Stacy Ritter Gets A Break



County Commissioner Stacy Ritter got some rare good news today when a potential major opponent cancelled plans to challenge her re-election.

Dogged for the past three years by bad publicity stemming from ethics investigations, Ritter now is unopposed in 2012.

State Rep. Ari Porth, D-Coral Springs, told that he would be seeking a gubernatorial appointment to replace resigning Chief Judge Vic Tobin rather than run for county commission.

Ari Porth: Not Running

Getting a recommendation to the bench by the very partisan Judicial Nominating Commission is a long shot for Porth, a Democrat. The GOP-dominated JNC recommends to Republican Gov. Rick Scott who should be appointed to the bench.

Porth said if does not get an appointment, he would run for judge as early as 2012.

The announcement is a big break for Ritter.  Never charged with any crime, she has nevertheless been politically damaged by the constant drum beat of negative publicity fueled by leaks from prosecutors.

With Porth’s extensive network of campaign supporters and family wealth, he was considered the most formidable potential opponent to surface against her next year.

Porth had earlier announced he would begin his campaign against her after the May end of the 2011 legislative session.

When told of Porth’s announcement, Ritter e-mailed

“This time of year many people explore their options and consider different possibilities for campaigns for public service. I am in the middle of a term and am staying focused on expanding economic opportunities and keeping services intact for Broward’s residents without raising taxes.”

A prosecutor who concentrates on helping young people, Porth also specializes in bills to help children.

Some of his ideas were incorporated into a Senate bill (SB 404), which passed in the final moments of the legislative session this year. It would create a new training program for at-risk youths in state custody.

“My passion has always been children,” Porth said. “I realized that I can’t focus on kids at the county commission.”

Porth is term limited out of his House seat after the 2012 session.

28 Responses to “Stacy Ritter Gets A Break”

  1. Smart Move says:

    It’s the smarter move for him.

  2. Real Democrat says:

    Too bad because he could have beat Ritter. He would have been like Sherman marching through Georgia.

  3. Boring says:

    How is this even newsworthy…..

    A guy who had intimated he was running for one thing now says he is GOING TO (since the nominating process hasn’t opened) put his name in for another position as an appointment with a 99% chance he won’t get it.

    SNOOZEFEST 2011. Ari’s “announcement” will make as much of a stir as Mitt Romney’s announcement yesterday.


  4. Git R Done says:

    AHHHHHH, Shucks…

  5. Ron says:

    When do WE the voters get a break?

  6. You may be surprised... says:

    hmmmm…I think that Ari has gained great respect from the local and state Rs. If there would be a time to show bipartisanship, putting Ari on the bench would be a good call.
    There are few very powerful Rs who could make it happen…

  7. how do you like your waffle says:

    he has no shot at getting anything from rick scott. Ari the Waffle, backing Charlie Crist and all. There is no such thing as bi partisanship with Scott, he banned the D’s from a budget signing. Someone needs to look through Scott’s campaign finance reports and see what broward lawyers gave to him or the party. This move shows Ari has no backbone, he just took the easy road to judge instead of running in a real race. I have to imagine people like Scott Brook and Ritter see Ari as little more than a lightweight. Say boo and he is off to safer pastures.

  8. Two Words says:

    Chicken Sh*t.

    Isn’t Satz going to fire him if he tries to run for judge (since there is no way Governor Skeletor will appoint him)?


    Ari Porth told me he would resign if he ran in an election for judge. He does not have to resign if he applies for a judicial appointment until he gets that appointment.

  9. Tamarac Talk says:

    I’m really disappointed that Ari is not going to run for commissioner. He is extremely well liked and would have beat Ritter by a landslide. He would have also been an asset to the commission. Now let’s get to work finding a candidate for our commission district in 2012.

  10. Pappa Ed says:

    No way does Ritter get a free pass. Impossible. (neither will Liberman/Michaelson for that matter) Way to much baggage. Any viable alternative gets elected here. Her district covers three or four Cities, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Parkland. There will be someone else in this race. Ari would have been formidable, without him others will be there.


    Let’s analyze the situation. My caveat is that my interpretation is based on the current district boundaries and they could be changed.

    Stacy could face a threat from a Democrat in three northwest Broward cities: Tamarac, Coral Springs and Parkland. A little piece of her current district is in Sunrise. Her district is very compact and squared off, so it probably won’t change much.

    Does Tamarac still have a city commission after all the indictments? Seriously, no elected official there could offer her a threat or has expressed interest in running.

    Coral Springs has no elected Democratic official either that has expressed interest.

    Parkland’s ambitious Mayor Michael Udine is a friend of Ritter and is connected in court papers to the corruption scandal in Tamarac. Udine is not accused of any criminal wrongdoing, but the bad publicity can’t help.

