Sources: Mayor Jack Seiler, Consultant Judy Stern Cheer Rodstrom’s Loss



Political consultant Judy Stern and Mayor Jack Seiler are cheering.

That’s what well-placed, long-time Fort Lauderdale City Hall watchers were saying after the results of the city election Tuesday.

Be assured that Stern and Seiler are, at the very least, not upset by Charlotte Rodstrom’s loss.

Rodstrom’s attempted comeback ended in defeat when former Commissioner Dean Trantalis beat her by 18 votes.

The small vote total meant a difference of .58 percent between the two – just over the .5 percent that requires a recount.

Stern helped run Rodstrom’s previous victorious city commission races.  But the consultant had a bitter break with Rodstrom last year.

After that, Rodstrom lost a bid for county commission.  Then she lost Tuesday’s race.

The reason Stern’s departure from the Rodstrom camp hurt so much:

The two were close confidents, with Stern even visiting at the Rodstrom’s North Carolina vacation home.

According to political observers, Rodstrom suffered without Stern to lean on. She had no independent political expert to advise her. She had no one to turn for campaign help except her husband, former County Commissioner John Rodstrom.

And although he denies it vehemently, it is widely believed in political circles that Mayor Jack Seiler worked behind the scenes to thwart Charlotte Rodstrom’s return to the commission.   He viewed her as a opponent on city issues, according to pols.

The loss means there won’t be a Rodstrom in office for the foreseeable future.

John Rodstrom represented Fort Lauderdale since the 1980s on the city commission and then the county commission from 1992.  He left office in November 2012 because of term limits.

A former city commissioner, Charlotte Rodstrom quit the city commission to run for her husband’s former county commission seat.  When she lost, she attempted to return to City Hall.

Tuesday’s voting in Fort Lauderdale was a special, not originally scheduled election. It was triggered by Rodstrom’s original departure from City Hall  to run for the county commission.

The special election created the only issue in the campaign.

Trantalis hammered Rodstrom that her political ambition cost the city $200,000 for the special election.  In a city where polls show the voters are happy with their government, there appeared to be nothing else on voters’ mind.

The cost of the election, her loss of a close confident and the behind-the-scene maneuvering by some in Seiler’s camp was fatal for Rodstrom.


Dean Trantalis talks to his mother after his victory (photo courtesy of Art Seitz)

35 Responses to “Sources: Mayor Jack Seiler, Consultant Judy Stern Cheer Rodstrom’s Loss”

  1. Connect the dots says:

    I doubt Judy was cheering too loud if she was with LOSER Troy Samuels down in Miramar.

  2. just a taxpayer says:

    lots of nicities right now but one more hungry (for clients and free PR) attorney on a dais in broward county
    may he serve his constituents well, and serve the FULL term.
    rodstrom or the Mr. Rodstrom husband can plan to run for the mayor seat in speial election when the curent mayor tries to run for guvernor.
    taxpayers please take out and open your wallets for voters rights!!

  3. More about Charlotte Rodstrom, Maybe you should encourage the Inspector General, the Despicable “Them” and You Can Kiss half or all of D.C. Alexander Park (it’s in front of the FTAC/ISHOF) Good Bye!! says:

