City records show the Associate Director of Community Engagement and Legislative Affairs for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) was the paid campaign manager for Dean Trantalis’ 2018 Mayor campaign. On March 13, 2018, Trantalis defeated fellow Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts. But visitor logs show Trantalis met with AHF CEO Michael Weinstein before the election to discuss the group’s controversial 16-story development near the Rio Vista neighborhood.
Before the January 2018 primary, Jason King was listed as Trantalis’ campaign manager. During November and December 2017, King received more than $4,300 from Dean Trantalis’ campaign.
City lobbyist visitation logs show Dean Trantalis meeting with AHF representatives six times to discuss the project. On February 8, 2018, then-Commissioner Trantalis met with Michael Weinstein at J. Marks restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. The logs show AHF lobbyist Stephanie Toothaker attended the meeting. There is no mention of Jason King attending this meeting.
Trantalis met with AHF representatives five more times after his mayoral victory. The meetings were held at local restaurants in May, June, October and November.
According to a Facebook post, Jason left his position at AHF in May 2018. He is currently the Assistant to the Homestead City Manager.
Other social media posts document Trantalis’ close ties to Jason King. In 2016, both men ran on same ticket to be delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Later that year, both men attended an event at The White House.
Trantalis appointed King to influential City of Fort Lauderdale Committees.
Earlier this year, Trantalis and King attended the “March For Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C.
Did Jason King ever discuss the AHF project with Dean Trantalis?
In a message to a constituent on Friday, Mayor Trantalis attempted to downplay his role in the AHF project. Trantalis said he, “Met many potential investors who look to Ft. Lauderdale and AHF is one of them.” Trantalis said he encouraged them to submit a proposal.
How many other “investors” had employees working for the Trantalis campaign?
Did Trantalis discuss Jason King when he met with Weinstein (King’s boss) in February?
Fort Lauderdale residents deserve answers, right?