Dan Lewis’ Political Client Mailers Share Same Mail Permit As His “Fake” Blue Card

Even though Broward Democrat consultant Dan Lewis tries to distance his clients from his “fake” endorsement card, campaign literature shows Lewis’ clients share the same US Post Office mail permit as his endorsement card. The Florida’s Democracy Project endorsement card has mail permit number 2743. Lewis has admitted being the man behind Florida’s Democracy Project card.

Mailers for Lewis’ clients also bear the same mail permit number. These clients include Clerk of Courts candidate Mitch Ceasar, judicial candidates Kim Mollica, Doreen Turner Inkeles and others. 

Lewis has said clients cannot pay him to appear on the “fake” blue card. He claims they pay him for consulting services, mailing and data.

So why share same postage permit?

Broward Health Investigator Is Dan Lewis’ Expert Witness In Foreclosure Case

The private investigator who conducted a mysterious probe into corruption at Broward Health is the expert witness for Democrat consultant Dan Lewis’ ongoing legal battle with a builder. On June 13, 2016 Lewis named Wayne Black as his expert witness in the foreclosure brought against him by American Builders and Contractors Supply Company, Inc. (ABC Supply). Earlier this year, Black made headlines following the suicide death of Broward Health CEO Nabil El Sanadi.

In February, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wayne Black had been hired by El Sanadi. “Broward Health CEO Nabil El Sanadi brought in a corporate private investigator to probe wrongdoing at the public hospital system, meeting with him in restaurants and at his home because he feared his office was bugged, the investigator alleges,” wrote the Sun-Sentinel. Black revealed his role in a letter sent after El Sanadi’s suicide. The Sun-Sentinel reported Black sent Broward Health legal counsel the letter just hours before El Sanadi’s funeral.

“Nabil and I met several times at his home or at a local restaurant to discuss my findings as he felt his office was bugged,” Black wrote in his email. “We used Nabil’s wife’s email to communicate most of the time because we didn’t know who would have access to sensitive emails.”

Broward Health was quick to question the veracity of Black’s claims. “Over the course of his work, Mr. Black failed to fulfill his obligations, acted unprofessionally and was belligerent to Broward Health personnel,” said the statement. “Mr. Black was asked to cease all services on behalf of Broward Health in early October.”

One month later, Black told the Sun-Sentinel his relationship with former Broward Health chair David Di Pietro helped open the door to his work at the hospital district. Black said he ran into Di Pietro at Macy’s in Fort Lauderdale.

“Black knew Di Pietro, a former prosecutor, having worked across the table from him on a case involving a private school teacher accused of misconduct. Black mentioned he had in the past worked with Broward Health to send its former chief financial officer to prison for embezzlement, and said he was available if anything else came up.”

Black said Di Pietro’s recommendation to El Sanadi got him the job. “This guy’s the real deal,” Di Pietro said. “He’s not just doing it for a job. He does it because he believes in the cause.”

LEWIS LAUNCHED HIS BROWARD HEALTH BLOG

As REDBROWARD reported in February, consultant Dan Lewis started an anti-Broward Health blog shortly after losing out on a million dollar contract with the hospital district.

Records show Dan Lewis purchased the BRWDHEALTH.com domain in February 2015. In March 2015, BrowardBeat.com confirmed Lewis was behind the blog. “The website is run by political strategist Dan Lewis. When Lewis takes his time and effort to establish a website, I pay attention. After roughly three decades in Broward politics building a wide range of political, business and community contacts, he is generally on target,” wrote Buddy Nevins of BrowardBeat.

Lewis purchased the domain name just two months after El-Sanadi was appointed as CEO at Broward Health. On March 17, 2015 Lewis explained his motivation for starting the blog. He claimed the poor treatment his daughter received in 2011 forced him into action. Lewis wrote, “[I]nstead of suing everyone for malpractice, which we would likely win – my daughter and I decided that instead, we would commit to try to fix the problem so future families would not have to endure what we had to at the hands of Broward Health.”

In April 2015, Lewis wrote about a cancelled meeting with El-Sanadi. Lewis said before El-Sanadi officially became CEO, he had promised to meet with him. “This promise was the result of four years of interaction between current and previous board members and senior staff on a number of initiatives with which there was both broad and strong support,” Lewis wrote. “I was worried that, with the transition to a new CEO, some – if not all, the momentum for these initiatives would be lost.”  Lewis said he wanted to “take the measure” of El-Sanadi and “look him in the eye.”

While El-Sanadi was under no obligation to meet with him, Lewis wrote, “I do have a 30+ year history of civic activism and governmental public policy advisory experience, and I am a current member of the Broward County Health Planning Council.  And they promised.”

According to his blog post, on January 29, 2015, Lewis emailed El-Sanadi to set up the meeting. El-Sanadi’s assistant replied, asking for the reason for the meeting. Lewis gave a long-winded response:

For reasons we can discuss, I have made a commitment to help make Broward Health the finest public health care system in the country.  Broward Health is a system with pockets of excellence and layers of incompetence.  To effectively meet the challenges of the organization, it must find bold and inventive strategies to grow its pockets of excellence and melt away its layers of incompetence. These strategies must be both internal and external to the organization and administrative and political in their nature.

My purpose, and intent in meeting with you is to afford both of us the opportunity to get to know each other in a frank and useful exchange of ideas.  This exchange will help me understand the extent with which I will be able to work with him to fulfill what I hope is a shared commitment for excellence.

On his agenda sent to El-Sanadi, Lewis listed the “Intensivist program” first.  REDBROWARD obtained emails showing Lewis’ interest in the intensivist program started in 2012. In August 2012, Lewis urged Broward Health to submit to a public “request for proposal (RFP)” process for the intensivist program. In an emailed copied to then CEO Frank Nask, Lewis wrote, “I must admit that I am very concerned that you appear to have discarded the notion of a public process or [RFP] for your intensivist program in favor of another private sweetheart physician contract. I cannot emphasize how strongly I oppose this course of action.”

In October 2012, Lewis emails Nask to confirm an RFP for the intensivist program will be issued.

The RFP was issued in January 2013.

In June 2013, Lewis emails Nask to advise him that Critical Care Physicians (CCP), LLC is filing an appeal of the RFP process.  One month later, Lewis emails Nask a “draft agreement” between CCP and Broward Health. Lewis’ language appears to suggest he is part of CCP.

“You should note that exhibit A clearly puts you or your designee in complete charge of the level and scope of service,” Lewis wrote. “Our part in that discussion is to advise you on all aspects of what the intensivist program can and should be for [Broward Health].

Lewis explains, “Finally, I would remind you that going into the ‘business plan’ evaluation phase, we were clinically ranked number 2 by the committee as a whole and number 1 by your administrative staff.” he ends with, “We stand ready at any time to discuss and resolve any questions or concerns you may have regarding the draft….”

An October 2013 email from Lewis to CEO Frank Nask reveals questions over fees, Lewis wrote, “We know that what we do here makes a difference to [Broward Health], our community, and our families and we do not take a back seat to any competitor for our clinical offering or for our understanding of [Broward Health]. Nor do we yield the ground financially. Our deal is the best one for [Broward Health].” Lewis claimed had “our intensivist program been in place,” his daughter’s care would have been better.

He wrote, “I simply can’t stress this enough, we are different from the rest because Broward Health is our hospital and we share and support your vision that Broward Health can be the finest public hospital system in the country….”

Lewis asks Nask to “meet the entire 8 member team that has been working for over 2 years to develop our intensivist program specifically for Broward Health.” He said, ” I need you to know that it is not just me with a passion for what is possible but that I stand on the shoulders [of] a remarkable group of highly motivated, highly professional and incredibly competent indiviudals.” The email does not reveal the identity of the eight members of Lewis’ team.

A June 9, 2014 from Lewis to Nask signals the conclusion of negotiations. Lewis wrote, “On behalf of Critical Care Physicians, LLC and further to our June 2nd conversation and your agreement, I am delighted to confirm we are fully prepared to commence and conclude contract discussions this week.” For the first time, Lewis signs the email as “Chairman, Critical Care Physicians, LLC.”

Despite stating he was the chairman of a group seeking millions of  taxpayer dollars from Broward Health, Dan Lewis continued to paint El-Sanadi as the bad guy. In an April 27 blog post, Lewis claimed El-Sanadi’s refusal to meet with him was “a remarkable  paranoia of organizational transparency in an email chain that is a troubling indicator of how Dr. El Sanadi ostensibly sees his new public responsibilities.” Lewis wrote the lawyer’s letter was “remarkable  paranoia of organizational transparency in an email chain that is a troubling indicator of how Dr. El Sanadi ostensibly sees his new public responsibilities.”

Lewis’ deal with Broward Health was never finalized.

LEWIS PRAISES INVESTIGATOR ON HIS BROWARD HEALTH BLOG

Dan Lewis repeatedly praised Wayne Black on his various blogs. In the April 13 post on The Dan Lewis Report he wrote, “well-known corruption investigator Mr. Wayne Black’s allegation of administrative obstruction.” On the same site, Lewis wrote, “More to the truth of the matter is that DiPietro facilitated and enabled Dr. El Sanadi’s unfounded paranoia by recommending the highly respected corruption investigator Mr. Wayne Black.”  Lewis even urged whistleblowers to contact Black.

You should not contact anyone at Broward Health until the Board adopts the federal whistleblower protections, a formal and very public policy against retaliatory employment and purchasing practices and there is an independent, secure and private method at Broward Health to make reports.  Until then, contact Wayne Black at 305-xxx-xxxx with confidence who will continue to investigate corruption at Broward Health.

WHAT IS THE LEWIS/BLACK RELATIONSHIP?

Lewis’ hiring of Wayne Black raises numerous questions. Why does Lewis need a private investigator and three lawyers for a foreclosure case? While Lewis may call Black “highly respected,” CBS NEWS 60 Minutes demonstrated Black’s skill set and pay grade is above a Broward foreclosure case.

Even though Black investigated the death of Princess Diana and the Tiffany Sessions missing person case, he gained real notoriety for his work on an Alaskan oil pipeline case.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, for G4S Secure Solutions “special investigations chief” Wayne Black targeted Charles Hamel, an oil broker suspected of  passing information to the government and the media regarding about pollution.

“[Black] set up an elaborate ruse to entice Hamel into divulging his sources, establishing a phony environmental group, pretending to be a scientist and secretly recording Hamel’s conversations.” the newspaper reported.

Confronted on camera by Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Black said, “I think we did a–did a good job.” according to a transcript.

Kroft responded, “You’re proud of going through somebody’s garbage? You’re proud of surreptitiously recording conversations? You’re proud of setting up phony companies and giving people a lot of bogus information?”

Did Wayne Black work for Dan Lewis before June 2016? Has Wayne Black done political work for Dan Lewis or his companies? An issue in the current foreclosure case focuses on payments to Lewis’ main lawyer Colleen O’ Loughlin. Lawyers for ABC Supply, Inc. presented checks written by Lewis’ Star, Inc. to O’Loughlin for legal matters. O’Loughlin has represented Star, Inc in the Florida Elections Commission case and her name is on the paperwork for Lewis’ Florida’s Democracy Project, the group behind Lewis’ “fake” endorsement card.

Did Wayne Black ever work for Star, Inc. or JNAC Management and Solutions? Did Lewis know about Black’s Broward Health investigation before it became public after El Sanadi’s death?

Dan Lewis’ Pattern Of Elections Law Violations Goes Beyond “Blue Card”

you_doodle_2016-04-25t20_33_51z-1Over the weekend, Broward Democrats loudly complained about the latest version of the”phony” blue endorsement card. As REDBROWARD previously reported, the card is the handiwork of the long-winded Democrat consultant Dan Lewis.  On Sunday, Broward Democrat officials denounced, “the deplorable campaign tactics of political operative Dan Lewis, Florida Democracy Project, and the attempt to mislead voters with the “Blue Card” slate.” Acting Broward Democrat Chair Cynthia Busch said, ““I want to make it very clear to voters that the Democratic Party is in no way connected to the “Blue Card”. This is an underhanded tactic that tarnishes the Democratic process.” Busch added, ” “I have no knowledge that anyone who appears on the card is responsible for the actions of Mr. Lewis. Candidates should not be unfairly associated with this type of behavior.”

Delighted with the modicum of publicity, Lewis claimed there was nothing wrong with his card. “We are in compliance with all rules,” Lewis told Buddy Nevins of Browardbeat.com. “I’m into transparency,” Lewis said. “Everything will be disclosed.”

However, State investigations dating back to the year 2000 show Lewis has not always complied with the law.

MIRAMAR LOCAL

Eleven years ago, a Broward/Palm Beach New Times story detailed Lewis’ flouting of Florida elections law. Reporter Trevor Aaronson wrote, “[S]ince leaving the Miramar City Commission in 1997, Lewis has dodged complaints of unethical behavior, moved to Fort Lauderdale, and refashioned himself as the go-to techie for Broward’s political machines, both Democratic and Republican.” According to Miramar resident Sherry Abdin, “Dan Lewis was the puppet master of Miramar.”

