February 28, 2012

New Times Broward-Palm Beach
Local blogger/rabble-rouser Chaz Stevens “is a hard puppy to love.” The line at the top of his blog says “professional ball busting,” and he’s not opposed to referring to public officials with profane nicknames or sending the city of Lauderdale Lakes public records requests like this:

Do you folks have one of those Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville margarita makers over in Finance? If that is the case, can you kindly ask that they don’t start whipping up some strawberry frothy delights until after, say 3pm? … Kindly have someone put down the Ronrico, step away from the blender (carefully avoiding stepping on a pop top), and get me my data.

Still, Rich Abdill writes, “in his own spastic way, he’s called the city out on his MAOS [My Acts of Sedition] blog numerous times for busted budget numberssloppy spreadsheets, and failing to fulfill records requests.” Stevens’ unconventional style of accountability journalism has earned him a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer for the Lauderdale Lakes city manager. Abdill finds this puzzling: “Stevens has been blogging about public documents, and all indications so far make it look like he’s been right.”

Lauderdale Lakes is just down the road from Lauderhill, where the mayor told a Sun-Sentinel reporter last year that the county’s new ethics code would require reporters to register as lobbyists. He reached that conclusion based on “the Law of Unintended Consequences.”

Ah, Florida politics — of thee I sing.

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
Steve Myers

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