    Parkland Commissioner Jared Moskowitz is interested in running for state House, not the commission. Moskowitz and his father are close friends of Ritter.

    There may be some other non-elected Democrat in the wings, but are they are a realistic candidate? Where will they raise money?

    Lieberman/Michaelson is term limited out in 2012. She should go, even if the courts throw out term limits.

    If she is foolish enough to run again, we’ll have to see what her district looks like before deciding on whether she could have an opponent.

    One wild card in all this is Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu. There has been talk she would run.

    Alu is a Lieberman friend, at least publicly, so it is doubtful she would run against her. Ritter and Alu have had differences in the past.

    We will have to wait to see what the sometimes-mercurial Alu decides.

    By the way, forget any Republican challenge. Both districts will remain Democratic after reapportionment.

  11. anonymous says:

    “Never charged with any crime, she has nevertheless been politically damaged by the constant drum beat of negative publicity fueled by leaks from prosecutors.” Funny, doesn’t Ari work in that office that’s doing the “leaks?” Hmmmm. Maybe the leaks will stop now. lol

    Also, I think if there is any Democrat that could get appointed by a GOP governor, it’s Ari. After all, he’s not really a Democrat. In Tallahassee, he seems to do the GOP bidding quite well.

  12. Stacy Fan says:

    Stacy is loved in her district and will be elected in a landslide. Innuendos won’t change our views.

  13. Godfather Lines says:

    “It’s the smart move; Tessio was always smarter.”

  14. You may be surprised... says:

    Waffle @6:44pm
    You are making things up. The Gov. did not “ban” Ds from a bill signing, there were plenty of Ds present. He had members of a D club removed who were holding signs.


    Not quite the story.

    According to the media and at least one video aired on YouTube, Sheriff’s deputies removed selected attendees from the ceremony. Among those removed were participants who were wearing shirts, wearing badges or holding signs indicating their objection to the budget or Scott.

    Since when does a governor use police to have those objecting to him and his policies removed from what should be a public event, a bill signing. It was an ominous precedent.

  15. ontheequator says:

    Stacy would have to change districts … the Women’s Prison is in Southwest Broward!


    I must remind my readers that Stacy has not been charged criminally with anything.

  16. really says:

    If Ritter gets elected, let alone a free pass, the people of her district should be ashamed. She is about to get hit with 40 violations of pilfering her campaign account. Her husband has major federal issues with ponzi scams. If she is the best Northwest Broward can do, god help us.


    Ritter is facing a number of civil election law violations. The complaint was purely political, filed by a lawyer opposed to the airport expansion that Ritter supported and helped get passed. The violations are technical in nature.

    She will end up paying a fine.

  17. Red-Light Cameras Increase Accidents says:

    Alu would be the perfect opponent for Ritter – what a contrast! Honest prosecutor who helped bust corrupt Broward officials vs. ethically challenged Broward official… and looking at Alu’s strong performance in the recent “tea party” election, this is a woman who certainly knows how to pull in the votes even under difficult circumstances.

    And speaking of getting a break…

    Ruling: Officer-Written Red-Light Tickets Unconstitutional

    Judge Says Discrepancy In Red Light Violation Punishments Unfair

    UPDATED: 10:02 pm EDT June 2, 2011

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One of the oldest traffic laws on Florida’s books has been struck down by a Broward County judge, and now, as long as red light cameras are working, it is unconstitutional for police to ticket red light runners.

    Local ticket attorney Ted Hollander, of the Ticket Clinic, predicted defense lawyers across the state will now head to court armed with a ruling by Broward Judge Fred Berman striking down Florida’s law that allows police to ticket drivers who run red lights.

    “I think this is a huge ruling — not only in Broward County, but I think it’s a huge ruling for the entire state of Florida and maybe beyond,” Hollander said.

    In the ruling, the judge said it is not fair that red light runners caught by police face a stiff fine and points on their license, compared to those nabbed by the cameras, who face a smaller fine and no points.

    “This violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, as well as the Florida Constitution,” the judge wrote.

    “To have two different standards for the same type of driving pattern is unconstitutional,” Hollander said.

    Hollander maintains that the red light camera program is more about the money for cash-strapped cities than it is about public safety. He believes the ruling will force authorities to decide once and for all what’s more important.

    “Officers cannot issue red light tickets so long as camera violations are in effect,” Hollander said. “So if the counties and cities stop the cameras, they can go back to the way things were, and the officers can issue regular tickets, like they did before.”

    Jennifer Krell Davis, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, released a response Thursday afternoon.

    “In our view, Judge Berman did not apply the appropriate standard of review. From here, we will be weighing all of our options to challenge his ruling, including an appeal to the Circuit Court,” the statement said.

