Politics

Broward Dems Say Change Is Coming

Let's start with some fun.

Last night's Heat game against the New Jersey Nets provided a real glimpse of the kind of high-flying show this team is going to be. Dunks galore. But none was better than the one above. While the Nets watch helplessly, the towel boy can't repress his inner awe. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Enjoy this ride. This is a once-in-a-lifetime team.

On the news side, there are changes stirring inside the Broward Democratic Party. Inside we wonder: Who should replace Ceasar?  

Broward Democratic Party Recording Secretary Tim Ross tells me that he and other party members have a "Seven Point Plan" in the works to help whip the sick, corrupt, and beaten local Dems into shape.

Some of it is as simple as replacing the do-nothing, self-serving Mitch Ceasar cronies who serve as area leaders now with activists who actually give a damn about the county and the country. Two of the seven points really lit my fire:

-- A bylaws change to forbid any member of the Broward Democratic Party Management (officers, area leaders, appointees, and state committee people) to retain their seat if they have made more than $3,000 in the current year from lobbying.

-- A bylaws change to forbid any member of the Broward Democratic Party Management to work as the paid campaign manager on any campaign.

These two alone would sweep a lot of the corruption right out of the party, including Ceasar himself.

DEC members who want to save the party from Ceasar and Diane Glasser need to come together now. Start with a no-confidence vote on Ceasar and Glasser and run them out of office, citing violation of the public trust and failure to lead. But here's the million-dollar question: Who should replace Ceasar?

Let's start with who shouldn't: party hacks like Barbara Effman and sullied politicians like Steve Geller and Ken Keechl. You can't fix anything with broken parts.

Here are three possible replacements that come to mind:

-- Peter Deutsch, the former Congressman who challenged Ceasar in 2008 only to lose in a controversial, Banana Republic election. He had the guts to run against the machine, and that gives him the cred to take over the party. 

Con: He voted for the Iraq War while in Congress. Where' the judgment in that?    

-- Tim Ryan, former state House member. He lost in a bitter race to Eleanor Sobel, who represents the old guard in the Democratic Party and who employed the since-indicted Alan Mendelsohn to smear Ryan during the campaign. Ryan has the reputation and the record to credibly lead the party in a new direction.

Con: Is he really the reformer type?

-- Ron Gunzburger. This guy is a totally dedicated Democrat who knows the issues inside out and has a long history of involvement in party politics. Running his mother's commission campaign, Gunzburger was the driving force to stop attempts by Stacy Ritter and Ilene Lieberman to derail election reform.

Con: He's cozy with more than one of Broward's little political cabals.

I'm spitballing here, and that's all I have for now. I know there are a lot of solid choices I haven't considered. Time to brainstorm.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman