Broward Republicans wonder why tea party favorite Julio Gonzalez, Broward Circuit Court (Circuit 17 Group 45), is paying well-connected Democrats like Judy Stern, uber-lobbyist and salami sandwich doyenne, Helen Hinton, mother of Fl State Senator Chris Smith and Andre Eggelletion, brother of disgraced Broward Commissioner Joe Eggelletion.
Florida Division of Elections records show multiple payments by the Gonzalez campaign to Judith Stern Consulting. Back in February, Gonzalez paid Stern $337.75 for “postage reimbursement.” In April, he paid Stern $3,500 for “consulting”. An August 2012 payment of $2,000 was made for “community outreach.” Finally, on September 7, 2012 Gonzalez gave Judy $1,575 for “marketing.”
Even with Obama in office, $7,412.75 will buy you a lot of salami.
On August 13, 2012 Julio Gonzalez paid Helen Hinton $3,200 for “community outreach”. Ms. Hinton, the mother of Fl State Senator Chris Smith, was the director of Ebony Strategies. Chris Smith, the incoming Democrat leader of the State Senate, is reviled by Florida Republicans. He is being challenged by newcomer Chris Smithmyer.
Ms. Hinton serves as the director of Friends of Act-So along with Yvette Du Bose, wife of Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bobby Du Bose. Published reports indicate Commissioner Du Bose may have text conversations with Judy Stern during Commission meetings.
The Gonzalez campaign paid Andre Eggelletion $500 for “recording for radio.” Eggelletion, a controversial local radio DJ, is the brother of disgraced Broward Commissioner Joe Eggelletion. In 2009, Andre was pulled into the bribery investigation which lead to Joe Eggs spending nearly 2 years in prison. According to the South Florida Times, “State prosecutors are investigating to determine if local radio talk show host Andre Eggelletion may have accepted money on behalf of his brother from companies that had business before the county commission, according to sources. Prosecutors are seeking to determine what work Andre Eggelletion’s National Jingle Company performed for Prestige Homes of South Florida, Inc., and whether any of the money from the developer went to Josephus Eggelletion, possibly as a concealed bribe, sources said.” Andre Eggelletion was not charged.
Judy Stern, a staunch defender defender of Joe Eggelletion, was reportedly so angered by Broward State Attorney Mike Satz’s role in the Eggelletion prosecution that she backed his Democrat challenger in the August primary. Stern told the media “‘When someone has been there since 1976, I think we need a fresh approach to the operation.’” Chris Mancini, Satz’s challenger, attempted to get Joe an early release from prison. Eggelletion was released in July.
In August Gonzalez paid $1,500 to “Duke of Earle” for a “radio spot.” Bevan Earle, a director for the inactive Duke of Earle Group, is no stranger to Broward politics. In 2008, he received thousands of dollars for “media” work on Scott Israel’s failed campaign for Broward Sheriff. Who ran Scott Israel’s 2008 campaign?
Yep, Judy Stern. Israel 2008 campaign records show payments of $20,300 to Stern.
Gonzalez is hoping his Republican and Tea Party support will carry him back to the Broward bench in November. However, some of his supporters are beginning to wonder if his paid campaign team, coupled with his employment at Rothstein, Rosenfeldt Adler will undermine his Republican support.