During the election of 2000, Lewis composed a mailer entitled “Miramar Local.” The mail piece promoted his favored candidates while attacking their opponents, Mayor Lori Moseley and Marjorie Conlan. Lewis’ wrote, “Heaven help us all if [Moseley] is elected….We suggest Moseley is putting her political campaign and personal agenda above the need for excellent legal representation for all of our taxpayers, as usual.”

Lewis described Conlan as a “do nothing” crony of Moseley. He had glowing words for Conlan’s opponent, Fitzroy Salesman. Lewis wrote, “[N]ewcomer Fitzroy Salesman who has little or no governmental experience, is fiercely independent and will represent an important diversity on the city commission.. Most people believe the city suffered with Conlan for six years, its time for a fresh new voice.”

Just days after he was elected, Salesman was hit with elections violations. He was fined $2,566.62 for not submitting his campaign treasury report on time. Salesman claimed the notice to file from the City Clerk was, “buried in junk mail and other pieces of mail.”

(FUN FACT: In 2010, Fitzroy Salesman was arrested in a public corruption sting. He spent three years in prison. So much for Lewis’ “fresh voice.”)

One month earlier, the Florida Elections Commission [FEC] found probable cause to believe Lori Moseley’s opponent, former Commissioner Jim Cundiff violated election laws. Cundiff faced a $115,215 fine.The commission also found basis for two of six campaign violation complaints against Dan Lewis, who was Cundiff’s campaign manager.

The FEC found probable cause Dan Lewis “violated Sections 106.143(1) and 106.19(1 )(c), Florida Statutes, when [Lewis] ‘ published and distributed the ‘Miramar Local’.” FEC investigators determined Lewis failed ‘to mark all political advertisements as a ‘pd. pol adv’ or a ‘paid political advertisement’ and to identify the sponsor.”  Investigators also found “probable cause to believe that [Lewis] violated Section 106.19(J)(c), Florida Statutes, prohibiting a person or organization from falsely reporting or failing to report information required by this chapter.”

According to the Miami Herald, “Political consultant Dan Lewis failed to label as a political
advertisement a 1999 newsletter that criticized Miramar Mayor Lori Moseley and promoted her opponent, Jim Cundiff. He also failed to report the $1,693 he spent on 5,000 newsletters as an independent expenditure with the city clerk.”

In March 2001, Lewis told the Sun-Sentinel, “I believe there is no probable cause. They will not find that I broke any law….I think these laws on technical infractions have to be revisited sometime.”

LEWIS ADMISSIONS TO FEC

In his response to the FEC, Lewis appeared to admit his guilt. His lawyer submitted this statement:

On or about February 25, 1999, Dan Lewis published a direct mail piece identified as the “Miramar Local” which was mailed to registered voters in the City of Miiamar. The publication supported the candidacy of Jim Cundiff~ who was a candidate for the office of Mayor of Miramar at the election of March 9, 1999. The publication also opposed the candidacy of Lori Moseley, who was also running for mayor at that election A copy of the “Miramar Local” is attached as exhibit.

The FEC determined candidate Cundiff had made numerous payments to Lewis and his company, even though Lewis claimed he paid for the publication and distribution of the pamphlet with his own money.

While neither denying or admitting guilt, Dan Lewis signed a consent order with the FEC on April 23, 2002. No fine was levied and Lewis paid his own legal costs.

Lewis moved on from the Miramar Local pamphlet when he came up with his blue endorsement card. A comment on a BrowardBeat story signed by Dan Lewis states, “‘The Blue Card’ by design and purpose is to advance democratic progressive candidates, and has been distributed in each of the last 3 election cycles including five (5) elections, including this one. It is neither illegal, nor ‘fake’ as the Sheriff Israel political machine would suggest.”

However State investigators may feel differently about Lewis’ “blue card.”

BLUE CARD 2014

Last May, the Florida Elections Commission (FEC) once again dealt with an investigation into Dan Lewis’ campaign tactics. The FEC unanimously voted to fine a company owned by Lewis for violations of Florida election law. The FEC investigation focused upon “blue cards” and “red cards” produced for the 2014 election by The Democracy Project, a fictitious entity created by Lewis’ STAR, Inc. In a 5-0 vote, the FEC determined Strategic Technologies & Research, Inc (STAR, Inc.) violated Florida Statutes sections 106.071(1) and 106.19(1)(c). Investigators determined failed to file expenditure reports and “deliberately failed” to include required information on expenditure reports.

