Recommend “Yes” Vote on amendments 4, 9, and 13

(For backup, download explanations and references on all Amendments, and why I recommend a “Yes” vote on amendments 4, 9, and 13:  amendments_florida_2018 )

Ripe with confusion are 13 Florida Constitutional Amendments on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Amendment 8 is on the ballot but won’t even be tallied.  Other Amendments contain multiple, unrelated issues, and/or are misleading, and/or do not belong in a Constitution. According to Ballotpedia.org the average question on Florida’s ballot requires 20 years of U.S. formal education to read and understand.

My initial door canvassing plan, besides asking voters to show up and support all Democrats on the ballot, was to recommend “Vote yes on 4” but nothing more, consistent with the Tampa Bay Times. My plan has changed a little.

At one of the first doors I knocked on, the voter (an employee of the Seminole Tribe of Florida) asked me about Amendment 3, which I wasn’t planning to mention. Another voter felt strongly in favor of Amendment 6 (modeled after California’s Marsy’s Law) that would supposedly expand victims’ rights.

After careful review, besides a “Yes” vote on Amendment 4 (voting restoration), I decided to mention “Yes” on Amendment 9 (bans near off-shore drilling) and “Yes” on Amendment 13 (ends dog racing), if I have the voter’s attention.

I was not planning, and I will not, argue a “No” opinion to voters on goofy, unreadable, or deceptive Amendments. But I do want to show that I understood the issues and the voter’s concern, if I am asked about another Amendment.

For any other Amendment, I take the passive approach of damnation by not mentioning it. I think the rest, except for 4, 9, and 13, are all bad, but I want to make sure a voter votes and gets through the ballot, whether or not they vote the right way on the gobbledygook.  If voters are slightly suspicious, the 60% required vote for passage will prevent most of the bad Amendments from passing. The best warning I can give is to say, “take the time to carefully read your vote-by-mail ballot.” If a voter asks about another Amendment, I say briefly what it is about, and move on.

Based on my research in amendments_florida_2018, Amendments 4, 9, and 13 are easy “Yes” votes and should be easy to understand. Most voters, and all major groups, already support Amendment 4, and when they see 9 and 13, those will be obvious “Yes” votes.

Amendment 4 is very important and beneficial to society because it will automatically restore voting rights to felons (except not murderers or sex criminals) who have completed their sentences. With some 1.5 million citizens who have completed their sentences and cannot vote, Florida is last in the nation in voting restoration. Florida has a long history of suppression of Black voters, even for ridiculous and made-up reasons just to prevent voting. Anti-voting laws for Blacks were intentionally written into the state Constitution after the end of slavery. The League of Women Voters of Florida, which, along with all other major organizations supports Amendment 4, shows data that post-release recidivism rates are reduced by automatic rights restoration. Vote “Yes” on 4.

Most voters immediately understand and support Amendment 4, so you may not have to explain it, and Amendment 9 (bans near-offshore drilling) and Amendment 13 (ends dog racing) are clear. Voters will see that there is an anti-indoor-workplace-vaping part of Amendment 9, which is weird. But it is so necessary for us in Florida to put a ban on near-offshore drilling, to protect our beaches, that we should just hold our noses on indoor -workplace-vaping, and vote “Yes” on 9.  Amendment 13 is also an easy “Yes” vote, which will end wagering on dog racing because dog racing is cruel. Isn’t horse racing cruel? Yes, sometimes, but that’s no reason not to vote “Yes” on 13. Does this belong in the Constitution? No, but the legislature has not acted on it. How many more Greyhounds have to die before the legislature gets around to it?

Voters think that Amendment 3 gives them the right to vote on casinos, but it effectively does the opposite. Amendment 3 dis-empowers the local vote on gambling and/or the Legislature, because any new gambling would have to be approved by a statewide petition drive, and statewide vote, as a Constitutional Amendment. Not likely.

