Sheriff Tony Uses Tax Money To Help Campaign

BY BUDDY NEVINS

Sheriff Greg Tony may be new to politics, but his politics is as old as voting.

Tony is starting to mirror fabled veteran pols by using tax money to help his political career. 

That is something the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley did.

So did the late Sunrise Mayor John Lomelo

Daley was the political strongman of Chicago from 1955 to 1976. He was nicknamed “The Boss,” which just about says it all. 

At one time, Daley’s name was everywhere from the arrival lounge at Chicago O’Hare Airport to downtown streets. Even today it remains on city buildings.

Convicted of extortion, Lomelo’s name was largely erased from city and Democratic Party history. For a time in the 1970s and 1980s, a Sunrise voter couldn’t escape John Lomelo. 

His name was plastered all over Sunrise. Lomelo even had a bust of him placed in the lobby of the Sunrise Musical Theater. The bust was removed around the time he went to prison.

It is that use of tax money to further his political future is something that Tony is learning to do.

Exhibit one:

Sheriff Tony’s new taxpayer-paid flyer was mailed to residents.

This flyer were distributed late last month to voters.

The cost was $15,674.81, according to BSO.

Clearly in the midst of a hard fought political campaign, the flyer will help Tony in next year’s Democratic primary.  The flyer is just the first move. With his campaign taking shape, expect more. 

Tony’s chief political strategist is former Obama maven Ashley Walker. She is crafting a team of experts to handle every phase of his run, from fund raising to ads. 

Working on our dime is political veteran Robin Rorapaugh. Her title is Broward Sheriff’s Director of Community Affairs. 

Robin Rorapaugh

She may be technically a government employee. But with a string of campaigns on her resume, Rorapaugh is sure to have her hand in Tony’s race.   

I have known both these operatives for years  — Rorapaugh was also chief of staff for former U. S. Rep. Peter Deutsch, D-Hollywood, from 1997-2006 — and they are bona fide political junkies. They live and breathe politics. 

So when I write that the current flyer looks like the work of Rorapaugh, I’m not criticizing her. If I’m right, Rorapaugh is just a political animal being a political animal. 

BSO confirmed the flyer was the work of the Community Affairs Department.

The flyer trumpets the Neighborhood Support Teams to help BSO in community policing. There is nothing wrong with that initiative. It appears to be a good idea. 

“Sheriff Gregory Tony believes the Neighborhood Support Teams are a critical component to building community trust in law enforcement.  The Sheriff has also instituted the Park, Walk and Talk program for deputies as part of the agency’s renewed emphasis on community policing,” a BSO spokeswoman wrote Browardbeat.

Make no mistake. 

Today’s members of the Neighborhood Support Teams will be tomorrow’s Tony Campaign Teams. 

The use of this flyer and the use of tax money to create a grass roots cadre of supporters in neighborhoods underlines the power of an incumbent. 

Although appointed by the governor, Tony is now the incumbent. That is a big political advantage over former Sheriff Scott Israel

No matter how much Israel is beloved by Democratic activists, he can no longer use an office to benefit his campaign. He has no office, just memories.  

Tony doesn’t have the reach of a strong mayor like Daley or Lomelo. He controls BSO and little else. 

That control, however, allows his tentacles to stretch deep into the voters psyche. 

There is only one Broward Sheriff. 

With his appointment, Tony immediately became the most visible political figure in Broward. 

He can get on TV whenever he wants. He can show up anywhere and wow an audience with his striking green uniform and the gold stars framing his gleaming bald head. And he can use his budget to help his campaign. 

Don’t expect Tony to put his name on buildings or commission a bust of himself for the lobby of the sheriff’s department. A Sheriff Daley or Lomelo might have tried those moves, but it is a different day. 

Do expect Tony to use every chance he gets as sheriff to further his campaign.  That includes loads of TV, flyers and maybe even his name on government-paid billboards.

Expect to see a lot more of Sheriff Tony. You should pay attention.  

After all, you are paying for it. 



9 Responses to “Sheriff Tony Uses Tax Money To Help Campaign”

  1. Chaz Stevens, BDSM Intern says:

    You had me at “gleaming bald head.” Made my giblets stand up and take notice.

    All that was missing was “shiny handcuffs and leather boots.”

  2. Anne Sallee says:

    Every county sheriff, property appraiser and elections supervisor has traditionally put their name on anything they could. This is nothing new or startling.
    That doesn’t make it right or wrong. It’s just nothing new.

  3. Ira says:

    Tony is a clown

  4. Real Deal says:

    A vote for Gregory Tony is a vote for Donald Trump and his favorite Governor, Ron DeSantis. They are a team. Those the facts. Greg Tony will never shake that off.

  5. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    As far as the uniform I stated several times he can create support while wearing the uniform,where Israel cannot.So he has a who’s who on payroll.They all do it esp.Scott Israel when he was sheriff.Go after Tony with the crony’s here,counter that Israel did ditto.This way neither of u take the hit- mute point.Using the flyers- be careful and I assume complaints have been submitted to Tallahassee ethics bd and to the OIG for review.This race is going to get nasty.I say play nice Scott Israel because it and will backfire on you.The tv ads of course Tony will be in full uniform ( 5stars and all).One could say he is exploiting that uniform,while Tony can counter at least the Gov.did not take my badge.But non the less Buddy is right on and it’s a shame.

  6. The Winner says:

    Tony is going to win overwhelmingly after the governor etc give him thousands in TV money. Walker hit the jackpot with this candidate.

    FROM BUDDY:

    It is already happening. The Miami Herald today reports a Democratic donor gave Tony’s political action committee $500,000 for the campaign. That kind of money is hard to overcome.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article237994754.html

  7. Randy Fleischer says:

    Not one person in Broward County has ever voted for Greg Tony. NOT ONE! Scott Israel has been elected twice, overwhelmingly, in Broward County. Tony has some great people working his campaign, but no one has ever voted for them either. Sheriff Israel was removed from office as a result of a campaign promise because Scott is a Democrat. Broward voters have long memories, we remember what a great job Sheriff Israel did . . he will be overwhelmingly re-elected!

  8. Follow the $$$ says:

    Question is how has Walker been paid? She is not cheap and I have not seen expenditures from Tony’s PAC to her company Mercury (Which also has ties to Trump ala convicted felon and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates a Mercury fellow himself).
    I saw Eric Johnson cashed a $1k check from Tony’s PAC Broward First last month.
    Buddy, has Walker’s firm been employed by BSO? If so what is the nature of the contract and how much? That is a question worth asking.

  9. Mark Robbins says:

    My interest is anti sex trafficking and no sheriff in Florida had DONE MORE FOR SEX TRAFFICKERS than Scott Israel. Zero arrests of trafficking rings… I believe it is fair to use “human sex trafficking” as a litmus test for ANY elected law enforcement official.

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