-- A source tells me that Rothstein also had, in addition to Fraternal Order of Police decals, a BSO badge in his wallet.
[UPDATE: Somebody just reminded me about Rothstein's membership in the Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council, which gives its members very authentic looking badges. Then I remembered a quote from Lori Parrish in a Pulp post from November about Rothstein's implosion: "George Levin and some of these others, a lot of them were on [Former Broward Sheriff] Nick Navarro's Advisory Council. That's what these people have in
common. That's who they are. They wanted the badges."
Makes sense that is the badge that Rothstein, a member until he was booted off after his Ponzi implosion, kept in his wallet. A quick list of Advisory Council members who have had their names mentioned in the Rothstein saga: Russ Adler, Katie Adler, Bonnie Barnett, Robert Kagan, Doug Von Allmen, Linda Von Allmen, Ron Picou, Barry Florescue, [Levin nephew] Dean Kretschmar. The BSAC email list as of September 16 (sent to me this morning after this post initially came up) is included at the bottom of this post.]
-- The Miami Herald did a spread on corruption in Broward County. Overall, I agree with their top reasons for corruption, most importantly the newspaper's number one reason: The "lovefest" between lobbyists and politicians. Then there's reason No. 4, which is that there are fewer journalist-watchdogs looking over the place. The Pulp gets a mention in that one. Here's an excerpt:
Political observers Robert Jarvis at Nova Southeastern and Kevin Hill at FIU mention staff reductions at the Sun-Sentinel and The Herald's Broward bureau as reasons why politicians may feel they can get away with more.
``There are fewer and fewer reporters watching governments these days,'' says Jarvis. ``It almost makes it possible for corruption to flourish.''
Jarvis talks about the energy of some ``new media'' -- in particular, Bob Norman's blog The Daily Pulp -- but ``it's not like the old media, when many reporters were covering all aspects of government. If you're a corrupt politician, you're cheering for all the newspapers to go out of business.''
``I've seen it particularly in the past five or six years,'' says Hill, author of Cyberpolitics: Citizen Activism in the Age of the Internet. ``There are so many governments. It used to be there would be two reporters at every city council meeting. Now a lot of times there aren't any. There are just fewer watchdogs. There are people who do blogs, but their problem is to get noticed, and some of them are just rumor mills.''
I agree with what Jarvis and Hill are saying here, in that certainly city governments are getting a lot less scrutiny after about half the staffs of the local newsrooms have been gutted over the past couple of years. I wrote about it in fairly deep fashion last year. But even when the newspapers were fully staffed, they weren't exactly bird-dogging politicians, especially the Sun-Sentinel, which fancied itself an "official" newspaper and has historically cowed more to officials and pols than exposed their shenanigans. Prior to the federal indictments of school board member Beverly Gallagher and Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, the Sentinel basically gave them both free passes, while I'd been pounding away on them for a few years.
Ironically, the Sentinel is more focused on corruption now than it ever has been. Why? Because the feds finally removed their heads from out of Miami-Dade's posterior portions and began poking around in Broward.
By the way, the most corrupt county in South Florida -- and maybe the country -- is Broward. No doubt.
-- Here's that Sheriff's Advisory Council mailing list (it may not be 100 percent complete):
Alan Stotsky, Don Guerra, Gary Rudolf, George Thorne, George Weaver, Gerry Grau, Kathleen Windridge, Nick Navarro, Oren Lewis, Tom Northcutt, Abbas Sadriwalla, Adam Kreysar, Andrew DiBattista, Arthur Freeman, Barry Florescue, Dan Christensen, Dean Kretschmar, Dolph Dumont, Doug Von Allmen, Drew Romanovitz, Eddie Accardi, F. Gary Gieseke, Fred Perry, Gerald Fahringer, Hyman Indowsky, Jacqueline Niehaus, James Birr, James McConnell, James Riley, Joseph Shapiro, Karl Davis, Leland Hirsch, Mike Pulidore, Peter Warrick, Rick Case, Rick Sabarese, Robert Kagan, Ron Picou, Ronald Scott, Russ Adler, Scott Rothstein, Sharon Gustafson, Tom Deptula, Tom Mullane, Bonnnie Barnett, Deborah Sadriwalla, Janet Davis, JoAnne Lewis, Joey Stotsky, Katie Adler, Linda Von Allmen, Pat Dumont, Sharron Navarro, Beena Maharaj, Carol Barbour, Lenora Hill, Suzan VanHandel.