Can Foul Election Smell Worse!

     The Broward County District 7 Commission race, already marked by bad behavior and lawsuits, has grown worse.

     In my last post, we discussed the candidates in the District 7 race, and some of the ugly tactics that some were taking, and a little about the mysterious write-in, Make-up Artist, candidate Jessica Heinecker ( more on her tomorrow!)

     But today, we’re talking about ugly, sharp, dirty, disgusting campaign tactics, which will always bring you around to this…..

                                              Judy Stern

     Politicians hire Stern because she gets results. She gets those results anyway she has to, and now that includes some powerful arm twisting.

    Broward Commission candidate Tim Ryan is Stern’s newest project, and yesterday Stern sent out this, well, very stern e-mail to the all powerful (Broward lobbyists):


     He [Ryan] is looking for contributions to wrap up the end of this opportunity, and as an experienced former legislator, he understands the loyalty of those who step to the plate in the beginning versus those who may wait until after election day in August for his November election cycle. If anyone wants to meet with Tim, this is the week to do so, and Donna, my secretary can schedule the meeting.“

     I reached Stern this morning, and she sent me this explanation- 

     Thanks for your inquiry on my late night email.

     Since Tim (Ryan) did not ask me to send any request, it was my own creation late one evening only to a handful of individuals who previously asked me about wanting to give donations to Tim’s campaign and time is now running for deadlines to give.
     I apologize if any individual, who previously asked me about this race and campaign contributions, wished to mistake this email for something more than its intent


     I’d put in a call to Ryan, and just heard back.

     “I’m very upset and disappointed (in Stern). First off, she is not on my payroll, and what she said is absolutely false” 

Ryan said he knew Stern was trying to drum up cash for him, but “went overboard” with the e-mail. 

     Ryan said he “denounces” the e-mail in “its entirety”.


Tidbits on Foul County Commission Election

     Politics !

     Just the latest example of why we love to hate our elected officials –

                              the District 7 County Commission  race.

     So far, we know these three candidates  …………..

      Rodstrom                                    Keechl                                  Ryan

     Charlotte Rodstrom ran for her City Commission seat and won in January of this year, then announced two weeks later that she would be leaving to run for the County Commission. Now, her husband’s lawyer friend has sued to try and allow Republicans to vote in the primary race, as she is considered the most conservative of the three….

     Ken Keechl  was the County Mayor, but lost his re-election bid despite raising an enormous amount of campaign money-  $590,000. Most pundits credited his loss to reports that he spent campaign funds on his own property mortgage, and  lavish lunches, wine, food and travel. Now, Keechl has admitted putting one of the two republican write -in candidates in the race to exclude Republicans from voting in the primary (as he is considered the most liberal of the three!)

     Tim Ryan spent eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, until term limiting. Ryan comes from a long line of family politicians, though I couldn’t dig up any dirt or controversy..   As a matter of fact, Ryan, a lawyer, received the highest legal ranking for, get this, ethical standards!  This race could use some of that!

Then there are the two shadowy republican write-in candidates in the race. One was put in by Keechl. and     ……here is the other one!

                                     …  Jessica Heinecker  …  Make-Up Artist !

     ( no, I’m not kidding!) ….  I reached her on the phone and she was quite surprised -“how did you find me?” ..  She was busy and couldn’t talk, and I haven’t been able to reach her since.

         …….  on another note on this screwy election, Judge Naugle recused herself from being the Judge on Rodstrom’s friend’s lawsuit, saying she was one of the “disenfranchised” voters who couldn’t vote in the County primary election since the County doesn’t have open primaries.  Wouldn’t that mean no County Judge could take the case (unless they lived in Dade or Palm Beach?)


Shame on Scherer/Rodstrom/Naugle/Rodstrom

     Once again, County Mayor John Rodstrom’s friend, no-shame lawyer Bill Scherer, is suing to try and help a Rodstrom win another election.

      Rodstrom             Scherer

     Last time around, Scherer sued to overturn term limits, so that John Rodstrom could continue to hold office, ( Rodstrom has already been in elected office about 30 years, and reportedly has over a half million dollars in pension funds due him from the taxpayers).

