The war between County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger and her challenger former state legislator Steve Geller has hit the air waves and voters in the southeast Broward district can expect to be treated to a heavy dose of bashing on both sides from the Democrats this summer.
Gunzburger launched an attack TV ad last weekend "Sleazy Lobbyist" and it will run until about June 6 The spot, which cost $50,000, is running on Comcast in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Pembroke Pines and on news channels, according to her son Ron Gunzburger, a political blogger and lawyer for Property Appraiser Lori Parrish.
"Steve Geller likes it when people call him Senator but lobbyist Steve Geller is more accurate," states the ad, then describing how much he earned as a lobbyist. The ad, which cities news articles about Geller, states that his net worth increased 700 percent while he was in the Legislature. There's more from the Gunzburger campaign at www.stevegellerfacts.com
Gunzburger's ad calls Geller a "Ponzi Pal" -- a swipe for taking money from Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, now a disbarred lawyer who could face up to 100 years in prison when sentenced in June. But she took Rothstein money too -- as did dozens of politicians and candidates across Broward. More on their Rothstein spat later.
Here's what Geller said in response to the lobbying -- and lobbying an attack of his own about Better Than Wood, the company owned by Gunzburger's late husband that supplied plastic lumber to several entities in Broward including the county.
"Sue has complained about my being a lobbyist and appearing in front of local governments while I was in the Legislature. Florida laws specifically authorize that, and I did so infrequently, averaging less than 1 project or client per year during my practice of law. This was never all of my practice. Again, the hypocrisy here is astounding. While Sue complains about my having appeared in front of local governments while in the Senate, the Gunzburger family business regularly appeared in front of local governments throughout Broward, and received contracts from these cities. The Gunzburger family business, in fact, received the majority of its business from governments. The Gunzburger family business even did business with Broward County while Sue was a Broward County Commissioner.
I’ve repeatedly asked Sue to run a race focusing on what the voters care most about: Jobs, the economy, balancing taxes and services, ethics reform, education, etc. She has repeatedly refused, choosing to take the low road instead. I will not be “swiftboated” and not fight back. .... The difference will be that my attacks will be accurate and not misleading."