Don't Quit Your Day Job, Mayor
But these intervening months from the election to the first 100-plus days have severely tarnished Ritter's reputation. Links to convicted felon and alleged Ponzi schemer Joel Steinger, first reported by New Times columnist Bob Norman, have been picked up by the Herald and Sun-Sentinel. (Norman's handy Ritter "compendium" is here.) The feeding frenzy led Ritter to boycott all local media.
In late February, during the midst of that blooming scandal, I paid a visit to a town hall meeting Ritter had in the sprawling Kings Port condo complex in Tamarac.
It did not go well, for either of us. I didn't get my interview, and Ritter didn't offer a very convincing version of her relationship with Steinger. At that same meeting, an audience member asked Ritter whether she'd be joining Obama. "I can't tell you the answer to that question," Ritter answered. As of that date, she'd not heard from the Obama administration, but she confirmed having been interviewed. "When I talked to David Jacobson, he told me that if anything is possible, it wouldn't be for 4-5 months (after Obama takes office), which is April."
It's May. And Ritter is still in Broward. Jacobson, who was the special assistant to the president in the Office of Presidential Personnel when he talked to Ritter, is rumored to be Obama's nomination for U.S. ambassador to Canada. I've requested a chance to speak with Jacobson, but I'm not optimistic. (The White House press office refused to grant an interview request last month, citing a policy that it doesn't discuss candidates for unfilled administration positions.)
The Obama administration is famous for its rigorous background checks. Considering that the sixth Google hit under Ritter's name contains a boatload of conflicted interests and potential corruption, it's a safe bet that the White House has passed her over.
Check back later. If we happen to hear back from Jacobson, we'll post an update here.