In the Sun-Sentinel story this morning about School Board lobbyist Neil Sterling, there are a couple of pieces of interesting information. One is that Stephanie Kraft -- whose husband, Mitch, was secretly on the payroll of one of Sterling's companies -- has apparently managed to find one vote where she went against a Sterling client.
She says she didn't vote for Pirtle to build Heron Heights Elementary. Bravo, Stephanie! Good luck with the jury on that one. Now let's weigh all your votes for Sterling during the two years your household was getting checks from the lobbyist versus the one against him. What is it? Two billion dollars versus one elementary school contract? Was it somebody else's turn when it came to Heron Heights? Maybe we should do an investigation of how Skanska USA Building, which is represented by Judy Stern, got that Heron contract. I'm sure it will be interesting. Lois Wexler once told me that I would find plenty of slime under every
rock I ever turned over at the School Board. She said it about ten years ago, when she was still a School Board member, and she said it with great conviction. And Wexler was, of course, right.
But here's the best information in the Sentinel article:
School Board policy requires lobbyists to disclose "any direct business association" with current board members or their immediate families. A review of Sterling's lobbyist registration forms found no mention of the legal work by Kraft's husband.
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Aha, another place where this financial relationship was hidden from the public. Every step of the way, Sterling and Kraft made sure that nobody in the public would know that Mitch Kraft was working for Sterling. Why? Because they knew it would lead to outrage from the public and criminal investigations and certainly squelch the arrangement. That secrecy, I believe, is going to seal the case against Kraft.