Lighthouse Point political watchers are crying foul over a mayoral candidate’s apparent failure to properly qualify for the March election. Under city code Sec. 22-2(a), “A candidate for city office shall announce their candidacy by filing with the city clerk the notice of candidacy form, the petition of candidacy supported by the signatures of ten registered voters and qualified electors of the city….” In order to qualify, the petitions were due earlier this month. Normally, most politicians would meet the ten voter signature requirement by going out and getting twenty, forty or even a hundred signatures, just in case some signatures were challenged. It appears mayoral candidate Maria C. O’Donnell collected just the ten signatures.

Just one problem. It appears one of her ten supporters is not a registered voter.

The second signature on Maria O’Donnell’s petition is her neighbor, Fannie Currie. A search of local, State, private and public voter registration databases failed to locate any Lighthouse Point voter by that name.  A search of previous names Ms. Currie went by came up empty as well.

Under the Lighthouse Point city code, Maria O’Donnell would fail to qualify for the March election. Will the Lighthouse Point city clerk disqualify O’Donnell? Or, will the city ignore its own laws and leave her on the ballot?

It would seem pretty clear, but this is Broward after all….

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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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47 Comments

  1. Maria ODonnell personally asked Fannie Currie and ALL signatories if they were registered voters and Ms Currie said she definitely was. This is a dirty tactic. What you should look into in Becky Lysengen’s written discrimination to Maria ODonnell about her attendance in the Keepers Day parade. KEEP IT HONEST.

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    1. Dirty? Ms O’Donnell is a lawyer. She knows better to take “someone’s word” when dealing with important issue. This is why she should have gotten more signatures. She didn’t follow the law.

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      1. Maria O’Donnell PERSONALLY asked Ms. Currie along with ALL signatories if they were registered. You should be looking into Becky Lysengens written discrimination on behalf of the City of Lighthouse Point trying to prevent Ms. O’Donnell from being in the keepers day parade despite others running for office in the past being allowed to be in the parade.

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      2. I take great offense that the incumbent or anyone would ask I distrust my neighbor when I pointedly asked her if she was a registered voter and she was emphatic she was. You and the incumbent suggest we don’t trust our neighbors of Lighthouse Point? This issue is closed.
        You should investigate Becky Lysengen and her blatant disregard for the law and improper emails to me attempting to prevent us from participating in the Keepers Day parade. Blatant discrimination.

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      3. The incumbent? Who mentioned your opponent? Who said the issue is closed? You. And, unlike you, I will not just take your word for it. Broward voters take great offense when politicians can simply ignore laws they find inconvenient. Why didn’t you get more signatures? Why didn’t you consult a free voter database or ask SOE? This is NOT a matter of trusting your neighbor. It’s about following Elections laws when attempting to run for public office. If elected, Will you simply “trust” developers and lobbyists just because they may be your neighbors? Will you accept large cash campaign contributions from a neighbor because you “trust” them?

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    1. You are engaging in libel. I don’t appreciate that. I followed all the rules and respected them. I asked my neighbor pointedly if she was a registered voter, are you suggesting my incumbent asked for voter ID cards for his signatories? If he did not then your insults apply to him as well as every other candidate who has run who did not. Further your suggestion about my practice of law is further evidence of your obvious biased problem with me, how can you equate asking a neighbor if they are a registered voter and trusting this response about a personal detail with negotiating a contract??? Do you suggest I also then ask for deeds to homes as well from the signatories to assure they have legal ties to the residences???? Again did the incumbent do this? Did former candidates?? You are quite skewed in your dislike for me, and it is tainting your ability to report the news unbiased. Also notable is your refusal to acknowledge Becky Lysengen’s discrimination towards me in writing, I can see who’s side you are on and it’s pathetic these are the tactics of this election.

