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Tales From the Mayor's Gala

One reporter from my household went to the Mayor's Gala on Saturday night, and it wasn't me. The Sun-Sentinel's Brittany Wallman made it there, and she reports that there were certain restrictions on her. For instance, she wasn't allowed to speak or take pictures.

This might baffle a lot of people. It's just a little celebration for Ken Keechl that will honor charities, right?

No. It's a whorefest of lobbyists and politicians that shows just how incestuous the nature of government business in Broward County is. And they all know it. Actually watching these people eating filet mignon and "chocolate amaretto towers," drinking top-shelf liquor, and dancing together -- far away from County Hall, where they steer literally hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars -- is truly grotesque for the average person to see. And they know it.

Believe me, Keechl didn't want some reporter there buzzkilling his big night. But the county was an official sponsor of the event, so both he and the sponsor for his big night, United Way, really didn't have a choice. So instead they just tried to muzzle her.

I'm still a little surprised this thing went off considering the fact that Keechl is in a reelection campaign and nonprofit charities are forbidden by the IRS from engaging in partisan politics. In my view -- and in the view of Fort Lauderdale activist Cal Deal, who created the graphic above -- this is clearly in violation of that ban since Keechl is in a heated race against Chip LaMarca and Chris Chiari.

But hey, nobody was going to get in the way of Keechl's big night. Not some silly IRS rule or some snoopy reporter either. Inside see who came and what they said. 

The reporter took the following video:

The video is a bit of a blur of people with the payoff coming at the end, with Charlie Crist making an appearance at his silly gladhanding best. "What a wonderful turnout, wonderful people, a great cause, and it's all united -- like the United Way," he says in full faux-beam. What a tool -- and this guy must be in full pander-mode 24/7 now as he runs for Senate.

Another highlight comes at the four-minute mark with video of Ron Bergeron's tricked-out Hummer. During the festivities, Wallman reports that Bergeron said to her, "There's Superman, there's Batman, and there's Gator Man." Yeah, that's what Bergeron calls himself, that and "Alligator Ron."

It was the usual suspects in attendance. Austin Forman, Bernie Friedman, Jim Kane, Mike Moskowitz, Ali Waldman, Jim Blosser, John Milledge, Judy Stern, et al. 

So how much did the sponsors pay for this thing? Well, here's a look at the pay scale with Deal's commentary.


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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

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