     Scherer first won that term limit case in local court, having another friend, Judge Carol Naugle,  side with them, but lost when Judge Naugle was overruled at the Florida Supreme Court.

     This time around, Scherer is trying to overturn the election laws, so that Republicans can vote in the Democrat primary next month, in order to help John Rodstrom’s wife, Charlotte, win husband John’s current Banana Republic – err, uh – County Commission seat!

                                                   Charlotte Rodstrom

And what makes this new case the foulest of all,  guess which Judge has just been assigned this case?

    To find out, click on this link below to read Sun-Sentinel’s Brittany Wallmans’ whole sordid story….

                                               click here for wretched tale!

Rodstrom Replacement Costs

      The Broward County Supervisor of Elections office,

                                Supervisor Snipes

has sent the City of Fort Lauderdale an estimate on the cost of the Special Election to replace Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom.



Holy Gauged Tree Robin!

     NOTE: This is not a blog site specializing in tree killing issues…. it has just turned out that way this month ! …


      Anyhow, this is another interesting update about the Oak Tree that someone is trying to kill on Las Olas Boulevard, by drilling holes in it, and filling the holes with diesel fuel.

First news is, the reward is growing, (leading to the conviction of the tree killer/driller perp!)


     The reward was $100 yesterday, now the reward is $400, ( details in a second) and the reward is probably destined to increase again as ….


                 …… TV has picked up the story!

     ……   for a refresher, the suspects in the tree killer/driller case were the Bridal Shop, whose sign was blocked by the Oak,

    …. the Bridal Shops’s next door shop owner, who had complained to the city in January about the overgrown Oak, 

   …..   and to a lesser degree, the Valet parkers  from Rocco Tacos, and the church….

      Today, I talked to all …..
    …  not only do all of the known players confess innocence, but they all have contributed to the escalating reward pot, and they all agree to taking a polygraph test! ( to prove their innocence).


      ……. and, just to elevate this story to a rather weird kind of reality show/ day time soap level,

     ….. a wonderful local business woman named Robin,  is praying for the tree’s recovery ( pictured above)…

       And, … the church, (First Pres), who actually owns the tree, has followed the City’s prescription for the tree’s recovery,  and flushed the drilled holes to get rid of the diesel fuel, filled the holes with dowels and a put on a covering, and fertilized!

       Will someone please come forward and let us know who done it??


Tree Killer Caper Continued!

     When we last talked, we were wondering what kind of noodlehead would do this to a perfectly good Live Oak tree?


It’s apparent that somebody wants it DEAD!  These holes were drilled in it, and diesel fuel was poured in the holes.

     After some snooping, here’s what I know so far

     First off, though the tree is on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church, (just off Las Olas), the church had nothing to do with the trees’ damage and is quite upset.

                                                          First Presbyterian

Second, there is a reward leading to the tree killer/driller!

                                         A reward ($100) leading to the tree killer/ torturer!

     So who done-it?

     Everybody has a theory.

     One neighbor says it is the Church (it isn’t). Another theory says it must be the shop just to the east of the tree – ( Bridal Shop) that has recently put up a new expensive sign that is blocked by the tree’s canopy.

                                                           sign is on wall is behind tree’s canopy

     That shop says “no way”, they had nothing to do with it.  Their neighbor across the street  (Formal Wear store), says the owner is “too good” a guy to do such a terrible thing.
     Another theory is that the shop owner next door to the Bridal Shop, (owned by Brad Minto), did it. He had sent Gene Dempsey- the City’s Urban Forester, an e-mail about the tree’s bushy canopy months ago – Here is Dempsey’s response to Minto. 

     From: Gene Dempsey []
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:48 PM
To: Bradley Minto
Subject: RE: Follow Up

Brad – I looked at the trees this morning. The two trees are live oaks and can be pruned to provide the desire clearance. The shrub by the building is a Podocarpus and can be removed without permit. These are all private trees and would need to be handled by the property owner, which appears to be the church from info on our GIS system.

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services 

Minto says no way did he do it. He says that the trees were trimmed after he contacted the City, and he was happy with the results.

     Lastly, some think that the Valet parkers across the street at Rocco’s Tacos are responsible. They say they park cars in that lot and somehow it would help them if the tree was gone ( I don’t see that).  I asked the Valet staff that was on duty today, and they said they knew nothing about it, but their ears did perk up when I mentioned the $100 reward !).

