“Screw The Bills” And “Squish The Fish”

Remember those epic AFC East battles back the 1990s? The Miami Dolphins, lead by Dan Marino and Don Shula, would take on Marv Levy and his Buffalo Bills. We knew Marino would score points against Corneilius Bennett and Daryl Talley; We just held our collective breath when Jim Kelly handed the ball to Thurman Thomas.

The winner would have the upper hand in the race to the Super Bowl and each city knew it. Brother Weez would send t-shirts and billboard wishes from western New York. Fans in South Florida would don “Screw the Bills” t-shirts and cross their fingers.

Dolphins fans grew an inferiority complex that would last well into the 21st Century. Now matter how many records Marino shattered, the Dolphins defense couldn’t stop the Bills. The Bills would advance to Super Bowl four times. Fans in Miami were left to wonder “what if”?

Today the Dolphins will meet the Bills in a meaningless NFL divisional match up. Each team’s season was lost weeks ago. But it illustrates an important point.

Things change.

Things are changing in Broward.

Unfortunately, many still harbor an inferiority complex. They believe in the status quo–even in the face of growing evidence that the “Machine” is crumbling from within. Many outsiders still quake in fear of the Century Villagers and money men from downtown law firms and business groups. They dont realize those guys had made bad bets. They support people unworthy of their loyalty, support and money. A new generation of greedy and incompetent leaders have squandered the legacy of their party and this county.

The new generation games the system for their own gain, whether political, financial or both. They think they’re invincible; They believe the laws don’t apply to them.

They redraw maps for their own gain, not to provide fair representation, even though they fought for “fair districts”.

They rail against Governor Scott and Tallahassee for cutting education funds, while they divvy up school funds among friends and the well-connected.

They take teachers hard-earned money and funnel it to the Democrat party and favored candidates.

When the union boss resigns in shame, under the cloud of a criminal investigation, they reward him with a $175,000 payoff. They fear he will sue them if they do not.

They overlook political corruption for decades, while the staff runs for political office or serves on boards of entities with direct ties to the same folks that should be under investigation.

They roam the halls of government whispering in the ears of good people…telling them to just “go along”…”don’t rock the boat”…”we will take care of you in the end”.

Then, they say they still like them while pulling the knives from their backs.

But there are cracks.

In its first report, the new Broward Inspector General uncovered the typical Broward racket: government creates a new program or department. The office is manned with incompetent cronies who reward fellow cronies with government contracts.

It happens all over Broward.

Fellow Democrat politicians are starting to whisper about the bad apples in their ranks; They are disgusted by their incompetence, their indifference and even their obvious bigotry. But they are afraid to act. They are afraid to lead.

Perhaps they will come forward. Many fear the Broward voter. They realize the condo commandos and church brigades may not be enough to save them next year. They witnessed the quick verdict in the Sylvia Poitier case and they know you’re angry. They know you’ve had enough.

Still, the usual suspects think they’re bulletproof. They still scheme. They think no one is watching. They think others will fall on their swords, refuse to name names.

Hubris is the official motto of Broward county.

It is our job to look past the crumbling facade.

We need to raise our voices. It’s not about issues or the perfect candidates. It is about right and wrong.

We need to show others it’s ok to speak up. It’s ok to buck the system.

It’s ok to ask Mitch Ceasar, Rod Smith and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Out Of Touch) about their silence regarding Broward corruption.

We should ask Maureen Dinnen why she mocked the media and citizens that dared to mention corruption at the Broward School district. We should exposed the politicians who attempted to intimidate the whistleblowers.

Their power thrives when good people stay silent.

Forget the past. Forget the condo commandos. Forget the unfavorable districts. Forget the big war chests amassed by the favored few.

Things change. It is a part of nature. It is in the air.

As Hazelle Rogers says, “Go Dolphins. Screw the Bills.”

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Published by Tom Lauder

Covering South Florida Politics Since 2010...As Seen On: POLITICO, The Huffington Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, WPLG LOCAL 10 (ABC MIAMI), The New Times

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