Waldman’s Reasons For Trying To Kill Corruption Bill


State Rep. Jim Waldman’s image took a real beating this past week.

The Coconut Creek Democrat tried every which way to kill a bill which would create a special unit to fight corruption in Broward.

The Miami Herald attacked him.  The Sun-Sentinel attacked him.

But Waldman says he has his reasons.

Jim Waldman

Nobody has fully reported his position, so Browardbeat.com will.

“I’m objecting to the way this is being rammed down our throats, Waldman says. “This is what Republican leadership does all the time ramrod through legislation.

Isn’t anti-corruption a good thing?

“This is a phony bill. It isn’t a corruption bill, Waldman says. “It’s a gadfly bill.  It has no teeth. 

Waldman says the corruption unit would be a bottomless pit of costs.  But it can only refer wrongdoing it finds to the state attorney for prosecution.

“They are suppose to look at the School Board, the county commission, the water districts, the hospital districts, the cities, Waldman says. “It is adding another layer of government and you can imagine what that will eventually cost.

He also points out that the anti-corruption unit would have an inspector general appointed by a six-person committee — the Broward mayor, Broward’s public defender and state attorney, Broward chief judge, the president of the county police chiefs association and someone selected by the legislative delegation chairman.

The inspector general couldn’t be fired unless there was a unanimous vote of the committee, according to Waldman.

“If you have just one vote, you have a job for life, Waldman says.

The inspector general could sit at government meetings on the dais and ask questions about expenses and spending.

He says the Republicans in the Legislature are pushing the bill because an inspector general would ride herd on the almost all-Democratic Broward political structure.

“They want to sit there and point out misspending by Broward Democrats…That’s not anti-corruption. That’s an auditor, Waldman said. “It’s an auditor’s bill. It’s an auditor’s job to ask about waste and spending….We need a bill centered on corruption.

Waldman desperately tried to slow down the bill Wednesday.  He called for the bill to be TPd, temporarily passed, which means it would be called back at a future date.

“We’ve got 52 more days up here (in Tallahassee for the 60 day session), he says. “What’s the rush? This is a big move and we should think it through.

In the end, Waldman counted noses and voted with the rest of the delegation to pass the bill. Only state Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, voted no.

Waldman says his vote would allow him to propose an amendment to the bill in committee which would improve it.  It would place the anti-corruption unit in the Broward State Attorney’s Office, eliminating the need for another layer of government.

But that would leave the anti-corruption responsibility where it has been in the past. 

And that hasn’t worked, has it, Jim?

“(State Attorney Mike Satz) says he didn’t have the money in the past.  My amendment would have a funding mechanism to create a unit and go after corruption, Waldman says.

The bills sponsor, state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, outlined her views in a letter that the Miami Herald published:

Last week, Broward legislators met in Tallahassee to consider legislation that would implement the recommendations of the Broward County Ethics Commission to create a local Office of Inspector General to combat public corruption. This is something that our political leaders have put off far too long. We must do everything possible to restore the public’s trust and confidence.

While I am the sponsor of the bill, I have no pride of authorship. I have worked with members of both parties to address their concerns, and together we have created a comprehensive approach. Throughout my years working in the political process, I have regarded virtually all elected officials as hard-working, dedicated public servants. However, a few high-profile cases have recently shaken the public’s faith and trust in our political system. When local leaders failed to act, I recognized that we needed to challenge the status quo and take meaningful steps for reform.

While the public doesn’t view corruption as a partisan issue, sadly, state Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, turned last week’s meeting into a circus by launching baseless partisan attacks. He attempted to derail the anti-corruption proposal and appeared to be complaining at the behest of two lobbyists working directly for two Broward County commissioners sitting in the room.

I am committed to addressing the legitimate concerns raised during the meeting and pushing forward to take a vote on the bill. In the end, if Waldman, or any other member, votes against it, I trust the public will respond accordingly.”

Waldman laughs off the charges that he engaged in partisan attacks.

“This bill is important. We need a bill. We also need time to consider it and make it better. Why it is being rushed?  Why?  Because Ellyn Bogdanoff is running for office and because the Republicans can shove it through, Waldman says.

Waldman and Bogdanoff clashed last year.  Bogdanoff blocked Waldman’s attempt to raise taxes on cigarettes, but caved in at the end of the session.

The Waldman-Bogdanoff clashes are like a family fight.

Bogdanoff was a member of the Steel Magnolias, three females that worked to get candidates elected in Broward in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Waldman’s ex-wife, Aleida “Ali” Waldman, was also a Magnolia.

So Jim Waldman and Ellyn Bogdanoff spent a lot of time together before being elected.      

