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CERT Chief Slams Commission Candidate for Campaigning on Memorial Day

Do these two people look like opponents or co-workers? Did one candidate get caught putting up the others signs? Yes. See: I don't remember Rick Scott putting up Charlie Crist signs, do you? I, Anthony Caggiano, took these pictures on different days during early voting(Oct.2014 at BCC in Coconut Creek).

Election percentages from 2014 race:

Anthony Caggiano 42.68%

Edward DeCristofaro 12.99%

Lesa "Le" Peerman 44.34%

Normally I wouldn't add Comments, but I did on both this and my response. Read from earliest to latest.

Planning Chief for the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Eddie DeCristofaro, criticized city commission candidate, Anthony Caggiano, for distributing campaign literature at Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony in Margate. _____________ Caggiano distributed a pamphlet entitled “The History of Our Flag,” at the event. It explained the flag’s history; when to display and salute it and how to honorably destroy it when tattered. In a letter to, DeCristofaro takes exception to Caggiano including his 2016 run for Margate City Commission Seat 1 in the literature. (Click here to view handout)

"The City of Margate put on a wonderful celebration in observance of our Fallen Soldiers, on this 2015 Memorial Day at Veterans Park, with city dignitaries and city officials, Veterans from all of our branches and our Fire and Police units all in attendance, and a lot of our residents, what a wonderful display of pride and honor was witnessed by everyone there, well I wish I could say all but the reason I am writing this article is I am appalled at the disrespect displayed by one of this cities residents. Anthony Caggiano was attending this memorial service with no respect of why we were all there, his main motive was to campaign for a city commission seat, which by the way is not for another 18 months. As a parent of a disabled veteran, I am disgusted, embarrassed and highly upset, that this man would use this venue for political gain, he is not a veteran, and it is apparent that he does not understand the meaning of respect, not just because I have a disabled son and daughter in law, that put their lives on the line for our freedom, and came back 100% disabled, but for all the men and women who have made that ultimate sacrifice."

DeCristofaro told that his comments are unrelated to his running opposite Caggiano for a commission seat last year. Concerned residents can contact Caggiano regarding the matter at

Reader Comments

By Margate Resident on 05/29/2015

Eddie, PLEASE wake up and smell the coffee. I have been living in Margate for over 27 years and the incumbent Commissioners have been manipulating elections for years. Le learned how from the old Commissioners. I know you registered to run against Le before Anthony, that just means that this was planned by you and Le very early before she knew who her opponent was going to be. You are one of the people who believes if you say it enough it becomes true. You may convince some or many of the voters but you and I know better. I respect and appreciate all the work you and your wife do for the city through CERT as I am sure many other residents of Margate do. Don't destroy that respect and appreciation for Le and Joann. It is not worth it. They will stab you in the back whenever they feel it will help them and their personal agendas. Eddie, you are too nice of a guy to be involved with them.

By Memorial Day is NOT a funeral on 05/29/2015

Memorial Day is not a funeral. It is a celebration of freedom. Freedom of speech, political freedom, freedom from oppression (like is happening on this board)freedom to share, to love and to be loved. These are the reasons soldiers die in battle. To me having a candidate campaign brings more life to the ceremony. Nothing is wrong with it. Embrace it. Or not and make yourself heard when you cast your ballot. Another reason soldiers die in battle. The right to vote democratically. For gods sake stop ridiculing the man.

By Got my vote on 05/29/2015

Let me get this right. Commissioner Talerico who was elected by the people including veterans and who is paid $28,000 a year to represent them did not attend the ceremony in their honor. Caggiano attended the ceremony and wants to run for Talerico's seat. Sounds to me like it most definitely was the right place to campaign. Any veteran who is bothered by this has their head up their ass. not to mention the whole freakin' ceremony is political. The Mayor spoke for 10 minutes. Commissioners unveiled the fallen soldier statue. It is all politicking. Only a fool cannot see that.

By Eddie DeCristofaro on 05/28/2015

to Margate Resident, I guess it is easy for you to believe all the rhetoric that has been thrown around, Fact: I signed to run for Commissioner 7 months before Anthony decided to sign up, Anthony was told by several people that if he ran it would split the vote, and Lesa Peerman would win, his answer was I want to be the one to take her down. Fact: My running in this campaign was not a ploy to help anyone win the race except for me , I am no ones patsy, Fact: no one manipulated the election, the residents of Margate voted and elected who they thought to be the best candidate. end of story, get over it Anthony lost, not by manipulation, not by me winning for Lesa, but by actual voters Fact: No one commands me to do anything PERIOD<<<<< I am my own man .

By on 05/28/2015

Teresa, if you feel so strongly, like so many others claim to, you'd have no fear in confronting something that you feel is wrong. The men and women being honored fought for you to be able to do that and to cower while you feel they are being dishonored is just as much a dishonor to them. I feel that every person that watched it happen and didn't bother to try and rectify it are just as guilty of the perceived offense. Instead of action, certain people just tucked the incident in their pocket to be used as a political tool later, thereby furthering the offense. Shame on all of you.