REDBROWARD reported STAR, Inc claimed they solicited no funds to pay for the “blue cards.” The state believed they listed expenditures for $399 (just below a $400 threshold) instead of the actual cost.

In October 2014, Dan Lewis bragged about his “blue card” scheme to BrowardBeat.com. He said he was using the cards to oppose the Broward School Board bond issue. Lewis said, “It comes down to trust, and I just don’t trust the School Board to act in either a responsible or professional manner or neither should you.” Lewis claimed he printed one million cards, with 500,000 to be mailed to Broward voters. Lewis told BrowardBeat he would send the card to 750,000 email address as well.

THE ONE MILLION BLUE CARD MYTH

But State investigators found Lewis did not print one million “blue cards.” Investigators obtained invoices from Lewis’ printer, The Printer’s Printer, and cancelled checks. Robert Zelinka of The Printer’s Printer told investigators he had printed just 200,000 cards for Lewis. Zelinka said just 117,000 cards were mailed to Broward voters. On October 9, 2014, the company submitted an invoice for $12,499 to Lewis’ Strategic Technologies & Research, Inc. Lewis was billed $10,126 for 3 versions of “postcards’ and $2,373 for three different mail “drops.” This invoice was received one week before Lewis told BrowardBeat he had printed one million cards.

“COUNTERFEIT” UNION LABEL ON BLUE CARDS

State investigators also determined the “blue cards” were stamped with a phony union label. Many Democrat candidates display a union label on their mailers out of respect to unions’ longtime support of Democrat causes. In July 2015, State investigator Keith Smith spoke with Tom Schatz, a chief investigator for the Teamsters Union in Washington, D.C.

Smith had faxed a copy of the mailer to Schatz to determine the validity of the union label on the “blue cards.” According to Smith’s notes, Schatz said, “that after reviewing the copy of the union-label and asking around, it was determined that the union-label was definitely not theirs and was a ‘counterfeit’ union-label. He said it appears that someone ‘made up’ the union-label and ‘stuck it on’ the mailer.”

ATTEMPT TO FOOL VOTERS?

Did Dan Lewis hope to fool voters with a fake union bug on the “blue cards?” While that’s not clear, many local Democrats believed Lewis’ “blue cards” were indeed a dirty trick meant to fool Democrat voters. In early November 2014, Palm Beach Democrat officials warned voters about the cards. The Palm beach Post reported, “The palm card, called ‘The Blue Card 2014 Voting Slate,’ appears to target Maria Sachs, the Democratic candidate for State Senator (District 34) and Andy O’Brien, the party’s choice for County Commissioner (District 4), wrote the county’s party chair Terrie Rizzo, in a party email alert. The Blue Card lists legitimate Democratic candidates in other races, but for Sachs’ and O’Brien’s districts, it lists their Republican opponents instead — Ellyn Bogdanoff and Steven Abrams.”

“The cards are blue in color, sent by something called ‘The Democracy Project.’ The Democracy Project is the brainchild of a Broward County-based political strategist who has used the same technique in prior years to influence voters,” Rizzo wrote. “The purpose of these Palm Cards seems to be to confuse Democratic voters into voting for Republican candidates. Please don’t be fooled.”

In Broward County, the Lewis “blue card” listed Republican Chip LaMarca instead of his Democrat challenger Ken Keechl. Sources told REDBROWARD Broward Democrat leaders were incensed when party chairman Mitch Ceasar failed to rebuke the Lewis “blue card.” Now, Dan Lewis is the main consultant for Ceasar’s campaign to be Broward County Clerk of Courts.

LEWIS ATTACKS THE MESSENGER

Attorney Colleen O’Loughlin represented STAR, Inc in the FEC matter. She used many legal tactics to stop the investigation, including a claim that STAR, Inc’s relationship with The Printer’s Printer involved “trade secrets” which were confidential. O’Loughlin even urged the FEC to seek criminal charges against the Broward resident who filed the complaint.

BLUE CARD 2016

Dan Lewis continues to attack the critics of his campaign tactics. On BrowardBeat Lewis arrogantly boasts, ““I’m upset that these (critics) view the voters as being that easy influenced….I am overjoyed that The Blue Card added some excitement into the primary.”

NEXT: BUZZ SURROUNDING BLUE CARD STINGS CANDIDATES