Local Election Poll Results In !

     There are only 29 days to go until the residents of Fort Lauderdale start the process to choose their leaders for the next three years, a new Mayor and four City Commissioners.

                    It’s the Primary Election first, on February 10th.Then, if no one won at least 50% of the vote in the Primary, a run-off Election will take place on March 10th, and the new Mayor and City Commissioners will be finalized.

     There are a slew of candidates in all the Districts and in the Mayor’s race this time around. That’s probably due to the fact that term limits kick in this year for the first time in the City’s 100- year history.

     So, there has been much speculation among the residents that follow such things about just who might be rising to the top of the political heap. And I am one of those citizens that follow such things.

     So we conducted a poll. A telephone poll. The poll was formulated by a professional campaign company, Political Strategies Inc, and conducted by a group of sharp local residents. 
     Those that were polled were the best voters in the City, ones that voted in the most recent National and Local Elections. In the Political biz, we call them the “Super Voters”. They make up the 10% to 15% of the population that actually vote on a regular basis.  

     So who’s ahead already, you ask!

     This is what we can tell for sure, so far.

     The “Super Voters” are clearly not yet ready for February 10th. Maybe it’s voter fatigue from the tumultuous Presidential Election just passed, or maybe it’s just a little too early to poll, but it’s pretty clear that a majority of the electorate is not firmly committed to their candidate.

     If we had to call the races today, the Commission might made up of Mayor Nobody and his four Commissioners, Commissioners Nobody, Nobody, Nobody, and Nobody! 


    But that doesn’t mean trends are not forming, and challenges to an eventual win are not firming up. 

     The race for Mayor looks like this, so far!
     Former State Representative Jack Seiler appears to be trending ahead of the pact. Only 64% of the respondents knew who he was, or knew enough to form a judgement, but of those folks, 89% gave him a positive rating.

     Former City Commissioner Dean Trantalis appears to be back some lengths. More “Super Voters” knew him, or knew enough to form a judgement of him, 71% , but of those,  only 47% of those offered him a positive rating.

      Former Lt. Colonel Earl Rynerson, a longshot for sure, is only known by 36% of the respondents, and his positive rating so far is just 41%.

     Former F.B.I. Agent Steve Rossi, is least known of all the candidates, with just 31% name recognition, and holds a positive rating of just 29%.

     Lots can still happen.
Get ready for the onslaught, when the candidates will undoubtedly be discussing their competitor’s shortcomings, and touting  their own strengths. In Politics, 29 days can be an eternity!

     I’ll discuss the results of the four District Commissioner races in my next blog posting!..



Mayoral Candidate Rynerson Blasts Back!

      Over the last few weeks, Fort Lauderdale Mayoral Candidate Earl Rynerson has been the target of an e-mail campaign surrounding some of his personal information.


     Seems one of the other “camps” did a thorough Public Records request, and found what they perceived to be juicy negative information. They have been sending it to any and all News Outlets they could find.  Former Sun-Sentinel columnist Buddy Nevins, through his blog,  published the info, but  I felt that a lot of the information was personal in nature and therefore not appropriate to post.

     Who is responsible for the “leaked” information is still a mystery, because the sender has been disguising  his or her identity. 

     Rynerson says he has had enough of it and has just sent in this response …… Here’s Earl! …

I wanted to comment on the recent postings I have been hearing about me. First, my financial matters. In the 35+ years I have had credit cards, and the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars that have gone through my accounts, I have had two (2) disagreements with card companies, both of which occurred 5-6 years ago,

One was for an African trip where deposits were made 3 months before the trip. Travel accommodations had in fact not been made and a repurchase had to be made overseas. Because the original deposits were made earlier than 60 days prior, the credit card agency has not (to date), been willing to reimburse me. The second was for a bad car repair, (the car breaking down on the way back from the repair company). Even though both of these amounts constituted a relatively small amount ($5-6K), I felt that the principal of the issue necessitated me to take a stand.

In both these instances, I felt that proper service was not provided, and I disputed (and will continue to dispute) these two charges. It is important to know how I feel about issues like this because, as Mayor, I intend to look at the City’s swollen budget closely, and will make sure that the public gets the service they should be getting for the taxpayer dollar spent. If I find that’s not the case, I will be as tenacious there as I am in my personal life.

I have also heard reports of some “spicy” Internet sites being talked about. I personally feel that what two consensual adults do (or don’t do) in the privacy of their own home is no one’s business but their own, and I will protect those rights, both for myself and for others. We as a city have gone through several years of an Administration trying to impose morals and judgments onto others, to the detriment of everyone. I feel that we need to stop trying to force our beliefs, opinions and morals on other people and allow our city to become more progressive. We need to embrace the diversity that we as a community have.