The Tallahassee Democrat explains, “Amendment 3 purports to put citizens in charge of any expansion of gambling, but it’s mainly a sop to Disney, which opposes all casino gambling, and the Seminole Tribe, which doesn’t want any competition for its gambling operations.” Amendment 3 is supported by the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, the Broward Democratic Party, and the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. From the beginning of time, Democratic groups in South Florida have voted for anything that mentions gambling. The League of Women Voters supports Amendment 3 but for the opposite reason, because “the League has held a consistent position against gambling”!  Don’t drink the Kool-Aid on Amendment 3. Is it worth the time no explain to voters? No.

Feel-good Amendment 6 deceptively appears to  protect victims’ rights, but the League of Women Voters of Florida argues, “Victims’ rights are already protected in the Constitution, and this amendment would eliminate an existing provision that victims’ rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.” This is a very comfortable “No” vote, and Amendment 6 is opposed by all major groups, but unfortunately some voters will drink the Kool-Aid.

Two other Amendments, 11 and 12, may look good to some progressive groups but, in my opinion, are bad. The Miami-Dade Democratic Party and the ACLU of Florida (but not the Broward Democratic Party and not the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida) support Amendment 11, which might allow some criminal justice reforms to apply retroactively which might shorten prison terms and might save taxpayers’ money by reducing prison populations. Which is why Florida Tax Watch also supports 11. (Amendment 11 also cleans up obsolete, unenforceable language in the Constitution, by preventing the Legislature from preventing non-citizen ownership of property and removing Bullet Train language, which was already repealed.)

But the true results of feel-good Amendment 11, specifically the retroactive sentencing changes, are unpredictable. Florida Today staff explain that, “Gun rights groups support [Amendment 11] in hopes that will make retroactive a change to the “stand your ground” law that put[s] the burden of proof on the prosecution instead of defendants in pre-trial hearings.”  A sentenced gun murderer might later claim a reduced sentence in future revisions to Stand Your Ground gun laws. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

The Miami-Dade Democratic Party supports Amendment 12, which would lengthen the ban on lobbying by elected officials to 6 years, from 2 years presently. That’s excessive and out-of-step nationally. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. We should slow down the political revolving door but we don’t have to slam it shut. Lobbyists are part of the political-ecological web and provide information to legislators. Amendment 12 is opposed by the Broward Democratic Party, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, and Florida Tax Watch, and you should, too.

LGBT Alliance 2016 General Election Recommendations







CLICK ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT 

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Hillary Clinton 

US SENATE CANDIDATES

Patrick Murphy 

US CONGRESS CANDIDATES

District 20: Alcee L. Hastings

District 22: Ted Deutch  

District  23: Debbie Wasserman Schultz 

Distinct 24: Frederica Wilson 

STATE SENATE CANDIDATES

District 29: Kevin Rader

District 34: Gary Farmer

STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CANDIDATES

District 92: Patricia Hawkins-Williams

District 93: Ken Keechl 

District 104: Richard Stark

CIRCUIT COURT JUDICIAL CANDIDATES 

Group 9: Lea Krauss

Group 15:  Abbe Sheila Rifkin

CLERK OF THE COURT 

Brenda D. Forman

SHERIFF CANDIDATES

Scott J. Israel

SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS CANDIDATES

Brenda Snipes

COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATES

District 3: Michael Udine 

District 5: Steven Anthony Geller

COUNTY COURT JUDICIAL CANDIDATES

Group 3: Florence Taylor Barner

Group 7: Nina Weatherly DiPietro

Group 14: Bradford Alan Peterson

MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES

Coral Springs, Commission, Seat 3: Karen Jones 

Dania Beach, Commission: Bill Harris

Hallandale Beach, Commission, Seat 4:  Alexander Lewy 

Hollywood, Mayor: Eleanor Sobel

Hollywood, Commission, District 2:  Peter D. Hernandez

Hollywood, Commission, District 4: Richard S. Blattner

Hollywood, Commission, District 6: Linda Sherwood

Lauderdale Lakes, Mayor: Hazelle P. Rogers

Lauderhill, Commission, Seat 1: Howard Matthew Berger 

Lauderhill, Commission, Seat 3: M. Margaret Bates

Margate, Commission, Seat 1: Anthony Caggiano 

Margate, Commission, Seat 2: Renata Castro

Oakland Park, Commission: Matthew Sparks
Mitchell Stollberg-Appleyard, Tim Lonergan