    Here are 13 of forty some reasons, my opinion, as to why, I didn’t support or vote for Charlotte “The Beach Commissioner” Rodstrom. 2, 4 and 8 are three of my favorites.
    1. As a former USAF Officer, I find it hard to fathom, why she was the only commissioner to vote against the 2012 Fort Lauderdale Air Show. A conservative 200,000 air show fans enjoyed the show.
    2. After, saying on her cell phone, “What do I say Now John?” during the 2012 Air Show Discussions at City Hall, Mayor Seiler suggested, that because everyone in the commission chambers, could hear her discussion with her husband, County Mayor, John Rodstrom, that she might want to turn off her open microphone.
    3. She is out gunned. She is a poorly educated, Broward College dropout, who doesn’t even have an Associates of Arts Degree.
    4. Former Reporter Scott Wyman, who is being paid $75,000. plus about $15,000. In benefits is her fourth assistant in six years. Previously, Wyman, wrote extensively, about the rancid shenanigans pertaining to the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Fort Lauderdale Aquatics Center Projects. For example, how the $76.1 million project bsing, financier Wave House San Diego went bankrupt and was foreclosed. It gets worse. Unbelievable, there was no due diligence, verification and certification done on this initially $76.1 million “sweet heart deal” project.
    5. It’s primarily Charlotte Rodstrom’s fault that four blocks of the lowest part of A1A, finally, fell into the ocean near NE 16th Ct. If engineering studies and work on the A1A Greenway, which was approved in concept over ten years ago, had been moved along — that wouldn’t have happened. She really doesn’t give a damn about the public’s access or use of the beach.
    6. She is infamous for ducking questions and quickly walking out of community meetings.
    7. She has almost zero support from beach leaders. You can count on one hand the number of 2012-2013 donors, who have District 2 beach addresses. She has deceived and disappointed too many people.
    8. My Public Records Request for ALL of her official correspondence, notes, logs, etc. from August – October 2011 yielded about six nothing special letters
    9. After six years Ireland’s Inn remains a blighted monument to her stupidity and developer greed—it’s her fault that the developer’s agreement doesn’t require that the hotel be leveled or provide for the A1A Greenway. Both Broward Bulldog and Channel 10’s Bob Norman have written about this eight-figure gift to the developers.
    10. For years, she kept the North Gate of Birch State Park on the day of the Winterfest Boat Parade.
    11. During her tenure, Fort Lauderdale has been ranked in the top five worst places in the entire United States to ride a bike or to be a pedestrian.
    12. Given the serious accidents and fatalities, which are now front page news, her comments about what, she has done for greenways and her limited service on the MPO are enough to make a knowledgeable and caring person throw up.
    13. Half of the about a hundred attending her Town Hall Meeting left, because, she said next to nothing and refused to allow questions and announced that the police would remove anyone that spoke up. No kidding, three years into office, she couldn’t even name the Beach Front City Parks and could only name one person who worked for FDOT.

  4. Real Deal says:

    Dean Trantalis should avoid becoming a Judy Stern puppet. Her every relationship with elected officials ends badly. Most end up in jail or out of office and she moves on to the next puppet making a living on their contract votes. Seiler’s political future is doomed because Judy owns him. Trantalis should avoid the same fate.

  5. Sick of John and Charlotte says:

    Good riddance to the self-promoting Rodstroms. It is about time we got rid of them because they held the city back with their obstructions to economic development.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The gay mafia is back. Glassman, Keechl, and all of the gay ft. Laudedale boys made it a mission to get Dean back on the commission. Great night for them.


    I don’t endorse the phrase “Gay Mafia” because it denotes something evil. I don’t like the phrase “Jewish Mafia” or “Black Mafia” either. However, it is a phrase I have heard repeatedly in this election. What the reader means is activists who have a similar backgrounds.

    In an aside, mob member Vito Spatafore got assassinated in the HBO drama “The Sopranos” for being gay. So much for the “Gay Mafia!”

  7. Dean's first act says:

    Dean’s first act should be to end apartheid in Fort Lauderdale and grant the NW communities wish to extend the Name “Dr James Sistrunk Blvd” on 6 street east to Victoria Park Road. It was to be extended to Federal Highway until Rodstrom supporter Charles King complained and the sign was taken down. King went on a Racist Rant about how the name would ruin “property values” in the neighborhood.

    Dean should do the right thing ask the City Commission to extend the Proud name of Dr. James Franklin Sistrunk to cover the entire road.

  8. Republican Raising Taxes... says:

    whats up with the crooked politician, Dorothy Hukill, 7 counties away, meddling in Dolphins stadium business. Her proposal shows she is a lightweight, more bed taxes ?? Thats going to help tourism ?? I look forward to the day she is exposed for whatever shady deal she is trying to pull off….

  9. Take off the Blinders says:

    Re. Miramar……

    It is official. Commissioner Alexandra Davis is the ex officio Mayor of Miramar. She supported wholeheartedly and unabatedly 1000 percent, challenger Yvette Colbourne against incumbent Troy Samuels. Colbourne delivered a beat down of Samuels of biblical proportions, 65-35% or so. When Commissioner Davis originally won a couple of years back, she beat, what seemed like 100 challengers and won very easily, by thousands of votes.

    Long time Mayor Lori Moseley is in deep trouble in 2 years. If Davis were to choose to challenge her and the election was held today, Davis would beat Moseley by the same margin as the above described 2-1 margin. Don’t let anybody kid, con you otherwise. Also, Davis, Messam and Colbourne are the new majority controlling the Commission.

