XX Phone (954) 532-2000 Fax 954-532-2002 Editor@flsentry.com
The General Election will be Tuesday, November 4th, and early voting has already begun. We investigate qualifications and other information regarding candidates for whom voters in Pompano Beach will vote, but some candidates are in county-wide or state-wide elections. Here are my comments and recommendations (and why):
the chart below, Bold indicates an endorsement, normal weight
indicates a recommendation]
And heres why:
District 20 covers some parts of Western Pompano Beach, and the sitting Congressman is Democrat Alcee Hastings. Hastings has a lock on this seat. A vote for the Republican challenger, Jay Bonner, is merely symbolic.
District 22, encompasses a lot of Palm Beach County and most of Pompano Beach, and is now represented by Democrat, Lois Frankel. After redistricting increased the Democrat voter majority in the district, Frankel defeated LtCol Alan West, who was constantly meeting with constituents, and had a world-famous encounter with a local CAIR representative. West rhetorically cleaned the CAIR representatives clock, but that didnt endear him to Democrats. Frankel is rarely seen by Broward County voters. Frankel is also viewed as a shoo-in by Democrats, insuring Nancy Pelosis leadership of House Democrats next year. Paul Spain has been campaigning hard, and has a credible chance of unseating her. This vote is mainly about the message to Washington. Spain, an asset manager and financial planner, has a history of being active in his community. WE consider Spain to be the better choice, with the added advantage that, being in the majority party, he has the ability to bring benefits to his district and to Florida.
the press, this whole race is about Fangate, the confusion at one of
the governor debates where Charlie Crist brought a battery-driven fan
to the debate, in violation of debate rules. Frankly that kind of
focus avoids issues and qualifications, and obfuscates the election.
Republican incumbent Pam Bondi has done a fine and professional job as attorney-general. There is no reason to change. Democrat challenger George Sheldons claim to fame is as acting assistant secretary for children and families in the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Obama administration.
Chief Financial Officer
Atwater was a bank executive who was elected to the state house in
2000, and the state senate in 2002. In 2008 he was elected president
of the senate.
Adam Putnam has served four years in that position, and has observed that Floridas laws on charities need a whole new approach. His beef is that charities take in billions of dollars, and only a fraction gets spent on the supposed beneficiaries. His office also administers a wide range of consumer services, including Floridas Concealed Weapons licensing (and business has been brisk). His challenger, LtCol Thaddeus Hamilton, has a long history in agriculture. Putnam, however, is doing a fine job. In some cases, if it aint broke dont fix it. In this case, its working well, and we disagree with the idea that we should take something that works well and fundamentally transform it.
Bogdanoff served as state senator from 2010 to 2012.
Redistricting threw her into the same district as state senator Maria
Sachs, who narrowly defeated Bogdanoff in the 2012 election. Both
Bogdanoff and Sachs received praise from various local newspapers.
Since 2012, each has been the target of the opposing party,
anticipating this re-run of a kind of clash of titans. Bogdanoff has
been criticized for voting in favor of allowing charter schools,
which in a number of cases provide better education than public
schools. The Teachers Union is not happy with her. I, however,
agree with her. Let the charter schools compete. If they dont
do a good job, parents will move their kids, and the charter schools
will fail. Thing is, theyre not failing.
District 92 lies mostly between the Turnpike and Dixie Highway. The incumbent is Gwen Clarke-Reed, who faces Republican challenger Kenny Brighton. No recommendation.
District 93 covers the rest of Pompano Beach, and is represented by George Moraitis. Some commentators have slammed Moraitis for voting against Browards living wage ordinance, which requires governments to pay more than the private market. Moraitis has a reputation among Republicans of untrustworthiness fostered by former supporters who saw Moraitis as a 'RINO', Republican In Name Only. No recommendation.
Democrat challenger Scott Herman, like Charlie Crist, changed parties when he couldnt get many votes as a Republican. In this campaign he has raised comparatively little money, indicating little support from anyone. One wonders why he even bothered.
Kristin Jacobs is unopposed in District 96 for state house. Jacobs did a poor job representing her district as a career county commissioner. She is known for a nasty temper and a willingness to viciously assault constituents verbally who dare to question her positions. She has a potential write-in candidate opponent.
In 2010, Chip LaMarca unseated Democrat Ken Keechl for this seat. Keechl wants his old job back, but LaMarca has done a good job at representing his district. As the only Republican on the County Commission, LaMarca has taken a lot of heat for nearly everything, and there are some legitimate criticisms. But we like the idea of a bipartisan commission. Ive read the criticisms, and we dont consider any of them to be deal-killers (he let his home mortgage go into arrears, he said he wont meet with lobbyists but he meets with people who want his help on things even though theyre not paid lobbyists, he said he would pay back some of his salary to the county do you think ANY politician actually does ???). The only criticism we buy is that LaMarca (or someone in his campaign) criticized Keechl for wasteful spending by voting for the new Courthouse something which is badly needed. Ill still go with LaMarca for now.
Appeal Judges 4th District
No reason not to keep them all. Vote to retain.