Parkland, Mayor: Christine Hunschovsky 

Plantation, Council, Group 3: Ron Jacobs

Plantation, Council, Group 4: Chris Zimmerman

Plantation, Council, Group 5: Robert Levy

Pompano Beach, Commission, District 1: Michael Sobel 

Pompano Beach, Commission, District 2: Charlotte Burrie

Pompano Beach, Commission, District 3: Rex Hardin

Pompano Beach, Commission, District 5: Barry Moss

Pompano Beach, Mayor: Lamar Fisher

Southwest Ranches, Councilmember, District 3: Freddy Fisikelli

Southwest Ranches, Councilmember, District 4: David S. Kuczenski

Sunrise, Mayor: Mike Ryan

Tamarac, Commission, District 1: Marlon Bolton
Tamarac, Commission, District 3: Julie Fishman

West Park, Mayor: Eric H. Jones

West Park, Commission, Seat 4: Rita “Peaches” Mack

Weston, Commission, Seat 1:Hermes Garcia

Wilton Manors, Mayor:  Gary Resnick

Wilton Manors, Commission: Julie Carson , Tom Green




CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 1 > VOTE NO

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 2 > VOTE YES

Constitutional Amendment #3 YES

Constitutional Amendment #4  YES



All Justices Of Supreme Court- Keep All

 4th District Court Of Appeals Keep ALL

Broward Soil & Water Conservation District

Seat 3 Jelani Anthony Harvey

 Seat 5 Fred Segal

Broward County Charter Review Member Terms YES

Amending Broward Charter to Eliminate The Management And Efficiency Study Committee YES

Funding For Countywide Transportation System Through Levy of one half percent sales tax NO

Funding For Local Government Infrastructure Projects through levy of a half percent sales tax  YES
We do not make co-recommendations , and in some instances where multiple candidates meet our criteria, we have not made an recommendation. In other instances where no candidate meets  our criteria,  we have also not made an recommendation .

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August Election Recommendations

For those of you who have been asking me, here once again is my palm card, with just a few tweaks. Remember, these are just my personal recommendations for those of you who have been looking for advice based on research and personal knowledge.

U.S. SENATOR – Patrick Murphy
Congress District 23 – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
State Attorney – Mike Satz
Clerk of the Courts – Elizabeth McHugh
Sheriff – Scott J. Israel
Property Appraiser – Martin Kiar
Supervisor of Elections – David G. Brown
County Commission District 1 – Nan Rich
County Commission Distict 5 – Steven Geller
Judge Group 9 – Lea Krauss
Judge Group 15 – Abbe Rifkin
Judge Group 23 – David Salomon
Judge – Group 24 – Doreen Inkeles
Judge Group – Phyllis Pritcher
Judge group 3 – Rhoda Sokoloff
Judge group 7 — Brenda Di Ioia
Judge group 8 – Kathleen McCarthy
Judge group 13 – Betsy Benson
Judge group 14 – Kim Mollica
Judge group 21 – Deborah Toye
School Board – Robin Bartleman
School Board – Patti Good
School Board – Nathalie Lynch Walsh
House District 92 – Sajan Kurian
House District 93 – Ken Keechl
House District 94 – Richard Stark
Senate District 34 – Jim Waldman

LGBT Alliance Endorsements

LGBT Alliance Broward County Endorsements 

 

 

 

