Tynan Is A Lame Duck Before He Starts


Newly appointed Broward School Board member Kevin Tynan is a great example of that Woody Allen quote: 80% of success is just showing up.

kevin tynan

Kevin Tynan

Tynan always showed up when he was GOP chairman, 2002-2004.  That’s about all I can say for him.


If there was a pantheon of Broward GOP political leaders over the past two decades, Tynan would be in the basement.

So when Gov. Charlie Crist picked Tynan to be a School Board member this week, the question in some political circles was: Why?

Don’t get me wrong.  Tynan is a very nice guy.  I’ve always really liked him.   I’m told by Browardbeat.com’s Sam Fields that he is a very good lawyer. 

But the new School Board member does not have a great record as a GOP politician.

By appointing Tynan, Crist is rewarding political mediocrity.  

Tynan will become the first Republican on the Board in five years.  That’s ironic because Tynan is held responsible for losing the GOP’s last foothold on the Board.

It was 2004 and Tynan was Broward GOP chair.  The Board’s lone Republican Judie Budnick was retiring to move out of town.

Budnick held a School Board district which was more-or-less evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.  The district, which stretches from Fort Lauderdale west to Plantation, was drawn to give the GOP a fighting chance to have a voice on the Board.

But when Budnick left, Tynan could not find a Republican candidate to fill the seat. 

The seat ended up being won by Maureen Dinnen, perhaps the most liberal member of the School Board as the former head of the state teacher’s union.

It went from Republican to liberal Democrat.  Tynan was blamed.

One of those unhappy with Tynan was the former GOP chair, Ed Pozzuoli, who served from 1996-2000. I’ve always believed that Pozzuoli was the local party’s best leader in a generation.

“That we gave up that School Board seat without a fight bugs me to no end, said Pozzuoli at the time.

A lawyer who is now managing partner of Tripp Scott, Pozzuoli had a reason to be pissed.  His hard-fought negotiations with the Democrat School Board led to the creation of the central Broward district that Republicans could win.

Tynan did not run for re-election as chair later in 2004. I always assumed that Pozzuoli and his crew of insiders forced Tynan out.

In addition to losing the GOP’s only School Board seat, Tynan lost two races of his own for the Pembroke Pines City Commission in 2004 and 1995.

Not exactly a sterling record of political achievement.

Crist doesn’t care.

The governor is facing a revolt inside his own party from conservative aligned with his opponent for U. S. Senate, Marco Rubio.  Crist needed to reward someone who continued to support him.

Tynan fit the bill. 

What the governor is really doing by appointing Tynan is guaranteeing the seat will stay Democratic in the long run.

Crist doesn’t care.

Tynan’s inability to be re-elected doesn’t mean he can’t achieve something.

One of the problems with the all-Democratic Broward School Board is they sing with one voice. A different voice is needed now more than ever.

If a special election isn’t held before the next session of the Legislature  Tynan should help with the Republican leadership in Tallahassee.

Legislative doors shut in the face of the Broward Democrats on the Board.  The doors will open for Tynan, especially in Crist’s office.

But Tynan shouldn’t get too cozy in his new role.  He’s a lame duck before even being sworn in.

15 Responses to “Tynan Is A Lame Duck Before He Starts”

  1. GOPapa says:

    You are right that Kevin was a very weak chair.
    The truth is that almost no Republican, with the exception of Abe Lincoln himself, could win that district. It is heavily Democratic because that is the way that Gallagher wanted it.

  2. news says:

    WHAT A joke, CHARLIE IS THIS YOUR best?????????????????????

  3. What Kevin Can Do says:

    Tynan can do many things that would be helpful. First, he could use his clout as an intelligent outsider looking into that huge bureaucracy to point out it’s failures and help it confront them with solutions. That in itself would be a great achievement.

    Second, he could begin to establish a close working relationship with his community, irrespective of political party, and endear himself to them through proximity and policy alignment. It’s up to him whether he will be that smart. That community needs a leader now that Bev is heading to the big house. He has the opportunity to fill that void.

    Third, while people in that area are mostly democrats, I think it is absolutely possible for him to be such a whirlwind of positivity on that school board that he ends up being a local favorite irrespective of party. Again, it is all up to Kevin Tynan and how he plans to do business.

    FROM BUDDY: Very well put!

  4. nottinamazesme says:

    I wish Mr. Tynan all the luck in the world and I hope with all those juicy temptations abounding out there, that he keeps his arms folded and not stretched out in the cookie jar.
    I also hope he does something about our age-old Broward School Board blacklisting system of teachers because when you do find a teacher with enough of what it takes to step up to the plate and speak up about things that aren’t done by the book, he/she is squashed. This bullied teacher will now soon be gotten rid of somehow and be forever blacklisted in Broward for future employment.

