The Devil's in the Details

Look at the size of the red letters spelling out "Dr. Brenda C. Snipes." They are something like three times larger than the ones reading "Broward County Supervisor of Elections."

I know, it seems like a small matter, but the devil truly is in the details when it comes to public office. This is an indication that Snipes believes she's above the office, that the office serves her rather than the other way around. It might not be the case, but the van is a testament to political ego over public service.

On top of that, it may be illegal. Let me direct you to a 1976 opinion from the Florida Attorney General:

Number: AGO 76-191
Date: September 22, 1976
Subject: Placing officer's name on official vehicle


076-191 -- September 22, 1976

To: Ernest Ellison, Auditor General, Tallahassee

Prepared by: Jerald S. Price, Assistant Attorney General

May an officer expend public funds for the purpose of
having his or her name placed on official motor vehicles
used in the conduct of official business?

A public officer may not expend public funds for the
purpose of defraying the cost of placing his or her name on
an official motor vehicle used in the conduct of official
business unless authorized by express or necessarily
implied statutory authority.

The AG's office goes on to say there is no statutory authority.

Then there's that whole "Dr." thing. I swear there should be a law barring PhDs from using that title in politics (I've decided to keep it at that rather than go after Nova Southeastern University and her line of study, "education leadership," after some well-reasoned counterarguments in the comments section. It's true that I think Nova is the Death Star of higher education, but that doesn't mean that many of the thousands of students who have graduated from there don't deserve respect.)

This kind of grandstanding isn't new for Snipes. In the 2008 election, when she was running against Adrienne Reesey, Snipes was called out for putting her name all over the polling locations, including leaving stacks of her business cards lying around. 

It just looks bad when the elections czar is playing games that are unethical and legally dubious in her own election and beyond.

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman