A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Confirming what most of us have long suspected, apparently, some #Broward cities & communities must be divided so that some political careers can manage to stay afloat. For instance, Eleanor Sobel's. Her track record in office is cringe-worthy!; Matt Dixon: Deposition questions partisan emails of redistricting plaintiffs

*Blog post was updated on Friday December 11th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Deposition questions partisan emails of redistricting plaintiffs 
By Matt Dixon  8:49 p.m. | Dec. 9, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — During an eight-hour deposition, attorneys grilled a map-drawer for a coalition of plaintiffs challenging the state Senate lines, questioning his process, his personal politics, and emails that indicate the challengers were looking to “draw additional dem seats.”

“Try to carve dem districts that honor the statutes,” read a Nov. 21, 2011 email from Brad Wieneke, an employee with a company then called Strategic Telemetry, a Washington-based Democratic consulting firm.

Read the rest of the article at:

Matt Dixon's excellent article in Politico FLORIDA, above, comes as a great tonic and fact-filled followup to many of the dozens of blog posts I've written in this space over the years regarding the history and tortured culture of Florida's gerrymandered political districts, the efforts by some public interest groups -even ones whose goals for more responsive govt. I ostensibly supported, like Fair Districts- to find a way to bollix things up by acting holier-than-thou.

And, predictably, being exposed for being the hypocrites they were all along, even when people like me were asking frank questions of their leaders via emails about seeming inconsistencies and NOT getting anything resembling the sort of reasonable response you'd expect from someone if they were being square with you.

Some of you will recall the silence with which my requests for information from the local Broward and Miami-Dade chapters of the League of Women Voters was met, as well as the Florida HQ.
Especially in the days and weeks before the Florida Senate had their meetings around the state, which they actually advertised far in advance and provided doucmentation for, unlike LWV. 

So, that article of Dixon's and my own frustrated history of following this issue leads me to ask this today to you readers:
Why must a small #Broward city like #HallandaleBeach continue to be carved-up year-after-year, election cycle after election cycle, based almost entirely on Black/Jewish voting numbers, so that contrary to common sense and its own best interests, it CAN'T be properly unified?
Perhaps, even be represented by 1 person in the #FL state House, 1 person in the FL state Senate, 1 person on the Broward County Commission and 1 person in the U.S. Congress?
This effort to keep this community of under 40,000 people here permanently divided, has one practical effect: to prevent it from effectively being able to make its desires and wishes known to candidates in advance of elections in meaningful numbers.

Instead, Hallandale Beach is kept sliced and diced for the benefit of pols who need and want only certain kinds of voters. It's the very same reason that residents of the City of Aventura in Miami-Dade County are represented by a Congressional District based in Pembroke Pines in western Broward County, while the people of western Hallandale Beach, who live less than five miles from the Atlantic Ocean, are made part of a CD that is centered just north of downtown Miami and west of 1-95.  

The reasons for this? #ambition #greed

Question I've never heard asked by a single local South Florida-based reporter the past few years:
Why is state Senator Eleanor Sobel's current #33 District office -located across from Hollywood City Hall and the Hollywood branch of the Broward County Library system- an office that's directly subsidized by City of Hollywood taxpayers, actually NOT located in her own district, but, based on the state's own maps, located within the district of Oscar Braynon II, in the 36th District?

Could it be because a cheapskate with a sense of entitlement like Eleanor Sobel, who, before asking Hollywood taxpayers to pay for it, consciously chose NOT to locate her own district office in one of the many empty storefronts in downtown Hollywood that she could have chosen from, can't afford to be choosy?

But why expect more from someone who, having asked for the handout from Hollywood taxpayers, chose NOT to even appear in-person at the Hollywood City Commision meeting when that very issue was on the agenda, and thus be forced to hear and respond to pointed questions and comments from both the Commission as well as the community?