This is truly a decision based on which candidate is the least qualified, and both have a run at that dubious distinction. Sokoloff is not thought of highly in legal circles, and Bailey even less so. It sort of comes down to which of the two will bring something anything to Browards courthouse. Bailey is a criminal lawyer, and we have plenty of criminal judges (and we mean that in the context of judges who sit in the criminal division, not the other interpretation). Sokoloff is a family lawyer, and those are not so plentiful its actually one of the tougher judicial assignments. Bailey has name recognition, because of his highly qualified brother, who is a circuit judge. Sokoloff has some name recognition because this is her third attempt, having lost handily in previous efforts. Regretfully, the third time is likely to be a charm, but only because she can bring a little more to the Courthouse than Bailey can. So [groan], we recommend Sokoloff,
thing can be said for incumbent County Judge Ian Richards: hes
a great campaigner. But he comes off in the courthouse as being a
little too political. It may be a smart political strategy, but
Im more concerned about what goes on in the courthouse. Im
also unimpressed with the work he does with the Ian Richards
Foundation. That does sound a bit narcissistic, and it does appear to
be a bit too arrogant. We also was not impressed when he successfully
campaigned in 2008 to unseat Judge Claudia Avalos, another incident
of ethnicity raising its ugly head as a qualification, or, as we said
before, a disqualification. His campaign was largely door-to-door,
prompting many to call it a stealth campaign.
1. Barry Doc Dockswell is well-connected in County
Democrat circles as a large Obama contributor. He has served six
years on the commission and is seeking his 4th term with few
accomplishments.. He was the lone, almost-vitriolic opponent of a
lease to benefit the Citys world-famous fishing fleet. The only
explanation we could find was a desire to lease the Hillsboro Inlet
Marina to one of his affluent neighbors.
2. Charlotte Burrie
is probably the most beloved commissioner since Emma Lou Olson (for
whom the Civic Center is named). She spends massive time and expends
massive efforts to benefit her district, much of which was annexed
into Pompano Beach from unincorporated Broward County. She was
instrumental in the development of the trailer park adjacent to the
ice arena on North Federal Highway and improvements to the adjacent
park property. Most residents in her district would like to encourage
her to stay on as commissioner as long as possible.
3. Rex Hardin served as a City Commissioner for one term back in
1998. We became critical of his service, because he took the position
that he was elected to make decisions for the people, and not to
represent them. He was unelected by the Firefighters union which he
attempted to ignore while on the Commission the first time. After
being defeated by former State Representative Bob Shelley, the
hapless Harding was forced to grovel publicly to get the union's
support for re-election. He has been very careful not to annoy union
leaders ever since.
4. This is frequently a politically contentious district that was
dominated in earlier years by E. Pat Larkins. Fortunately, in recent
years Woody Poitier has served the district, but has decided to
retire. He wants Rev. Whitney Rawls
to be his successor. Rawls wants to focus on economic and job
creation in the Northwest district, where unemployment remains high.
He serves on the NW Community Development Agency Advisory Board and
the Citys Economic Development Agency. His past service
includes a number of County boards and agencies.
5. This District was controlled by the Palm-Aire condominiums and
their long time political leader, Herb Skolnick even after his death.
Skolnick ruled with an iron fist and used his position to threaten
outspoken locals and other politicians with potential charges of
anti-Semitism. Skolnick switched his party affiliation from
Republican to Democrat in the face of threats by prominent Democrats
to run opponents against him. Skolnick was replaced by his most
prominent minion, George Brummer whose often wandering and windy self
aggrandizing speeches will not be missed.
John Bynoe is retired from the Florida Department of Transportation. Joan McConnell wants to promote tourism and protect the environment. Barry Moss, who has served on the Parks and Recreation Committee, dislikes the Citys plan for the new Civic Center adjacent to City Hall.
Rumor has it that Moss is the front runner.
Other Races No Recommendations
1. Dedicate Funds to Conservation and Recreation. This amendment is being marketed as a no-additional-taxes way to allocate funds that the Legislature has declined to do. It requires that one third of excise taxes be dedicated to conservation and recreation. Problem is that the state will have to replace fund shifted by this amendment, and that will result in more taxes. The marketing of this Amendment is truly deceptive. Vote NO.
2. Legalize Medical Marijuana. If you think this will limit the legalization of marijuana to strictly medical uses, you are naive. Colorado allows both medical and recreational marijuana. Their rationale was the recreational marijuana would bring huge revenues to state coffers, but it didnt happen. Prescriptions are being written for the flimsiest of reasons, and so there is a medical mask on recreational use. Anything goes. Colorado also is experiencing dramatic increases in impaired driving incidents. California allows medical marijuana, and it is available everywhere, even for food stamps. We dont need their problems here. Vote NO.
3. Judicial Appointments. This is basically a fix for situations where a judge submits a delayed resignation, and allows the governor to appoint a replacement without having to wait for an election. Its a needed fix. Vote YES.
We spend huge amounts of money on education, and much of the funding goes to upper and middle management, and facilities for the School Board and middle management. We need the School Board to get its act together, eliminate a lot of waste, and get funding to the teaching level, where it belongs. Until they can prove fiscal responsibility, Im opposed to giving them more money. Vote NO.
The election is Tuesday, November 4th. Early voting has already begun. In Pompano you can vote at the Emma Lou Olson Center, 801 NE 6 Street; E. Pat Larkins Center, 520 Martin Luther King Blvd. If youre headed downtown, try the Fort Lauderdale Branch Library, 1350 East Sunrise Blvd., Room 130.