Broward Insiders Want To Take Your Victory Away

The Broward elite are trying to snatch your victory over the corrupt political machine by rewriting electoral history. This Sun-Sentinel ode to Ilene Lieberman (D-Mango) wants to paint her crushing defeat on an overall hatred of incumbent politicians. Last Tuesday Lieberman’s bid to be a county judge was overwhelmed by Kathleen “Katie” McHugh, a novice in Broward politics.

The Sun-Sentinel reminds us of Lieberman’s long career in Broward. Heck, writer Larry Barsezewski gets bonus points for mentioning her corruption scandals, her love of cats and the Ilene Lieberman Botanical Gardens. He includes an self-serving email from Lieberman saying she is “looking forward to returning to practice law full-time, with my husband full time [sic], and spending much more time with my family, especially my grandchildren.” (Don’t forget her 27 cats!)

Mitch Ceasar provides the laughs on election day

But the story really veers off course when discussing “underestimated voter antipathy toward incumbents, their political fatigue with long-serving officials and a negatively charged election season.” Local comedian/Democrat chair Mitch Ceasar told the paper, “The public mood out there is unhappy with everybody about everything….This is the most toxic atmosphere I’ve ever seen and we’re not even in the general election yet.” Really? Is this the same public that re-elected Ceasar to his DEC post? You know the post that his rivals spent over $25,000 to beat him. Mitch spent all day at his polling place wearing a “Mitch Ceasar” t-shirt. He won. Guess the anti-incumbent fervor passed him by.

But wait, there’s more. The story includes quotes from Broward poiltician enabler extraordinaire Bernie Friedman of Becker Poliakoff. Friedman and his team of lobbyists fund the campaigns of the Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter. Friedman told the Sun-Sentinel, “She understands an issue sometimes a lot better than the lobbyists coming in to talk to her….It comes from doing homework and understanding the nuances.”

You want nuance, Bernie? Check out this tidbit on the courthouse groundbreaking from Ilene’s email:

“Getting a long overdue new courthouse is one of which I am also proud, especially considering all the hostility from the public and the many roadblocks we had to deal with on this issue.”

Did you hear that? Lieberman thinks your vote not to spend money on new courthouse is “hostility”! We are just to freaking stupid to realize that Broward needs to spend millions on a new courthouse and artwork for the courthouse. She thinks we’re too stupid to figure out that well-connected construction firms need the government contracts. Lieberman, Ritter, Becker Poliakoff and LSN Partners know better than us peons. How dare we throw “roadblocks” in front of their well-laid out plans.

Oh, they hate when we dare speak up. They hate the questions. They hate when their cozy financial relationships are revealed. They hate when we share information about ongoing criminal investigations. Poor Ilene was upset with blog comments.

“Friedman said anonymous comments on blogs about Lieberman took their toll, but he had nothing but praise for her work.

‘I think her hallmark over the years has always been that she takes her job seriously and cares deeply and passionately about issues and will argue aggressively and assertively,’ he said.”

The political smackdown of Ilene Lieberman was your victory. Enough Republicans, Democrats and Independents were tired of the condescending attitudes, the cronyism and the corruption. This had very little to do with anger at incumbents. If it did, how do you explain the big victories of Judge Dale Ross and Judge Terri-Ann Miller. Both incumbents. Judge Bobby Diaz barely escaped a November runoff; He’s another incumbent.

Broward State Attorney Mike Satz was first elected in 1976. He got more than 60% of the vote over Chris Mancini.

While technically not an incumbent, Katie Leach has been on the Broward School Board for over a year. She won with nearly 60% of the vote. To everyone’s surprise, School Board Member Donna Korn bested the lobbyist-financed campaign of Franklin Sands (D-LSN Partners) forcing a November runoff.

Dale Holness won. Tim Ryan, a Dania Beach commissioner and former State legislator, will join Holness on the Broward County Commissioner. Ryan is hardly a newcomer.

Geez, even Joe Gibbons (D-Jacksonville) won. Are we missing anyone?

No. The biggest defeat of the night was Ilene Lieberman. You sent her packing because she deserved to be sent packing.

We’re all tired of the mess in Broward. And we’re finally ready to send those who created the mess into retirement. Even if they’re Democrats.

Winter is coming.

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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