Steve Geller: Will He Get His Fingers in Sunrise?

deadfish.jpg
Daily Breeze
Wild art: Millions of dead sardines turned up in Redondo Beach today. Suspected cause: Winds drove them into small areas where they basically smothered each other.
Who wants to be the new Sunrise city attorney?

Well, there are a few interesting applicants among the dozen or so in the running to replace outgoing Stuart Michelson. 

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Geller with state Sen. Eleanor Sobel
​The law firm of former state legislator Steve Geller, Greenspoon Marder, is in the running. Listed as the rep of the law firm isn't Geller, though -- it's his brother Joe, who has been spotted attending recent commission meetings. But you just know Steve Geller would love to get a foothold in Sunrise after his stinging defeat to Broward Mayor Sue Gunzburger in November. 

Also applying is Pam Kane, a former assistant Broward County attorney who is now with the Boca Raton firm of Sachs Sax Caplan. Kane, a Nova law school grad, is an ex-wife of lobbyist Jim Kane, noted lackey of the Forman family empire.

Vying hard for the spot is Sam Goren -- the city attorney who represents half the damned municipalities in Broward Town. When is enough enough, Sam? 

The commission is expected to make its choice later this month.

Inside, a blast from the past regarding Pam Kane that indicates she's not real great when it comes to dealing with an aggressive press. 
Back in 1999, then the very persistent New Times reporter Harris Meyer was digging into Jim Kane's lobbying activities on the basis that they conflicted with his work as an oft-quoted pollster. Things got a little dicey when he bumped into Pam Kane while doing his reporting. An excerpt from the resulting cover story, which if full of names -- some now notorious -- from Broward's past: 
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kanepam.jpg
Pam Kane
​After New Times published critical articles earlier this year about Hamilton Forman and Hvide Marine, for which Kane also lobbies, he stopped returning phone calls from this newspaper. Over a period of a few months, New Times left at least six phone messages for him, e-mailed him twice, and stopped by his office twice to talk to him, with no response. Finally this reporter knocked on the door of his Fort Lauderdale home one evening last month. His wife, Pam, answered and said her husband wasn't home. She then asked if the visitor were a reporter. He handed her a New Times business card and asked that her husband call him back. "Get out," she snapped. "I'm going to call the police."

The next day Kane called the managing editor of New Times, alleging that the reporter had trespassed and frightened his wife, who was alone with their young child. He said that he was too busy talking to other reporters to return calls from this newspaper. A day later this reporter was having lunch at Charcuterie Too, the cafeteria at the downtown Broward library in Fort Lauderdale, which is just down the street from New Times' office, when he saw Pam Kane walk by his table. No words were exchanged, but the next day Jim Kane called the editor again, warning that his wife was thinking about filing a complaint accusing the reporter of "stalking."

Kane finally agreed to a phone interview but only to discuss politics in general. He was genial and expansive, boasting that he was the first pollster to predict that Clinton would carry Florida in 1996. He criticized the media and his fellow pollsters for focusing too much on who's winning and who's losing and not enough on important issues like affirmative action. But when asked who owns Florida Voter and whether he should disclose his potential conflicts of interest, his affable tone vanished. "Since we're talking about disclosure, I think it's only fair to tell you that my wife thinks you're a stalker and has reported you to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Before you write anything, you should know that." He abruptly ended the interview.

Later that week this reporter was standing in the food line at Charcuterie Too with a fellow reporter when he saw Pam Kane again and said hello to her. "Get away from me," she said angrily. "I don't want you talking to me. When I get back to my office, I'm calling [Sheriff Ken] Jenne."

This may not have been the first time the Kanes appealed to higher political authorities for protection. Last month Alexander Cocalis, the former chief of litigation for the Broward County Attorney's Office, filed suit against the county in federal district court, charging that he was fired last December because he criticized Pam Kane, who works as an assistant county attorney. The 67-year-old Cocalis, who worked for the county for 26 years, wrote a scathing memo to his superiors, which, according to court records, accused Ms. Kane of incompetence and urged that she be removed from important litigation. Less than two months after he wrote the memo, he was fired without explanation by newly appointed county attorney Russell Morrison. He alleges in his lawsuit that the firing violated his constitutional free-speech rights.

