|Commissioner Aronson at the Broward League of Cities.|
|Back in the heyday|
UPDATE: Former Scott Rothstein partner Stuart Rosenfeldt has settled his $9 million clawback suit with the bankruptcy trustee for $1.6 million, according to the Sentinel
. It's a convoluted situation. Apparently Rosenfeldt is going to pay the money out of a $4 million refund he's receiving from the IRS for overpaying taxes. The rest of the refund money will go to pay taxes he failed to pay in 2008 and 2009. I don't know, you read it
-- So now the cities are getting together -- via their "League" -- to stonewall adoption of the new voter-mandated ethics rules.
The Broward League of Cities, led by its director, former North Broward Hospital District Chairwoman Rhonda Calhoun and Coconut Creek Commissioner Lisa Aronson, is coming up with an alternative, mellower set of rules because the new ones, apparently, are just too harsh for them.
Seriously, people don't know it's hard out there for a pol when they gotta keep ridin' on the dole.
Aronson says politicians in smaller cities can't afford certain things -- like not being able to work as lobbyists on the side. What kind of a world would it be if elected officials couldn't get some scratch on the side as an influence peddler?
And what's this about not accepting gifts? they ask. Apparently Aronson can't afford her own meals either. Apparently she hasn't thought of expensing some of her government-related outings to her city either (but that would leave a paper trail!).
I'm going to one-up you, Lisa -- how about we just go ahead and get rid of all those pesky bribery laws too?*
Inside, read the incredible words of Aronson and Calhoun, who, to borrow a gimmick from another blog, are hereby named the Pulp's Knuckleheads of the Week.
From the Sentinel
(wife of the Pulp):
The cities, using the Broward League of Cities, are drafting their own ethics code, hoping the county will pass it instead. League Director Rhonda Calhoun said there is no stalling.
"We were not in any way trying to skirt out of anything,'' she said Wednesday. But she said some things in the code, which was designed with county commissioners in mind, are unrealistic.
Calhoun said city elected officials on the League's board will meet Wednesday to discuss the alternatve version and to send a version to the cities for approvals. The League in early June would vote on a final version to give to the County Commission as a recommendation.
Coconut Creek Commissioner Lisa Aronson said city officials were hoping to loosen some of the restrictions on lobbying, for example, because some of them work as lobbyists and would no longer be able to represent clients in front of other city governments. The escape clause should be offered to the smallest cities, she said, because they might have the most trouble adhering to the code.
The gift ban, she said, is too strict. City officials don't make the $90,000-plus salary county commissioners do, she said, and can't always afford to pick up their own meals or event tickets.
"We spend a lot of time within our communities at meetings and functions,'' Aronson said, "and some people would even be offended if we were to turn down a bottle of water or offer to compensate them.''
*I stole that line from a source, whom I am officially thanking here.