    What happened to freedom of speeech? What happened to virtues like: integrity, honesty, responsibility, cooperation, respect, and all the other cores values Broward teachers are supposed to teach their students? The Board denies the teachers of that same philosophy they say teachers should implant in kids. It’s one thing one way, but totally different the other. Teachers are bullied constantly in the workplace, yet no one cares enough to do anything about it. There are many knowledgeable teachers out there with great intentions who hold back because they don’t want to jeapordize their jobs. Holding back? That’s just plain unprofessional! Why not have teachers give fully of all they’ve got to benefit the children, because the principals are afraid it would undermine them by showing how unprepared they are for their jobs??
    I once knew a principal who felt like that. This person was so insecure and felt so little inside that each day you could actually feel the bad vibes in the main office. You could feel how heavy the air was. You could sense the way people just shared despise. Whenever this principal would walk into the Teacher Planning Room suddenly everyone would just hush up so as to not be accused of saying something that wasn’t what was “supposed” to be heard by this individual. Nasty looks from this person abounded left and right (unless you were an informant…then you’d get the best classes, etc). People would joke about it saying they had been given the evil eye. This principal didn’t even like it when people were heard laughing! This person’s character was just so twisted, always trying to intimidate to feel strong and powerful, if you were called into the office it was to accuse you of mysterious email complaints that were recieved (all lies!) a real vindictive bully before your eyes. Yet, awards, accolades, applause, and ultimately a promotion came their way from the District, since this person was their choice for the job…the very best Broward had to offer. From those principal’s lips I once heard these unforgetable words: “I’ll make sure ____xyz____ (name of teacher who quit) never works in Broward again!”
    I really and truly hope Mr. Tynan can do something about the working conditions here in this town and that he can somehow become an advocate for teachers and teacher’s rights. There’s just so much about the School Board that people just don’t know…..

  5. Reform Needed but .... says:

    It is reported that Tynan has no experience in “education” (I dont mean he isn’t educated, or hasn’t played a role in educating his children, or doesn’t have opinions about education) and his children don’t even go to public schools. I am not sure if they ever have.

    How is this a good pick for a system of public education? What does he know about what the parents and teachers and students of public education are dealing with — other than from a set of political talking points? What are his views on funding of public education? What does he know of the struggles of Title I schools? Etc, Etc, Etc. He may be very well versed in these issues, it just doesnt jump out at you from the resume.

    I understand anything (within limits) is better than a crooked SB member. And, I understand that he likely can drive a discussion about comprehensive reform in ethics of SB (since he has no allegiances to the other BMs AND has no mandate from the folks in the district since he wasnt elected). But, the ONLY justification for this pick is someone who the republican party can trust to shake up the status quo in the SB processes and politics.

  6. William Bucknam says:

    Buddy:Your comments about Kevin Tynan are really unfortunate.Who really cares whether he is capable of winning this seat in the next election? I have known Kevin Tynan for many years and I know him to be honest,ethical and very hard working. For a period of time he worked as the Bar Counsel for The Florida Bar so he knows a bit about ethical conduct.There are just a few unethical lawyers in Florida who were disbarred because of Kevin Tynan’s excellent work.

    Honesty, integrity and ethical conduct are something that the entire Broward County School Board could use a huge injection of and I am quite confident that for whatever period of time that Kevin Tynan sits on that Board he will never tolerate the kind of outrageous behavior we have all learned of recently.

    We could only wish that the other members of the Broward County School Board were as “politically mediocre” as Kevin Tynan.

    FROM BUDDY: I was just dealing with the politics of the appointment and his ability to win re-election.
    I agree totally with your comments about Tynan’s ethics.
    Tynan has a lot to offer the school system in the time he will be there. Unfortunately, he is only one vote out of nine. But every journey starts with a single step.

  7. Check Your Facts says:

    Charlie always plays it safe.

    Kevin Tynan is a fitting encore to George LeMieux.

    This is why Alex Sink will be our next Governor.

    SHE has a bigger pair than Charlie ever will.

  8. Ed Pozzuoli says:


    Governor Crist’s selection of Kevin Tynan is a perfect choice for the Broward County School Board. Kevin offers something the School Board sorely needs: Integrity, Honesty and Ethics. With a billion+ dollars budget, Kevin also provides the intellect and judgment that the SB craves. Haven’t we had enough of politics on the School Board. Politics is about the adults (special interests, unions). Have we forgotten that education is about children and the obligation we owe them. I am certain that Kevin Tynan will not forget this obligation.
    The old political paradigm is dead. Overt School Board politics has achieved nothing but an indictment, an uncaring public school system controlled by those who care little about educating our children, a system that fails those who have no other educational choice and fights against any parental power to makes choices on behalf of their own children. School Board politics hs created a culture of corruption. Politics is about contol and nothing to do with providing quality education.
    Kevin is fully equipped to shine the on a broken system. Unquestioned character and integrity may not be valued by some but it is what Kevin will provide and what the School Board so desperately needs.