Cocalis had consistently received outstanding performance ratings, and commissioner Scott Cowan wrote a memo after Cocalis' firing stating that Morrison dismissed Cocalis "without cause." Pam Kane has also received strong performance reviews. She started working in the county attorney's office in late 1992, while living with Jim Kane before they were married, according to court records. Since then her salary has soared from $48,000 to $85,230.

When he complained to his superiors about Ms. Kane, Cocalis says, they told him that they couldn't do anything because she was protected by Commissioner Parrish -- an allegation Parrish vehemently denies. But on her job application, Ms. Kane listed Parrish as her lead reference, along with Austin Forman and William Scherer. Scherer, her husband's investment partner and a strong Parrish ally, helped arrange for Morrison to be appointed as the new county attorney. Cocalis says Jim Kane's influence with the county commissioners will be a central issue in his lawsuit.

But Parrish denies that she had any role in Cocalis' firing. "Jim wouldn't come to me to protect Pam's job," she says. "He's a great guy. He's not like that."
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21 comments
CSMcDonald
CSMcDonald

Heh. wonder how many people protesting at the Rick Scott protests downtown actually voted last November.

All That Glitters.....
All That Glitters.....

Sorry to the length of the article.. but this is a wonderful thing...the people are starting to protest..GOOD... Maybe soon a RECALL!

Anti-Rick Scott protesters stage large rally in downtown Fort Lauderdale

By Anthony Man March 8, 2011 06:39 PMUpdated at 7:30 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m.

Protesters took to the sidewalks of one of downtown Fort Lauderdale’s major intersections Tuesday afternoon and early evening to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s budget and policy priorities.

Hundreds gathered for the so-called Awake the State Rally; organizers said they had at least 750 people there.

Update. Organizer Franco Ripple just emailed that he and his colleagues now estimate the size of their crowd at 1,300.

One of the four corners at the intersection of Broward Boulevard and Third Avenue was occupied by a significantly smaller – close to 100 in number – group of pro-Scott protesters, mostly from various affiliates of the tea party movement.

Many of the anti-Scott protesters were members of public employee unions out to protest the governor’s proposals to cut the state budget, specifically on education, and to require them to start paying for part of the cost of their pensions.

The government employee union members didn’t like those ideas.

Much of the organizing work for the Awake the State rally in Broward was done by union leaders and activists connected with the Broward Democratic Party. Among those working the crowd: Pat Santeramo, president of the Broward Teachers Union, and Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward Democratic Party. Several of the county Democratic Party’s area leaders were also on hand.

Many union members and their supporters were wearing black, yellow or blue t-shirts, depending on which union drew them to the event.

Among the signs: “Honk If You Want To Stop the Corporate Loopholes.”

Joan Young, who teaches at Horizon Elementary in Sunrise, made a sign aimed at the tea party – “The Mad Hatter called – he wants his tea party back,” with allusions to Alice in Wonderland.

“These people are dangerous and they need to be gotten rid of. They need to go away,” she said of the smaller group across the street. “I think the governor is a dangerous man.”

Paula Alvis, an Oakland Park woman just-retired from AT&T, said she wouldn’t be directly affected, but said she came to protest what she view as attacks on union workers. “It’s my union family and the future of my children. I’ve been a good union person for 30 years. It’s in my blood.”

Amy Taylor-Henry, a teacher at Plantation Middle School, held a sign proclaiming “Don’t balance the budget on the backs of working families.” Her daughter, Sarah Henry, age 10, held a neon pink sign, “Governor Scott Here is Your Pink Slip.”

“I’m a teacher and I’m especially worried about the budget cuts proposed for education,” she said.

The pro-Scott protesters organized by Tea Party Fort Lauderdale were carrying large American flags and yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. (Awake the State organizers distributed 400 small flags to their ranks.)

