The politics are getting even more devious in Cooper City.
The story broken here on the city's bogus background check on candidate David Nall was picked up by local and national media, but the sunlight isn't making Cooper City any cleaner.
The dirty tricks continue. Now we have the case of the spliced tape -- and it's small-town politics at its worst.
The story begins at a candidates forum held on September 16 by the Cooper City Civic Group. At the meeting was Nall, who is running against incumbent Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi, a close ally of Mayor Debbie Eisinger's.
The civic group's president, activist Gladys Wilson, described the meeting on the group's website, writing that two "spies" from Mallozzi's campaign attended the meeting. "They entered with notebooks in hand!" Wilson wrote. "The one man took out a small tape recorder and kept it out of my vision until John Sims proceeded to speak. I asked if he were recording the meeting, he replied, 'yes.' ... Why didn't Comm. Mallozzi attend the meeting instead of sending spies?"
Wilson went on to write that she didn't like the taping because she feared recording might be spliced to misrepresent the meeting. Well, guess what?
The Mallozzi supporters put a spliced recording from the meeting on YouTube that allegedly shows Nall agreeing that the Optimist Club, in which he's a member and little league coach, is "corrupt."
And now sources are saying that there is a move in the club itself led by supporters of Eisinger and Mallozzi to eject Nall from the club.
I told you Cooper City was dirty. These aren't do-gooder housewives we're talking about -- they're hard-core powermongers cut from the Nixon mold. Remember that the godmother of the Eisinger crew is none other than Judy Stern, who has run Eisinger's campaigns in the past and is involved in the Cooper City races today. Stern is renowned -- and at times reviled -- for her low-as-you-can-go campaign tactics.
After the jump, watch the YouTube audio and judge it for yourself.
You'll see that after the unidentified man calls the Optimist's Club the "most corrupt and biggest jokes ever," the tape cuts to Nall talking.
"I agree with you, they do play a big part," says Nall on the tape.
Nall says that there is a gap in the tape here and that he was only agreeing with a statement from someone in the audience who said the club plays a vital role in the community. And that's exactly what it sounds like he's saying.
Then Nall says on the tape, "But I can also tell you that there is some inner fighting, and that is being corrected. They elected a new first vice president, Dwight Vanderlinde... clean as a whistle. I mean, he's straight as an arrow, one of the first guys that's been sitting high up on that board like that in a long time."
Nall says he was only pointing out that Vanderlinde has never so much as been accused of doing anything wrong, unlike other high-ranking board members. Wilson and others present also say that the tape was manipulated and that Nall actually defended the club from attacks that it was blatantly corrupt. "I'm not trashing the Optimists," he said. "If I trash the Optimists, I'm trashing myself. I'm running on the Optimists too. I'm trying to rely on the Optimists and use that as a platform. It doesn't make any sense."
I learned from sources, though, that pro-Eisinger forces in the Optimists are calling for Nall's head and actually had an emergency meeting scheduled for this week before it was canceled. Remember, we're talking about a member of the club who has coached in the Optimists' little league for ten years.
Nall refused to discuss anything that's going on in the club but called the tactic with the tape "ridiculous."
"The Optimists is a huge voting block in Cooper City, so what they are trying to do is pit the Optimists against me and trash my name," said Nall. "I've given ten years of my life and thousands of hours to the club, and now people involved with the Optimists want me out. It's all because of an election, and it's all revolving around a central source, Debbie Eisinger."