Former City Commissioner Tim Smith
running (kind of) the Fort Lauderdale
Half-Marathon on February 17th, 2008
….. when asked for a comment, he was only able
to mutter “OUCH!” …..
Who are the rich and famous of Fort Lauderdale backing for President of the United States?
It’s a bit complicated.
First off, many people keep that choice a secret. You can ask (as I’ve done), but many will just tell you it’s none of your business, and they may be right. Also, some of the richest and most famous back more than one candidate, just in case!
But thanks to the Internet, if you’ve given a Presidential candidate (or two) more than $200, your name, occupation, address, and shoe size are there for the discovery! All together, large donors in Fort Lauderdale have given about a Million Dollars, spent nearly evenly among the Democratic and Republican candidates, according to current Internet records.
And here’s what it’s looking like so far…. on the Democratic side,
though seemingly catching fire on the National stage, hasn’t lit so much as a brushfire here in Fort Lauderdale among the big donors. His known local support comes from former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Tim Smith, well- known local architects Anthony Abbate, Don Singer, and Dan Fee, civic activists Joe Holland and Cal Deal, historic preservationist Diane Smart, and attorney Mitchell Berger. He has also gotten big donations from Neil Sterling and George Platt,(Broward County lobbyists), but they both are hedging their bets and giving to multiple candidates ,herein referred to as MD (Multiple Donors).
seems to be the big favorite among the City’s powerful. John and Charlotte Rodstom have been their most vocal fans among elected officials, having held a fundraiser at their Las Olas Isles home. Also in the Clinton camp include attorneys Don McCloskey, Greg Durden, George Platt (MD), Dick Coker, John Milledge, Robert Lochrie, and former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Dean Trantalis. The developers include Ramola Motwani (beach), Michael Shiff (Las Olas), and Alan Hooper (downtown). The realtors include Jackie Scott and Linda Bird, and well known VIP’s include Jim Kane (pollster), Jack Abdo (Bank of Atlantic) Neil Stirling (MD), Alan Levy, Geri Udell, Judy Stern (political consultant) Jim McKinley, and Elizabeth Buntrock (cousin of Wayne Huizenga) (MD).
had quite a bit of support of the elite, with large donations from Michael Egan (former owner of Alamo Rent-a-Car), Russ Klenet (lobbyist) and attorneys Russ Adler (MD) and Ira Marcus, and also got money from multiple donors Platt, Buntrock, and Judy Stern.
Edwards saw support from former political candidates Fred Haddad, Ken Cooper, and Bradford Cohen, attorney Jon Krupnick and VIP’s James Cummings and Elizabeth Buntrock (MD).
…….and on the Republican side
has seen big donations from attorneys Russ Adler (MD), and Don Hall, realtor Ted Drum, and VIP’s Randy Avon and Clay King.
was the favorite of Wayne Huizenga, Mike Maroone (auto dealerships), James Blosser, (who raised $100,000 for George Bush) and VIP’s Fred Guardabasi and George Morgan (shopping center developer).
saw donations from local bigshots Terry Stiles and William Schere, and attorney Russ Adler (MD) .
was the favorite of anti-gay activist Margaret Hostetter, and was recently endorsed by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.
received a donation from Naugle (MD).
In early 2009, for the first time in nearly a decade, voters in District IV in Fort Lauderdale will go to the polls and choose a new Commissioner. The District has been represented by Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson since her win in 2000. She is now term-limited and running for the open Mayoral seat.
District IV is one of Fort Lauderdale’s most diverse districts, with a mix of people, incomes, and issues, and is commonly believed to have the most active Civic Associations in the City.
The district is centered in the Downtown, where a new, dense, urban lifestyle has created conflicts with some of the oldest neighborhoods in the City, including Sailboat Bend, Rio Vista, and Tarpon River. The District also contains the southern portion of the Fort Lauderdale Beach, with it’s upscale neighborhoods of Harbor Beach, Harbour Isles, Harbour inlet, and Breakwater Surf Club. Rounding out the District are the mostly blue collar neighborhoods that run along the State Road 84 corridor, the Riverland Road area, and the areas along Davie Boulevard, where much of the City’s Hispanic population resides.