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      1. My dislike for you? I don’t know you well enough to dislike you. But no a big fan of you saying you “followed” the law when you did not. The LHP city code (which I cited in the article) requires a candidate to submit the name, address and signature of 10 registered LHP electors in order to run for office. You submitted 10 names, but only 9 are LHP electors. The requirement was not met. Any reasonable person seeking office would have verified the status of their supporters BEFORE submitting the names to the LHP clerk. It doesn’t require distrust its simple due diligence. And if you’re asking me how you should verify facts you encounter in your legal practice, I’ll find you an appropriate CLE class

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      2. “Due diligence”? Your argument suggests I also ask the residents for their deeds to prove they lived the… I asked and RE asked via t if they were registered voters and residents. They all confirmed. This has absolutely NO relation to my practice of law, this is not a legal case. I will review this and revisit the signatures.

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      3. If the LHP city code requires the name, address & signature of 1. Ten, 2. Registered, 3. Lighthouse Point, 4. Electors, then yes, use your due diligence to verify: you have ten Lighthouse Point residents who are registered to vote. Simple. No Juris Doctor required. The LHP code makes this YOUR obligation NOT your neighbors.

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      4. I’ll find a class for you on how to report the news with class and dignity. One signature of a neighbor does not define me as a lawyer, your clearly biased and ignorant to equate one with the other. Clearly that’s why you work for an internet local media outlet, if it even rises that that.

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      5. Gee, now I know why you immediately assume strangers “dislike” you. It’s ok to admit a mistake, even a big one. Americans love a comeback story. But lashing out with remarks like “libel” “skewed” and “ignorant” is hardly the way win friends and influence people. Also, if you’re going to pull the “class & dignity” maneuver, make sure you aren’t the one initiating the baseless attacks. Makes you look small.

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      6. Your position is most definitely “skewed” and personal, as you came out of the gate insulting me. Then you actually attempted to equate your attack with the success of my profession, offering me a CE class?? Really? That’s classless baseless and completely irrelevant. In Lighthouse Point we don’t have the slogan “don’t trust your neighbors”, we don’t get deeds to prove they live there, or demand voters card to prove they aren’t lying…that’s not our town. I was diligent and I can prove that. As for your attacks, you should go in lean next time, trim some of the fat off of your verbage to those you pinpoint for attack (for unknown but obvious reasons) and go for the real substantive issues of the news.

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      7. LHP may not have that slogan, but they do have City Code Section 22-2(a) which you failed to adhere to. Instead of attacking me, why not admit your mistake and move on? How were you “diligent?” You turned in 9 valid signatures when you needed 10! Failure to comply with the law would mean you don’t get to be mayor! Are we supposed to say “nice try?” Do you want a participation trophy? My story was neither “skewed” nor “personal.” As far as I know there is no grand conspiracy of coordinated attacks aimed at your section of Broward.

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      1. Exactly, you have no reasonable response to that. Notably still, your citation of the “law” is also erroneous. Govern yourself accordingly.

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      2. Reasonable response to what? Your attacks on me, my story, your political opponents? Your many desperate attempts to hide your mistake makes it difficult to follow along. Please, correct the record. Where was my error? Also, is your “govern yourself accordingly” some sort of legal threat?

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      3. Is this how you would govern as Mayor? Launch attacks, refuse to admit mistakes, misrepresent facts, then run away? email me your view on the entire matter. I’ll post it.

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      4. I am running a clean campaign. I am not going to play message games with you and whoever is behind your actions any further. Your gross distortions of the facts and now use of the female gender sign during your hostile attack over nothing is disturbing, to say the least. You’ve attacked my person and my profession, over nothing. I won’t respond again to your harassment.

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  2. I’ve never heard of Red Broward, Tom Lauder nor Maria O’Donnell before today. I’ve noticed campaign signs popping up in my neighbor’s yard and decided to do a google search on this candidate. Common sense dictates that if you’re gathering signatures to run for a political office that you should gather more than the minimum number required to be on the safe side. Maria’s “Blame everyone but me for my mistakes” attitude along with her snarky comments are definitely not what the people of Lighthouse Point want or need in a mayor. I’ve never met nor spoken with our current mayor but based on this exchange, I look forward to casting my ballot his way.

