Tag Archives: Barbara Hardemon

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?

Miami-Dade Special Interests Funded Broward PAC Tied To Dale Holness & Keon Hardemon Allies In Miramar

An obscure Broward political committee, with ties to allies of Dale Holness and Keon Hardemon, received most of its funding from political committee operated by a former Miami politician, records show. Founded in September 2019, the Resiliency Coalition political committee raised more than $75,000 to influence Broward elections. Yet, Broward Supervisor of Elections records show most of the money came from a political committee operated by former Miami City Commissoner Marc Sarnoff.

State elections records show the “Truth Is The Daughter Of Time PC” political committee was formed in May 2017. The chairman of the political committee is former Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. Truth Is The Daughter Of Time PC made four contributions totaling $44,000 to the Resiliency Coalition. Sarnoff is a lobbyist with the Shutts Bowen law firm.

Another prominent contributor to the Resiliency Coalition is B and B Professional Consultants Inc of West Park, a company owned by Barbara Hardemon, the lobbyist aunt of Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon. In January, REDBROWARD exposed a growing alliance between Dale Holness and the Hardemon family.

B and B Professional Consultants Inc made contributions to the People Of Principle PAC operated by a Holness campaign guru. In June, REDBROWARD revealed Barbara Hardemon’s financial support of Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis, a close ally of Dale Holness.

REDBROWARD also exposed how Barbara Hardemon formed the “Better Leadership” political committee in May 2021. The timing coincided with the launch of Alexandra Davis’ campaign for a seat on the Broward County Commission.

BROWARD PAC HIRED OPERATIVES TIED TO HARDEMON

In January 2021, the Resiliency Coalition made a $4,000 payment to B and B Professional Consultants Inc.

On February 3, 2021, made a $10,000 payment to The Donner Group in Miami. Two weeks later, Resiliency Coalition paid $5,000 to 527 Advertising LLC of Miami. State records show both companies are owned by Miami political consultant Keith Donner.

Throughout January and February, Resiliency Coalition made payments of $6,137.75, $8917.57, $5,117.75 and $5,993.56 to The Campaign Superstore of Miami. State records show the nearly $21,000 in payments went to a company owned by Charles Safdie, a lobbyist and former executive director of the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

UNFAIR ATTACK ADS TARGETED HARDEMON OPPONENT

In 2020, Keith Donner created an ad campaign attacking an opponent of Keon Hardemon. The Miami Times reported Donner is “longtime ally of the Hardemons, whom he calls his friends and clients.” Even though published reports state the attacks on Haitian activist Gepsie Metellus and her Sant La organization were false, Donner remains proud of his work for Hardemon.

“Had Gepsie not trash-talked the Hardemons, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Donner said. “She would have lost [in the Aug. 18 primary] and the dignity of her organization and reputation would not have been called into question. I’m sure a lot of what I did caused a lot of consternation among Miami’s white garden club members. They were beside themselves. The Hardemons are inviting targets and that’s the nature of the beast, especially in the City of Miami where nothing gets done unless you claw your way to get it done. Welcome to the NFL, Gepsie.”

On Wednesday, even though he easily won the election, Keon Hardemon kept up his attacks on Metellus. The Miami Herald reported Hardemon tried to change the county budget by removing $500,000 earmarked for Sant La, Metellus’ non-profit organization which serves the Haitian community. Hardemon’s move failed but he called for an investigation into Sant La.

Does Broward really want this type of Miami-Dade politics infecting our elections? Too late….

HARDEMON CAMPAIGN TEAM WORKED MIRAMAR RACES

City of Miramar election records show Hardemon’s campaign team worked for candidates in the March 2021 election. Commissioner Maxwell Chamber, another Dale Holness ally, paid $1,087.50 to B and B Professional Consultants Inc. He paid $1,000 to Epic Events Entertainment LLC a West Park company owned by Miramar employee Zakiya Kelley, the daughter of Barbara Hardemon.

But the big bucks for Team Hardemon came from Miramar City Commissioner Yvette Colbourne.

In February, Colbourne made a $10,000 payment to The Donner Group. Colbourne made multiple payments totaling $12,510.99 to The Campaign Superstore of Miami. Both companies received similar payments from the Resiliency Coaltion. One of Colburne’s paid volunteers, Lizca Francois of West Park, was also a paid volunteer of the Resiliency Coaltion.

Loyal readers of REDBROWARD will not be surprised to learn Yvette Colburne made three payments totaling $18,268.44 to B and B Professional Consultants Inc.