United States Senator> Patrick Murphy
23rd Congressional District> Debbie Wasserman Schultz
24th Congressional District>Frederica S. Wilson
State Attorney> Mike Satz
State Senator District 34>>James “Jim” Waldman
State Representative District 93 >>Ken Keechl
Clerk of the Circuit Court >>Mitchell “Mitch” Ceasar
Property Appraiser >> Marty Kiar
Sheriff>>> Scott Israel
Supervisor of Elections >> David Brown
County Commission District 1>>Nan H. Rich
County Commission District 3 >Michael I Udine
County Commission District 5 >>Steven A. Geller
County Commission District 9 >> Christopher “Chris” Smith
School Board at Large Seat 9 >>> Robin Bartleman
Circuit Judge Group 9>>>Lea P. Krauss
Circuit Judge Group 15>>Matthew I. Destry
Circuit Judge Group 23>>Barbara McCarthy
Circuit Judge Group 24 >>Michael Lynch
County Court Judge Group 2 >>Kal Evans
County Court Judge Group 7> Nina Weatherly Di Pietro
County Court Judge Group 8>>Stephen J. Zaccor
County Court Judge Group 13 >>Betsy Bensen
County Court Judge Group 14 >>Kim Theresa Mollica
County Court Judge Group 21 >>Russell A. Thompson
PRECINCT COMMITTEEMAN D-2>> Ronald Mills>DEM
PRECINCT COMMITTEEMAN R-018> Michael A. Albetta>DEM
PRECINCT COMMITTEEMAN R-018 >George Castrataro>DEM
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 4 > VOTE YES

Endorsing Bob Mayersohn for School Board

First, a reminder that any BlueBroward member is welcome to post endorsements or opinions (on any topic that fits the editorial guidelines) on this blog. Few members take me up on the offer, but it is an open offer. From time to time, I also weigh in on elections I feel strongly about.

Robert (“Bob”) Mayersohn just got the Sun-Sentinel endorsement for School Board District 4, and it’s about time. In the last election, they endorsed his opponent Abby Freedman in a messy multi-way race. I thought she was the least qualified candidate in that race, except for her willingness to spend a lot of her own money. But it worked for her: she is now the incumbent defending her seat. Abby Freedman’s actions as a school board member have often seemed random, and she alienated a great many of her constituents in Parkland with a poorly thought through school redistricting proposal. She is beatable.

Bob Mayersohn was always well qualified for a School Board post, with a long record as a parent activist and participant on school district committees (see BobForBroward.com). He has had to learn the skills related to being a good candidate the hard way, but he has them now. (He could still use your contributions, given his opponent’s record of spending her way to victory).

Below, I’ve included excerpts from his most recent email appeal:

With 10 days to go before the AUGUST 26TH ELECTION I need your help and support to get the vote out.

Endorsement Highlights

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board
Broward Teachers Union
Broward Police Benevolent Association
Broward 10-13 NYC Retired Police
Broward County Council of Professional Fire Fighters
Metro-Broward Professional Fire Fighters Local 3080
The Hispanic Vote
National Federation of Public and Private Employees-AFL-CIO
Broward Gwen Cherry Chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus of FL**.
(dedicated to elect women to political office has recommended my candidacy over my female opponent)
Democracy For America-Broward
Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish
State Senator Jeremy Ring
City of Parkland Mayor-Michael Udine
City of Parkland Commissioner-Stacy Kagan
City of Parkland Commissioner-David Rosenof
City of Coral Springs Commissioner-Claudette Bruck
Margate Mayor-Lesa Peerman
Margate Vice-Mayor Joanne Simone
Margate Commissioner Frank Talerico
Tamarac Commissioner Diane Glasser
Coconut Creek Mayor Lisa Aronson

Endorsing Cynthia Busch and New Leadership for the Broward Democratic Party

When the elected members of the Democratic Executive Committee gather on December 9 to elect new leadership, I plan to vote for Cynthia Busch to replace Mitch Caesar as Chairman of the Broward Democratic Party.