     All I know for sure at this point – somebody done it-  and somebody knows something!

     And the good news is – the Urban Forester described a treatment for the tree to the Church, they are doing it, and they think they can save the Oak!

     I’ll let you know if there is any progress in the case!  ….



Tree Torture Two ??????



     Yup, it’s what it looks like …..

      On Las Olas – the empty lot owned by First Presbyterian  …

           I should know more tomorrow !

Odds and Ends and Odds

     Here’s a few items of interest – will be looking for your comments!



     Forbes magazine does lots of lists! And last week, one of their lists was not kind to Fort Lauderdale – their ranking of Cities with the best/worst climate for business.

      The list of 200 Cities put Fort Lauderdale at #192, just barely above the bankrupt City of Stockton, Calif., who came in #196. The listing was titled Fort Lauderdale, but actually included all of Broward County.

     This poor showing incensed the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance ( the County’s business group), who disagreed with the county ranking, and sent out a list of talking points, meant to argue the point. Most of the City’s leaders were sent the “points” which then drew this response from long time civic activist and lawyer John Wilkes –


                                                     actually John Wilkes Booth, all I could find

just returned from New Jersey – when Newark and Camden (having driven
through each) are ranked above our fair City, it is a sad day indeed!
While State and local efforts in each have focused on a plan for
recovery, with the window dressing of public arenas, they have a long
way to go from advisable to avoid to desirable to live.

     As for Fort Lauderdale, it is time for a real self – evaluation, not self-laudatory recap”.

     I agree with John!


    The Fort Lauderdale City Commission  backed a change to the city’s Charter to allow future Commissioners to extend their possible time on the Commission to 12 years, (currently they can only serve 9 years) . The change will have to be approved by the voters.

    Only Commissioner Rogers spoke against the plan, saying the 12 years were too many, but he ultimately joined the rest of the Commission in the unanimous vote.

     When you see the proposed change on the ballot – You Should Vote NO! (12 years is too many!)



      The Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman says they are still taking the Broward County Schools to the “Special Master” for building violations uncovered when they butchered multiple healthy, large Mahogany trees, but the hearing has been postponed. The School Board lawyers requested a 30 day continuance, so the hearing is now scheduled for  Aug. 16.


       Hopefully, they can take away all their chain saws until then!


Commissioner’s DNA “on file” ?

     If you haven’t been the victim of a crime as of late, consider yourself lucky.

     And if you have been the victim of a crime, this year, you might remember this!


     Apparently, the Fort Lauderdale Police now routinely take the victim’s  DNA at a crime scene.

                        current and former Fort Lauderdale Chiefs

     That happened a month ago to Spirit Airline’s pilot Tim Helms, when a burglar broke into his screened back porch and stole tools and his lawn mower.

     When the Cops arrived, they took Helm’s DNA. Though the Police Officer got Helm’s written permission for his DNA sample, Helms was still taken aback. Helms called me and asked – “what’s up with that, Tim?”

     Turns out the Police are taking an “exclusion sample” to rule out the homeowners’ DNA from a possible suspect’s. Helms didn’t remember the explanation, but seemed somewhat relieved when told.

     And last week, Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom was also swabbed, when her car was broken into in her driveway overnight.

     Rodstrom says she also found the procedure “odd” and plans on asking some questions about the new procedure at the next Commission meeting like …..   “is my DNA on file?”

More Mahogany Mayhem Machinations!

    …..  Much to the chagrin of Broward County School’s Development Division, the annihilation of  Fort Lauderdale High School’s nearly century-old Mahogany trees controversy  is not going away any time soon.


     Now, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman, has instructed the new Broward County School’s Administrator, Robert Runcie, that he will see him in court – City Court!


     The tree violation will be heard on July 19th, at 9 am, in front of the City’s Special Master.

     So far,  the Fort Lauderdale Mayor  has weighed in, two School Board members are making inquiries, (Leach and Dinnen) and the neighborhoods are up in arms.

     And just a bit ago, after possible District II candidate Steve Glassman wrote County Commissioner La Marca asking for the County Commission to weigh in, LaMarca is now looking into new procedures to preclude it from happening in the future!