Aide For Miami-Dade State Senator Annette Taddeo Launches Coral Springs Political Action Committee

An aide for State Senator Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) recently created a political committee apparently tied to the upcoming Coral Springs city commission election. State records show the “Coral Springs Community Strong” political committee was created on May 20, 2019 by David Geller. He is listed as the chairman and treasurer of the PAC. According to the documents filed with the Florida Division Of Elections, the committee is located at 1221 South 21st Avenue in Hollywood, Florida.

This is the same address used by the Barreiro, Geller, Wahid (BGW) lobbying firm.

Last week, REDBROWARD revealed Coral Springs city commission candidate Khurrum Wahid hid his role as a lobbyist from voters. None of Wahid’s campaign materials list his lobbyist work. However, the website for his law firm trumpets Wahid’s lobbyist role.

Mr. Wahid is also a partner at Barreiro Geller and Wahid Consulting, a lobbying firm…. lobbies local, state, and federal government agencies in order to leverage relationships for the benefit of corporate interests. Additionally, BGW Consulting manages several elected officials public images and election efforts.

David Geller was Wahid’s partner at BGW Consulting. The Wahid campaign did not respond to questions regarding his lobbying or clients.

An entry on his vanity website, KhurrumWahid.com, mentions a new lobbying group–“Axcis Partners Government Affairs Consulting.” According to State records, Axcis Partners is owned by Gus Barreiro, Khurrum Wahid and Adam Geller, the brother of David Geller.

Adam Geller’s firm, Geller Tamayo, uses the same Hollywood address as the “Coral Springs Community Strong” political committee.

State Senator Annette Taddeo has endorsed Khurrum Wahid, but is she aware her aide started a political committee?

DARK MONEY COMES TO CORAL SPRINGS?

Will “Coral Springs Community Strong” attack Khurrum Wahid’s five opponents for seat 2? Earlier this month, REDBROWARD reported a Wahid campaign official blasted candidate Diane Gonzalez Simpson for using a Sun-Sentinel article about the election. Alissa Jean Schafer blasted Simpson for “feeding into the fear mongering” by “sharing this racist article.”

Even though the Simpson Facebook advertisement made no mention of Khurrum Wahid, Schafer believed the sharing of a newspaper story could lead to violence. Schaefer wrote, “This is downright shameful at best, and dangerous at worst. We already know that spreading hateful fear-mongering rumors can lead to devastating violence, we have far too many recent examples.”

Not only does Alissa Schafer, an elected official, thinks the Sun-Sentinel story could lead to violence, she falsely claimed the Sun-Sentinel apologized for the story.

In response to the REDBROWARD story, Lisa Huriash, the Sun-Sentinel reporter who wrote about the candidates said no apology was made to Khurrum Wahid. Huriash wrote, “Hello. I just want to set the record straight here. Yes, we did update the story after a candidate, Khurrum Wahid, issued a response, including why he has represented terrorism suspects. We did this out of fairness, to provide more explanation and context. The first story was accurate, and we never apologized for it. That’s the full truth. Thank you for allowing me to share it.”

Once again, the Wahid campaign refused to respond to the controversy or apologize to Huriash.

Will “Coral Springs Community Strong” spread fake news like Schafer?

Will “Coral Springs Community Strong” fund mailers or palm cards for the June 18th election?

REDBROWARD asked David Geller to comment, we will update story if he responds.

Coral Springs voters deserve answers from Khurrum Wahid, right?

Coral Springs Candidate Khurrum Wahid Wants To Use “Behavior Modification” To Reshape City

Forget free will. City Commission candidate Khurrum Wahid stunned some Coral Springs residents when he called for “behavior modification” as a solution to city problems.

When a Coral Springs resident asked about transportation solutions at a recent voter forum, most of the candidates for the upcoming city commission seat 2 election gave familiar answers. One talked about solving traffic congestion at the busy intersection of Sample Road and University Drive. Other candidates described transportation options in big cities and density studies. Candidate Shawn Cerra recounted talking to residents on a recent ride across Broward county on a bus. But candidate Khurrum Wahid stunned voters with his call for “behavior modification,” ride share subsidies and electric bicycles as a solution for Coral Springs.

Wahid called on the city to work on “behavior modification” as a solution to transportation problems. He said, “Right now, we have too many cars driving around. So we need to start designing a city for the city we want.”

Mentioning his business interests in technology consulting, Wahid told residents to follow California’s testing of autonomous buses as a possible solution along with the use of electric-powered bicycles. Wahid called for the City to pay for senior citizens use ride-share (UBER/LYFT) options.

Wahid gave no plan on how he would pay for these options.

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION VS FREE WILL

According to The Atlantic, “B. F. Skinner’s notorious theory of behavior modification was denounced by critics 50 years ago as a fascist, manipulative vehicle for government control. But Skinner’s ideas are making an unlikely comeback today, powered by smartphone apps that are transforming us into thinner, richer, all-around-better versions of ourselves. The only thing we have to give up? Free will.”

Basically, Skinner believed human behavior could be controlled by reinforcements–positive or negative. Think of the “carrot and the stick” analogy. Good behavior is rewarded. Bad behavior is punished.

