure political vengence and had nothing to do with common sense for the community. We are worse off for that failure not better. But it did show how fickle some commissioners can get when it comes to politics.

  6. True Republican says:

    A true Republican runs on a campaign that Government doesn’t work, and once they get elected, the prove it!

  7. Looking for a new horse says:

    I guess Bernie Friedman has realized that he’s about to lose his old mare i.e. Sue Gunzburger, so he’s breaking in a new horse.

  8. Diplomat = Becker Poliakoff says:

    Diplomat, you forgot to add to the end of your message … “This message approved by the Diplomat and it’s lobbyists Becker & Poliakoff, including Bernie Friedman and Alan Koslow.”

    The Diplomat vote was terrible for “the people” if by people you mean anyone who lives even remotely in that neighborhood. But it was a “great” project if you look at it from the perspective of the greedy developers who wanted to build hundreds of new residential units on an already glutted real estate market.

    The Diplomat proposal was a bad idea from day one. Plain and simple.

  9. Bob Adams says:

    Al Jones has worked his tail off undoing the disaster that Josephus Eggelettion created, and has done so regardless of party affiliation. He serves a County Commission district that is overwhelmingly Democratic. Unfortunately there are still too many who do not look past party label. In order to continue the work that he started, he has to be a Democrat. People before party!

  10. TAXMAN says:

    Jones HA!
    Chippy NO chance in HELL, not just party its called BRAINS

  11. Party Switching Litmus Test says:

    Switching parties is perfectly OK when the person switching can embrace the viewpoints their new party. Switching without sincerity is shameless political behavior.

    It’s not OK if the switch is in name only. It’s not OK if that person disagrees with the basic platforms of the party.

    For example, to qualify as a contemporary Democrat, one has to pass a few basic tests of viewpoint.

    Basically, you have to be pro-choice, however you get there personally, in the end you have to support Roe vs. Wade.

    You must be a defender of personal rights and liberties, including those that should apply to minorities and gays. Liberty and justice for all has to be a greater call to arms for you than what you agree or disagree with personally. And you can’t have that many personal hang ups either.

    You have to be willing to agree that government has a duty to help the down and out. That the rich have a greater duty than the poor to take care of themselves, and that those that have should be willing to share a bit of their good fortune with those that don’t simply as a matter of promoting a good and compassionate society.

    You must be a strong advocate of separation of church and state. It’s OK to be a person of faith or not. The laws should be administered evenly irrespective of your faith, and nobody’s faith should be allowed to dictate how government works.

    You have to agree that some form of universal and affordable access health care is legitimate government interest. You have to agree that society taking that burden on is the right thing to do for our fellow human beings. You have to care enough about others to be willing to take on those burdens.

    In other words, you can’t be a selfish or hateful prick that doesn’t care about anyone other than themselves and be a democrat.

    There are other tests but if a Republican can get this far, I’m OK with them switching.

    You can be a fiscal conservative who doesn’t like waste and refrains from rasing taxes. That’s encouraged. But you must be able to personally support basic, socially liberal themes.

    Oh, I almost forgot. You must also be willing to agree, based on he evidence, that President Obama was born in the US and that he’s a Christian not a Muslim. It helps if you also think he’s not a socialist.

    You also have to be willing to say that the Tea Party people are basically an angry mob of white people who appear to serve as robots of the angry at everyone FoxNews agenda. You have to agree that that movement offers no real solutions to America’s problems only hollow criticisms. No true democrat, or any person actually with an IQ above 60, should disagree with that statement.

    For Republicans who accept those views, switching over to the Democratic party is perfectly acceptable. They should be welcomed to switch and received warmly by the party. For those that don’t, they should stay where they are until they come to their senses.

    Ask Jones these questions. See if he passes the test. See what kind of thinker he is and that will tell you whether his party switch is sincere or shameless.

  12. Friedman is a Fool says:

    Bernie Friedman is a fool.
    The lobbyist’s greatest friend Carlton Moore is the next county commissioner.

  13. To Litmus Test says:

    Don’t you think that Al Jones made promises to the Republicans just a few months ago that he is now breaking?
    What has changed in his beliefs in a few months? Did he suddenly become pro-choice or support health care reform?
    This is political self interest.
    Jones always fit the list of Democratic positions you outlined, but he chose to join the republicans to get appointments.
    As far as your “litmus test,” pro choice has many shades. A small percentage believe that women have an absolute right to abortion for any reason and at any time in the pregnancy. A larger percentage would put time limits on abortion and other controls, like parental consent. The Democratic Party leans to the left of the debate towards the absolutes and has no place in it for any controls, although a majority of the electorate feels differently.
    The same thing with helping the down and out. Most of us believe in that principal. The debate begins when we decide how much help they should get, for how long and how much the poor should do to earn that help.
    Separation of church and state is also not an absolute. The concept has evolved and has many shadings. The theory of Evolution was developed 80-100 years after the Founding Fathers wrote the First Amendment so I very much doubt they anticipated the endless court debate over this issue.
    Your outline of the Democratic positions is very good. Just incomplete.
    And Jones is an idiot.

  14. Party Switching Litmus Test says:

    The only promise I recall Al Jones making were in his oath, to well and faithfully serve. Jones applied to replace a resigning commissioner and was selected to replace him by the Governor. Now that wishes to run for election, he’s decided to switch parties.

    My point wasn’t to offer a complete compendium on democtratic political dogma. It was simply to say that party switching is always one of two things; OK or shameless. The difference lies in the person’s ability to embrace the basic principles of the party they are switching to. I offered examples of how to determine which that might be in the case of Jones because I’m actually kind of shocked how infrequently those questions are asked of people that switch.

    There is nothing wrong with party switching if it is sincere. Reagan was a Democrat before becoming one of the all time champions of Republican Conservatives. Nobody doubts his sincerity. There are countless examples of that kind of party switcher, and in my book they are all OK because they are sincere about it.

    Then comes the other kind. The kind that switch in order to achieve better odds at being elected but have no true commitment to the principles of the party. Those folks are scum because they hold themselves out to be something they are not. Their switch is insincere, it is a lie, it is not about creating fellowship with a similarly thinking group, it is a selfish act of political convenience meant to deceive voters.

    Party switcher? Let’s not jump to conclusions. Answer the questions.