Waldman says that Bogdanoff’s charges that he is trying to kill the bill for partisan reasons actually could help him with his Democratic constituents.

“I always was charged with being a Democrat in name only because I used to be a Republican, Waldman says. “No one can say that now. I’m standing up to the Republican leaders.

16 Responses to “Waldman’s Reasons For Trying To Kill Corruption Bill”

  1. Waldafold says:

    Waldman makes a living out of folding to Ellyn Bogdanoff. Nothing new here.

    FROM BUDDY: Actually Waldman is the general council of Keiser College.

  2. Hallandale Beach Blog says:

    Dear Buddy:

    Thanks for continuing to write about this particular topic even while much of South Florida’s news media wants to play ‘gotcha’ with stories of little real consequence, rather than writing about, say, the FL-17 Congressional race to replace Meek, for instance.
    (As of about a week ago, the Herald had written exactly five sentences on that race, with one of them being a list of candidates.)

    If it’s any consolation to anyone, just as they have in Tallahassee, Jim Waldman, like Perry Thurston
    and Chris Smith, also acted like a horse’s-ass at the Broward Leg.
    Delegation meeting at the Las Olas building of FAU/BCC in early February, which I’ve written about a few times on my own blog.

    Waldman’s comments here about throwing more money in Satz’s direction echo exactly what grand-standing Sen. Chris Smith said at the time, which really freaked-out the assembled public, and made many laugh at him while he spoke,
    including me, since what he proposes so clearly turns logic on its head.

    For them to be right, we have to disregard everything we have seen and heard over the past few years, and to me, that’s too much to ask, and why their arguments fail to persuade.

    Waldman & Co. actually want us to believe that someone who has repeatedly shown no previous inclination to be a real bloodhound (Satz), will suddenly change his whole persona and way of operating, simply because he has more money? He won’t.
    He is what he is.

    It’s not about money, per se, it’s about priorities.

    If Satz had ever shown the same degree of concern about public corruption as Broward’s citizenry, getting more money for his office to accomplish this goal would have been a far easier sale in the past, wouldn’t it? And especially now.

    However imperfect they may’ve been, you can hardly criticize the Broward Ethics Comm. for rightly taking into account Satz’s own past track record, and seeing how futile simply throwing more greenbacks at him might be.

    We are where we are right now in terms of public corruption in this county precisely because of many of Satz’s bad choices in the past -the road not taken- not from citizens’ disinterest in honest government and increased accountability and transparency.

    There’s a reason that the Ethics Comm.’s final product emerged the way it did.

    If Waldman had actually shown-up at their meetings like I often did,
    it would be perfectly apparent why they wanted an IG and not have these duties in the Broward SAO.

    And seriously, under Waldman’s plan, who exactly would Michael Satz get campaign contributions from in the future?
    Correct, the very same sort of people he might have to actually investigate, some of whom he no doubt considers friends.

    Sorry, I don’t want to have to be on the honor system with Satz any more than I want to be on it with Joy Cooper and the gang at Hallandale Beach City Hall!
    They all have long ago lost the benefit of the doubt.

    Waldman should do the math now and realize that Democrats who are opposing this common sense plan under the guise that it’s a GOP plot are not only going to be on the wrong side of history, but are, effectively, putting a noose around their own political futures.

    Since I don’t know Waldman, I’m perfectly content to watch him slip that rope around his neck and let gravity do its thing, and have him replaced by someone who can accept political evolution. Evolve or die.

    Buddy, I’d have emailed you some video I shot of that February Broward Leg. Del. meeting to buttress my points here, but the grandstanding that took place there -esp. by Dan Gelber- not only ate into the public’s time to speak at the end, but also caused me to run out of memory space on my video camera.

  3. joker says:


  4. Resident says:

    I disagree with Waldman. His first point is that the Inspector General could only refer wrongdoing it finds to the state attorney for prosecution. That’s where prosecutions are supposed to be. And yet, he wants to place the anti-corruption unit in the Broward State Attorney’s Office anyhow. The end result is the same, to the state attorney for prosecution. Also, what difference is there in the funding mechanism. The money will come from somewhere.

    Next, he objects that “They are suppose to look at the School Board, the county commission, the water districts, the hospital districts, the cities.” Well, why shouldn’t they. Too bad it doesn’t include the State Legislature and judges as well.

    Another objection, “It is adding another layer of government and you can imagine what that will eventually cost.” What we have doesn’t work, and this objection is nothing more than a red flag. If he wants to remove a layer of government, reform Broward County Government. The county is over 90% incorporated. However, the county doesn’t get it that its job is shrinking.

    The one point he may have, if true is, “The inspector general couldn’t be fired unless there was a unanimous vote of the committee.” This should be corrected to remove them by super majority.