So who is in the hunt to represent this cauldron? ….. It’s breaking down like this:
Charles Jordan, 49, ran unsuccessfully (but strongly) for the Commissioner post in 2006. He garnered 42% of the vote in that run, and might be considered the frontrunner if he decides to get in. Jordan is a longtime civic activist, past President of the Sailboat Bend neighborhood and past Chairperson of the City’s Historic Preservation Board. He is largely considered to be a slow-growth candidate, and has worked hard on a citizen-led committee to adjust the Development Regulations in the City. Jordan says that he is not sure if he will get in the race. He says he is conferring with his team from the 2006 run, gauging the current political atmosphere, and deciding if he can once again put his family and his home remodeling and property development business on hold for a difficult political campaign. He is surely one to watch.
Darin Lentner, 44, past President of the Imperial Point neighborhood, and the current Vice-President of the River Oaks neighborhood, made news this past year when he agreed to bow out of the race for State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff’s seat, under pressure from Bogdanoff and the Republican party. It is rumored that Bogdanoff promised him support for a Fort Lauderdale City Commission try if he would get out of her race. Darin says that he thinks that serving the City is a better cause, and a post that might be more appropriate for a first-time elected official. He intends to jump into the race “in a few weeks.” He says he is neither “pro” or “anti” development, but has “friends who are developers, and friends who are environmentalists”. Lentner thinks the City needs a “new vision”, and by the looks of his success as a Partner in his law firm, and his sometimes hobby of marathon running, he is one not to count out in the coming sprint.
Coleman Prewitt, 41, a local lawyer with his own firm, has created quite a buzz in some civic circles in the past year. The One-Community Board member, die hard Citizen Volunteer Corp participant and joint UNITE Fort Lauderdale founder is planning a formal announcement and campaign kickoff event on March 25th at the Stone Packard Museum. Pruitt, who lives in the Las Olas Grande in Downtown, cites the difficult times ahead in the City as his reason for wanting to serve as Commissioner. He cites the challenge of maintaining Public Safety, promoting Economic Development, and bringing new jobs to the City, with the looming budget cuts, as a difficult job that needs special attention. He says he feels he is “up for the job.” Pruitt is gaining support from many of the well known civic activists in the District, which makes him a force to be reckoned with.
Ron Centamore, a former Fort Lauderdale Police Officer and current President of the Downtown Civic Association, has been widely expected to run for the seat, but rumors abound he has changed his mind and won’t make a go for it in this cycle.
Expect more candidates to appear before the full roster is complete. We will keep our ear to the ground and let you know as things develop…..
The Mayor or the Commissioners
Who owns more of Fort Lauderdale?
According to the Broward County Property Appraiser Records, the five members of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission own as much as 7 million dollars worth of Real Estate in Fort Lauderdale.
This is how it breaks down.
Commissioner Christine Teel wins the Real Estate value contest, with a home on the water assessed at $2,710,380 and a Co-op worth $119,710, for a joint value of $2,830,090. Teel represents District I, widely believed to be the District with the most wealth.
Mayor Jim Naugle comes in second, with his home on the water worth $1,291,270 and a nearby condominium unit worth $490,810, racking up a combined value of $1,782,080. Naugle also owns numerous commercial properties on S. Andrews Ave, but that value, $1,520,060, is owned with partners, with his portion unclear, and was therefore not included in the value race with his Commission.
Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom, who represents District II, a district which contains the very wealthy and the very poor, fits in the middle of the pack, with her home on the water in the prestigious Las Olas Isles community, valued at $1,371,550.
Commissioner Carlton Moore, representing the poorest areas of the City, District III, owns a home valued at $191,020. Moore also owns a property jointly owned, worth $158,780, but as with Naugle, that property was not included in the value race.
Lastly, Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson owns one half interest in a home valued at $258,690.