    The judge’s ruling is not binding on the other traffic court judges, but in major issues, the other judges typically follow suit.

    (Source: WPGL-Channel 10-Miami)

    FROM BUDDY: Thank you for this update on red light cameras from Channel 10-Miami!!!! Here is the original story.

  18. In Re Ari says:

    Ok yes, Ari is a very nice guy. The guy you would let your daughter go out with and know she would be safe.

    Look at the history, Ari has never been involved in a contested anything in his political career. Rumor has he has disliked Ritter for years and when given the chance to improve that District by beating her he runs away. Heck, when is the last time he actualy tried a case, if ever? (not a truancy case). No way is he going to resign from SAO to run in an open seat. Ari has zero name recognition outside of the Coral Springs area. A good female candidate would beat him just like Towbin-Singer beat John Rayson. Moral at SAO is not great due to many factors, one being that it is known ASA’s who pursue being a Judge are walking on egg shells. It would not be good for Mike’s troops in an election year for Ari to get special treatment again (i.e. Truancy/ and being allowed to be a State Rep) to pursue a judgeship.

  19. Resident says:


    Funny when you looked at cities that have people that could run for the county you left out Margate, Coconut Creek, Plantation, North Lauderdale and Lauderhill. You only included Parkland, Coral Springs, Tamarac and Sunrise.

    Are you saying there is no one from those cities that could run or are running? They have successfully before.


    Parkland, Coral Springs, Tamarac and a little piece of Sunrise are the only cities in Ritter’s current district. The district is unlikely to change much.

    Lieberman has other cities in her district, but she is facing term limits.

  20. Legal Fact Check says:

    The red light case referenced above had to do with fine amounts. The judge ruled that if the state charges a fine of x for a camera enforced violation then they can’t charge y for a cop observed violation. The decision is flawed because these are two different types of violations. One is against a driver and the other against a car owner. The decision will be overturned on appeal without difficulty. It does not challenges the constitutionality of red light camera enforcement programs and is not a binding precident that any court in Florida must follow.

  21. Please Face Reality says:

    There will be no charges against Stacy Ritter or Ilene Lieberman because neither can be shown to have broken any laws. If that were not true arrests would have happened. They have had months to look at this issue. There’s nothing there. It is unlikely that either of them will fail to be re-elected if they choose to run again. Both remain highly popular within their districts. There are no readily viable challengers for those seats.

  22. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I would not say Comm.Ritter although I have spoken to her several times and find her very nice, I would not say she is out of the woods so to speak. In reference to the “eye doctor” throwing her husband under the bus(sure Dr.Mendelson its always everyone else is fault, how about you come clean you where GREEDY) so I would expect some back lash from whoever runs against her. With the “Eye Doctor” snitching (going around) I think more arrests are on the way. Will Comm.Ritter, be one God I hope not. I really don’t think the residents could take another Comm. going to the pokey…..

  23. Ryan says:

    Buddy, I wouldn’t disqualify a non-elected Dem’s chances against Ritter. Remember, Dave Thomas was unknown before he challenged Kraft and she ended up getting scared and backed out.

    I never count out a non-elected Democrat. I wrote that one hasn’t surfaced yet.

    Any candidate would have to have (1) a way to raise money, (2) a dedicated grass roots operation and (3) a story to sell.

    The School Board race is non-partisan and there were several other candidates.

  24. Ryan changes history says:

    Thomas did not scare Kraft out of the race. Under investigation, she decided not to file for reelection. There’s just no way to back out of a race you’re not in to begin with. Mayersohn was her hand picked candidate but lost the primary.

  25. Death Frog 3 says:

    Perhaps with all of the conflict of interest talks re the SAO investigating Ritter and Porth being an ASA have finally come to a head? Porth officially pulls his name out of the ring right before Ritter gets charged so that the defense can’t bring up the politics of an ASA being a political opponent.

    Stranger things have happened.

  26. Changed History doesnt follow says:

    Your half right: She originally filed for reelection then under investigation and facing an opponent who showed a willingness to partially self-fund, she decided against it. He was her only filed opponent for months.

  27. Changed history changes history says:

    Wrongo bongo… Try looking at the filings on the Supervisor of Elections website. Here’s the link.
    Had Kraft filed her name would be on the page as required by law. Kraft never filed. Period.

  28. GET REAL says:

    Porth seems like a decent enough guy but what was that reactionary legislation to make abuse against the homeless a hate crime ?? Extremely short sighted. Some whould call it discrimination against homeowners and taxpayers. In many cities including ones in South Florida, homeless people use intimidation to assist in thier panhandling. And why encourage homeless from other states to move to FL and depress our tourism. Really Really Really bad legislation, should be revoked with about another thousand stupid FL laws.