    Other than that the bill should move forward. Broward needs to clean up its act, along with all governments. If it passes, maybe we can be a leader in proper ethics, rather than a leader in ethics failures.

  5. Time To Act says:

    This is the height of arrogance and corruption. Voters need to throw out every commissioner that has stood in the way of clean government.

  6. Ilene's Bitch says:

    Waldman is following his marching orders from Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter, who have been in Tallahassee to shoot down this bill.
    He wants to be state Senator and Lieberman and Ritter will help in return for his integrity.

  7. It better work says:

    Before the Rs get carried away with attacks on any D who doesn’t like Bogdanoff’s “take it or leave it approach” let’s take a look at what happened. Waldman did not try to kill the bill, he just wanted one more week to perfect it so that it really will be an anti-corruption solution.

    Residents are angry that too many elected officials’ corrupt dealing have been found out and rightly demand that action be taken to root out all such behavior and prosecute the bad apples. But if the plan doesn’t actually work. If it turns out to be another Carl Rove type “Bumper Sticker” sound bite designed to passify voters without accomplishing the goal, then the publics’ rath will not be contained.

    Waldman just asked for an additional week to STRENGTHEN the anti-corruption bill and not let the Republicans ram it through.

    If you don’t believe that that is what the Rs are doing in Tallahassee just read today’s Miami Herald story about banning the releae of 911 calls. It begins:”House Republicans muscle a ban on the public release of 911 calls…stacking a committee to ensure passage…under an obscure rule the majority party has used three times this year to force through legislation.”

    Go Waldman! Pass a hard hitting anti-corruption bill with real teeth to take a bite out of corrupt elected officials. Don’t let the Rs ram through a bill that will not work.

  8. Right Wing Reactionary says:

    Isn’t it amazing that Waldman’s criticism of Republican zeal to pass this bill quickly with little or no debate mirrors the Republican criticism of the Democrats in Congress and their zeal to pass the health care bill with little or no debate? Both are good ideas, but the powers that be need to learn the difference between action and reaction. Unless the anti corruption bill requires Mike Satz to prosecute, we’ll get the same stonewalling of prosecution we’ve had for years. The bill’s been passed and now Waldman has the opportunity to amend the bill to death just like the Republicans intend to do with health care.

  9. Waldman Wrong says:

    We need ethics reform NOW. Even an imperfect bill is better than nothing, which is what we have now under Satz.
    If Waldman was trying to kill the bill at the behest of two county commissioners as Ellyn Bogdanoff charges, he is finished. He should be defeated.

  10. NowHetero Rev.Ted Haggard says:

    If the State Attorney acted like one, and did his job and prosecuted public corruption consistently and diligently, there is absolutely no need for an Inspector General Patton.

  11. Jackie Waldman says:

    I love my dad. I just wish people would state their real names when commenting on the words of those who are not afraid to state theirs. Unlike many, my dad is not afraid to stand up and put his name on what he believes in, so why are you?

  12. sol rojo says:

    Jim Waldman makes some good points. The personal animosity he shows to Ellyn Bogdanoff should be put aside and he should work through the amendment process to fine tune the bill. He needs to understand that we need something in Broward to keep the county commission and school board honest.

  13. resident says:

    Dear Jackie,

    I am sure your dad taught you there are bad people out there. Well, there is a reason they call it politics, and there are bad people there too.

    Freedom of Speech also give the right of keeping their identity silent. Sometimes because people will retailiate (politicians like your father are good at those things, as well as non elected politicians that like to control politics). Sometimes they are in a position that coming forward will put them in jeopardy, i.e., job. That is why we have whistle blower statutes for those few that will step forward.

    Your father accepted this when he ran, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. So you will have to accept it as part of our way of government. He is a public figure.

    So love your dad, but if it disturbs you, then don’t read it.

  14. Jackie waldman says:

    “resident”, you are correct in that my father accepted this when he ran for office and continues to accept it. At times i do get frustrated, yes. Disturbed enough not to read, not so much. I was mainly referring to the comment posted by people such as “ilene’s bitch”. Things like that are just uncalled for. Thank you for the response. (typed from a cell phone-please excuse any errors)

    FROM BUDDY: Jackie, you are a wonderful daughter. Your Dad must be proud of you. But please continue to read….:-)

  15. Jackie waldman says:

    Thanks Buddy! Will do. Great blog!

  16. resident says:


    You are right, but you won’t change anything but to encourage it more.

    So put up with it, or do what I am sure a lot of other politicians do (or people running for office or helping another run for office), write a rebuttal using another name. I believe that that happens a lot on this blog. For all you or your father knows, it was probably written by someone your father knows really well.