Obit: Amadeo "Trinchi" Trinchitella, 87, Broward, FL recalled fondly for political clout #19


Broward County Democratic powerhouse Amadeo ''Trinchi'' Trinchitella died
Friday afternoon.

The former New York Night Club Owner, after retiring to Florida, organized
Senor citizens into a potent political force, became a Deerfield Beach
Commissioner, and ultimate political kingmaker.

Trinchitella's blessing was sought by countless candidates, whether they
were running for the White House or the Florida House.Former vice president
Al Gore and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton lit up when Trinchitella's name
was mentioned.

''People in Washington knew Trinchi,'' he said. ``They may not have know
the local senators or cabinet members, but they knew Trinchi.''

Trinchitella, 87, had fallen and broke his hip while at a commission
meeting, and suffered a massive heart attack on Thursday.


Palm Beach Post
By Jane Musgrave
Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 09, 2005

DEERFIELD BEACH It was on the eve of President Clinton's often X-rated
impeachment hearings and U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler was worried about how far
he should go to defend the president's immoral acts.

Clinton, Wexler said, understood his dilemma.
"You need to talk to Trinchi," Clinton told the Delray Beach Democrat.

Standing in St. Ambrose Catholic Church Tuesday, Wexler recalled Trinchi's
expletive-laced advice to support Clinton.

It was vintage Trinchi, according to Wexler and hundreds of other
politicians, bureaucrats and just common folks who turned out to say their
final goodbyes to Amadeo "Trinchi" Trinchitella, who died Friday at age 87.

The man, who built an unparalleled political machine that reached to the
Oval Office, was decisive, direct and, more often than not, he was right,
Wexler said.

"The world lost one of the greatest, yet unassuming, political giants of
our time," Dr. Michael Chizner, Mr. Trinchitella's cardiologist, said in an
emotional eulogy.

Such sentiments might be dismissed easily as funereal hyperbole, but the
faces in the pews of the prodigious church on South Federal Highway
underscored Chizner's words.

>From Broward County Sheriff (and former State Rep.) Ken Jenne, to former
Florida Senate President (and current Broward County Commissioner) Jim
Scott, to former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, those assembled
were a Who's Who of Broward County politicos.

But as Wexler and other south Palm Beach County politicians attested, Mr.
Trinchitella's influence extended far beyond the Broward County line.

"When I ran for state representative, a seat that didn't touch Broward
County, I went to see him," said state Sen. Ron Klein, D-Delray Beach.

That Clinton called Wexler "Trinchi's congressman" speaks volumes about the
influence the former Yonkers, N.Y., nightclub owner wielded.

"He didn't know my name, but he knew Trinchi," Wexler said of his first,
and several subsequent meetings, with the president.

Mr. Trinchitella, a longtime Deerfield Beach city commissioner, was the
ultimate political kingmaker who set the stage for others throughout the

His death, most said, signals an end to an era he created, a time when the
word "condo commando" was synonymous with the political might of retirees.

His arrival in South Florida in 1976 coincided with a period of explosive
growth. He organized the newly arrived retirees, turning them into a force
no political hopeful could ignore.

Wexler said Mr. Trinchitella's feat is unlikely to be repeated. "The area
is too big," he said.

Further, he said, Mr. Trinchitella, who never asked for any personal
favors, was a rarity.

"His voice was gruff, his words were very colorful," Chizner said. "He was,
however, an extremely kind, considerate big-hearted man."

Trinchitella's death is a a jolting reminder of the fading of a generation
that made Broward County one of the biggest Democratic strongholds in the
nation. Thousands of those union-label, FDR-loyal Democratic retirees have
died in the past decade, slowly eroding the county's power to swing state
and national elections.

More importantly, said U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, who traveled from Tampa to pay
his respects, Mr. Trinchitella had a gift that eludes all but a select few.

"He understood power and understood how to use it," he said.