  9. Unbiased says:

    EP: Wow, that was unbiased and doesnt sound like a political wrestling match for the district. You may be correct on what you say, but wonder if you would have written that about a democrat?

    Honestly, tho, Are you suggesting this was NOT a political appointment (uh, the thing about adults) but rather an appointment who best reflects and understands the concerns of parents, students, and teachers in the public school system and who is best in touch with the struggles each has at the local school level? Has he attended a PTA/PTO/PTSA/SAC/SAF meeting in a public school? Uh, also was there no one else in that district (or anywhere) who had experience in education, who was smart, who was ethical, who had integrity, who sent their own children to public schools (as reported elsewhere)?

    I mean, it is still a representative democracy and shouldnt the appointment reflect the district and all the issues to be presented? Or, is politics enough.

    Look, I am sure he is smart and ethical. Lots of people are. I am sure he wanted the job. Lots of people did. I am sure that the School Board needs a kick in the pants. Everyone knows that.

    But, EP, please do not, as GOP past leader upset you lost the seat, oversell the appointment. Better to just say “Hey, Charlie appointed someone he can trust, who is not connected to the interests of concern, and who Charlie thinks will stir up the issues that need to be discussed. He believes in ethics reform and reviewing top down the problems of the school system so that quality and fully funded public education is protected as a fundamental right. He is a quick study and surely, despite (if true) the fact that he doesnt send his own children to the public school system, he is committed to quality public education, better funding, more accountability of the funding used, and improving education for everyone. Despite the GOP stands on vouchers and curbing public education funding, he believes that quality public education is the backbone of an intelligent democracy and fundamental right.”

  10. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    If you keep on doing what you’ve aleays done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got. One person will not make one bit of difference….keep shoveling.

  11. to nottinamazesme says:

    To the teacher who goes by “nottinamazes me,” please don’t rail on about the administration at the schools until you learn to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, your remarks are poorly written and include numerous grammatical errors (including run-on sentences). Part of the problem with our educational system is that many of our teachers aren’t qualified to teach; though I’m not involved in education professionally, I’ve certainly read enough material written by nearly illiterate teachers to understand that we need changes at all levels of the system (electeds, administrators and educators).

  12. Chaz Stevens says:

    If memory serves, didn’t Kevin Tynan once represent Steve “Under Felony Charges” Gonot?

    Mom always said something about the company you keep…

    FROM BUDDY: You are correct. Tynan represented Gonot, defending the former Deerfield Beach commissioner against various complaints while in office.
    Tynan is not listed as Gonot’s defense attorney in his pending case involving accusations of official misconduct and three other charges.

  13. nottinamazesme says:

    Thank you so much for your philosophies and grammatical explanations of our Shakespearean language. I’ll try to communicate in another language next time and see if you are as equally verbose there as well.
    I’m actually glad I came across you because it’s always so wonderful to come across people who are superior and, therefore, able to teach one the right way to go about doing things, or the right tone with which to write. Oh, and before I forget, where did you ever get the idea that I was a teacher?
    Smile and be happy, won’t you? May the sun always shine on your back. God Bless!
    BTW, you have spelling errors…or are they typos in your case?

  14. Jig is Up says:

    With all of the corruption which has come at least in part from one-party-rule here in Broward, I think that its good that a Republican (or Independent) has gotten on the SB.
    I would think that even local Dems realize that one political view 24/7 on the SB is not a good thing.
    I actually believe that if there were more Republicans and Independents in the SB and County Commission we would have far less problems with corruption.
    Tynan is a down-to-earth, honest, nice guy. He is not spectacular and he is not a superstar. He is simply a straight shooter whos word is golden.
    We need that about now.

  15. Alvin Entin says:

    I beg to differ with your assessment of kevin Tynan. I served as party Counsel under Pozzuoli, Tynan and LeMeieux and found Kevin as effective as Ed or George, just in a quieter way. of the three Kevin was both the most Conservative and the most reflective. You are unfair to reach any conclusion on his Commission losses in Pembroke Pines. when Kevin ran, and ran well, he was marginalized by the huge Democrat majority in his district exemplified by huge liberal Condominium vote. In those Condo’s he was clearly identified as a Republican and the vote became partyline in a non-partisan election.

    Kevin is a tireless worker and a strong campaigner. With the record of decency, integrity and accomplishment he will provide on the school board I believe he will both run and win. when that occurs I will invite you to a dinner of Roast “Lame Duck” L’Orange, my treat.