Sources: Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie Raising Money To Defeat Board Opponent








Broward School Board member Nora Rupert is hoping to pack a Coconut Creek fund raiser with supporters tomorrow. 

But she is not expecting Broward’s leading education pooh-bah: Superintendent Robert Runcie. 

Runcie is actively working against Rupert’s reelection. He’s raising money for her opponent Mike Olbel. 



Nora Rupert



That word comes several sources.

Runcie had a role in donations to Olbel from various downtown Fort Lauderdale business executives and political committees, the sources say.

Rupert and Runcie have a rocky relationship. 

The heart of the dispute:

“Rupert is one of the few board members who challenges Runcie,” the Sun-Sentinel wrote this week in its effusive endorsement of Rupert. 

The thin-skinned Runcie apparently doesn’t like to be challenged.

There is no doubt that the Runcie-led $800 million bond program that voters approved four years ago has been plagued with lengthy delays.

Rupert called him out, criticizing “the administration’s poor performance with the 2014 construction bond…I haven’t been to anything but a weight room opening. It’s been one mistake after another.’”

There has been so many delays that “School Board members acknowledge they may not have enough money to cover skyrocketing costs, putting projects in jeopardy,” the Sun-Sentinel wrote in July.

So rightfully Rupert believes that there is a lot to criticize with the way Runcie has run schools.   

That criticism is what prompted the superintendent to dial for dollars to defeat Rupert, say’s sources.


Candidate For Judge Wrote Book On How To Sue Lawyers


John “Jack” Phillips graduated from law school in 1981 and decided he has waited long enough.

He wants to be a judge and the time to run is now. After all at 62, Phillips is already creeping up on the mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges.    

Phillips is largely using his own money — $45,000 out of the $48,000 in the campaign — to pay for his race. The usual contributors have ignored him.

Maybe that is because most money for judicial races come from lawyers and Phillips coauthored a book several years ago titled How & When To Sue Your Lawyer.  It is available on Amazon. 




It details a lawyer’s ethical responsibilities and the guidelines for building a malpractice case. 

Not exactly the way to win the hearts of fellow lawyers. 

Phillips, who also owned the landmark tavern Brownie’s on South Andrews Avenue for a decade, is running against Allison Gilman and Jackie Powell for the Broward County Court Group 19 seat.


Local Lawyer: Please Arrest Me!  


Plantation lawyer Sam Fields, who is a contributor, was pawing through his Sun-Sentinel one day last month when he stumbled upon a story that peeved him. 

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy and state Rep. Kristin Jacobs of Coconut Creek all posted their absentee ballots on Facebook.

Then they eliminated the post when told they were breaking Florida law:

104.20 — Any elector who, except as provided by law, allows his or her ballot to be seen by any person; takes or removes, or attempts to take or remove, any ballot from the polling place before the close of the polls; places any mark on his or her ballot by which it may be identified; endeavors to induce any elector to show how he or she voted; aids or attempts to aid any elector unlawfully; or prints or procures to be printed, or has in his or her possession, any copies of any ballot prepared to be voted is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

There is “no doubt” that the First Amendment allows a person to post what they want on Facebook if it is not libelous regardless of the state law, Fields’ opined.

Furr, Levy and Jacobs are “big wimps. It is a shame that three public officials wimped out on standing up for the First Amendment,” Fields said. “It is amazing they can stand upright without spines.”   

Fields went one step further. He asked that his ballot be posted on


Sam Fields and his ballot. (Fields apparently stole one of television host Frank Loconto’s vests.)


“Come and arrest me. I won’t dispute the facts,” Fields said. “Where I live is no secret…I look forward to the First Amendment challenge to the law.” 



Sam Fields’ ballot (He hasn’t made a decision on all races yet.)

18 Responses to “Sources: Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie Raising Money To Defeat Board Opponent”

  1. Dear Jack Phillips says:

    or JNAC aka Dan Lewis his campaign guy

    Just an FYI, under Florida elections law, a candidate must disclose their filing fees as a campaign expense. As well, your last campaign finance report is almost a week late. These are violations of Florida Elections laws.

    Can one sue themselves for malpractice?

  2. J says:

    Buddy, whenever I hear journalists talking about the need to save local papers, I am reminded that you, as a local news blogger provide so much more quality reporting than the sensationalism at SS. Don’t get me wrong, some of your posts are opinionated, but you have that right and this is your blog… With that being said, Runcie is a thin-skinned spineless clown. I would be more respectful toward our public officials for the sake of decency, but he doesn’t allocate that kind of behavior toward board members or the public…so he doesn’t deserve it.

  3. Hanging Chad says:

    Fields left a lot of fields blank on that ballot. Don’t be a wimp Sam. Tell us all of the candidates you are voting for.

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    What the school bd should do even though Runcie will say nice try Buddy but i have support from the majority.

    However, after the board atty with her ploy with petitioning the courts with contempt against local reporters Brittany Wallman and Paula McMahon is not sitting well with the majority.

