Broward Auditor looks at Hallandale Beach CRA with eye toward recovering misspent funds
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
May 13, 2013 AT 6:08 AM
My post on this of last week:
That friendly reminder comes courtesy of Tuesday's Broward Politics blog and a piece by Brittany Wallman detailing that four members of the current Broward Commission are foolishly supporting undistinguished no-account Joe Gibbons over Beam Furr in the 2014 race to replace incumbent and term-limited District 6 member Sue Gunzburger, who, months ago endorsed moderate, Good Government-type Furr, the former Hollywood City Commissioner whose district was just north of HB and Pembroke Road and west of U.S.-1, and which is currently held by Peter Hernandez.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Broward Politics blog
County Commission wants Gibbons elected
By Brittany Wallman
1:38 p.m. EDT, May 28, 2013
Read the post at
In my own personal estimation, Beam Furr is someone whose quality character, serious work ethic and problem-solving personality is much more-attuned to the genuine concerns of southeast Broward's most-concerned residents than the disingenuous and unproductive Gibbons, who spends so much time away from the area, and whose actual "residency" as such is more implied and assumed than ever proven to a reasonable degree that would satisfy people who know the true facts.
But then given how very reluctant the local South Florida news media and local law enforcement officials have been to take a public stand against Joe Gibbons and similarly situated elected officials in South Florida, and FOR the letter and spirit of the actual laws of the state -with the exception Bob Norman of Channel 10 and his wife Brittany Wallman of the Sun-Sentinel- versus the wink-and-a-nod approach long taken towards ethics and rules by the leaders and foot soldiers of Broward Democratic Party chief Mitch Caeser's team, it's no wonder that so few Broward residents know the true facts about Gibbons, despite how many years he has been engaging in this strange tale of his and I've been writing about it.
House Pro Tem Investigated for Homestead Fraud
By Bob Norman
November 15 2010 at 10:15 AM
County Commission candidate's ties to Broward questioned
Gibbons' wife, young kids live elsewhere
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
April 12, 2013
State attorney probed Gibbons' campaign funds
By Brittany Wallman
11:14 a.m. EDT, April 15, 2013,
To add to the list of media and law enforcement's failed opportunities you could also add the general weakness and the dog-chasing-its-tail fecklessness of Broward County Republicans, and their inability or unwillingness to go after all the low-hanging fruit.
Their failure to mount a smart and fact-based civic offensive against Gibbons and others in the Broward Dem Party's leadership with gaping holes in their claims to meeting state residency requirements.
A real professional media campaign that tears off the thin facade Gibbons and others have used as a shield for years, with facts that can not be disproved or labeled mere allegations.
Some things are either true or they're not, and when you know that people are engaging in a public charade, you don't do the public any favors by tolerating people in your midst who are breaking the spirit and letter of the rules and laws, no matter how much it might embarrass the guilty parties.
In case you doubt me on this...
As If I haven't already mentioned this subject a hundred times before here in this space -or is it more than a hundred?- when it comes to Gibbons and his ever-changing narrative, alibis, excuses and rationales that are contrary to how 99.9% of the people in this county live their life.
Joe Gibbons is NOT a professional athlete, an airline pilot, an FBI agent or a Navy SEAL, all people who spend lots of time away from their homes and their families, yet for some unexplained reason, nobody in South Florida's enormous press corps has ever simply walked-up to Gibbons with a microphone and asks him how come he can't either get a job in South Florida, instead of with a law firm in Tallahassee, or, doesn't simply resign and actually get a job where his wife and children live.
Really, as if I needed even more reasons to be supportive of Beam Furr's candidacy!
Today's piece by Wallman contains a list of Broward's "Ususal Suspects" -below- who are sponsors of an upcoming Joe Gibbons fundraiser, and it's not just that it's composed of 4 of members of the current County Commission, but also includes some of Gibbons' quite unremarkable and under-performing friends from the legislature representing Broward.
People who are without any tangible accomplishment other than showing a real knack for whining and complaining instead of generating genuine good ideas for citizens and businesses that are actually popular with Florida taxpayers and their colleagues in Tallahassee which will improve the area's Quality of Life.
