Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus McCormick is suing her opponent Dale Holness and his campaign aide over nasty fundraising text messages. McCormick’s lawyers, Michael Pizzi and Benedict Kuehne, filed the libel lawsuit Wednesday in Broward County Circuit Court. The lawsuit names Holness and his former Broward County Commission aide Justin Porter.
REDBROWARD received a copy of the text message on Tuesday. It started as a typical fundraising text message—“Justin with the Dale Holness campaign” urged supporters to help Holness reach a money goal before a midnight deadline.
Then, according to McCormick, the libel begins. “We don’t need to embezzle $6 million dollars to buy a seat in Congress,” Porter wrote. “Our opponent may think she can do that. (She probably needs to do so to win).” McCormick was never accused of embezzlement.
Porter continued, “We don’t need to lie and steal our way to victory.”
As REDBROWARD previously reported, Justin Porter is not a mere campaign volunteer. Porter may be the highest paid operative on the Holness campaign payroll. In Dale Holness’ eyes, Porter definitely is ready for prime time.
On June 3, 2021 Justin Porter of Pembroke Pines filed documents forming Primetime Strategies LLC. According to his social media accounts, Justin Porter worked for Commissioner Dale Holness for more than two years. From November 2019 to November 2020, Porter served as Holness’ “VIP Intern/Political Consultant.” Porter became Holness’ commission aide in December 2020. County campaign reports show Porter was paid $3,300 for work on Holness’ 2020 re-election campaign.
Just one month after forming Primetime Strategies, it received the first of fifteen payments from the Dale Holness for Congress campaign. The Holness campaign paid $37,281 to Porter’s brand new company for consulting fees, campaign operations and data management.
Primetime Strategies received multiple monthly payments between July 2021 and December 2021.
These payments have continued through June 2022.
Plenty of money to hire a lawyer.
Perhaps Dale Holness can recommend the lawyers representing his daughter Damara Holness and Omar Smith, his campaign guru?
It was a hit piece. If none of it is true, it appears that Holness is in trouble. This is my Congressional District! I support Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick. She is out in the community helping constituents, visiting neighborhoods, and offering information. It is time to focus on constituents, Rep Cherfilus-McCormick is doing that!
This kind of rhetoric has no place in our politics. If you want to be the next congressperson, tell the people your ideas and let us make our own decision.