Do Coral Springs residents want to give up their free will to city politicians?

How would Khurrum Wahid “punish” the bad behavior of residents?

Who says Khurrum Wahid knows what is good?

How does Khurrum Wahid know there are too many cars in Coral Springs? What is the correct number of cars? What would he do to residents with cars? Buy them back? Force them to give them up?

To paraphrase Jon Snow, what about all the other Coral Springs residents who think they know what is good?

Last month, REDBROWARD exposed Khurrum Wahid’s call for changing Coral Springs. Wahid said:

We can make history. We can change the City of Coral Springs and continue the work [progressive candidate] Nancy [Metayer] started and you’re all supporting. A lot of folks are very excited about this campaign because we’re going to move Coral Springs–more progressive, more in a way that is going to give us all more of a voice, better opportunity. This is a diverse city and it has to start looking more diverse in its leadership. It has to start speaking to those voices that are currently not being heard.

Will Coral Springs voters give control to Khurrum Wahid on June 18th?

Khurrum Wahid Hiding Role As Lobbyist From Coral Springs Voters

City commission candidate Khurrum Wahid continues to hide key details about his resume from Coral Springs voters. Last week, REDBROWARD detailed how Wahid failed to list his role as legal advisor for the Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on his campaign website. While Wahid vaguely touted his experience as a civil rights lawyer, the Sun-Sentinel detailed his work as defense counsel to numerous terrorism suspects, some with ties to al-Qaeda. REDBROWARD exposed the Wahid campaign’s bullying of the Sun-Sentinel. One Wahid campaign supporter even falsely claimed the newspaper reporter apologized to Wahid.

Khurrum Wahid’s official website still does not reflect his longtime role with CAIR. The site says Wahid is a, “Longtime civil rights advocate…and has spent the better part of the last 20 years defending human rights and devoting his time to community and public service.” The Wahid campaign page on Facebook lists his roles with other organizations such as the Emgage political committee, the Florida Bar, the Kosyak Minority Mentoring Foundation and the Miami Coalition Of Christians And Jews. But Coral Springs voters will not find any information about of Khurrum Wahid’s other line of work–lobbyist.

While the Sun-Sentinel story called Wahid’s Emgage (formerly Emerge) an “American Muslim lobbying organization,” it is clear his role as a lobbyist goes beyond civil rights issues. As a lobbyist, Khurrum Wahid handles “corporate interests” and even politicians.

The website for the Wahid Vizcaino law firm states:

Mr. Wahid is also a partner at Barreiro Geller and Wahid Consulting, a lobbying firm…. lobbies local, state, and federal government agencies in order to leverage relationships for the benefit of corporate interests. Additionally, BGW Consulting manages several elected officials public images and election efforts.

State records show Wahid formed the company with David Geller, a local attorney who works with State Rep. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) and Gus Barreiro, a former Republican elected official from Miami Dade county in January 2016.

The link for BGW Consulting redirects visitors to the KhurrumWahid.com website. This is his personal website, not the official campaign website provided to voters. No information regarding BGW Consulting is provided.

But the Koyzak Minority Mentoring Foundation states, “[Board member] Khurrum [Wahid] is also a partner at Barreiro, Geller and Wahid, which provides lobbying and strategic advice to clients while incorporating social media and graphic design solutions.”

Also listed on the Khurrum Wahid website is an entry for “Axcis Partners Government Affairs Consulting.” No details other than “coming soon” are provided.

The Axcis Partners website says the group offers “campaign support” to candidates in “partisan and non-partisan campaigns throughout the State of Florida.  Our Campaign team provides campaigns with general consulting, media consulting, messaging, branding, fundraising, strategic introductions, grassroots and grasstops services, data modeling and metrics, vote targeting, and GOTV.”

But Axcis Partners offers more than campaign help.

Their website claims, “Acxis Partners specializes in services focused on governmental affairs, including procurement, contracts, regulations, legislation, and advocacy. Our experience and knowledge of the subject matter, and understanding the processes, helps our clients to achieve their objectives.” In other words, Axcis Partners can be your lobbyists.

Khurrum Wahid, Gus Barreiro and Adam Geller, brother of David Geller, are listed as the principals of Axcis Partners.

State records show Axcis Partners was created in November 2018. Two months later, Khurrum Wahid began his run for Coral Springs City Commission Seat 2.

The required 2019 Corporation Report was signed by Khurrum Wahid on April 30, 2019.

Why doesn’t Khurrum Wahid tell voters he is a lawyer and a lobbyist?

Who are lobbyist Khurrum Wahid’s local clients?

Who are lobbyist Khurrum Wahid’s State clients?

Who are lobbyist Khurrum Wahid’s Federal clients?

Who are lobbyist Khurrum Wahid’s political clients?

Would any of lobbyist Khurrum Wahid’s clients create a conflict of interest if he wins a seat on the Coral Springs City Commission?

Would any of Khurrum Wahid’s clients benefit if he wins a seat on the Coral Springs City Commission?

Is Khurrum Wahid a registered lobbyist?

What else is Khurrum Wahid keeping from voters?

Khurrum Wahid has not responded to requests for comment. We will update story if campaign responds.

Coral Springs voters deserve answers before the June 18th election.