Redistricting Year Shuffle Dividing Elected Democrats

With the finalization of the legislative maps for the next five election cycles determined in the past week, bloodletting has begun among elected officials of the Democratic Party. In addition to potential incumbent vs. incumbent races that have been set up by the new maps, some members find themselves without comfortable seats to run in. All of this is nothing new for a reapportionment year as the same things happened in 1982, 1992 and 2002.

The difficulty this go round for Democrats is the continued relative decline in population of the two heavily Democratic metropolitan counties in southeast Florida ( Northeast  Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach  counties) versus the rest of the state, creating fewer opportunities for potential Democratic candidates to run for office. As usual, ambitious officeholders are piling into seats against one another and in some cases sitting officeholders are targeting other sitting officeholders.

Organizations, and in some case Democratic Party related entities, have begun to take sides in the primaries. What is also interesting is the number of elected officials who have begun to make endorsements in these primaries even before the qualifying period ends. In some cases endorsements were made long before the districts were finalized in hypothetical primary match-ups.

We’re seeing in some new districts ethnic splits between Democrats. By design, the GOP packed Democratic voters together of multiple ethnic backgrounds to maximize the GOP tilt of the surrounding districts, as well as to create bloody racially tinged primary fights. But our party has lacked the discipline to avoid this bloodletting in the past and early indications are that it may intensify in this election cycle.

Despite the continued push for Fair Districts in Florida, the GOP dominated Legislature seems to have achieved a measure of success with their reapportionment in that Democratic elected officials are pointing fingers at one another about reapportionment. The decision of several Democrats to back the Republican plans in each House, picking self preservation over practical politics, did not help matters.

So as we approach the primary season, parts of the Democratic base have been splintered. While the GOP is going through a similar primary bloodletting process they are a majority party with a strong leadership tradition. Ethnic divisions also do not create the potentially sticky primaries for the Republicans in the way they do for the Democrats.

The weakness of the Democratic Party on the local level in southeast Florida and the preeminence of elected officials and their activist allies is exposed by these primary fights. What is needed is a heavy handed approach from the party.


54 thoughts on “Redistricting Year Shuffle Dividing Elected Democrats”

  1. Unfortunately, this is a pretty poor piece in my opinion. There is not a single specific example given to support the writer’s contention. I have come to expect better from posts here.

  2. The point is that they all made deals and now you have people endorsing each other in the primaries in order to save their individual seat. Next thing you will is see is the local parties endorse candidates during a primary like they did in year’s past. They were not penalized. That goes directly to scum Mark “I get thrown out of NY” Siegal of PBC Democratic Party. The Ds are also trying to make sure people stay home so that way they have someone to blame outside theirselves.

    Obama will be re-elected….the rest we will have to continue to hear them scream and pretend they vote on our behalf instead they are only voting on behalf of the law firm that pays them under the table.

  3. Concerned Palm Beach Democrat

    I agree with Ann. The premise here is excellent and true but the author has chosen a cowardly approach by not naming names. So since he’s chosen that route let me name names. With the collusion of Democrats, our sitting Senator Maria Sachs was forced to run against an incumbent Republican while a House member Joe Abruzzo was endorsed before the districts were finalized by Dave Aronberg and Ted Deutch making it impossible for Sachs to run there.

    Speaking of Deutch he endorsed Kevin Rader from Boca 20 miles away in a Senate race against two sitting house members, both of whome are more entitled to that race than he is. The DEC did nothing to stop these things from happening. The DEC sat by as Kevin Rader district shopped with the backing of Deutch and his consultant, Eric Johnson.

    I know exactly what this article is referring to. But the approach of the author was to develop the premise without giving examples. I too expected better from this site but am glad the premise has been put on the table.

  4. Siegel got thrown out of NY state? You cannot just throw something like that out and not give further detail. Is that true?

  5. Sachs did not live in the area where Abruzzo was running. That is plain and simple. She has a district to run in. The author and all these activists need to stop whining. It is Bogdanoff whose record is going tobe held accountable. She should not even run in a district that Democratic. If Sachs loses it proves she is a terrible candidate.

  6. Berman does not live in her district, Perman does not live in his district and Wexler who is pulling the strings with his boy Johnson, Deutch and company didn’t even live in the state. Sachs is not a good candidate but is damn well better than NRA Abruzzo. Siegal was thrown out of NY for sexual harrassment and the unions pushed him out. Kevin Rader is not a good candidate and like Deutch is caught up in this mess that will be exposed. For Aronberg…he will end up taking the fall because Burt is harrassing judges and others not to run. No wonder we have no new candidates. Deutch’s former aide won’t run …..I wouldn’t be surprised if they are threatening her now. This whole thing is about two things…Weiss Firm and Sachs firm…..corruption corruption corruption…Oh Bogdanoff, Abruzzo work for Weiss. Abruzzo….advocate for federal policy. Stay home no need to vote…you will get the same thing. There is one party….CORRUPTION PARTY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY.