    Finally, City Manager Payton, who is Moseley’s and Winston Barne’s guy, is in deep trouble. He should have been fired when he indulged Fitzroy Salesman with contracts to cronies of Fitzroy when Salesman was in limbo on the sidelines. Also, Payton does not like to be questioned by his Commission bosses; he is like Coconut Creek Manager Dave Rivera in that way, a.k.a. as the Arrogance de Manager gene/chromosone.

    Payton thinks the democratic process is a one way street that runs through him. He does not understand it is a two way street that deserves input from his Elected Officials, who the Citizens vote for, to oversee the governing body and offer vision outside the bureaucratic mindsets. To complete the record, neither does Mr. Rivera in Coconut Creek. Both of them need to hit the road.

  10. Republican Raising Taxes... says:

    Shouldnt “”Deans first act”” be to honor him in the neighborhood he was influential in ? Wayne Huizenga has a street named after him but you dont see it going all the way to 95, SE Ninth Street between Federal Highway and Cordova Road. And Blosser paid for the signage !! And we have bridges honoring more than 1 person, so maybe we could pick someone historially significant from Victoria Park to name East 6th street after

  11. just one vote says:

    NE 6th street runs all the way to A1A on the beach right?
    rename the whole stretch sistrunk and then raise all the property taxes and see where that gets the elected commissioners

  12. ft ldle voter says:

    To: take off the blinders –
    the district 2 race in fort lauderdale was not in miramar.
    do you also want to post your comment in the miramar group discussion?

  13. Take off the Blinders says:

    to: ft ldle voter

    Thank you. I did as you suggested.

  14. Jack Seiler says:

    First, I did not cheer Charlotte’s loss on Tuesday. I had a very good working relationship with Charlotte while she was on our City Commission, and our good working relationship would have continued had she been re-elected.

    Second, I never discussed Charlotte’s re-election with Judy Stern at any time.

    Therefore, I am requesting that you identify the “well-placed, long-time Fort Lauderdale City Hall watchers” who said the foregoing.

    Further, please identify those “in political circles” who state that “Mayor Jack Seiler worked behind the scenes to thwart Charlotte Rodstrom’s return to the commission. He viewed her as a opponent on city issues.” Nobody has ever said that to me, and nobody can honestly state that I worked in any way to thwart her return. In fact, Charlotte was never an opponent while we served together and, as stated, we got along very well.

    Finally, please identify anybody in “Seiler’s camp” whose “behind-the-scene maneuvering” hurt Charlotte’s campaign.

    Buddy, you are an experienced and very good journalist. We have talked, texted and emailed many times. I never expected an article like this to be published by you without 1) communicating with me about the alleged facts and issues, and 2) identifying a single source for these obviously false allegations.

    I respectfully request that you identify the individuals, especially those supposedly in my camp, that served as the sources for this article.

    Thank you.


    Thanks for your comments.

    You have been in politics a long time. You surely know that the political landscape is filled with speculation. Two cable companies — MSNBC and Fox — base their business model on political speculation and spin.

    You are the mayor. People talk about you behind your back. Sometimes the theories about you and your motives are accurate. Sometimes they aren’t.

    If you really want to see speculation and rumors about you on a statewide basis, run for governor.

    If I were you I would relish that people believe you have enough influence to affect the results of the election. Politics is smoke and mirrors after all. The more power folks think you have, the more you have.

    On the other part of your comment, I’m not identifying sources. They offered me their observations if I promised not to identify them. You wouldn’t want me to write about the off-the-record conversations we had in the past, would you?

    I will also add that Michael Ahearn, a political consultant and lawyer very close to you who I respect, also said that these sources of mine were off base.

    And another source predicted you would have more trouble getting along with Trantalis than you ever had with Charlotte.

    Don’t you just love politics, mayor?

  15. just one vote says:

    Buddy thanks for going on the record with retort to the current mayor. Again mayor, not King. No king on dais in ft ldle. He needs to stay in lil’ole ft ldle if he can’t take some ‘heat’ on innocuous comments like in your write-up. Of course us meer mortals don’t want our names out there to be targeted persona non grata like this group does. I actually disagree with the 4 wanting Rodstrom to not come back to dais. They view her as harmless, no threat and term limited (all 3 my adjectives)so they welcomed her hold the seat warm position. She was often dismissed by some or all of them in discussion comments and opinions in conf and comm. and the ‘collegial’ style (their adjective) is well known and 3 votes obstructs whatever the ‘people’ want. No need for a 5-0 or 4-0. charlotte dissenting had no merit or bearing on the ‘plans’ of the majority. Notice no tie votes on dais since Nov. 19. The 4 are like siamese twins, I mean quads. So a newcomer, not really, a commissioner who was on sabbatical (my noun for lack of a better one)since 2006 election who may bring a surprise viewpoint, comment, vote, who is a savvy learned attorney, no neophyte citizen or rookie to ‘put down’ in conf. and in comm chambers – well that could be a formidable task for the other 2 attorneys. Maybe even competition. And as to the 2 lay people (my term for the 2 non-lawyers), well they don’t ‘know the law’ like attorneys do so their comments, statements and opinions can always be refuted and disputed by the attorney commishes.
    Keep up great reporting and coverage on all issues that the rags won’t/can’t touch!!