You don’t have to dislike Mitch or think he is a terrible person to recognize that it’s time for a change. Some of the criticisms leveled at him are probably unfair. For the most part, I’d rather focus on the positive reasons to elect new leadership. I hope all precinct committee people will give Cynthia’s candidacy serious consideration.

Cynthia has near-universal support from the volunteers who did the grunt work of registering voters and getting out the vote. They know her as a leader because she has been doing that work side-by-side with them. The hardest workers simply want the formal county Democratic Party organization to be better aligned with the grassroots.

There’s some chatter in the local political blogs (and comments sections on blogs and news sites) about the involvement of lobbyists and other political operatives in backing Cynthia’s candidacy. This seems to be the major strategy to discredit her. The truth is she will need the backing of some established, connected area Democrats to succeed in this effort. Mitch actually works as a lobbyist, so I don’t see the logic in why it would be better to reelect a lobbyist than elect someone who might have friends who are lobbyists. More importantly, I know Cynthia well enough to believe her motivation for running has nothing to do with these alliances.

Cynthia has been part of an extremely dedicated and effective group of campaign workers based in Plantation. If the rest of the county was as well organized, we might well have seen better results in 2010. We will need to do better in 2014 to give Gov. Rick Scott the pink slip he deserves. I don’t think it will be easy, but it’s a worthy goal. That is why Cynthia is running for DEC Chair.

The biggest criticism I have of Mitch is that he seems to put far more energy into this election — lining up votes to get himself reelected — than any other Democratic campaign. The party’s communication strategy, or lack thereof, is also a sore point, with the use of email, the web, and Facebook as particular embarrassments. The email list is used mostly to promote Mitch’s media appearances. The party website has improved somewhat, but is still short on timely, useful information.

I do think Mitch deserves credit for leading on the printing and distribution of the palm cards that were used effectively to promote Democratic candidates in the down-ticket races, which probably had a lot to do with victories like the election of Scott Israel as Sheriff. I’m sure there were other people who worked on that, but it’s one thing Mitch actively promoted that made a difference in this cycle. He also made more of an effort to get precinct committee people actively involved in efforts like contacting people who vote by absentee ballot to make them aware of changes in the law.

But I still see Mitch as more interested in maintaining control than inviting broad participation. For that reason, I believe Cynthia will be much stronger as a grassroots organizer. It just doesn’t seem to be in Mitch’s nature to move in that direction, even if he wanted to.

Mitch Caesar does a fine job of representing the party on TV. Maybe he’ll continue to have a future as a media personality; it’s not hard to see him getting himself a radio show. I wish him well. But he shouldn’t have the job of party chairman for life.

It’s time for a change.

Endorsements for Cynthia Busch for DEC Chair from Niomi Devereux and Janet Thompson

These endorsements for Cynthia Busch for DEC chair from Niomi Devereux and Janet Thompson are reposted by permission. Niomi wrote the first as a letter to the editor in response to a Sun-Sentinel article that discussed the challenge to Chairman Caesar in dismissive terms (“every four years his enemies mobilize to oust him, and fail”).


As a neighborhood team leader for Organizing for America in 2012 and a general volunteer in 2008 and 2010, I am fully aware of who got out the vote each time. It was not the Broward Democratic party under Mitch Caesar. I am not a precinct person and have no vote, but I do know there needs to be change at the top of Broward’s Democratic party. OFA was involved in getting Obamacare passed in 2010. It was up to the Broward Dems to get out the vote. They did not. In 2012 OFA was advised that Broward needed to get at least 250,000 more Democratic votes than Republican votes as a cushion to give Obama Florida. We did that with voter registration, phone banks, door to door canvassing. The Democratic party of Broward was not a part of this year-long effort. At the very end, members of the local Democratic party assisted us. Mitch Caesar may appear on television and seem personable, but he takes credit for work he has not done. Creating a fiefdom for himself is all I’ve seen of his involvement in the local Democratic party. There definitely needs to be change. Having worked with Cynthia Busch since 2008, I know how capable, energetic and caring she is. If I could vote, she would get it hands down.

