Here's a Rare Headline: A Broward Politician Makes a Good, Ethical Call and Cancels the Mayor's Gala

Categories: Politics
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It's not often that the Pulp mentions Broward politics with a reference to an ethical decision. It's even rarer when mentioning the county mayor's office, which has seemed like a magnet for corruption the past couple of terms. Add Sue Gunzburger's name to that mix and, yeah, we're talking a once-in-a-lifetime post here.

But the mayor named Sue deserves some credit here: She has canceled the annual lobbyist ass kiss that was the mayor's gala, an event the Pulp has criticized for years as a dressed-up example of  Broward Town's pay-to-play system.

"It was a nice event, but I think the general public saw it differently," Gunzburger told the Sentinel's Brittany Wallman. "And perception is everything.''

In this case, the perception and the reality were the same -- the ball was financed by those with business in front of the county, meaning commissioners would ask for a favor from those who would some day be asking for a favor back. The ball had a history of unsavory connections that made it less a gala and more a meeting of the Legion of Doom, with ball gowns.

Take two years ago, when the title sponsor was none other than Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, who put up $50,000. He was reportedly too sick to attend, so he sent his top lobbyist, Grant Smith, who got up to address the crowd. And why shouldn't he, considering the money his boss had put up to brownnose the Broward power structure?

It doesn't seem like it could get worse for the ball having Rothstein as the main sponsor, but last year's event may have actually sunk the man who ran it. Then-Mayor Ken Keechl was in a tough reelection bid and facing accusations that he had abandoned his promises of cleaning up the office. Continuing the tradition of the lobbyist ball looked like he'd reneged on his promises of reform, and it may have helped to cost him his seat.

Whatever the reason for the event's cancellation, we'll regret the loss of one thing from the gala -- it provided a trove of photos of politicians cozied up with lobbyists, photographic proof of Broward's everyday workings.

Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter: @ericbarton.
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16 comments
Also Anonymous
Also Anonymous

Good story.  Now, a question:  Did the commissioners cancel meetings yesterday to attend the funeral for Howard Forman's wife?  And, if it's true, since they get paid $94,000 a year for meetings once a week, do people think that's okay?   Would a private business shut down for the funeral of an employee's wife?  If it's true, should they not have paid calls on Forman on their own time?

Card fo rlife
Card fo rlife

Thank God I was SICK of my Boss sending me to this Event!!! BTW I don't like my Boss!!! 

RedBroward
RedBroward

Sue and Ron are too smart to make dumb mistakes like Keechl. Another fancy gala would look bad for all DEMS.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Eric,

Okay, I have some hope again for the blog.  Thank you for a good report.

JSkool101
JSkool101

My favorite moment from last year was Mrs. Pulp's videos in the parking lot of the arriving glitterati; they refused to let the press into the building and in my opinion paid the price.   Lots of fun to watch the parking lot duck-n-run. 

Wrong Move
Wrong Move

At the end of the day we are no more ethical with a charity ball than with a day of giving.  Only the charities were hurt by this.  The only good thing that politicians and government contractors did has been eliminated.  I see that as a step backward for ethics.  

Parkland man
Parkland man

That picture is a few years ago and she didn't look that good then, but now forget about it,she would have to wrap a drape around her,and the bucket would stay empty,good call on not having the party,it would have beena bomb anyway and rothstiens not here to pay for it with stolen money,that lawyer is locked up for 50 years bull ya !

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

I was so looking forward to  Stacy Ritters 2011 performance. Maybe she had a Janet Jackson incident planned, to top her 2010 strut. We'll never know.

Christy
Christy

 Congratulations are in order.  The mayors Ball has been keechled.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

There's hope for this blog yet or as Mark Twain so eloquently put it  "news of its death has been greatly exaggerated". Keep up the good work Eric. 

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

 Parkland Man...

I'm sure that everyone on this blog is proud of the way that you responded: On topic; relevant; and true.

Keep up the good work.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Daddy is very proud of you. You made your distaste for lawyers relevant to the story.

Keep up the good work.

anonymous
anonymous

 That photo was not from the Mayor's Ball.  Ritter was raising money in the Dancing with the Stars contest for The Pantry of Broward. 

Guest
Guest

I agree, Nucky....Good Move Sue...The Pulp  and the public out cry definitely led to her decision...Let's keep it up and let the Polititicians know they have to look over their shoulders...we'll be watching.

Guest
Guest

BTW...Who here doubts her late husband didn't do what he's accused of? 

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