When Sheila and Bev Were “Friends”


I’ve been in my vault again.

I found another invitation to a Bev Gallagher fund raiser.

And guess who is the second name listed as a Gallagher “friend” solicting campaign donations?

Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu, who was also wearing a wire for the FBI against Gallagher at the time.

The date of the fund raiser — the invitation is below — was September 27, 2007.  That was more than a year after she volunteered to be an informant for the FBI.

The invitiation vividly points up another problem with the School Board. I can write endlessly about the influence of lobbyists at the Board, but the invitation makes the point better.

The campaign reception was thrown at the Fort Lauderdale home of Neil Sterling,  the major lobbyist for the construction industry at the Board. His clients are all over the criminal complaint against Gallagher.  The clients are not accused of any legal wrongdoing.

The best known lobbyists or “government consultants” on the invitation include Jim Blosser, Ron Book, Mike Colodny, Andy DiBattista, Joel Fass, Bernie Friedman, W. Earl Hall, Alex Heckler, Jim Kane, Russ Klenet, Howard Kusnick, Dennis Mele, Barbara Miller, Mike Moskowitz, George Platt, Billy Ruben (sic.), Bill Spencer and Neil Sterling. Add to that list Marta Friedman, wife of Bernie, and Gary Poliakoff, partner of Bernie.

On the  list are  numerous folks who do business with the School Board,  like Terry Stiles, who sold the School Board their new building in Sunrise or Bernard Zyscovich, architect of many school projects.

Alu sticks out on the list as one of the few elected city officials sponsoring the event because Sunrise is not in Gallagher’s district.  

The FBI undercover agents, who may or may not have been at the reception, are not listed.




























10 Responses to “When Sheila and Bev Were “Friends””

  1. The truth says:

    The invitation is great. You are right, Buddy. It shows who props up the losers who serve on the Board. Did you see that the School Board members themselves backed her? It is a real insider club of lobbyists who are paying the Board members. The next one to godown–Kraft.

  2. Curious says:

    As you know Buddy, for some, the simple existence on such an invite does not mean a terrific amount in and of itself; part of the message is to scare people who might run away by showing who the candidate’s “friends” are I assume and the term “friend” may be a unfair term as we use it across the back fence. However, when business interests join the list of “friends” hoping for reelection, it certainly seems in retrospect worrying/disturbing/alarming. None of us or in the media seemed worried at the time, tho there are many a “gadfly” who raise these issues when looking at contributor lists and such supportive literature. It is also interesting the point you raise regarding Alu’s support outside Gallagher’s district. How long had Alu been wearing a wire — 4 years? Was she trying to get invited on these lists to go tape everyone? If so, was she wearing one at these events and what control did she have over what she taped (phone conversations on the phone) and when they were taped?

  3. Sha-la-la says:

    Amen on Kraft and screw Sam Fields and his mindless ramblings. He is a wannabe. Buddy, why do you let that guy even post on your site?

    FROM BUDDY: As far as Sam Fields, what does he want to be?
    I let Sam post on my site because he has interesting points of view. His approach to events of the day is sometimes unusual and often humorous. Most of all, he is thought provoking and never boring.

  4. I wonder says:

    Say what you want but it appears that judy stern was smart enough to stay away from these vipers and rats and that is why she is not even mentioned in this garbage. She may campiagn tough but at least she fights clean and LEGAL.

  5. Watch This says:

    The School Board will discuss the AshBritt scandal next week and how we were robbed in the hurricane cleanup. The public will see if they will deal with it or sweep it under the rug for their friends.

  6. The Purpose of Host Committees says:

    The purpose of a host committee:

    There are not a large number of people or businesses contribute to policial campaigns. Most contributors have a business or personal interest in government and they contribute to the campaigns that they think will help produce the outcomes that they want. There is nothing in our political system that makes that illegal, immoral or unethical even though campaign contributions are often attacked on that very basis.

    The purpose of a host committee is several fold. First, those hosts are supposed to be prominent enough to give comfort to potential contributors that the candidate is “one of us” in how they think. People who sign up for hosts are in fact vouching for that candidate and what they stand for. Hosts are also supposed to bundle contributions for the candidate.

    Take a look at the list of host for this Gallager event. Start connecting the dots. Take note of who is there, but also who is not listed. Ask yourself in each instance, why is that person on that host committee? And the dots will start to connect for you easily enough.

    FROM BUDDY: Very good point on connecting the dots.

  7. In The Know says:

    Yeah… Go ahead and tell us how clean and legal Stern is, especially when she printed a phony Black leadership endorsement pamphlet in 2002 replacing Darla Carter with her boy, Paul Eichner.

  8. All About Judy says:

    Buddy I see lots of posts here about Judy Stern and I find it fascinating how much is said about one individual who unless I am mistaken is not an elected official.

    She must be a very powerful person to generate so much attention. From what I can tell most of the negative comments are from people that seem to fear her doing what she does, whatever that is. I have heard of Judy Sterm before but do not know much about her.

    Who is she and what makes her so worthy of so many comments?

    FROM BUDDY: Judy Stern is a political consultant and lobbyist who got her start in Miramar campaigns maybe 20 or more years ago.
    She worked as a legal secretary for awhile and is well known among the older litigators and courthouse figures. She has handled some judicial races.
    She got her real start in lobbying from powerbroker and real estate investor Hamilton Forman and the Forman family. She branched out from the Formans and that family has very little to do with her anymore.
    Stern learned that if she help politicians with their campaigns, they are more likely to help her by voting for her clients. She helps raise money and run their campaigns.
    Lobbyist Stern is said to be particularly close to County Commissioners Lois Wexler and John Rodstrom and helped them with campaign strategy. She is also said to have the ear of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom and Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, having worked on their campaigns. She heavily backed Joe Eggelletion. There are others.
    The wife of Angelo Castillo, vice mayor of Pembroke Pines, works for Stern.
    She has been a very effective campaign strategist and lobbyist. But is Stern as politically powerful as some believe?
    Politics is perception and the perception is that she is powerful.
    Here are the facts as I see them:
    Stern has lost plenty of races (just think, Scott Israel for sheriff) and she has lost as a lobbyist.
    I also believe Stern’s effectiveness is sometimes hampered by her personality.
    In my experience, Stern can be a vengeful and nasty campaigner. She can be malicious to anyone she preceives to have slighted her or who votes against her clients. The line of political figures who have broken with her is lengthy.
    She is a very complex woman.

  9. This deserves repeating says:

    “Most contributors have a business or personal interest in government and they contribute to the campaigns that they think will help produce the outcomes that they want. There is nothing in our political system that makes that illegal, immoral or unethical even though campaign contributions are often attacked on that very basis.

  10. Publicly Financed Campaigns says:

    If you want to free society from the influence of special interests in campaigns, then you have to reform campaign financing.

    You have to make newspapers and TV stations run ads and features for candidates for free. Each of us has to contribute to a public fund where candidates can draw money to pay their campaign expenses without relying on individual contributions.

    That’s the public financed campaign method. Some say this would violate the First Amendment, not true.

    If we are not willing to reform campaign finance, then shut the heck up and live with the status quo. It is that simple.

    Either campaigns take contributions from anyone those who have a stake in the outcome, or from a pool of public cash that expects no outcome.