“If we don’t stop the spending at all levels the country is going to collapse in debt,” said Philip Bauso, who gave Scott high marks for his first two months in office. “I voted for him and I’d vote for him again. He’s on the right track. He knows we have to cut spending.”

Bauso, of Fort Lauderdale, said the government doesn’t have the money and can’t raise taxes enough to maintain what it’s been doing. “These people [gesturing to those on his side of the street] get it. They [pointing to the anti-Scott protestors] don’t yet.”

Pamela Evans, who sells home décor to stores, traveled from Aventura to participate in the Fort Lauderdale tea party response. “I’m here because I pay my own health care and retirement,” she said. “I don’t think it’s right for them to expect taxpayers to pay for everything.”

Shortly before 6 p.m., traffic was disrupted near the protest and counter-protest intersection.

Southbound lanes of Third Avenue were closed by police for a block north of Broward Boulevard. And one westbound lane of Broward Boulevard was closed just west of Third Avenue. That’s the corner where most of the protesters were, on the sidewalks surrounding the Federal Courthouse.

Guest
Guest

topic change: Watching the Charlie Sheen mania rants. He needs medical attention and very soon. I fear we'll be hearing horrible news if he doesn't get immediate help.

Guest
Guest

Pulp....You're so needed and Thank you for exposing the BASTARDS! Mrs. Kane acts as if she has a lot to hide. Geller will not get in. I'd like to think the voters are aware and just like his run against Gunzberger, he won't be WINNING!

Jbyrdflorida
Jbyrdflorida

Photo of Redondo Beach Marina, I guess there’s a special on sardines at the RBM Chart House.

I don’t buy into the oxygen starvation explanation, but if it works for the press, so be it.

Indeed, the Redondo Beach Chart House restaurant was where I took all So Cal visitors for dinner from back East. Although, I’ll give a shout out to the Coconut Grove Chart House as they allowed me and first mate into the restaurant with towels around our waists. To qualify, we were soaked to the bone and the temp dropped that epic day on Biscayne Bay by 15 – 20 degrees..

There is a former Manhattan Beach poster here…who?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Sam Goren is on the committee to select Broward's new Inspector General. How appropriate (and typical).

Swampting1968
Swampting1968

I wonder what firms gave to which candidates?

Pulp
Pulp

Just voted in Plantation. The only one I felt okay about was Uria, who seems to be a genuinely nice person (and there was no way I was going to vote for Dale Holness's coattails). Otherwise you have Church Lady Fadgen vs. Old School Bendekovic, a depressing outcome either way. We had a rabbi running for one seat. Forget about the church and state issues, how is Harr going to be able to face his congregation after lowering himself into politics, the worldliest of pursuits? No wonder Harr said he thought it was the worst mistake he's ever made. Might as well have announced he was going to give prostitution a go.

Pineystride
Pineystride

What a political morass, with the emphasis on "ass." I thought Mike Ryan was going to clean things up? Why don't they just hire an inhouse attorney? Wouldn't that take the politics out of it? Kane and Geller's firms surely are NOT qualified. Goren is, but, any firm will take the city's shirt. Same BULLSHIT different day.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

I have it on good authority that the well respected Ft Lauderdale law firm of Dewey,Cheatem & Howe will be appointed.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Looks like it's gonna be a long 4 years for some folks...

Guest
Guest

No matter which Geller runs!

Guest
Guest

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."Ronald Reagan

TruPaul
TruPaul

Nucky, congrats on your "first." I believe this is your first "first" and I know that your thirst for firsts will surely grow. It must have been in all of the excitement associated with your first "first" that your forgot that Dewey, Cheatem & Howe is out of Boston. See Tom and Ray Magliozzi: www.cartalk.com

If the Repubs have their was and end public broadcasting it could be the end of Click and Clack.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

[Yes, it's Goldilocks. I usually follow on a different computer and my name/avatar didn't come up.]

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

Trupaul, I have no thirst for firsts but I was amiss in not paying homage to Click and Clack who brighten up every Saturday morning.. Nice juxtaposition of the pictures of the dead fish and Steve Geller.."something is rotten in the state of Florida "

p.s. I know Redondo Beach is in California

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