  16. Pariah says:

    Does any elected official in this town actually acknowledge talking to Judy Stern?

    Stern tried to work her way into Dean’s camp ,other than raise a few bucks, she was never in the inner circle or in the neighborhood where the inner circule was.

    It seems obvious that Stern needed to deflect her stunning loss with Troy Samuels in Miramar so she is trying to claim a piece of Dean’s victory. Those who worked with Dean know who Stern as usual is trying to lay claim to a victory that she had little or nothing to do with.

    Sad that all Judy can do is glom on to the wins of others since she cant win races on her own anymore.

  17. Steve Glassman says:

    The mayor is correct – he did nothing to assist Dean in his win. The only present or past elected official who took a position early and stuck to it was Tim Smith.

  18. Thin skin says:

    This isn’t even scrutiny and he can’t take it, butch up dude

  19. Tim Smith says:

    hey Buddy …

    ….. your info was way off on this post…. Jack wasn’t anywhere near this race for either candidate….. actually Dean should get the most credit for his win…… he held weekly walks, went to gads of meetings in the District, robo calls, actually walked his own neighborhood door to door…

    …and Steve Glassman is right … I pushed for Dean for a year now, and took some heat for exposing the multiple Rodstrom hijinks on my blog….

    … my home base ( about 15,000 people around 13th Street carried Dean stronger than any other area…

    … and thanks to Glassman for his fundraisers and letters and such that improved Dean’s showing at the beach substantially in the General…


  20. So Glassman says:

    Are you accusing the Mayor of helping Charlotte?

  21. Gay mafia says:

    Steve: what’s about Keechl, and the rest of the gay mafia? I saw the pics. You could have held a Broward Gay Dem. meeting on election return night.

  22. Gay mafia says:

    And Tim no disrespect is intended by my use of the term “gay mafia”. Keechl, Trantalis, Resnick and the rest seem to be having some influence in local politics.

  23. Steve Glassman says:

    To: “So Glassman” – Absolutely not. I believe the Mayor was not involved at all and helped neither candidate.
    To: “Anonymous/Gay Mafia” – You saw two pictures on Tim’s blog and they were close-ups of Dean and a few around him watching the computer. You did not see the entire room nor did you see the countless volunteers for the past nine months and especially during election week. If you were involved, you would have seen people from every demographic in the City – a true representation of us all. In fact, that is what made the difference in this election. Charlotte had the
    establishment/lobbyist/developer money but no real workers or friends and Dean simply worked harder.

  24. LOL says:

    “My home base, about 15,000 people….”
    Only 3,000 people voted in the entire district, way to turn out the vote in the hood. What a joke.

  25. Gay mafia says:

    Steve Glassman: Dude, I saw the face book pictures. You need a reality check..although as I remember it, you never won office, and I’m guessing you are the weakest link within the gay mafia.Just saying….

  26. Tim smith is a joke says:

    Hey Tim, your 15 votes meant nothing. Dean and his team laughed about controlling you. You and your sorry alliance iare a laughing joke. Not trying to hurt you, but just making sure that Dean ‘s temporary glory doesn’t make you think anyone really cares about you or your blog. They don’t. You were a one term commissioner who fell on your butt with your self imposed contribution limit against homophobe Nagle. You still couldn’t win. Please stop trying to be the story. everyone is laughing at you. Really.

  27. So Glassman says:

    Can you explain the portly GLBT leader who was blowing a whistle carrying a big sign yelling the “gays are back in fort lauderdale at Dean’s party”? Very inclusive.

    The results show they both worked evenly. Dean got lucky and had an issue this time to run on, the cost of the election. 2 years from now he will not have that luxury. Dean better figure out really quick if he serving the GLBT community or the District as a whole. If it is GLBT, than next time around someone will have an issue to hang on him.

