Broward News

Mayor Ken Ducking Another Debate

UPDATED: I have received word that Stacy Ritter is fine and dandy and ready to return next week. 

So let's go to an interesting email. It comes from Broward School Board member Maureen Dinnen back in April 2009, before the FBI sting brought down Beverly Gallagher and the State Attorney's Office charged Stephanie Kraft with bribery and unlawful compensation. Back in the salad days of School Board corruption, as it were, and it involves a group called Floridians for Quality Education that was started by Dinnen. Here's the email:

Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected]; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected]

Cc: [email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected] ; [email protected] ;
[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:37 AM
Subject: FQE meeting


Floridians for Quality Ed. will meet next Wednesday, April 22 at 4 PM at Neil Sterling's office.  We will go over the latest news on the legislative session and where we want to go from here.  please attend if possible. We will have a call-in number for those who would need to connect through telephone.



You see that? They met at mega-lobbyist Neil Sterling's office (and that's quite a list of email addresses). That alone says so much about the culture of the School Board. It's little wonder Dinnen and the rest of the delinquent board members voted to give Sterling's clients hundreds of millions in contracts and helped run the School Board into $2 billion in debt. Of course, Sterling's putting Mitch Kraft on the payroll didn't hurt either.

Inside, check out how our esteemed mayor, Ken Keechl, is ducking out of yet another televised debate. Also inside is news on another TV show that recently gave your Pulp host a chance to pontificate on Broward Town. 

-- You might remember that Broward Mayor Ken Keechl and his Republican challenger, Chip LaMarca, both chickened out of a debate on the PBS show Issues With Helen Ferre. That left no-party candidate Chris Chiari a chance to steal the show. Well, Channel 10's Michael Putney invited the mayor, LaMarca, and Chiari for a debate on Sunday, and guess what?

The mayor refused. This time, though, LaMarca is stepping up to the plate.

What's Keechl afraid of? Shouldn't an elected official feel an obligation to address the people on local television? Chickenshit! Here's the email to Chiari:

From: Poinsett, Holly
Subject: RE: Interview request
To: "First Last"
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 11:26 AM

Hi Mr. Chiari,

So far Mr. Keechl has declined every invitation to be on this Sunday's show. However, we would like to go ahead with the segment with yourself and Mr. LaMarca. Again the show is live at 11:30 Sunday morning. Please let me know if you are still available. You would need to arrive by 11 am. ...

The show must go on. Make sure to watch it -- and vote for one of these guys. At least they showed up.

-- David Weir, the host of the South Florida Business Report on WPEC-Channel 12 (the CBS affiliate in Palm Beach/Martin/St. Lucie County), asked me to come on his show to talk about all the corruption going on in Broward County.

Went up there a few weeks ago, and let me tell you something, Weir is an old-school journalist who, as I mentioned on the show, knows his stuff. He's an avid follower of this blog and knows all the story lines both in the news and in the comments (during a break between segments, he started talking about Pulp commenters and asked, "Is Torts 102 for real?"). His introduction on the show says it all:

"Topping this week's broadcast in a bad-for-business scenario, Broward County has evolved into a corruption cesspool. Cops are on the take, law firms are running in Ponzi scams, a county commissioner and school board member jailed on bribery raps, crooked developers, unethical judges, and small-town politicians selling out on the cheap."

Then Weir introduced me, and off we went. You can check it out here. Give Dave some love and check out his show, which airs on Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 5:30 a.m.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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