It's not just salaries that have been stagnant in South Florida the past 25 years, it's the Quality-of-Life.
Of course, the fact that these pols really DON'T see how their public endorsement of oleaginous Gibbons is a BIG PLUS for Furr among people who want real public accountability instead of more of the usual politics-as-usual that causes Broward to remain so mediocre in so many ways, is pretty funny to me and many of my friends.
Frankly, we only wish this exact same crew of characters would have a fundraiser for Gibbons every month until the August 2014 primary, because then it'd give voters and the news media plenty of opportunities over the next 14 months to ask them just what it is, exactly, that Gibbons is so adept or masterful at that would make him a good County Commissioner?
I ask because nobody-but-nobody sings his praises as a hard worker or public speaker or behind-the-scenes font of knowledge who makes logical arguments that sway opponents.
Not even other Broward Democrats who know him would say that with a straight face, so, what explains this great fascination to publicly endorse such an under-performing person before he's said even one thing publicly about what he thinks he could do at the Commission that others couldn't?
Now THERE'S a real good question the news media ought to be asking him and his pals!
The names on that list made public by the Sun-Sentinel's Wallman are precisely why I wrote here weeks ago -and told some of you in-person weeks before that- that my intuition was that state Senator Jeremy Ring of northern Broward County, a Democrat who's very respected by Republicans in Tallahassee, would likely play much more of a role in getting that long-overdue audit of the corrupt, incompetent HB CRA that we are owed -and which HB Mayor Joy Cooper has been so adamant about NOT allowing- than most people thought.
That Cooper opposes a thorough audit of the HB CRA is quite understandable when you know that the facts that come out of it will inevitably reflect very negatively on her and her personal neglect and culpability while she has been mayor for the past ten years and was supposed to be looking-out for residents, not taking advantage of them.
As well the facts would, given that Cooper was driving the CRA for so long to do the very things it did, however unsavory it appeared to Good Government types like me or my friends in SE Broward.
She didn't care about that, she cared about getting what she wanted and what helped her politically. Period.
That the Gibbons fundraiser is -surprise- NOT being held within his own state House District -nothing for you HB, West Park, Pembroke Park and Miramar! is par for the course.
Yes, just like his last state House race had its mailing address outside of the district.
Here are the names again for the record: Broward School Board District 2 member Patricia Good; Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis and Commissioner Iris Siple; Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness, Martin Kiar, Stacy Ritter and Lois Wexler; state Reps Jim Waldman and Perry Thurston.
What is it about NOT representing this area except in the legislature that animates this strange character named Gibbons, since it's clearly NOT about making the community better?
But then I could say the same thing about the person whom fundraiser sponsor and Comm. Marty Kiar most resembles politically around HB, City Comm. Alexander Lewy, aka Lewy the Liar, who is running to replace Gibbons in state House 100 next year.
(Of course, quite a lot of pro-reform people I know in HB say 'good riddance' however you can rid this town of Lewy and the strange tenets of Lewyism, like the urge to always create a bigger government job corps, but me, well, I think of the genuine harm he could do up in Tallahassee while exerting no real power, while simultaneously getting an even more swelled head and high opinion of himself, despite having never really done any heavy lifting of any kind, since I really don't like to reward that sort of thing. Me, I'm looking quite forward to voting against Lewy next year.)
Seeing Kiar's name on this list of back-slappers is absolutely no surprise, since he shares a lot of the worst aspects and elements of the mentality and ideology of Lewy -which is to say that he's 99.9% ego & ambition, .01% sincerity.
Like Lewy, he's not just shallow like the shallow end of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, he's shallow like a store-bought pool that has no depth of any kind.
All these many months later and the public has still never been told by the South Florida news media how Kiar explains how it came to be that the Broward County Commission districts were redrawn in such a way that the only precinct in Kiar's hometown of Davie that made it into District 1, Comm. Ilene Lieberman's old district, was, yes, Kiar's.