  7. This is all troubling. Palm Beach County is cesspool and the influence of Fladell, Aaronson, Deutch, & Wexler is permanently damaging any opportunity for the Ds to be strong. They make deals with the Rs all the time. They also work to promote dem clubs and palm cards that damage the DEC. Siegel tries to play the game but he does not have a clue how to do so.

  8. I think Sachs has by far the biggest grievance. Ring and the Republicans colluded to break her district apart and when it looked like she could run in a safe seat to the west, Aronberg, Deutch and Wexler recruited and endorsed Abruzzo who would have zero chance against Sachs. Abruzzo is not known outside his House district. Now many of the same “Dems” are privately backing Bogdanoff hence her employment with Weiss & Handler and tacit alliance with Abruzzo.

  9. Shame on Ted Deutch. Kevin Rader has continuously voted to protect the insurance industry (He’s an Insurance Agent) and his pro business attitude giving tons of tax breaks to big business has done nothing to create jobs or help the middle class. Rader is trying to become a career politician! VOTERS NEED TO STOP HIM!

  10. Rader is very popular and has influence in the local Jewish community. He also has Eric Johnson the top local operative running his campaign. Deutch is showing strong loyalty to those who have supported him with this move.

  11. Rader is a good liberal who has served Palm Beach County Democrats well. If you personally do not like him do not misrepresent his record on purpose.

  12. Rader is not a good jew……..just because his wife might be..he is not!
    Kevin Rader is awful on insurance on other issues. Deutch is not with insurance. Morning star let them sue. The piece was printed by Bizpac because they are pushing Bogdanoff who is at the same firm that Abruzzo works for. Weiss and Handler……..sue. You better not hurt Dave…he will turn you all in including those he has endorsed.

  13. They should sue. Morning Star……your star is about to fall. Tell Bobby we say hi and Harry Sargeant. You can’t believe you all are not going to crashing down with this….and then your boy Siegal and Fladell..two peas in a pod.

  14. Ammmmuh his wife is a Rabbi. Don’t get much better than that.

    On BizPac I agree. Their support for Aronberg says a great deal. They also put themselves in a bad position by saying McAuliffe was supporting Marks. So they’re in fact admitting an alliance there against Aronberg and the political insiders.

  15. I think Laxer can run against Abruzzo and win. I await Laxer’s move. Someone here said she had big plans. Hopes she runs vs. Abruzzo, but the 2014 plan sounds good, We should get more young ones to join that movement and run!She would be awesome, and even if Abruzzo wins it will shake up the corrupt, comfortable PBC establishment. Talk of her running has spread throughout the county and many activists are fired up about it!

  16. I think Laxer should wait until the feds make their move. The movers might be excited but look at her former boss. I am sure she is already getting threatening calls….have not seen her anywhere.

  17. Laxer should run now…she can aid the investigation by outing the corruption that eats away at Palm Beach County. We can then rebuild the party around her youthful exuberance, good looks, integrity, policy minded leadership and everything else. Then in 14′ we can get more and more good candidates to run.

  18. Exactly what party. As for Laxer….she is smart. That is why she left Deutch’s in 2009 and she will not have anything to do with these people.

  19. The Oak is Falling

    I would love for Laxer to run. She’s smart and HOT! We need young, smart, good looking women running to stem the GOP tide. I like Abruzzo and will support him if Laxer skips the race. of she runs he will loose and should drop out.

  20. Toni Jackson

    Embarrassing this is. We are in the minority yet we let them further divide us!

  21. Morning Star

    The only corruption going on is from the Palm Beach Post. Our local elected officials despite constant witch hunts and whining by activists are clean.

  22. Morning Star

    She cannot win. She will be forced to explain why Deutch did not retain her when he moved to congress and why since then she has failed to keep a job. The leadership in this county is tired of her. They gave her several opportunities to run and leads on jobs and such. Instead she has let us down, instead of working for the Democrats she is on her own team. Team Tara call it. A blatant self promoter.

    All of this will be exposed if she chooses to run. Activists beware. You may think you want her now but you won’t have the access or commitment from her that Abruzzo has and will continue to give you.

  23. Morning Star…why did Laxer leave then? She did leave and she was not fired. She didn’t stay because she went to work for the Jewish Community. Again why do you have a hard on for her? How funny is it that you and Bizpac (are calling the post corrupt) hiding something. Deutch is a good guy and Laxer is smart. She left because she didn’t agree with some of Deutch’s decisions. She is one smart cookie

  24. If more people came out to vote and researced the candidates running for office instead of voting off a palm card things would be different.

