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ADL asks Jewish house candidate to retract email. He says: "ADL is a despicable organization"

The Anti-Defamation League asked state house candidate Sheldon Lisbon to retract an email he wrote with the subject line "A vote for Shelly Lisbon is a vote for the Jewish Community."

Lisbon, who is Jewish and white, is running in a Democratic primary against State Rep. Joe Gibbons (Hallandale Beach) who is black. The newly drawn District 100 has more Miami-Dade than Broward voters which is why it poses a challenge to Gibbons. The district is overwhelmingly white and heavily Jewish.

The ADL in Florida sent a letter to Lisbon June 27th following a blog about Lisbon's email posted in Naked Politics. "Appealing to voters along religious lines is divisive...," states the ADL letter signed by Andrew Rosenkranz, Florida ADL Regional Director. "A candidate's religious beliefs -- or lack thereof -- should never be used as a test for public office or as a shorthand summary of a candidate's qualifications."

Lisbon told the Miami Herald editorial board today about receiving the letter from the ADL.

"The ADL is a despicable organization," Lisbon told the editorial board. "It's entirely proper to go to your base. You can go to anyone you want to to ask for help. This is called Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech."

When an editorial board writer asked Lisbon if he had reached out to African-American voters he responded: "There aren't that many. ... Not yet." Lisbon said that he had been first reaching out to his base to get donations to his campaign.

Candidates often pander to voters who share their race, ethnicity or religion but it's typically not as blunt as Lisbon's email which stated "This district is primarily a Jewish district composed of residents like us."

In Broward, Jewish candidates (and sometimes non-Jewish ones) will appeal to Jewish voters by posting photos of themselves in Israel or listing involvement in local synagogues or Jewish organizations.

Lisbon was elected to the Surfside City Commission earlier this year but has to announce his resignation to run for state house.


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Hallandale Beach Blog

Mr. Lisbon may or may not be a very qualified candidate, or he could just as well be an overly-naive or even incompetent candidate, I simply don't know.
But for residents and voters of the area he wants to represent, the larger question is why all these years later there's still NEVER been anything printed in the Miami Herald about Joe Gibbons NOT really living full-time in the community he purports to represent in Tallahassee, nor anything about his attempt to claim Homestead Exemption for a property in Hallandale Beach that was denied by Broward County because, that's right, he didn't actually live there.

Gibbons' wife and children live in the Jacksonville area, where her law office is located. That's why you didn't have any photos of him at any South Florida area Fourth of July parades or events. He's a carpetbagger.

In an April 23, 2011 Herald editorial titled "OUR OPINION: Hold Rep. Artiles accountable," which came about largely because of the efforts of Political Cortadito blogger Elaine de Valle, the paper stated:
"If state Rep. Frank Artiles out-and-out lied about where he lives, then he is unfit to serve in elected office. If he was, as he says, “misinformed’’ about something he should have known, then maybe he’s not cut out to be a legislator. We expect lawmakers to make the tough decisions on our behalf. If they aren’t clear on the details, then they can’t be effective public servants, can they?"

Still true, of course, but then why is the newspaper still SO resistant to simply reporting the reality faced by area residents and NOT writing or commenting on this charade of Gibbons' that he has successfully been pulling for years? What's the plausible explanation.

The Herald's reporters and Editorial Board are the one that look like the hypocrites in this matter because they are the ones who WON'T hold Joe Gibbons accountable.

Sashi  Menkowitz

Many of us in Surfside feel that Mr. Lisbon is pretty despicable himself, quitting after two months in office because this opportunity came up. His work was done on the Surfside commission, having voted in favor of variances to build an Orthodox Shul of which he is a member of! It's not so much the Jewish Community he is interested in but the Right wing Ultra Orthodox Chabad cults. Dangerous man.

Andrew Markoff

More and more often, it seems, we are faced with the lesser of two evils. I agree with Hallandale Beach Blog, but there's not much to be demanded of anybody at the moment. Mr. Lisbon appears far, far less qualified than Representative Gibbons.

eve black

ADL should call Lisbon's actions and words despicable. Why doesn't Lisbon come right out and say:"Vote for me because I am a Jew"? (That is basically what he is intimating). If this is his only qualification, G-d help us all!!! I agree with Sashi Menkowtiz. Mr. Lisbon is an opportunist!

David Stewart

Lisbon is hoping that white people and Jews will not vote for an African American. How stupid can a candidate be to make such statements. His advisors should all be fired. Even better, the candidate himself should just drop out of the race. I bet he issues an apology soon or else he is done!

eve black

I think that Mr. Lisbon is a legend in his own mind,and is too wrapped up in himself to issue an apology to anyone.

David Stewart

Well, I was right. Lisbon issued an apology but did not apologize for his email that his campaign sent out. The email was the reason the ADL was so upset with Mr. Lisbon in the first place.

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