What a small world!!!
The small convenient world of Broward politics-as-usual where people with power have favors done for them behind-the-scenes by other people with power, and the public is never the wiser -and the press corps just keeps snoozing the afternoon away.
I mentioned this fact twice last year on the blog and have referenced it a few times in emails, all while the two local newspapers and TV stations made almost no effort to find out the answer.
Oh, and since you would not have read this elsewhere, Gibbons-supporter Kiar missed that first 911 County Commission meeting last month that everyone in the news media said was so damn urgent.
Never mentioned was why Kiar was missing on what was expected to be a close vote and naturally, South Florida's news media cooperated by never bothering to ask him.
Guess it wasn't so urgent after all.
Noticeable by his absence on this party list is Broward Comm. Tim Ryan, which is a good thing from my perspective, since he's someone I've long admired since returning to South Florida from the Washington, D.C. where I lived and worked for 15 years.
Ryan is such a scrupulously ethical and big idea guy, and someone who actually got meaningful ethics legislation passed while he was in the state legislature, unlike Joe Gibbons, Steve Geller and Eleanor Sobel, all of whom have been under-performers for Hallandale Beach residents in so many different areas that I can't even let myself get sidetracked by mentioning them all here.
There's still lots of interesting things yet to emerge publicly about Joe Gibbons, and I know some of them myself.
Reasonable questions and facts that will cause people with open minds to question his credibility and basic honesty, especially not just his odd "arrangement" with his wife and children who don't live with him, but what he actually did/does for HER former business and the true level of his involvement with it.
There's much more there than you have heard or read thus far, if you just know where to look.
In the end, the main reason for the beleaguered residents of Hallandale Beach to be against Gibbons is the simplest one: he's NEVER been a very good or even reliable representative for this community's best long-term interests.
While it's never been reported publicly in the two newspapers or on TV, anyone who has been paying even the slightest amount of attention to what goes on in this community -or been reading this blog- knows that Joe Gibbons has NEVER been helpful to the residents of this city who want genuine reform, meaningful transparency and public accountability at HB City Hall.
Joe Gibbons has been totally AWOL for years, whether it was the case of the unpopular and incompatible Diplomat LAC project championed by Mayor Cooper that was eventually defeated by the County Commission, the longstanding HB CRA corruption, or even the red-light cameras and how they came to be introduced into this community by Mayor Cooper as a revenue-generator, not a tool for public safety, and placed on streets that were not where they were most-needed.
Joe Gibbons has had plenty of opportunities to do the right thing and he has always done nothing.
Why would you think he'd be any different in representing you as a Broward County Commissioner?
We DON'T want a do-nothing County Commissioner who just goes along with whatever the dominant political establishment wants, like so many pols in South Florida.
Gibbons showing-up on Election Day at the HB Cultural Center doesn't make up for all that, esp. if you saw the crowd of misfits that he hung with while there.
Not surprisingly, it was the very defenders and architects of the mess at the CRA, the people who always have their hand out for CRA and taxpayer money, not the people in this community who want the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth.
Again, as if I needed more reasons to be supportive of Beam Furr.
Depending upon my schedule in June, I might even swing by the Gibbons fundraising event in Fort Lauderdale in a few weeks and park myself outside the restaurant and take photos of all the local pols and bundlers going inside to tell this useless elected official how great he is, and place it here on my blog for all to see.
You're more than welcome to join me!
Given how much I wrote about this recently here on the blog, I suppose I should remind you readers that All Aboard Florida is having their after-the-fact scoping meeting Wednesday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale.
But because there will be no presentation of any kind, just handouts and perhaps a video running somewhere on a screen, plus, no doubt, some attractive female PR types to chat everyone up, to me, it looks to have all the hallmarks of walking into a room where everyone there wants there you to either sign-up for a new cell phone provider or a new credit card -an immediate U-Turn for me.
Which is to say that I won't be going due to the lack of real information and feedback, and instead, will be going to Hollywood City Hall for their important joint CRA/City Comm. mtg,
on Margaritaville at 5 p.m.