By Margate Resident on 05/28/2015

I have never heard of anyone complaining about the Commissioners and Candidates campaigning during the 4th of July parade or on any other Holiday.

By Caggiano over Talerico on 05/28/2015

Any day of the week. Good luck Anthony. At least you are not a hypocrite. Looks like you lost a few votes. Oh well. What cracks me up is this negative campaigning comes from the same people who accuse others of it. By the by, soldiers die in battle to protect our political freedoms. People here have a more socialist even communist view of political campaigning. Similar to the way Margate runs its politics now.

By Teresa on 05/27/2015

The total situation is printing and paying for the pamphlets with campaign funds you are required to have the paid on there. It is required by campaign rules and regulations which if you don't follow those rules you will pay a fine and more depending on how severe the infraction is. Which is why Mr. Caggiano thought he could get away with this..... If Mr. Caggiano truly wanted to be of service to his community he should have paid to have the pamphlets printed himself which would have lifted the requirement to have his campaign info on them. Then he could have had them handed out under the tents and in the pavilion like the CERT Team did by handing out stars and ribbons in support of the Stars for Troops group for which we also received and passed onto the representative of the group the donations that many of the veterans there chose to give towards this wonderful organization. We handed out Stars that were cut from retired flags and have been sent to our service personnel all over the world to let them know that we have not forgotten them and to give them a hug from home. He obviously knew that what he was doing was sly and sneaky which is why he did it where he did it, in the parking lot. All I can say is actions speak louder than words. Mr. Caggiano has not grasped that concept yet. He can stand and thump his chest and try to explain his actions away and try to put a coat of red white and blue on it but the truth is what he did was sly, sneaky and blatantly disrespectful to the men and women we were there to honor. Your actions show your true character and now many more people are aware of it and your tactics will no longer be tolerated. You see most people won't confront you because they just are not comfortable in doing that because they are afraid of being attacked. My husband obviously is not intimidated by you. He never has been and never will be. Your obvious attempt at justifying your poor behaviour just shows your lack of character and ethics. These are things that most people value in their elected officials. I and many others in our community know exactly who and what you are and fortunately many more people are learning this truth because they are able to see examples of your character in actions such as your behaviour on Monday and your trying to explain them away. Like I said before your words do not match your actions. Words can be deceptive and you have proven to be a master of deception. Thankfully people are finally seeing the whole picture and they are not likeing your portrait at all. I was taught by my parents that you can judge the character of a person by their actions because anyone can tell you what they think you want to hear but it is what that person actually does that shows their true character. You have been caught red handed, if you were truly a man of character you would have apologized to the veterans and their families instead of this song and dance routine that you think is going to fool people. True strong, dependable character does the job they don't tell people a tale about how they would do it. You fooled a lot of people for a short time and that time has passed for you sir.

By Greg L Lyons on 05/27/2015

So this is the way this "real" issue seems to have played out. A guy that belongs to an unpopular "clique" (perfect term as someone mentioned) was doing something that the members and supporters of a bigger clique didn't like. Rather than having any courage or conviction to their cause the bigger clique members and hangers-on did nothing at the time but fumed over it and got into their sewing circles and worked themselves up over it so much that they decided that ACTION must be taken. That first action? Log into Facebook. Then post on each others pages with such righteousness that they feel they are speaking for everyone when they they type their rude little comments. This would be a non-issue had it been someone else doing it, either no one would care or someone would have asked that he stopped. If this supposed disrespect was so flagrant why were NONE of you moved to take action? That's the REAL issue, Margate is filled with talkers. Too bad all they talk is complete bollocks, and that's regarding both cliques.

By Jacob on 05/27/2015

Because people like me don't get our panties in a bunch over every little thing that we don't agree with. Try it some time, you'll find that you achieve much more positive results. Enjoy the rest of your complaining on the internet.

By on 05/27/2015

Yeah, because people like you don't look at the real issue.

By Jacob on 05/27/2015

And by repeating it you voiced their opinions here, just like everyone else who's claiming they spoke to veterans or know veterans who were "disgusted". Unfortunately I had to sink to that level to show that not all veterans care about some guy passing out flyers. Too bad our community isn't so good at networking with each other on more important issues.

By on 05/27/2015

Hey Jacob, stop acting like your opinion is the voice of the veterans. And I never said I am the voice of the veterans, all I said was that I mentioned it to some veterans I work with and they find it a disgrace and they will be giving Caggiano their opinions.

By Jacob on 05/27/2015

I mentioned this "controversy" to a veteran I work with, he said "Why should I care?" and went back to work. Stop acting like your opinion is the voice of the veterans.

By Jacob on 05/27/2015

It had that on there if used campaign funds to print them, so by law he had to have that printed on there as well. If he had used personal funds and stood out there passing them out I'm sure people would still take offense, because let's face it Margate is an angry and bitter place that has taken it's cliquishness far too seriously at the expense of actual improvement to our quality of life. The Facebook crowd would instead be buzzing on whether he committed a campaign violation. The sad part is that these little factions make up less than 1% of this cities population and they steer the city into these ridiculous arguments. It's like watching a bunch of bully kids fight over toys in a play pen.

