I read your post “Geller Snares Early Support from Fire Fighters” this morning with a great deal of interest. My only concern is that the article is a little misleading and tells only a portion of the story. Writing “Yet it was former State Sen. Steve Geller who snared an early endorsement from fire fighters in the battle for the commission’s open District 5 seat in Southwest Broward.” incorrectly assumes there was a battle for the endorsement from the union representing the Broward Sheriff’s Office firefighters. In fact, a quick review of the Supervisor of Election’s record of campaign donations lists Broward Firefighters and Paramedics Local 4321 gave Mr. Geller the maximum donation allowed by law six weeks before I filed to run for this commission seat. At that time, only my family knew I planned to run.
Local 4321 is well known for their almost perfect attendance at all Democrat functions and giving almost exclusively to Democrats in local, state and national elections. As a member of Fire Fighters Local 1403, one of the largest firefighters’ union in the southeastern United States, I know how many union leaders are too close to their Democrat friends. After nearly four decades of union membership, I’m always willing to work with labor on issues concerning firefighter health, safety and working conditions. However, I’m focusing on earning the votes of rank and file firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics, and police officers who often tell me that the local unions seem to be nothing more than an outreach program for the Democrat party and less focused on the issues that affect these hard working men and women who have dedicated their lives to protect us. The men and women of the police and fire departments are looking for elected officials that they can count on to understand their issues and their jobs; in this race, that is me.
Career politicians like Mr. Geller will always have the support of organized labor union leaders, lobbyists, special interest groups and law firms seeking favored treatment after an election. A review of his campaign contributions is a veritable “Who’s Who” of special interest groups from Broward County to Tallahassee and beyond. Are these donors interested in restoring good governmental practices, providing accountability, and increasing the safety of Broward taxpayers or are they just lining up for another meal at the taxpayer funded trough? I will continue to meet with all people in the district as well as the brave men and women in our police and fire departments who, more often than not, march to a different drummer than the Union’s leadership and their career politician friends.