Best Politician - 2000
Jim Naugle, mayor, Fort Lauderdale/John Fiore, mayor, Wilton Manors
The best -- and worst -- politicians are the renegades, the ones who challenge the good old boy system and aren't afraid to be impolite. The best of these generate a better and more just government, while the worst simply hem and haw at everything while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. School board member Stephanie Kraft falls among the former group. And the school board desperately needs a few good women. Kraft is constantly trying to improve the ever-political school board and has won a few major victories. But it was one vote that will forever make her something of a hero to those who really give a damn about freedom. After Ken Jenne's posse busted up a swingers' club and arrested two teachers (who were in the clubs with their consenting significant others), there was a typical fascist knee-jerk response: Fire the teachers. Pious school board members were afraid to vote any other way when the scandal broke -- except Kraft, bless her libertarian soul. She voted against suspending the teachers without pay, a lone voice fighting the process of canning the teachers. She complained that the board was crossing a sacred line of privacy. It took guts -- and later it helped achieve results. Following Kraft's lead, the board has reversed itself on the matter.