The political operative behind the “A Better Florida For All” political committee has been exposed as an Andrew Gillum campaign staffer. In undercover video posted Wednesday by Project Veritas, Omar Smith claims to be a college friend of Gillum. In the video, Smith says Gillum is, “Part of the crazy, crazy, crazies.” Another Gillum operative claims the Tallahassee Mayor plans to ban guns if elected.
In January 2018, REDBROWARD was first to expose the deep ties between Omar Smith and controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. Both men played roles in Dean Trantalis’ Mayoral campaign.
December 2017 City of Fort Lauderdale campaign records show Dean Trantalis’ mayoral campaign hired Sophia Nelson, another consultant tied to County Commissioner Dale Holness. On December 13th, Trantalis paid $1,357 to SA Nelson And Associates for “marketing.” According to Florida business records, SA Nelson and Associates is owned by Sophia A. Nelson.
Florida Division Of Elections records show Sophia A. Nelson is the chairperson of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee. The address for this political committee is the same address found on a December pro-Trantalis email sent to Fort Lauderdale voters by “FlyerSmith.”
Division of Elections records show Omar Smith is the treasurer of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee.
Florida Business records show FlyerSmith is a fictitious name name tied to A Star For I, Inc. owned and operated by Omar M. Smith at 2930 Okeechobee Road in West Palm Beach. Campaign records show FlyerSmith has done extensive work for Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. For his 2016 re-election campaign, Dale Holness paid Flyer Smith $15,161 for marketing, flyers, IT services and consulting.
On December 7, 2017 A Better Florida For All hosted a fundraiser for Dean Trantalis. According to an announcement posted on the group’s Facebook page, the A Better Florida For All event was being held at 4325 West Sunrise Boulevard in Plantation. This is the address for All Broward Realty, a company owned by Dale Holness.
Holness has used his office as his own campaign headquarters as well as a base of operations for many of his favored candidates.
ENDORSEMENT CARD THREATENS JUDICIAL CANDIDATES
Earlier this month, Buddy Nevins of Broward Beat wrote about four local judicial candidates appearing on an endorsement card produced by A Better Florida For All. The card promotes Democrat candidates most notably Andrew Gillum. Nevins wrote, “Four Broward lawyers running for judge could end up in trouble for appearing to violate state Code of Ethics for judicial candidates. Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited.”
According to Nevins, the four Broward candidates who appear to be violating the Code of Ethics are Stefanie Camille Moon, Jackie Powell, Tanner Demmery and Haccord James Curry.
In follow up stories, Stefanie Moon tried to claim she never authorized the card. Nevins wrote, “Suddenly realizing she has a serious problem, Moon’s campaign committee is dissembling. They are sprinkling fairy dust everywhere in the hope the controversy will go away.”
Last week, Omar Smith spoke to the Sun-Sentinel about the palm card controversy. Smith “insisted this week that none of the candidates were picked because of financial ties to the political action committee or to any of Smith’s businesses, which perform campaign services.”
“Those payments had nothing to do with his appearance on that flier,” Smith said.
When REDBROWARD tried to ask Tanner Demmery about the endorsement card at early voting, he ran away after asking other volunteers to call police.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
Campaign records show Tanner Demmery paid Murry Robinson $2,100 to install campaign signs. Robinson was featured on The A Better Florida For All website as the group’s political director. Jackie Powell and Haccord James Curry also paid Murry Robinson. But most of the money was paid to Omar Smith or companies owned by Smith.
Jackie Powell only paid $1,950 to Smith. Stefanie Camille Moon paid $10,715.64 to Omar Smith. The big spender among the judicial candidates was Haccord James Curry. Campaign records show paid $33,378.47 to Omar Smith and his companies.
But Omar Smith’s biggest paycheck was $50,000 from the Andrew Gillum campaign.
Late last week, the State of Florida revoked the registration of A Better Florida For All. Smith failed to properly submit paper to the Florida Division Of Elections. Attempts to contact Smith failed.
Since the committee is no longer a legal entity, legal steps were made to keep the card from being distributed to voters.
On Wednesday, Buddy Nevins reported, “Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and two Sunrise candidates have been threatened with legal action if they continue to distribute a phony endorsement card from a non-existing group.”
Sunrise Commissioner Neil Kerch served notice on Wednesday:
I am in receipt of evidence that during the week of October 22, 2018 through October 29, 2018 you have distributed, disseminated or continue to distribute and/or disseminate a Campaign Flyer that was paid for by the political committee that is registered under the name of A BETTER FLORIDA FOR ALL (69720). You are hereby on Notice that a Final Order by the State of Florida, Department of State has cancelled said registration as of October 24, 2018….
“Pursuant to Florida Law, you are hereby notified to “Cease and Desist” all further distribution and/or dissemination of said Campaign Flyer. Evidence of distribution, dissemination and false claims that said flyer is the Official 2018 Broward Democratic Voters Guide will continue to be gathered.
“All future violations will be dealt with in full accordance of the law. Said evidence may be forwarded to the Broward Democratic Party, the Florida Commission of Ethics, the Broward Inspector General Office, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, and any other interested Government Agency for Review. Furthermore, you may be subject to a Civil Lawsuit for damages, attorney fees and costs.
“Please Govern Yourself Accordingly,
“Law Offices of Neil C. Kerch LLC.”