At numerous debates, Fort Lauderdale City Commission District 4 candidate Warren Sturman gives a holier-than-thou speech how he is not “beholden” to lobbyists and campaign consultants. Sturman wants voters to believe he is above using lobbyists and consultants to get elected. Sturman says he is running for the good of his Rio Vista neighborhood . So what did Warren Sturman do?
Sturman hired a Republican lobbyist/consulting firm in Tallahassee.
Campaign records show Warren Sturman paid $2,750 to Civility Management, Inc of Orlando for “consulting” work.
Florida Business records show Civility Management is owned by lobbyist Wayne Bertsch of Tallahassee.
Published reports and State Legislature records show Civility Management lobbied for clients before the executive and legislative branches of Florida Government.
In a statement to REDBROWARD Sturman said:
“I stand by my previous statement that I’m not beholden to lobbyists or special interests. There is a big difference between my opponents accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists & special interests who want things from the city, and hiring a Tallahassee professional for campaign strategies, tactics and advice. The difference is who works for who. I will work for the neighborhoods-just like I always have.”
As REDBROWARD previously reported, Warren Sturman is not the only hypocrite in the District 4 race.
At these same debates, Ben Sorensen claims to be an independent voice with no ties to developers. When asked about ties to lobbyists or consultants, Sorensen used a popular dodge. He said he was his own campaign manger with a “team of volunteers.”
In November, REDBROWARD reported on Sorensen’s ties to the controversial Fort Lauderdale lobbyist Judy Stern. In 2014, Sorensen was a Democratic Party candidate for the Florida House District 100 seat serving Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and parts of Miami.
Published reports from 2014 documented how shadowy political action committees attacked Sorensen’s Democrat opponent, Joe Geller. When asked about the PAC support, Sorensen told the Sun Sentinel, “I want to be the representative of everyone in District 100…not just the Democrats.”
Despite his claims to be an “independent voice,” Ben Sorensen funded his 2014 State House race with thousands of dollars from special interests and political committees. According to campaign treasurer reports, Sorensen received $1,000 contributions from Disney companies including Walt Disney Travel, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Photo Imaging and Magic Kingdom, Inc.
Why are special interests from Orlando and Tallahassee so interested in the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission race?
Fort Lauderdale voters deserve answers before the January 16th primary.
***UPDATED from previous version to include statement from Warren Sturman***