It's not official yet, but Broward political veteran and erstwhile radio host Beverly Kennedy, the wife of a former Broward County commissioner, tells me she's going to step into the ring to challenge Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl.
"We need a change from the Stacy Ritters, Ken Keechls, and Ilene Liebermans," said Kennedy. "I've going to run on issues and give people a choice."
Rumors have been swirling about potential challengers to Keechl, whose campaign has been troubled by scandal and who has broken major promises to his constituents. Kennedy, a recently converted Democrat who has run for numerous political offices in the past (I can hear the political establishment snickering), told me she recently had an unpleasant experience with Keechl's domestic partner, Ted Adcock, at the Democratic Party's Unity Dinner earlier this month at the Marriott Heron Bay.
She said Adcock, who went on a recent campaign-financed trip to San Francisco with Keechl, approached her at the dinner and asked her if she was running against his partner. She confirmed she would be. "I don't remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of they would dig into my past and make me regret the decision," she said. "I said, 'Are you threatening me?'"
Meeting Kennedy, whose husband, Ed, was a two-term Broward County commissioner and also served as the county's appointed clerk of court, is an adventure, which is something you can't say about most Broward politicians. She's a bit eccentric, but don't underestimate her. Kennedy started a website -- Beverly4Broward.com -- to test the waters and said she intends to officially file papers in May for the August primary.
I think this is great in part because now the mayor will have a legitimate excuse to spend some of his campaign fortune on something other than himself.
-- It's a small world at the top.
To prove it, consider that one of Scott Rothstein's top creditors, ultra-high net worth financial player Ira Sochet, and the top attorney handling Rothstein's bankruptcy, Paul Singerman, are both bigwigs at the same synagogue.
Singerman, managing partner of Berger Singerman, is listed as a fundraising "pillar" at Miami's Temple Beth Sholom. Sochet, who claims to have lost tens of millions in Rothstein's scheme, is afundraising "pillar" at Miami's Temple Beth Sholom. Sochet, who claims to have lost tens of millions in Rothstein's scheme, is a "sustainer" at the same synagogue. (Click here and go to page 5 to see the evidence.)
I don't believe this counts as a bona fide conflict of interest, but it's still interesting.
-- So Bernie Madoff was beaten in prison by an inmate for the most obvious reason: The drug convict was angry because Madoff had stolen his money.
That according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that says Madoff suffered a broken nose, fractured ribs, and lacerations on his face during the beatdown by an inmate described only as "beefy."
I know a lot of eldery folk in Tamarac who lost a lot of imaginary money who would like to kiss that convicted drug dealer right about now.
-- For the Fane Lozman fans, here's his latest foray into the fourth estate, a piece on his travails with the First Amendment in the Florida Society of News Editors website. It's his own rather interesting take on his adventures. We may be following that battle to the Supreme Court.
-- And Thursday had to be the greatest opening day in NCAA tournament history. A bunch of pressure-packed games that went to the wire, three overtime games, two great buzzer-beaters, a 15-seed pushing a two-seed to overtime, a 14-seed knocking off a three-seed, and another three-seed pushed to the brink. I feel like a kid at Christmas. Unfortunately the bottom half of my SEC is in heartbreak hotel right now, with Florida and Vandy both losing games they had seized and should have won (Florida overcome in double overtime, Vandy stabbed to death with one of those last-second shots). Keep it coming is all I can say.