Sincerely,

Niomi Devereux,
Volunteer with Organizing for America
863 Spinnaker Drive West
Hollywood FL 33019
954-455-2105
niomid@hotmail.com


I am starting my third term as a precinct committeewoman for K13 in Lauderdale Lakes. I worked with OFA, Cynthia Busch, and Alan Ehrlich registering voters, canvassing, and also some phone banking. And I do feel strongly about the work performed by Cynthia and Alan along with the OFA played a major role in the re-election of President Obama. All of the times I was working on the campaign, not once did Mitch make an appearance or offer assistance. However, he was very quick to accept credit for the success. The true DEC members knew deep in their hearts who the “feet on the street for Obama” were, and it was not Mitch! He is a lobbyist, and he uses his DEC chairmanship to further his personal career for monetary reasons. He appoints the same DEC members over and over, year after year to be a part of his management team. He is hesitant to listen to new ideas and/or recommendations. He wants to be in the spot light at all times. We need young Democrats to further our goals in Broward County. You can rest assured that I’ll be voting for Cynthia at the December meeting! Thank you, Niomi for your hard work!

— Janet Thompson

One Election Down, One to Go! (Endorsing Cynthia Busch for DEC Chair)

Re-posted, by permission, from Alan’s email list.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Alan G. Ehrlich <pan1@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 4:42 AM
Subject: One Election Down, One to Go!
To:

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!  I still have not stopped giving thanks for the amazingly good results on November 6th.  Let me again thank you for everything you did to make that happen!    But now you have to do more.  You see, we have one more election coming up, which is hugely important to every Democrat in Broward County.  The Reorganizational Meeting of the Broward Democratic Party, also known as the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee, has been set for Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM at Diamantes, located at 6501 W. Commercial Blvd. in Tamarac.  The only purpose of this meeting is the election of officers, including the Chair and other officers.Cynthia Busch, Broward’s Area 6 Leader and Vice President of the Plantation Democratic Club, has announced her candidacy for Chair of the Party, and I enthusiastically endorse and support her in this election.  I have worked with Cynthia for over ten years in local and national election campaigns.  Together, we have registered thousands of new voters in Broward County, helped to put on the ballot and then pass the Fair Districts Amendments, collected hundreds of absentee ballot requests, campaigned for national and local Democratic Party leaders and candidates, and knocked on the doors of thousands of Broward County voters to get out the vote.  Cynthia is one of the hardest working volunteers in Broward County, whether the work is for the Plantation Democratic Club, Awake Broward, the Broward Democratic Party, or Organizing for America’s campaign to re-elect Barack Obama.  Just like the example set by Bill Kling, the sorely-missed former President of the Plantation Club, Cynthia has NEVER let her ego get in the way of doing what is best for the Democratic Party; she never thinks that she is too good or too important or too busy to personally participate in the kinds of effective grassroots activities mentioned above!

To see more about why Cynthia Busch is the perfect person for this position, please click on the following link:   http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f7b4d0a77b799eca88ad7dfbd&id=766f28248d#

As Rick Hoye, the President of the Broward Young Democrats, has said:  “We need leadership that fosters grassroots efforts and motivates activists to go the extra mile and understands the importance of delegating and holding others accountable by clearly defined duties.  Indeed, we as a party will be stronger if collectively we know what our roles are and what is expected of us all.”  Cynthia Busch will provide such leadership and will help to revitalize the Broward Democratic Party.  IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!  CYNTHIA BUSCH IS THE CHANGE WE NEED!

The only people eligible to vote in this election are those precinct committee members who were elected (including those who ran unopposed) in the August 14, 2012 Democratic Primary Election.  A precinct committee member, who for any reason, is unable to attend the Reorganizational Meeting, may execute a written proxy to designate another Democrat residing in the same precinct to vote on their behalf.  The proxy must be sworn to before a Notary Public or validated by two registered Democrats signing as witnesses, and the written proxy must be submitted to the Chair before the meeting is called to order.  (I have proxy forms for any precinct committee member who is unable to attend the meeting.)