By on 05/27/2015

It might not have said "Vote for Caggiano." But it did say "Caggiano for commissioner." And no one has a problem with him passing out flag information, its the fact that he was using it to campaign. I have showed veterans that I work with and they were disgusted by it. He could have left out "Caggiano for commissioner" if he really just wanted people to know about our flag. Also, I have never seen any campaigning on Memorial Dday before.

By Homeowner for now on 05/26/2015

A guy puts out good information about flag care and people have a problem with it. Gotta love Margate. A city with a combined IQ of 10.

By I do not see it on 05/26/2015

There is a link to the pamphlet in the story. I do not see where it says vote for caggiano like a previous commenter said.

By How the hypocrites have fallen... on 05/26/2015

So why is it ok then for the people running for office to parade themselves around on Independence Day? It's the same principle. We're out there to celebrate our country's independence and, I would hope, remember the sacrifices that people went through to insure our freedom and we have commissioners and challengers making a mockery of that as well. How about not allowing ANY campaigning at any city holiday event. That way no one can cry that it offends them this time, but not another time, or when it suits their political leaning. And by the way, all of you flag bedazzled and draped commissioners that were in parades, you could all read that Flag Code and learn something.

By Ed on 05/26/2015

It's amazing how many of our concerned citizens are so enraged by this incident, so enraged that they are all over Facebook complaining to each other about the disgrace of it all. I just wish they were so adamant about real issues, like the city squandering money, or our 20 year CRA plan to maintain vacant lots. That would be too much work though, let's just go on Facebook and name call and make veiled threats or allude to threats made by others.

By JerryC on 05/26/2015

I also see this as a personal grudge from the last election. What is more disrespectful of Memorial Day: Handing out information about the flag or wrapping oneself in it as a way of getting in a cheap shot? "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3

By Editor on 05/26/2015

Eddie, you wore your CERT shirt at the ceremony and your organization attended with your CERT vehicle. You clearly represented CERT at the ceremony. You asked us to publish a letter from you. We did. You spoke to the literature Caggiano distributed at the event and we published it for readers to see. No "spin" here. Thanks for doing what you do for our city. - Mitch

By Jacob on 05/26/2015

It clearly said "Vote for Caggiano"? Yeah, I don't see it.

By Jacob on 05/26/2015

If you hold a position in the city then you can't really separate yourself from that when complaining about something that will have an effect on city business or future city business. The same way a director of any of our city's departments can't just write in and complain about city hall but say, I'm just a resident today. Is that right or wrong, who knows, but it seems to be the prevailing trend these days to have peoples jobs brought into play when they do something in their personal life.

By Eddie DeCristofaro on 05/26/2015

To the Editor, I sent this article in as a resident, not as a member of CERT, that organization has absolutely nothing to do with this article, so in the future, when I submit a letter or article from me, please do not associate it with CERT unless it is in regards to them. As far as you trying to spin this as a public service Caggiano was doing, nice try but it won't fly with me, as long as he had Caggiano for City Commission on that literature, it was a campaign literature, it didn't need his platform or agenda, but it was a plea for a vote, To jbl.... My whole point in case you missed it, the election is 18 months away and he used a City Event honoring our Military heroes and all of the wonderful Men and Women who gave so much including their lives for political gain, not the right place to campaign, no other candidate or Elected official was there campaigning, he dishonored and disrespected the men and women that we were there to honor...

By on 05/26/2015

Did you people not read the "flag information" It clearly had in it "Vote for Caggiano." YOU DONT CAMPAIGN AT A MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY! ITS A DISGRACE!

By on 05/26/2015

Last time I checked, Memorial day was a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrefice, NOT AS A DAY TO CAMPAIGN! Anthony Caggiano, you sir are a disrespectful, no good, sleezeball! You will never have my vote! How dare you use our nations flag as an excuse to campaign and don't you dare say you didn't! I was so offended that you would campaign on a day that residents (and mind you, some people attending have people in their family that made the ultimate sacrefice) go to mourn the loss of those that did not make it home alive. How dare you campaign at a memorial caeremony, which I went to to remember my grandfather.

By jr1 on 05/26/2015

I am seeing a case of sour grapes. The candidate was smart enough to deliver a proper message during an event. There is no mention of Caggianno's platform or a VOTE FOR ME plea. This guy used his campaign fund to provide information. What if the scouts hand out the same thing? Would this be perceived as a recruiting tool?

By Military Wife on 05/26/2015

My husband is career military. We have lost friends and family members in war. Memorial Day is solemn for us. I looked at the flag handout. I am not offended. It may be classified as advertising, but that point is subtle. The message is about the flag and it is appropriate. Not sure why there is an issue. The only reason it is “political” is because a campaign paid for its printing. How is this any different than elected officials having names printed in the program and speaking?

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