Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Steve Geller's antics; cowardly Miami Herald editorial board
Just wanted to call your attention to some interesting news I discovered via the Orlando Sentinel a few minutes ago, via email.
Don't think I ever mentioned it here before, but I subscribe to the Orlando Sentinel's excellent political blog, Central Florida Political Pulse, which seems, thus far, to have the great advantage of being able to call 'em like they see 'em with much more freedom than is generally common with other political blogs affiliated with newspapers.
Say, unlike the Miami Herald's political blog, Naked Politics, to name but one.
That low-hanging target, which for the better part of its existence didn't have even a single link to other Herald blogs on their site, still doesn't link to any other newspaper political blog, even ones within the state. Now that's using technology!
(Sounds like a Kim Marcille directive to me.)
The Pulse had an item today that FSU's President, T. K. Wetherell, has suddenly realized the true nature of his job situation, after what only seems like Fourscore and seven ethical lapses and arrests among FSU athletes.
That is, that he was, in fact, within the FSU hierarchy, the wagging tail, not the lead dog.
Well, at least now he knows the score!
He's been chasing the tail all this time, getting damn frustrated.
Now, he's chagrined to discover that he's just like the dog on that hysterical Comedy Central show of a few years ago, TV Funhouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_Funhouse
I've always loved the term the NCAA uses in documents to describe situations less egregious than this one at FSU, albeit, usually at non-winning schools that can't sell merchandise and get big TV ratings all around the country like the Seminoles: lack of institutional control.
See SMU and death penalty, circa early 1980's.
Unfortunately for my tastes, the Miami Herald continues to walk a far-too-careful tip-toe around the very curious actions and puzzling behavior of Steve Geller, where there's never any telling from moment to moment which of his many 'hats for hire' he's wearing, a topic that both of my blogs will be addressing in the future.
One minute, Geller is the esteemed State Senator and top Senate Democrat of the fourth largest state in the country, a wheeler-dealer in a tiny govt. town who's in love with the sound of his own voice, and who proudly proclaimed his role at the time, complete with trademark smirk and sarcasm, in moving up the date of the presidential primary.
An hour later, Geller is the corporate lawyer/bully, trying to not only prevent Hallandale Beach residents living near the proposal -his constituents- at a City Commission meeting from opposing his client's bad plans to build an over sized bldg. near their homes, but even worse, actively trying to prevent them from even being able to speak during the public comments portion of the commission meeting.
(Months ago when it happened, I actually was so appalled by Geller's antics that I called a Herald reporter I respect on my cellphone, and then gave her a play-by-play of what happened,
as it happened.
That was really my only card to play because the Herald didn't think to assign someone to a public meeting that produced the largest building in Broward on U.S.-1 south of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the DOMUS project across from Gulfstream Park.)
Later, Geller wears the lobbyist hat he probably loves most, where he gets paid to alternately persuade/schmooze/ply city officials -also his constituents- to grant favors to or accept the plans of his myriad corporate clients who pay him handsomely.
Clients that doubtless make campaign contribution$, wouldn't you guess?
Yes, it's really quite a circle of love, isn't it?
Fortunately, the Sentinel and their blog runs accurate-but-negative things about the ethically-challenged State Senator Geller, who'll continue to mis-represent me and my neighbors up in Tallahassee for a few more months until he's term-limited out of his cozy confine$ in the lap of power.
(Geller has a big fundraiser in Tallahassee this week amongst his pals and clients for an election two years from now, when he'll try to take away Suzanne Gunzburger's seat on the Broward County Commission.
He's not even letting the fact that his Cooper City house isn't legally in the district prevent him from raising money.
He's Steve Geller -he does what he likes.)
The Sentinel blog carried the amusing item below about Wetherell, the former pol and FL House Speaker put in his cushy job by his pals to run a college whose reputation around the country, such as it is, rests almost entirely on its gridiron prowess, not its contributions to anything of real note or consequence, which may be a good thing in the end.