  25. I think the problem is very clear. Morningstar…go talk to Wexler’s employees…that did not follow Deutch. This is not about Laxer or Deutch…..this is about a mole from Wexler’s old staff…..a few. We also know that Wendi is the yenta queen in PBC. I like her but is it clear as day that former Wexler staffers are speaking out on why he really left. Aronberg is going to cover up what he has been doing for the RS and the DS in PBC? Dont bank on it. Abruzzo is nice but if Laxer runs ….she will win. I dont think she will. Also morningstar….if you are so sure about everything …reveal who you are. Guess not.

  26. Look we need more good Dems. If you all morningstar say you back good dems…can you seriously name one outside of Deutch?

  27. Lets be honest here…the party sucks and the only thing we will win is president and U.S with Nelson. Nothing will change because the ds are easier bought than the Rs. This is what happens when you have the continued corruption in the county. The only who pays is the people of both parties.

  28. quick question…isn’t anyone curious why the head of the birther movement is raising funds for Aronberg’s State Attorney race.
    Christopher Rudding from Newsmax and Michael M the former just got a job with the KOCH brothers……do you get this? It is one party…it is not the Democratic one. OPEN your eyes Democrats. Call Wexler’s Boca office and ask them Ted why are you endorsing the Republicans

  29. Concerned Palm Beach Democrat

    His name is actually Christopher Ruddy and if he did actually raise $ for Aronberg that should be a major red flag for any real Democrat. Ruddy’s Newsmax is the magazine that has pushed the birther conspiracy, published articles about Bill Clinton that are unflattering at best and conducted numerous hatchet jobs on Democrats. The likes of David Limbaugh, Michael Regan, Bill O’Reilly and other right wing hacks are closely associated with the publication. They are the ones that kept pushing the Rev. Wright story. Totally unacceptable for any Democratic official to keep company with them.

  30. Newsmax raising cash for Aronberg? Really? Is this just speculation or is their a link somewhere which proves it? If this is true Aronberg will need to be dealt with. I refuse to believe this is true. Why would a star in our party do this???? I think it is not true.

  31. It is bad enough that Aronberg voted with the GOP in the senate and then worked for Bondi but if this Newsmax link is proven wouldn’t that end any statewide career he has a Democrat? Wow, is all I can say if this true,

  32. I’ve never trusted Aronberg but if he does in fact have Newsmax support he would be the first Democrat to do so. We must assume he met Ruddy through Bondi or perhaps even through Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh that both live in Palm Beach.

  33. 1. Newsmax:

    2. Republicans also excited and excusing PB POST of corruption…weird.

    3. Actual column:

    4. Here is for Rick too….Aronberg’s report is not out ….I am sure they will have it as a PAC
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  34. Joseph is also an R……

    This is when he took over mainstream Ds for his boytoy Dave:

    Abruzzo, who told us earlier this year that he’d rather vote for independent Charlie Crist than Democrat Kendrick Meek in the U.S. Senate race, was careful to say he’s not making decisions about where the 527 spends its money.

    But he said he expects the group to spend cash to help Aronberg.

    (Top contributors to the committee include FPL, $25,000, and Florida Crystals subsidiaries, $25,000. The group has also received money from Alliance CCE, a political committee run by State Farm lobbyist Mark Delegal, and Committee of Florida Agents, a political committee run by State Farm insurance agent Glenn Ritchie.)

    “The committee heads are using the resources to fund Democrats who are fiscally conservative, anti-tax and pro-job creation,” Abruzzo said. “The perception is that of course it will help Dave.”

    We asked Abruzzo if he thought Gelber was a “mainstream Democrat.” “Absolutely not,” Abruzzo said. “Dan Gelber, in my estimation, represents high taxes and large government.”

    Abruzzo said he hoped Mainstream money also would be used to help state House Democrats like Mac Bernard of West Palm Beach and Leonard Bembry of Greenville, neither of whom have primary opponents this year.

    Abruzzo said his alignment with the new Mainstream is a natural fit. He, along with Rep. Mary Brandenburg, D-West Palm Beach, helped organize meetings last year with about a dozen House Democrats — about a third of all House Democrats — in an attempt to form a pro-business caucus. He sees the re-creation of Mainstream as a way to help that cause.

    “There are different philosophies on job creation” among House Democrats, Abruzzo said. “Our main focus is that high taxes is not the answer. Some members of our caucus don’t agree. This group would be to help broaden that discussion.”

  35. Enough said. This is disgusting , I never trusted Aronberg but this is too much even for him. Ruddy & Newsmax are the FOX News of the print media.

  36. This is shocking. Just shocking. Aronberg plays liberal in front of Democrats but his record of siding with GOP interests has been extensive for ten years. Did he not work in the Bush administration back in the day before he ran for Senate?

  37. You people act shocked and betrayed by Aronberg. While I admit having a Newsmax hosted event even surprised me a bit , Aronberg is just a guy who says what he has to to get ahead. That is why I proudly backed Dan Gelber for AG and would never back Aronberg for any Dem partisan office.

