Florida’s saving Broward from itself, despite itself
Excerpt: Pete Antonacci, the former general counsel to outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott, was sworn in as elections chief in Florida’s most liberal county Thursday, beginning a shotgun marriage with Broward Democrats that could prove crucial during the 2020 presidential elections.
“The governor didn’t need to do what he did,” said Broward Commissioner Dale Holness, who is part of an effort to organize opposition to Snipes’ suspension. “There was no need for it. And he’s putting somebody in place who’s not from Broward, and who from what I’ve read is a political hatchet man.”
Antonacci, who was a Democrat until switching parties in 2010, is registered to vote in Tallahassee, a city where he recently served Scott as the governor’s general counsel. Antonacci has been something of a utility man to the outgoing governor, who has previously tapped the former deputy attorney general to fill temporary roles as Palm Beach County state attorney and director of the South Florida Water Management District. Antonacci most recently served as Scott’s secretary of commerce.
In appointing Antonacci, Scott said his pick “will be solely focused on running free and fair elections.” Antonacci said Thursday that he won’t run for reelection. Former attorney general Bob Butterworth, a Democrat under whom Antonacci served as a deputy in the 1990s, predicted that he’ll be successful after holding the bible for his former deputy as Antonacci gave the oath of office.
“I can’t think of a better person to do the job than Pete Antonacci,” Butterworth said. “This is not his first challenge.”
Her office was the source of national controversy during last month’s recount after her staff’s slow pace in counting nearly 100,000 late-tabulated votes played a large role in the unexpected shrinking of Republican leads and forcing three statewide recounts. Scott, 48 hours after polls closed, called a press conference and accused Snipes without evidence of voter fraud and scheming to hand his win over U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson over to the Democrats.
Bottom Line: Where to begin. First, Broward Commissioners do appear desirous to fight on behalf of Brenda Snipes. Seriously, how messed up is that? And if you were wondering just how pervasive the issues in Broward government might be? Is it possible that what might be discovered by someone coming in to clean up the mess might find that Brenda Snipes wasn’t working alone? Is it possible others might have something to lose? Or is it simply a case that an elections’ supervisor who breaks the law and commits fraud is still preferable to any Republican to the Democrats on Broward’s county commission? And your best argument about the incoming supervisor is that you read he’s a “hatchet man”? So, your basis for understanding was a hit piece a couple of days ago? Yikes.
Second, about the Republican thing. You’re talking about a life-long Democrat until eight years ago who’s endorsed by a well-respected former Democratic Attorney General. So, who should be trusted, the former AG or the current county commissioners?
Third, when will South Florida media stop going out of its way to mislead you and provide false information, aka fake news? Once again, we’re subjected to that without evidence of voter fraud. Brenda Snipes broke a minimum of six statues of Florida election law, three of which arise to the level of voter fraud. Do your job and tell the truth or at least how about not going out of your way to perpetuate false information. I’ve already done the work for you, all you have to do is actually use it. This is how and why we have elected officials like this in South Florida. You’re supposed to be holding officials accountable and informing voters. That requires telling the truth even if it doesn’t fit a political narrative you might like.
Fourth, and this is mostly for me, serenity now.