First Dirty Water in Delray Beach and Now Dirty Tricks-Who will Voters Choose this March?
Delray Beach commission candidate Rob Long is running against incumbent Commissioner Juli Casale in what’s shaping up to be the most contentious local political battle of the Palm Beach County season. Political races tend to get ugly, and this one will be ugly because the candidates aren’t pretty. The struggle isn’t due to partisan issues since both candidates are liberal Democrats.
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Long is no stranger to the political world. His long-time gal pal is far-left Palm Beach County school board member Alexandria Ayala, who has had her share of controversy due to questions about residency requirements for the district she is representing and openly defying Gov. DeSantis on School Board issues. Long himself has a history of community involvement and activism. Long has worked on many Democratic political campaigns. He has also served as chair of the Palm Beach County Water & Soil Conservation Board and as the former Vice Chair of the Delray Beach Planning & Zoning Board.
The Sun Sentinel came out with a scathing article about Long, written by leftist loony reporter Steve Bousquet. Long’s opponent, current Commissioner Juli Casale, sent out the entire article to thousands of Delray Beach residents from her campaign account, which is a big no-no. The full Sentinel article should only be accessed by those who pay for it, which is why Casale may have a problem on her hands. The article is copyrighted and the intellectual property of the SunSentinel, and it can’t be copied word for word and sent to ten thousand people. Sources say that an ethics complaint is currently being filed with the county.
The gist of the Sentinel article is that Long owns a grassroots political canvassing company called Door2Door Strategies. His company had partnered with and gotten referrals from a land use attorney who came before the Planning & Zoning Board for project approval while he was serving on that board. Before the vote, Long asked a city attorney, in writing, if he needed to recuse himself from the vote. The city attorney said no. Long voted in favor of the project and kept the relationship with the land use attorney private, which is controversial in its own right.
Head city attorney Lynn Gelin says the other attorney had done the wrong thing, but Long should have disclosed the relationship with the land use attorney.
Long was given bad advice, and there should be some finger-pointing toward the attorney who advised Long incorrectly. Long should have disclosed this business relationship every time this land use attorney came before his board. Still, he was given terrible legal advice by a city attorney, and he was told there was no reason not to vote.
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For those who have followed Casale during her three-year political career, you probably know her, as many have referred to her as “Delray Beach Mayor Petrolia’s close ally/lap dog who has pretty much voted with Petrolia on most issues.”
Casale won her first election against long-time, well-respected Delray Beach resident and incumbent commissioner Bill Bathurst based on what appeared to be a solid business background, excellent education, and an antidevelopment stance. During her time in office, it seems that much of her experience has been fabricated in George Santos style, including an invented business she sold for “millions of dollars” that no one seems to be able find. She also claims to have a degree from Harvard, which has since been proven to be a correspondence diploma from the online Harvard Extension School—claiming the extension school to be the same as the actual university seems to be a stretch given that the primary requirement for admission, is the ability to pay for it with a credit card.
Casale billed herself as a fancy, educated businesswoman to appear as a credible candidate, and three years later, it seems that Casale is none of these things. She appears to have a “casual relationship with the truth.”
Casale has upset many locals with questionable votes during her time in office, including a vote for a large-scale anti “village by the sea” project on Linton, a vote to obliterate the city’s iconic culture and arts center Old School Square, and a vote against memorializing a pride crosswalk monument, which has greatly upset LGBT community leaders.
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The truth is that Casale, despite being a lawmaker, doesn’t seem to think the rules apply to her, as evidenced by this dirty campaign stunt. Long’s behavior was wrong and should be questioned, but Casale’s record isn’t one she should be bragging to her fellow online graduates about. Sending out this article wasn’t exactly a Mensa decision and could result in a lawsuit against the controversial commissioner.
Any way Casale tries to spin this, Rob Long hasn’t been perfectly transparent, but Casale’s record in office, including defending the dirty Delray Beach water that the state fined the city over a million dollars for, isn’t exactly a brag-worthy legacy.
The Delray Beach municipal election is on March 14, 2023.
Editor’s note: The original post said Long had been paid by the land use attorney when he had only gotten business referrals.
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