Will The Influence Peddlers Win Sharief?


This shot from the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis shows Scott Rothstein, with his faithful bodyguard Bob Scandiffio right behind him, at the height of the good times.

I will update any news that I hear, including any information on a memorial service.   

-- Likely future Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief has cancelled the lobbyist-organized fundraisers with Becker & Poliakoff and Shutts & Bowen. Sharief told me she was "aggravated and overwhelmed" that Becker lobbyist Bernie Friedman had sent out an invitation to the fundraiser. "He said that it looks like being elitist by not meeting with them," Sharief told me. "I told him I'm not being elitist. I just don't want to create a 

problem that I've seen where you have to hire a certain firm to get in to speak with a commissioner."

The irony of Bernie Friedman, who has made a career off the elitist culture of corruption that afflicts Broward County, calling Sharief an elitist is priceless.

Here's the real deal: Sharief was fine taking contributions from the business owners and told me last night she'll still gladly accept their checks. The problem is that the lobbyists are the ones who organize the contractors and subcontractors seeking government business to hand over their $500 checks to the chosen candidates.  

Basically, Sharief wanted a low-profile meeting where she could meet with the business owners and, yes, collect their checks. But the over-the-top invitation published here yesterday blew that out of the water.

Do I think Sharief is a sell-out? No. Do I think the corruptors are working on her with everything they have? Yes. Who will win? We'll see, but so far the lobbyists have won the vast majority of those little bouts.

-- The Broward Workshop and Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce are holding another rally to fight Hometown Democracy's Amendment 4. This one will happen at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 30.

The most interesting thing about this rally is that among the speakers is Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler. Other speakers are Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis (a lobbyist himself), AutoNation's Mike Jackson, and J. David Armstrong Jr. from Broward College. 

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