    The Palm Beach Post asked very appropriately why the bipartisan coalition of lobbyists and operatives were all behind him. Because he is a TOOL! Like charLIE.

  38. This Aronberg/Newsmax link is upsetting but par for the course in the way things are done today. Glad someone is keeping the Republicrats accountable.


    You know the local party and leaders that morningstar speaks of is bad when you see this in national news….oh they too are corrupt right morning?

    So far, she said, she’s found voters receptive to her message. “The only opposition is from the county Democratic party,” she said. “They don’t like primaries. Everyone else is ready to listen.”

    This is the head of the local party? War on women in the Democratic Party

    And Broward too

    Good job MORNING STAR…….

  40. Do not blame Aronberg for knowing that a desperate, soulless Democrat Party hard up for star power would turn the other way while he courts Repiblicans. He’s just being pragmatic while the D party is a joke.

  41. This is true to an extent. It is the fault of the Democrats for allowing such obvious disrespect for our ideological beliefs by our own elected officials and candidates. I do not care that Aronberg went to Harvard, he is a jerk and now according to the PB Post may also be holding company with crooks who are pushing his election.

    I find this Newsmax link extremely troubling. Newsmax is not a news magazine as much as it is a partisan rag. Those who have worked hard to get Aronberg where he is are those targeted by Newsmax “journalists” and their friends at FOX News.


    Yes look at this one:

    Even the Rs are showing the article

    And how about Dave’s sluty girlfriend that works for the county. She campaigned with him and then files a fake ethics charge…then says she can’t be a jury….she is drunk all the time too with her 3 kids.


  43. Has it ever occurred to you dumb dumb people that Aronberg’s qualities as a consensus builder and Harvard educated lawyer makes him uniquely qualified for this office or AG? The Republican leadership supports him because he is moderate, works with everyone, and has a resume 99.9999999% of Americans would kill for.

  44. The kid has never been in the courtroom, too close with both sides politically and is shady as hell. He is also sick with that antisemetic piece he helped Bondi with against Gelber during the general…Who are you kidding. Dave is in big trouble unless he turns on one those he endorsed like Deutch, Joey or Rader….I think he is going for Aaronson if he is really clean….but he probably isn’t. Reading this stuff above there is NO way I am voting for him or those he is tied with. I am going to talk to Deutch staff and see…they will know. Love Wendi!

  45. He is too close with Aaronson & Fladell to ever rat them out. They’ll be home free once he becomes State attorney.

  46. Aronberg is the worst. A closet wanna be Republican. An insecure little runt who is forcing people to pull strings so he can cover up their sleazy corruption.

  47. You think this is bad. This is why they all should be locked up. Sick fucks

    Deposition: GOP fundraiser Sargeant says Greer acted with Crist’s OK

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    The News Service of Florida

    Updated: 7:34 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2012

    Posted: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2012

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    TALLAHASSEE — Former Gov. Charlie Crist knew that former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer would be compensated for helping raise money for the state party, the former finance chairman of the state party said in a deposition released Friday by Greer’s defense attorney.

    Gulf Stream billionaire Harry Sargeant, finance chairman of the RPOF from 2007 to 2009, said that Greer, Crist and George LeMieux, then an appointed U.S. senator, discussed a plan to push out a party fundraising official before deciding that Greer and former executive director Delmar Johnson should take a larger hand in fundraising.

    LeMieux is now running for the Republican nomination to try to unseat Democratci U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

    Sargeant said those involved in the discussions knew that Greer and Johnson would get extra compensation for the duties. Prosecutors have indicted Greer in connection with allegations surrounding Victory Strategies LLC, which Sargeant suggests was the vehicle for the compensation that party officials discussed.

    “I was surprised when Greer was charged with a crime relating to setting up a company to do fundraising for RPOF, as Greer and Mr. Johnson were acting with the knowledge and approval [of] Governor Crist,” Sargeant says in the affidavit, taken Thursday in Palm Beach County.

    Crist told reporters in mid-2010 that he wasn’t aware that Greer and Johnson had set up Victory Strategies.

    “Jim thought a change would be a good idea, and I said, ‘Whatever you think needs to be done, and if you need to bring in Delmar, that’s fine,’ ” Crist said at the time, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

    One of Sargeant’s business associates was indicted in connection with campaign contributions and Sargeant also gave Greer money to help him through tough financial times.

    Sargeant lost a $28.8 million verdict in July in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in a lawsuit against his former business partners, the brother-in-law of the king of Jordan. The jury ordered him to pay Al-Saleh after agreeing that the oil trader and GOP heavyweight had cheated Al-Saleh in their multimillion-dollar U.S. defense contract to deliver fuel to troops in Iraq. Sargeant is appealing the verdict