Yes, that's Neal DeJesus, the Cooper City commissioner, preacher, and former firefighter who is quitting his elected seat on November 2. On the same day that DeJesus announced his resignation from elected office, Broward County Fire Chief John Lello announced that he was retiring. Sources say DeJesus, who negotiated for Lamberti with the fire union, is a lock for the job, but it's a hush-hush thing, and nobody is talking about it yet. After all, it is sort of unseemly when politics plays such a huge role in public service appointments, and the move might not be all that popular with the county's fire and rescue rank and file.
The photo was taken (by a reader) at Temple Beth Emet in Cooper City this morning. Also in attendance at the service was Gov. Charlie Crist, who is all up in Broward wooing Democrats who are craven enough to support the empty suit just because they think he might win.
More on that issue later. Click inside to see the return of a veteran politico to the campaign consulting game.
The former Miramar commissioner and onetime consummate Broward political insider Dan Lewis, who "retired" from political consulting a few years ago, is back in the game.
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Buoyed by his work in getting judicial candidates reelected, the 59-year-old Lewis is rescinding his retirement and bringing his company, Strategic Technologies and Research, back into the world of political consulting. What's most interesting about this is that Lewis apparently wants to separate himself from the Judy Sterns and Barbara Millers of the world -- namely, he's stating flat-out that he's campaigning for a fee, not for some back-end lobbying favors, and he's promising never to work with a candidate who uses "shadowy" PACs to attack opponents. From his news release:
The recent primary elections in Broward have made it abundantly clear that it was premature for my company to close its political campaign services operations. For twenty years and over 600 political clients, our campaign services were fee based and not based on post-election lobbying. In addition, many times our fees were waived where the candidate was particularly deserving but faced daunting fund-raising challenges.
Too often our competition was in the form of the Lobbyist/consultant paid by a special interest group but "volunteered" to a campaign at no charge for favors (votes) later. We believe that candidates need and deserve an ethical choice when they offer themselves for public service and we believe that a candidate's choice of how they receive campaign services is a public issue.
It has been and will continue to be our strict policy that any political messaging we develop will be attributed explicitly to the candidate. That means we will not participate in a campaign or with a client that intends to use unknown, ghost or shadowy committees to attack their opponents.
Let's hope Lewis sticks to those words, because it's just what the doctor ordered.