(And, yes, I do plan on running with Cynthia to be one of the officers, and I am asking for your vote as well.)

So please make note of the time and place of this election:  Sunday, December 9, 2012.  The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 PM and pre-registration will start at  12:30 PM.  The location is Diamantes at 6501 W. Commercial Blvd., in Tamarac (on the north side of Commercial east of University Drive and just west of NW 64th Avenue.)

Call or write if you have any questions.  And, thank you for your support!

Alan
954-472-6211

Robin Bartleman, Shelly Solomon, and Franklin Sands for Broward School Board (Plus Other Endorsements)

I urge you to vote for Robin Bartleman, Rochelle “Shelly “Solomon, and Franklin Sands for Broward County School Board. I’ve included a longer list of endorsements below, but rather than make endorsements all up and down the ticket, in every part of the county, I’m sticking to writing about the races I know best. Shelly Solomon will appear on your ballot if you’re in district 4 (northwest Broward), while Robin Bartleman and Franklin Sands are running for county wide seats.

I invite other BlueBroward members to post their own opinions to this blog. I do not speak for the Democratic Party; these are my personal endorsements.

I give my highest and most enthusiastic endorsement to Robin Bartleman, who is running for reelection to an at large (county-wide) seat on the School Board.There’s no partisan dimension to this one, or to my endorsement of Shelly Solomon, because both they and their opponents are Democrats. I have nothing negative to say about the other candidates; I simply believe Robin and Shelly are the best choices.

Robin has got to be the hardest working public servant I’ve ever met, at any level of government. When the school system bureaucracy breaks down and parents call her for help, Robin makes it her business to be a troubleshooter. She will take care of the immediate problem, while also working to make the system function better. She has demonstrated the highest level of ethical standards and professionalism.

One odd partisan wrinkle: I recently got an email from someone who wasn’t going to vote for Robin because she’d been endorsed by the Red Broward blog. Well, now she’s been endorsed by BlueBroward, too. I don’t know why that Republican blog endorsed her, and I don’t care, but the important thing is that Robin has done and will continue to do a good job. To vote against her just because some Republican has said a kind word for her is “cut off your face to spite your nose” logic.

Shelly Solomon is my choice for School Board District 4 in Northwest Broward. Shelly Solomon is an attorney and former professional tennis player who has been active in the school system and the community. She served as Co-Chair of the Anti-Bullying Task Force and helped write the school system’s anti-bullying policy. You can learn more about her at shellysolomon.com. I believe Shelly has the experience and knowledge to understand how the school system works and is best equipped to figure out how it can work better.

Like Robin Bartleman, Franklin Sands is running for an at-large, county-wide seat on the School Board. Sands is a former State House minority leader for the Democrats and ought to be able to use his legislative experience to help the county school board deal with the Tallahassee bureaucracy. His website is franklinsands.com. I’m recommending him over Donna Korn, who was one of Gov. Rick Scott’s appointees to fill a vacancy.

I’ve included a longer list of endorsements below. Naturally, I’m supporting the reelection of President Obama, Senator Bill Nelson, and my U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (District 19). Here is the rest of my list, including judicial recommendations I got from polling attorney friends.

State Attorney: reelect Mike Satz

State Senate District 29: reelect Jeremy Ring

State Representative District 97: Jared Moskowitz

County Commissioner: Stacy Ritter

School Board District 4: Shelly Solomon

School Board At Large 8: Franklin Sands

School Board At Large 9: Robin Bartleman

NO on all the Constitutional amendments

YES on all the retention votes for State Supreme and Appeals court judges

Circuit Court Judge, Group 45: Julio E. Gonzalez, Jr.

County Court Judge, Group 5: Olga Levine

County Court Judge, Group 10: Roshawn Banks

Broward Soil & Water – Seat 3:  Terry W. Snipes

Broward Soil & Water – Seat 5: Wayne Arnold