    So i would recommend the bd.put Runcie on probation.Everything from the 8oo mill Runcie got to fix the schools etc when basically he did pittons.To the horrible wsy he handled the Parkland massacre, to not having the metal detectors for start of school.Had enough people vote no on the monies on election day.

    Runcie wants even more monies,even though he can’ t even tell us what he did with the 8oomill we just gave him, what not even 5 yrs ago.

    Then this stunt going after Brittany and Paula with the BS charge of contempt( they are only the messengers reporting etc).Probation is what should occur.Whats really alarming if Brittany etc were Black u bet him and the county atty.would have never pulled this stunt( oh if this goes to court and u get Naugle wife presiding you are all done).So shocked at this action.School bd atty should be fired for not getting consent from bd.Raise all the money u want with Ruperts challenger.Raise millions they will not beat Nora…

  5. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Nothing changes.When you pass me the ball(Frank) you can bet your ass i will get the ball rolling( consider yourself warned Mr.Runcie, Osgood and that ball brazen school bd. atty)..

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Fields is absolutely correct! Just as Fane Lozman has done (twice!), Sam Fields could easily ride this one all the way to the US Supreme Court to ultimately score a historic (and well-deserved) victory.

  7. Andrwe Ladanowski says:

    Sam love your ballot. I don’t think anyone will arrest your but, it’s technically illegal to take a photo of your ballot. I would encourage you to check this story. But since our state attorney doesn’t even prosecute those are not legally entitled to voted, I think your safe!

  8. A fly on the wall says:

    Just a few questions: Who are the downtown executives that are funneling money to Rupert’s opponent? Are the campaign treasury reports public knowledge? Why would downtown executives want the public schools continue to deteriorate under Runcie’s incompetent management? What do they have to gain? Is the property that Stranahan High School sits on valuable to developers and financiers? What is the bottom line of Runcie’s desire to oust a School Board member who speaks her mind?


    The documents are public. Look at the addresses and the businesses. Interestingly, Rupert herself cited Runcie’s connections with the downtown business community in a recent interview with the Sun-Sentinel:

    “Rupert, 54, praised Runcie for his ability to build relationships, including with powerful business groups, but said his performance is inconsistent.”

    You would have to ask the business types why they continue to back Runcie, who has a questionable record of achievement.

  9. Rip says:

    Sam, the 1st Amend has many exceptions for public good. You can’t yell fire in a crowded room and you can’t jeopardize the integrity of an election and pressure voters by making your ballot public. This law was probably drawn to prevent anyone from using their voted ballot to pressure the naive into voting a certain way.

  10. carolina says:

    Hang in there, Nora. Of course runcie is fearful of your school board performance & would love to see you go. After all, you are the only board member with the guts to “stand your ground” for the benefit of our students, our teachers, & our schools. You are appreciated more than you know & this will be apparent come voting day. It’s in the bag – NORA RUPERT will stay on the board!

  11. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @9 – There is no First Amendment exception which denies First Amendment protection to those who communicate their political preferences. Moreover, “Core political speech consists of conduct and words that are intended to directly rally public support for a particular issue, position, or candidate. In one prominent case, the U.S. Supreme Court suggested that core political speech involves any “interactive communication concerning political change.” Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 108 S. Ct. 1886, 100 L. Ed. 2d 425 (1988). … The First Amendment elevates core political speech above all other forms of individual expression by prohibiting laws that regulate it unless the laws are narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest. Known as “strict scrutiny” analysis, the application of this analysis by a court usually sounds the death knell for the law that is being challenged.”

  12. Money Machine says:

    It is easy for Runcie to raise money to keep his job. He directs our billions of tax dollars, he can pick up the phone and shake down vendors for millions if he needs to. Or have the lobbyist do it. What have the vedors given the incumbents or PACs? Back when we had real newspapers we would hear about these things.

  13. Sam The Sham says:

    Ooops! Sam voted for Mike Gottlieb.

    The other skool bored members should be outraged about Runcie trying to oust one of them. But they won’t be.

  14. Vote no on school tax says:

    Now that the un-redacted report is out and we know Runcie lied to cover his butt, can Rick Scott remove him?

  15. Tell The Truth says:

    @14 Vote No On School Tax

    agreed. No vote for any increase.

    And if Scott does NOT remove both Runcie and Israel in the next 60 days he will not be elected senator.

  16. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #5.Happy to see front page news in the Sun- Sentinel sticking up for and defending Wallman and Mcmahon.I say to the S.S attorneys call their bluff and take this to court.This school bd.atty thinks she’s got game.Oh not sooo fast.

  17. Observer says:

    Obviously Runcie is not a member of the ICMA (International City Manager’s Association) or the City Clerk’s Association. Because in each of these organizations it is unethical to become involved in or particularly fund raise for a campaign for one of his members.

    They look at their jobs as serving their board as a neutral, not as an interested party. The Superintendent is a type of City Manager for a School Board and would be wise to stay out of the politics. It won’t serve him well in any future job.

    Based upon his involvement, I wouldn’t continue to support him in his position. If he wants to be political then let him run for a School Board position.

  18. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    As it is with everything in Broward, the district is a cesspool of corruption and incompetence.

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