  28. sidelines says:

    everyone wants to credit for something that ain’t. except the “Demand Letter” post from the mayor to Buddy. Typical attorney bullying….I mean posturing.

  29. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Demanding that a journalist identify sources is a great way to “out” yourself as a person who doesn’t take the First Amendment seriously. That’s especially valuable knowledge when the person involved is a possible candidate for state Governor.

  30. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Kudos to Equality Florida – they mobilized lots of volunteers and pushed very, very hard for the Trantalis win. Now let’s take an instructive look back at the defeated Rodstrom’s December 2012 hype:

    Charlotte Rodstrom has a two-to-one lead in the January special election to fill her former southeast Fort Lauderdale seat, according to a just completed survey obtained exclusively by

    When asked who they would vote for in the upcoming election, 401 likely voters picked:

    Charlotte Rodstrom — 45.39 percent,
    Dean Trantalis –  22.19 percent, […]

    Roughly 90 percent of the voters said they recognized Rodstrom’s name. Former Commissioner Trantalis fared a lot worse: Roughly 66 percent knew who he was. […]

    To know Rodstrom is to like Rodstrom. […]
    Rodstrom — favorable 61 percent, unfavorable 16 percent;
    Trantalis – favorable 34 percent, unfavorable 14 percent; […]

    “She’s in the catbird seat,” pollster Jim Kane said. “These numbers are very, very good, especially considering the election is one month away and two weeks of that time is the Holidays when nobody will be paying attention.”

    The poll was done by Kane’s USAPoll and paid for by Rodstrom. […]


    As you no doubt know, a poll is a snapshot in time. Barack Obama’s poll numbers changed throughout the campaign in various states, including Florida.

    The poll on the Fort Lauderdale election was taken in December. After the campaign played out in March, voters had a different opinion.

  31. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Rodstrom started with high name recognition, high favorables and low unfavorables. Trantalis started with weak support and weak favorables. Rodstrom’s campaign both raised more money than Trantalis ($62,645 vs. $52,145) and spent more money than Trantalis ($53,945 vs. $52,040).

    Mallory Wells of Equality Florida Action PAC repeatedly hammered Rodstrom with an exceptionally powerful statewide volunteer mobilization effort. Her PAC hit Rodstrom like a tsunami. Rodstrom’s campaign probably never even saw it coming until the very last moment – when the towering mega-wave rose up and crashed into Rodstrom’s results on Election Night.

  32. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Well Happy St.Patricks Day. First of all over the last couple of days people have been calling me if i posted under ‘anonymous”-never. I never post anything unless i use “City Activist Robert Walsh”. And i would bet a grand(1000 bucks) Judy Stern and Mayor Seiler never in a million yrs thought this anonymous post was me. However this person took my “catch phrase” Gay Mafia”. Shoe fits wear it guys.. Gay Mafia doesn’t exist huh some of you I know i guy right now sitting in a federal detention center in Miami Steve Steiger that would dispute that. Oh he wants to sing like a canary (now) but the feds don’t need him now after he just got convicted and is looking at doing 30 years. Oh you know nothing about any of this Ken keechl ,Comm Trantalis, Mayor Gaaary resnick etc, etc, etc. Don’t tell me there is no “gay mafia”. As far as knowing or having “similar background” that was commneted on above(directed towards me) in my defense I have told them all for many ,many years” you live by the sword ,you will die by the sword”. So much for some of your analysis. (never forget i am a one man show-that is why 90% of my friends etc, are either dead or in prison-you might think I was 90).And to Mayor Seiler good for you for setting the record straight. And Judy Stern’ involvement-I hope you charged Dino boy here top dollar..

  33. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    When Walsh offers $1,000, I immediately begin thinking … where did he steal it from.

  34. sidelines says:

    the real tragedy/disappointment here is she won a primary in January 2012. A third term that would have kept her comm till March 2015. Term limits were an honorable way to bow out or move up. Mayor. County comm. whatever.
    only a few others have jumped the gun with rsigning to seek another lateral office or half rung up politco ladder. dumb.
    lesson to be learned – if you run, and are fortunate to get elected by 10% of eligible voters, serve the full term. unless you are appointed by governor to higher office

  35. Forgetaboutit says:

    Did you view the recording of new commissioner Tarantulas speech at the swearing-in shindig? He announced he would represent Haitians and the Gay and Lesbians. Is there anyone other than gays and Haitians in District 2?