WHO: MARTY RUBINSTEIN
As I write this I am 61 years old and retired. Not by choice. Every time I tell my doctors I want to go back to earning a living, they look down their collective nose and me and ask me “you’re kiddiing, right?” Well they can’t stop me from remaining active in local and county politics. Hell, I even succeed in pissing off members of Congress.
I was a member of the Broward County School Board at least until I had the audacity to dare to fire Superintendent Frank Till. Call it courage instead, because I knew what the likely outcome would be. If you care to read some of the older articles on Watching Broward you might even come to understand why.
But you certainly wouldn’t want an elected official who would vote to play it safe and keep his own job over the good of the community, now would you?
Time has ultimately proven me right as the corruption is exposed along with the finger pointing. Much of it pointing to the fired Superintendent, of course. A colleague who publishes another web blog always asks the question “if staff constantly lied to the School Board then why didn’t they fire staff?”
Pardon me, but that’s exactly what I did. And paid the price.
But it really wasn’t a major factor in the equation. I was already working AMA. (Against Medical Advice for those of you in Southwest Ranches.)
Eight months of poor health that followed my defeat cemented the fact that I couldn’t go back and make a living again. Oh, well.
So here I am, a high school and technical school graduate who in a long successful career made a better living than most of his college bound buddies, raising a family on a single income.
I spent a good number of those years learning the political trade as well.
The short of it is; retirement sucks. There’s a huge difference between choosing to retire and not having a choice. But when one cannot go back into the workforce he needs a diversion. And so, beyond consulting with political campaigns, Watching Sunrise, Watching Tamarac and ultimately Watching Broward were born.
There’s a real difference between myself and the other blog writers, and that’s the unique position of having had experience on both sides of the dais.
Oh, we’ll agree and disagree, but I’m the only one who’s been on both sides.
Add to that my ability to understand the mechanics of designing and managing web sites. A one man band, if you will.
A one man band with a really loud voice.
WHAT: WATCHING BROWARD
Watching Broward ultimately began life as martyrubinstein.com which by the way is still online.
When I originally created martyrubinstein.com the intent was to advertise myself as a political candidate. Successfully, I might add.
When there was no longer such a need, martyrubinstein.com morphed into an opinion site, sometimes local and sometimes general politics.
But there was a need for other types of opinion based sites and certainly some of those were filled.
Watching Sunrise begins.
I created Watching Sunrise in 2009 to opine on Sunrise elections. And yes, I was working for several candidates at the time. Watching Sunrise, however, was not funded by any of the campaigns. It was simply another domain added to my base multi hosting site at martyrubinstein.com, and a method of communication from me to the rest of the community.
And I had no problem being direct and open with criticism. Criticism that some just didn’t like, even to the point of questioning if I ever intended to run again. A veiled threat if I ever heard one. But many got used to the idea and actually began to like a politician who spoke his mind and not just what they wanted to hear.
Watching Sunrise eventually morphed into commentary on other things Sunrise and then went dormant for a time, being updated infrequently.
Enter Watching Tamarac.
That site grew out of discussions with others who knew the Sunrise site and “wouldn’t it be nice to do commentary on other cities at election time?” Commentary, yes, but that’s not how it worked out.
The commentary on Watching Tamarac went essentially from my personal opinion and not that of anybody directly connected with the Tamarac campaigns. There was more than enough fodder for opinion and commentary.
The idea of covering cities was alluring to say the least, but registering a domain name for every Broward city was just out of the reach of sanity. That’s the moment that the idea of Watching Broward was born.
After the Patty Atkins Grad election but before the special Mayoral election in Tamarac, Watching Tamarac morphed into Watching Broward.
And so, Watching Broward was born.
Watching Broward not only provides the ability to comment on any city, but the county and school board as well. Essentially all things Broward.
Here’s the mission statement.
Since Watching Broward is a commentary and opinion site, the license to publish is a broad one considering the first amendment. But I also view that right to be just as much a responsibility as well.
Everything I have ever published has been based in fact with opinion and commentary drawn from it. And that’s the way I intend to continue with Watching Broward.
I will never intentionally publish anything I know not to be true.
I reserve the right to draw conclusions from available facts and information.
I reserve the right to ask questions.
I reserve the right to a unique point of view having been on both sides of the dais. And that’s something that other writers of political commentary and opinion cannot claim.
Comments to articles will be permitted but examined with a jaundiced eye. There are just too many posters who rant without knowing what they’re talking about. I will pass the ones who are productive in their commentary.
When it comes to Bloggers, respected Journalist Helen Thomas says it best:
“They can ruin lives, reputations, and once you send something into the air, it’s going to land, and there’s nothing that can curb them from saying anything they want. Everybody with a laptop thinks they’re a journalist, and everybody with a cellphone thinks they’re a photographer.”
The last thing we need here is the bumper sticker mentality of “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.” Leave those to Buddy and Bob.
The late Senator and Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey said it best: “The right to free speech does not guarantee the right to be taken seriously.”
Because of my unique position, I have many friends in the political arena. I have many detractors as well. You can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.
Because of my friendship with many electeds, I will take opinion and commentary by others with a grain of salt, especially since I’ve been on both sides of the dais.
But I intend to call a spade a spade, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Last, but not least, a few words about Defamation of Character and what the Supreme Court says about it.
Defamation of Character: the act of making untrue statements about another which damages his/her reputation. If the defamatory statement is printed or broadcast over the media it is libel and, if only oral, it is slander. Public figures, including officeholders andcandidates have to show that the defamation was made with malicious intent and was not just fair comment.
The (Supreme) Court declared that the First Amendment protects open and robust debate on public issues even when such debate includes “vehement, caustic, unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” A public official or other plaintiff who has voluntarily assumed a position in the public eye must prove that defamatory statements were made with knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard of whether they were false.
All articles published here are Copyrighted and fall under the provisions of the general US Copyright code.
If you want to quote or lift something from here, go ahead and do it. All I ask is a credit and a link back to this site.