Now, let’s get back to the issues that really matter to voters, the Budget, Property Taxes and future economic vitality of our City. Thank you!

Lt. Colonel Earl Rynerson

Who’s Winning Mayor and Commissioner Races?

     It’s what everyone wants to know……. Who’s ahead? ………Who’s going to win?



     The Finish Line is in sight. The Primary is only about 4 weeks away! And only one of the four Fort Lauderdale Mayoral Candidates and only one Commissioner Candidate from each District will cross the line first.


          Will the favorite win? 

                          ……. that’s the safe bet….. but how about the one that puts  

       in the hard work…….keeps on going  … never gives up !              

   …….and then there’s the longshot, he may not look like the winner, but anything is possible in politics!                                                   

                                                                                                 ……  and never count out the unusual candidates, sometimes they draw the affections of the voters!   

       ……………. Since everybody’s wondering if anyone has an edge,  we decided to try and find out !

     So we’re about to conduct a Voter Poll . This Friday, after the Candidate Qualifying period is closed, this blog will be calling 100’s and 100’s of the City’s Super Voters! …..Please answer the phone!

      We’ve had a professional company prepare the survey, and they tell me that it should be quite accurate. We will ask those that almost always vote in City Elections who they are currently leaning to, and why. We will try and find out if their support is firm or flimsy. We will ask if they’ve even heard of the candidates! Should be quite revealing.

     We will be giving you the results early next week!. Can you wait?

Mayoral Money Mounts !

     It’s shaping up to be the biggest Mayoral Money Showdown in the history of Fort Lauderdale.

     With the end of the Jim Naugle era quickly approaching, the four men that are seeking the Fort Lauderdale Mayoral seat are expected to report  funds collected  at well over $250,000 ! This will set a record for the City, and it will be done with one of the most restrictive Campaign Finance Laws in the country.
      Donations in Fort Lauderdale are restricted to people only. That means Corporations, PACS, Unions etc. cannot donate. Also, the maximum contribution is $250, where most cities allow up to $500 in contributions.  

                                                             Goodbye Jim

     The normal turnout for Mayoral primaries in Fort Lauderdale is generally only around 10,000 people, (though the population is at about 175,000) and if that holds for this election, each and every voter will have at least $25 spent on them to secure their vote. 

     The cash leader, so far, might be former State Representative Jack Seiler. Though he trailed former Lt. Colonel Earl Rynerson at the end of the 2008 third quarter campaign reports (Rynerson had $90,000 total, with $12,000 raised and $77,000  loaned to his campaign ), Seiler now reports about $130,000 in total funds raised, and no loans. The Third Quarter reports had Trantalis far behind at $16,000 and Rossi at about $3000.

                                           Seiler                                                Rynerson  

     The other campaigns were unavailable this morning to report on their current totals, but some sources speculate that Trantalis might have done much better in this quarter’s money race. 

     The piles of cash means the candidates will all reach out in every possible way. Two camps have verified television commercials, one is talking billboards, and the usual mailers have already begun to trickle in.

     So stay tuned, and clear out your mailboxes. The madness will start in earnest soon!







Fort Lauderdale, An Exciting New Year, New City?

    Our City is nearing it’s 100th birthday.  It will happen in March of 2011. 

     That makes us a relatively young city, nationally speaking, but we are a well known and important City. Unfortunately, we are a City that never seems to know exactly where it’s headed.

     But a serious course correction may be in the offing, just in time for our Centennial !  

     The City Election will be settled by early March, and due to the first – ever term limits kicking in, we are guaranteed at least a majority of new leaders. In fact, it’s quite possible that we could have a complete new set of leaders. Some in the community even whisper about a “clean sweep”. Add to that the always tentative status of the City’s Manager, George Gretsas, and you are talking about Obama-like Change!

     But regardless of whether the two non term limited incumbents ( Rodstrom and Teel ) retain their seats, everyone in the community is talking “Vision”. 

     As a matter of fact, three of the Mayoral candidates, Rossi, Rynerson, and Seiler, and a couple of Commission candidates, Glassman ( from District II ) and Prewitt (from District IV) are currently reading the “New Century, New City” Vision Report,  a comprehensive plan that over 100 leading Fort Lauderdale Citizens published in 1995 and has gone substantially unrealized. 

     There has been talk of “monumental changes” . For starters, all the candidates seem to agree that the new Commission will play better together than the current one. And there’s even been talk about changing the structure of the Commission; modifying the  District Representation system,  changes in the number of Commissioners, and an old idea has resurfaced, often pushed by Naugle, to change to a Strong Mayor form of government.

     It just might be an exciting New Year – New City !