Well, okay, save for some NOAA hurricane/weather forecasters and some very cute FSU coeds, famous for smiling while wearing skimpy outfits at football games.
See http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2680844980098792027WIsYXc and http://www.cybersportsblog.com/2005_archives/dec_daily_news/956-FSU-hotties.html
And, quite naturally, trying desperately to hang onto that 15 Minutes, witness Jenn Sterger, whose fame first came at the FSU at U-M game a few years ago. http://www.jennsterger.com/ Jenn at Wrigley Field: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jenn_sterger/07/26/mailbag/index.html
One last thing, and it's troubling to me in so many ways that I can't even begin to get into here, but here's the gist of it, with more posts about the subject in the near future, when I post some reviews about aspects of the Herald that I've been sitting on for months.
In reading the article in the Herald last Saturday about the passing of former Herald editorial page editor Jim Hampton, Former Miami Herald editorial page editor dies
http://www.miamiherald.com/548/story/403335.html , I came across a rather curious comment from a Herald insider, one which caused me to roll my eyes, since I know only too well how drastically the newspaper needs to be turned around to make it relevant and better in a changing environment.
After I read this comment, I wondered how many other people in South Florida who care about public policy the way I do had a similar reaction:
Hampton's imprint is still apparent on the Editorial Board he helped shape. ''Who we are and how we function is Jim's handiwork,'' [current Herald editorial page editor] Oglesby said.
By that, does Oglesby mean the way the powers-that-be at the Herald played chicken recently with their readers, when their Editorial Board didn't make an endorsement in either party for the Florida presidential primary?
That abdication of basic civic responsibility caused even-tempered Channel 10/WPLG political editor Michael Putney so much indignation, that he felt compelled to mention it to his politically savvy audience last Sunday morning, on his popular TV show, This Week in South Florida.
You know, just in case his viewers hadn't noticed its absence in their Sunday Herald while they were munching on their breakfast.
Given the current state of the Herald, I don't know if Mr. Oglesby's comments were something I'd be bragging about if I were related to Mr. Hampton.
But maybe that's just me.
FYI: Last Thursday, I spent the hour in between the two episodes of SouthBeachHoosier TV favorite Chuck on NBC, reading the wit and wisdom of "DUMP STEVE GELLER," an opinionated person in D.C. -so they say- on various forums on a variety of topics, including tax reform, education and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's bias.
I don't know anything about who this person might be, but it's interesting that someone who lives in D.C., if that's true, would have such contempt and antipathy towards him.
Mine comes much more natural -geographical proximity.
For more information on the antics of Steve Geller, please see this dead-on Sept. 7th story from five months ago.
Line In Sand Has Democrats Hopping by William March of the Tampa Tribune
Well, what do you know, National Dems are as unimpressed by the blustery comments of Geller as his constituents, and the media who collectively hope he'll get his comeuppance somehow.
"State Senate Democratic leader Steve Geller of Hallandale Beach, responding to the candidates' threat to boycott the Florida primary campaign over the Jan. 29 date, angrily urged Floridians to withdraw their endorsements for the candidates - and maybe their money.
"If the DNC chairman and the Democratic candidates choose to ignore our voters, then we can choose to ignore their campaigns," Geller said. "And where we go, so goes our wallets."
Of course, months earlier, Geller's penchant for bombast and delusions of importance cost the state of Florida, as this insightful May 17th post by Jason Garcia on the Pulse blog makes all too clear, http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2007/05/geller_to_dean_.html
The August 28th response to the post, which references Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times' comments, is one that the Herald and the rest of South Florida would've been smart to share with local residents, but never did.
Why do you suppose that is?
Wetherell criticizes FSU athletic department posted by Aaron Deslatte on Feb 4, 2008
The whole story of Wetherell's self-discovery
FSU president knocks Seminoles athletic department
Didn't trust athletic department to conduct cheating probe
Andrew Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
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