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  3. The ballot doesn’t require signatures like a petition, it isn’t about amount. It has ten spaces for ten signatures, all of which I gathered properly. The paragraph above and below the signatures must be present in order for a signature to be valid, and as you can see there’s no room to add another signature, nor are addendums (copies) to the paperwork allowed. I followed the rules.
    This “red broward” is a paid harassment.
    (editor: hyperlinks not allowed)

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  4. So let me get this straight. You can’t seem to understand that you need 10 valid signatures, period? And you are an attorney who takes people’s word for stuff like this? Aren’t attorneys supposed to be meticulous with details like this? Sorry. A mayor cannot make assumptions. Ever. And reading your reactionary comments on this blog only solidified my opinion that you are not fit to even be a commissioner. By the way you might want to attend commission meetings sometime. It’s a good place to start.

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  5. I am being told these comments are the same person opening different accounts. Also I am informed this red broward Tom Lauder is a hired hand for dirty campaigns. I don’t engage in that sort of dirty campaigning. I did nothing wrong in my submission of signatures, read what I wrote in the comments, not the skewed dishonest paraphrasing of a hired hand. Cast your vote as you like, maybe the next sober home will be your neighbor. I lose, the city loses, take a look at the real issues before basing your decision on dirty campaign tactics, but again I’m told I’m responding to one person who can’t get off their high horse enough to care about the town.
    (Editor: Hyperlinks not allowed)

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    1. There you go again Maria. Taking someone’s word instead of finding the facts. Not getting a dime. You’re exposing yourself to the voters of Lighthouse Point for free! Also, it’s not the same person making comments. Lots of your neighbors seem to have questions about your fitness for office.

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  6. Maria, as a voter and taxpayer in LHP, I don’t appreciate you discounting my comments. I am not a figment of someone’s imagination out to get you. And fear tactics of sober homes opening next door to me aren’t helping your reputation. Frankly, you sound a bit paranoid. I love my home and LHP. I’m not willing to vote for someone because they have a goofy campaign slogan on a sign in someone’s front yard. I’m doing my due diligence by researching the candidates in my city’s mayoral race. While googling your name, I came across you asking for help in fighting LHP so you could save your chickens. I, for one, don’t want livestock kept in my neighbor’s backyards.

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  7. Chickens? You cannot be serious. We do not need chicken coops in LHP. Where on Earth did this woman come from?

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  8. As a concerned Lighthouse Point resident, I was also searching Google due to all of the Maria for Mayor signs and came across this Red Broward site. Curious about the difficulty in verifying the voters information of the petition signers, I searched and found the free site flvoters.com. It was very easy. Maria this site shows that you have just recently registered to vote in LHP in October 2016, In spite of living at you current address since 2012. If you are truly concerned about LHP, Why did you wait so long to register to vote here? Is this all just a misguided vendetta over your silly chickens?

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    1. I’ve been a registered voter for years in Broward County, and yes I’ve lived in and around the area for many years Nico. What you should be concerned about is dirty campaign tactics. Did I try and prevent the death of a small group of birds, yes I did. I love dogs too, I’m sorry if you don’t like animals.
      I am donating my time to help this town with the severe issues I’ve discussed. You don’t want my help that’s your choice, but don’t skew the facts. Remember your meme your friend told me you put on Facebook about gun control, that goes for gossip too.

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  9. Maria, I’ve been following your posts here and Facebook page. I would like to know more about sober homes. Where are these homes? Why were The my allowed to open?

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  10. This is hilarious and absolutely insane. I cant believe she is still around. Please please please tell everyone you know to vote March 14th.

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  11. I have been a proud resident of LHP for over 25 years. I have agreed and disagreed with some of the mayors that we have had. Never in my opinion have I witnessed a more unstable candidate than Maria from the information I have read from multiple sources. I am not paid by any campaign to post here. Just a citizen of LHP voicing his opinion and concerns

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