Tag Archives: alexandra davis

Team Holness Stuck Using Broward Benchwarmers After Powerful Friends Abandon His Campaign Kickoff

The Dale Holness For Congress campaign promised a who’s who of powerful Broward leaders would attend his kickoff event on Tuesday evening. The flyers and emails boasted about the big names on Holness’ “host committee” while urging supporters to join them for a mere $10,000 campaign contribution. The host committee included Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, Broward Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman, Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and even Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton.

Just one problem.

None of these powerful leaders showed up. Not a single one. They did not even send representatives to speak on their behalf.

When it came time to introduce Dale Holness, the emcee asked Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin to come to the podium. Oops, Gelin was not in attendance.

Instead, Team Holness relied on mere benchwarmers, C-listers among Broward’s elected officials, to introduce the former County Commissioner.

Backbenchers like Oakland Park Commissioner Mitch Rosenwald, Anthony Arserio of Margate and Lauderhill Commissioner Ray Martin sang the praises of Holness. Needless to say, these men did little to fire up the crowd gathered in the parking lot outside of Holness’ real estate office in Plantation.

Last year, Dale Holness was considered the front runner to replace Alcee Hastings in Congress. Holness’ campaign kickoff for that race drew three times the crowd, multiple media outlets as well as members of the Broward political elite.

But after losing to newcomer Sheila Cherfilus McCormick by five votes, Holness is a just another civilian with hopes of roaming the halls of Congress in Washington D.C.

Broward’s ruling class has abandoned him. The media covering his event was limited to the Sun-Sentinel and one television station.

Only one Broward Democrat party activist attended the festivities.

Holness’ daughter, Damara, was a no-show. Even Holness’ longtime “campaign guru” Omar Smith was absent.

But Dale Holness was not all alone.

Elberg Mike Gelin was very late. He made it just as the food was being served.

Tamarac Post founder Anthony Bonamy, a Holness aide, was in the crowd. Justin Porter, another former commission aide, was at Holness’ side.

Yet, the enthusiasm was missing. The loudest cheers came when the Stranahan High School basketball team was introduced.

Bobby DuBose Running For Broward County Commission

Former State Representative Bobby DuBose is running for a seat on the Broward County Commission. DuBose gave up his seat in the State House to run for U.S. Congress. DuBose failed to place in top 3 of the Democrat primary to replace the late Alcee Hastings.

Last month, DuBose aide and campaign manager Daryl Campbell was elected to his former Florida House seat.

DuBose, a former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, faces another crowded primary for the District 8 County Commission seat.

His Democrat opponents include Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Robert McKinzie and Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis (D-Holness).

Bobby DuBose

Broward PAC Operated By Relatives Of Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon Received More Than $111K In Days Before Controversial Calusa Golf Course Vote

A Broward political committee operated by relatives of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon received more than $111,000 from Miami based special interests just days before a vote rezoning the Calusa Golf Course, records show. In June, REDBROWARD exposed the growing “unholy alliance” between Keon Hardemon and controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. Records showed Hardemon’s aunt, Barbara Hardemon formed the “Better Leadership” political committee in May. In its first five months, the Hardemon political committee pulled in just $12,000 in contributions.

But in October, Better Leadership reported a whopping $111,500 from twenty-one contributors. Nineteen of the twenty-one contributions came from Miami-Dade County. One contribution came from Palm Beach while another was made by a construction company based in New York City. Not a single contribution to the Broward-based Better Leadership political committee came from Broward County.

Zero, zip, nada.

Why were so many Miami developers, architects, construction companies and lawyers giving money to a Broward PAC?

In June, REDBROWARD reported the creation of the Better Leadership PAC appeared to coincide with Alexandra Davis’ campaign for a seat on the Broward County Commission. Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis filed her campaign paperwork for the District 8 seat on the Broward County Commission on May 3, 2021. She is a close ally of Dale Holness.

On May 7, 2021, Barbara Hardemon filed the “Better Leadership” paperwork with the Broward Supervisor of Elections office. Hardemon stated the committee would “support local issues” in Miami-Dade and Broward. REDBROWARD revealed Barbara and her husband Billy were already supporting Alexandra Davis’ campaign.

In her first campaign treasurer’s report, Alexandra Davis lists a $1,000 contribution from B&B Professional Consultants Inc. State business records show B and B Professional Consultants, Inc. is owned by Barbara Hardemon. Davis reports another $1,000 contribution from Barbara Hardemon.

But with the County Commission nearly a year away, would these Miami special interests flood a pro-Davis PAC with so much cash?

The timing of these large contributions suggests they may be related to issues before the Miami-Dade County Commission not the Broward County Commission.

BETTER LEADERSHIP IN BROWARD OR MIAMI-DADE?

Broward Supervisor of Elections records show twenty of the twenty-one contributions were made on October 28, 2021. On November 17, 2021 Keon Hardemon and the Miami-Dade County Commission voted to allow construction of 550 homes on the Calusa Golf Course in Kendall. Residents objected to turning the golf course, a nature preserve in a existing community, into a giant development.

The developers were represented by the Bilzin Sumberg law firm. On its website, Bilzin Sumberg brags how it worked to get a restrictive covenant removed which paved the way for the 550 homes.

Election records show Bilzin Sumberg and eight of its lawyers made $9,000 in contributions to Better Leadership on October 28, 2021.

REDBROWARD reached out the the lawyers at Bilzin Sumberg to ask about the contributions to the Better Leadership political committee. Anthony De Yurre, a partner at Bilzin Sumberg said he could not recall why he gave the Broward PAC a $1,000 contribution. When asked if he spoke with Barbara Hardemon about the contribution, De Yurre said, “no.”

When asked if the Bilzin Sumberg contributions were tied to their work on the Calusa Golf Course matter, De Yurre said, “no comment” and ended the call.

Who asked for the Better Leadership contributions? Why did Miami lawyers give their hard earned cash to a Broward PAC? Giving money to a Better Leadership is perfectly legal, so why is it so hard to recall the specifics from one month ago?

Attorney David Winker, who represents residents opposed to the Calusa redevelopment plans, did not seem shocked by the contributions. “Listen, Commissioners [Joe] Martinez and [Sally] Heyman openly spoke about knowing that the fix was in,” Winker said. “Democracy is not working when Commissioners are openly speaking about the fact that the hearing is a waste of time because approval was a foregone conclusion.”

Winker said Commissioner should disclose any money received before they vote. “At the end of the day, everyone in favor of this was paid,” Winker said.

Calls to the Better Leadership political committee went unanswered.

Do Broward voters want this Miami style of government coming here?

Is the Hardemon family really offering Better Leadership to Broward residents?