I wrote about that on my blog when it was actually happening, as opposed to... well everyone else not named Sara Case.
Sara and I were alone in South Florida in publicly questioning Sobel's efforts and motives, and chiding her publicly for setting a bad example of the sort that we do NOT need to see more of in these parts, given how very entitled so many pols from this area already are when it comes to public largesse and accommodations. 

We hardly need any more evidence of that than the caving-in the other day on Broward ethics rules due to Broward Comm. Lois Wexler's desire to be kept nourished at someone else's expense, such as when doing work re Broward's Election Canvassing Board.
Yes, God forbid that her her $92k-plus govt. salary prevents her from picking something up at Starbucks or McDonalds or even making a sandwich at home on the way to the meeting like you and me!

Most of us have long since come to the conclusion that Sobel didn't show up for the most obvious reason - she didn't want to. 
And specifically, she didn't want to listen to pointed questions about the appropriateness of her request for taxpayer dollars coming from well-informed constituents inquiring about HER curious choice of priorities -again: herself.

And remind me again, now that Eleanor Sobel is running for Mayor of Hollywood, why would anyone in the area who genuinely believes in meaningful financial accountability, responsibility and oversight of government -which she chose to personally prevent when it came time over two years ago to have the JLAC audit and examine the longstanding unethical and incompetent history of the Hallandale Beach CRA and its many inexplicably missing documents- be rewarded for engaging in that behavior year-after-year?
Aren't we entitled to expect better?

All of you who want to be better informed about Sobel's antics while in office the past few years only need avail yourselves of what I've already written -usually with links to what others have written as well- based on my actually being there when things were happening -or weren't- as opposed to the approach taken so often by the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Tell me, what were the most salient facts to come out of Tim Ryan's lawsuit against Eleanor Sobel in 2009 after he and Ken Gottlieb were defeated in a well-funded and unscrupulous campaign of hers that was negative even for this area with little-to-no standards? (I voted for Ryan.) 
What statements did Sobel make to the public and the media that were proven to have been self-serving lies?

Guess what, most people in Broward don't know the answer because the two area newspapers and all four English language TV stations stopped sending reporters to cover it all the way thru, as any check of their own archives shows. And I bemoaned this fact to anyone who would listen.

Tell me, when did you ever see a local TV reporter ask Sobel on camera to explain why she tried to prevent JLAC from investigating the City of Hallandale Beach CRA after the Broward IG's damning report about the waste of millions of dollars.
It's never happened.

Broward Bulldog wrote this,
Two senators short-circuit Legislature’s plan to audit troubled Hallandale Beach CRA 
By Willliam Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org, NOVEMBER 26, 2013 AT 6:13 AM
 Buddy Nevins wrote this on November 28, 2013,  
More coverups by Hallandale and Eleanor Sobel is to blame! http://t.co/X2DZcLDXEk

Yet Sobel had no qualms about doing the bidding of her campaign pals at the Broward PBA to have JLAC investigate the City of Hollywood after the voters of the city thoroughly rejected the PBA's arguments and accepted the city's in a referendum about the city's budget, a loss that still rubs the Broward PBA and their more mouthymembers raw to this day? 
Who wrote about that? Me.

This came about AFTER the Broward PBA broke Hollywood's city's charter laws about campaign finance and disclosure in their attempt too punish officials who didn't let them continue to ride roughshod over the city's budget.
So, where are all the media stories about those stories, or the city taking the Broward PBA to court for violating the rules?

Any reasonably well-informed and observant person who has lived in this part of South Florida knows one thing, and that is that state Senate Districts #33, # 35 and #36, cheek-by-jowl, are intentionally drawn and designed to prevent the sort of harmonious #diversity within the community that the very same #South Florida politicians are always calling for and demanding to see from OTHER people and OTHER groups. (Pols like like Eleanor Sobel.)

Frankly, it's kind of hard NOT to notice it, but our current South Florida news media and political "experts" keep NOT noticing it. 
Why do you suppose that is? 

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