REDBROWARD previously revealed how an August 2013 investigation by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission exposed the role Billy and Barbara Hardemon played in City of Miramar politics and Yvette Colbourne’s campaigns. The 2013 complaint alleged Billy Hardemon, then an employee with the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Works and Waste Management (PWWM), spent “substantial amounts of county time, taken without authorized leave, in the City of Miramar, in Broward County…during hours when Hardemon was understood to be working at his Miami-Dade County job.”

What was Billy Hardemon doing in Miramar? According to the complaint, Hardemon attended numerous City of Miramar government meetings as the “de facto chief of staff” for Miramar City Commissioner Yvette Colbourne. (Other employees claimed Hardemon served a similar role with Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis).

In an interview with investigators, Colbourne admitted Billy Hardemon was her “advisor.” She said his role was to advise her and “attend meetings for and with her.” While he assisted with her campaign, Colbourne stated Hardemon was not paid or compensated in anyway.

However, investigators determined Colbourne’s campaign paid $2,000 to B and B Professional Consultants, Inc., a company owned by Barbara Hardemon.

Colbourne told investigators that Billy Hardemon and Barbara Hardemon were members of “Team Colbourne.” As to his employment in Miami-Dade County, Colbourne told investigators, “I felt that was being handled with his superiors.”

The whistleblower claimed Hardemon’s superior, PWWM director Kathleen Woods-Richardson, was fully aware of his violations.

When asked if she was aware of Hardemon working for Yvette Colbourne in Miramar, Woods-Richardson told investigators, “absolutely not!”

Investigators were shocked by Woods-Richardson’s denial. In addition to calling Hardemon a “friend,” Woods-Richardson’s assistant was Yvette Colbourne.

Additionally, the interview with Kathleen Woods-Richardson was held at the Miramar government center. After Colbourne was elected to office, Woods-Richardson was named Miramar City Manager.

While the investigator was not persuaded by the testimony of Colbourne and Woods-Richardson, he could find no evidence that Woods-Richardson “directed” Hardemon to work for Colbourne in order to increase her chances of becoming city manager.

MIRAMAR OFFICIALS PART OF HOLNESS CAMPAIGN TEAM

Now, Yvette Colbourne, Alexandra Davis and Maxwell Chambers are using their clout as Miramar City Commissioners to help get Dale Holness elected to the United States Congress. Holness is seeking the Democratic nomination for the CD 20 seat previously held by Alcee Hastings. Miramar is part of Congressional District 20. This explains Holness appearing alongside the Commission at numerous Miramar City events. Last month, Dale Holness posted photographs of his Miramar group seated at his campaign headquarters in Plantation.

Does Keon Hardemon and the Hardemon family have seats at the Holness table too?

Are the operatives for Hardemon and Colbourne working for the Holness campaign?

Dale Holness and His Miramar Team
Dale Holness, His Miramar Team and the Consul General of Jamaica?!?

Teamwork: Allies From Miami-Dade, Miramar & Tamarac Donate Big Bucks To Dale Holness Congressional Campaign

Team Dale Holness?

On Monday, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness did not want to discuss the details of the money he raised for his U.S. Congressional campaign.

“We’re doing well. God is good. In spite of all this stuff that they might throw at me, I’m doing all right. Thank you,” Holness told the Sun-Sentinel.

No worries Dale. REDBROWARD is more than happy to share the details with the public.

Team Dale Holness™️ assembled from across Miami-Dade, Miramar and Tamarac to fill Dale Holness’ congressional campaign with big bucks, records show. The controversial Broward County Commissioner is seeking to replace the late Alcee Hastings in the United States Congress (CD 20). Last week, the Holness For Congress committee reported more than $300,000 in contributions.

In June, the Holness campaign picked up nearly $6,000 in contributions from relatives of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon. On June 11, 2021, Holness received a $1,000 contribution from Aunt Barbara Hardemon. On June 29th, Barbara chipped in another $1,900 while Uncle Billy Hardemon made a $2,900 contribution.

In January, REDBROWARD revealed the growing alliance between Dale Holness and Keon Hardemon. In October 2020, B and B Professional Consultants, Inc. made a $2,500 contribution to the federal “People of Principle PAC.” REDBROWARD exposed the deep ties between Holness aides and the shady Federal political committee. State business records show B and B Professional Consultants, Inc. is owned by Keon Hardemon’s aunt, Barbara Hardemon.

Last month, REDBROWARD exposed the Hardemon’s ploy to further influence Broward elections.

Records show Hardemon’s aunt, Barbara Hardemon formed the “Better Leadership” political committee in May 2020. The timing appears to coincide with a campaign for a seat on the Broward County Commission by a close ally of Dale Holness.

Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis filed her campaign paperwork for the District 8 seat on the Broward County Commission on May 3, 2021. Barbara Sharief is expected to resign from this County Commission in order to run for U.S. Congress CD 20. In April, Alexandra Davis endorsed Dale Holness in the same CD 20 race.

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 previously reported Aunt Barbara and Uncle 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. which is owned by Aunt Barbara. Davis reports another $1,000 contribution from Barbara Hardemon.

MIRAMAR INC?

Broward Supervisor of Elections records show Barbara Hardemon listed 3900 S.W. 26th Street in West Park as the the address for the “Better Leadership” committee. Barbara and Bill Hardemon live next door at 3840 S.W. 26th Street. Broward property records show the home at 3900 S.W. 26th Street is owned by their daughter, Zakiya Hardemon Kelley.

According to the City of Miramar website, Zakiya Kelley is the assistant director of their cultural affairs division. REDBROWARD asked Zakiya Hardemon Kelley for comment. She did not respond.

This is not the first case of a Hardemon/Miami to City of Miramar political pipeline.

An August 2013 investigation by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission exposed the role Billy and Barbara Hardemon played in City of Miramar politics. The 2013 complaint alleged Billy Hardemon, then an employee with the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Works and Waste Management (PWWM), spent “substantial amounts of county time, taken without authorized leave, in the City of Miramar, in Broward County…during hours when Hardemon was understood to be working at his Miami-Dade County job.”

What was Billy Hardemon doing in Miramar? According to the complaint, Hardemon attended numerous City of Miramar government meetings as the “de facto chief of staff” for Miramar City Commissioner Yvette Colburne. (Other employees claimed Hardemon served a similar role with Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis).

In an interview with investigators, Colburne admitted Billy Hardemon was her “advisor.” She said his role was to advise her and “attend meetings for and with her.” While he assisted with her campaign, Colburne stated Hardemon was not paid or compensated in anyway.

However, investigators determined Colburne’s campaign paid $2,000 to B and B Professional Consultants, Inc., a company owned by Barbara Hardemon.

Colburne told investigators that Billy Hardemon and Barbara Hardemon were members of “Team Colburne.” As to his employment in Miami-Dade County, Colburne told investigators, “I felt that was being handled with his superiors.”

Campaign records show “Team Colburne” definitely backs Team Dale Holness. On June 29, 2021, Yvette Colburne made a $1,000 contribution to Holness for Congress.

In April, Miramar City Attorney Burnadette Norris Weeks and her law partner Michelle Pamies each made $1,000 contributions to Holness for Congress. REDBROWARD has written numerous reports detailing the alliance between Dale Holness and Burnadette Norris Weeks who was the attorney for former Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.

TAMARAC HALL?

In March, REDBROWARD revealed several candidates for the Tamarac city attorney position were linked to the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell law firm owned by Miramar city attorney Burnadette Norris Weeks. Attorneys with Ottinot Law and Michael Garcia P.A. were listed as attorneys on the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks and Powell website. Hans Ottinot was serving as the interim Tamarac city attorney.

Despite the convoluted and undisclosed ties with Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell, Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin defended the Ottinot and Garcia bids.

In June, REDBROWARD revealed Elberg Mike Gelin failed to disclose his business dealings with the City Of Miramar and its city attorneys with the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell law firm.

During his full-throated defense of the Michael Garcia and Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell firms, Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin stated both firms worked for the City of Miramar. But Gelin never mentioned his business relationship with the City of Miramar. According to public records, a company owned by Commissioner Gelin has a lucrative contract with the City of Miramar.

State records show Elberg Mike Gelin formed the company in January 2015. Three years later, the City of Miramar signed a contract for health benefits consulting with Gelin Benefits Group, Inc. The three year deal was set to expire in January 2021.

On January 27, 2021, City of Miramar officials recommended a new deal with Gelin Benefits Group. The first contract awarded $105,000 per year to Gelin Benefits Group. The new deal saw a huge 60% increase for Gelin Benefits Group.

Under the new deal, Miramar taxpayers would pay $165,000 per year to Gelin’s company as well as “$240 hourly for work on an as needed basis.”

In April 2021, Elberg Mike Gelin made a $1,000 contribution to Dale Holness’ congressional campaign. Gelin’s wife Shaheewa Jarret Gelin also gave Holness For Congress a $1,000 contribution. Hans Ottinot, the then-interim Tamarac city attorney gave $1,500 to Holness For Congress.

In June, Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin chipped in another $1,000 to to the Holness campaign. And even though he did not land the lucrative Tamarac city attorney job, Hans Ottinot still gave $1,000 to Dale Holness.

Talk about teamwork….