Official State and local records show the political committee of State Senator Christopher L. Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) contributed money to a shadowy political committee in Broward. Last week, REDBROWARD exposed the role the secretive “Alliance for Better Governance (ABG)” political committtee played in the March 2015 Miramar city commission elections. The committee spent tens of thousands of dollars on the elections, but campaign reports listed fictitious names and addresses for donors and campaign workers.
According to campaign reports filed with the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE), the “Alliance for Better Governance” received five contributions from the Miami consultant “ABCD” located at 12345, Miami FL 33027. This “consultant” made contributions of $7000, $1500, $750, $1000 and $1800 between February 19, and March 9, 2015.
Roderick C. Kemp, the contact person for the “Alliance for Better Governance,” is a close associate of Alexandra Davis, a former Miramar city commissioner. Records show Kemp registered the domain name “voteforAlexandra.com” in December 2013. Davis used this domain name for her campaign website during the March 2015.
When contacted by REDBROWARD, Kemp admitted the political committee worked to get Davis elected. He said, “We helped [Davis] and lots of municipal candidates.” Kemp said he registered the domain name when Davis “needed an email address.”
As for the fictitious names and addresses, Kemp said the person who filed the reports for him “must have made a mistake.” Kemp promised to fix the mistake.
The very day REDBROWARD reported the story, “Alliance for Better Governance” submitted an amended report with the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office. This new report raises more questions than it answers. The donors include the relatives of a Miami-Dade County Commissioner and the political committee of State Senator Chris Smith.
ABG claims it received two contributions from B&B Professional Consulting Inc of West Park. Once again, the address given for B&B Professional Consulting Inc is fictitious. State of Florida records show the corporation is based at 3840 SW 26th Street, not 3649 SW 26th Street. The company is owned by Billy and Barbara Hardemon, the uncle and aunt of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon. According to the Miami Herald, the Hardemons are longtime Liberty City political powerbrokers.
Could this be another simple “mistake” by the person filling out the forms? Perhaps. However it is not the only fictitious address on the amended report.
ABG reports a $1,000 contribution on March 2, 2015 by Florida’s Future. The report claims Florida’s Future is located at “3316 HOLLYWOOD BLVD. HOLLYWOOD, FL 33021.”
According to IRS records, Florida’s Future is located at 3816 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood.
Last week, the Miami Herald reported how Florida’s Future funded the travel and dining expenses of State Sen. Chris Smith. Records were murkier at Florida’s Future, a political action committee operated by Smith, the Senate’s former minority leader from Fort Lauderdale. Expense filings were not matched with individuals. Committee treasurer Roderick Harvey, a CPA, blamed the tax season for a two-month delay in responding to a media inquiry to break down charges.
Smith told the Miami Herald his committee funded “voter outreach in Broward.”
“Smith said all expenses were related to the committee’s voter outreach in Broward County and ‘not for a particular candidate.’”
The Herald reported the PAC’s registered purpose, which it is required to file with the Florida Secretary of State, is “supporting candidates who believe in creating a solid foundation for Florida’s Future.” When the reporter asked Smith why the committee spent money on outreach and dining instead of spending on a candidate, Smith said, “I honestly don’t know. I need to check that out.”
Last week, the Florida Division of Elections sent an audit letter to Florida’s Future regarding its March contribution to the “Alliance for Better Governance.” Florida’s Future listed a March 2, 2015 expenditure to “Alliance For Better Government.” It failed to include legally required information including the address, City, State, and expenditure purpose.
Florida’s Future has seven days to respond to avoid a violation of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.