Tag Archives: Broward County Commission

Dale Holness Commission Aides Paid Big Bucks For Work On His Failed Congressional Race

Two Broward County government employees were paid big bucks for work on Dale Holness’ failed bid for U.S. Congress, Federal records show. Anthony Bonamy and Justin Porter served as commission aides for Dale Holness. While performing duties as taxpayer paid commission aides, companies tied to both men were paid by the Holness campaign.

ONE MILLENNIAL MEDIA

Last year, REDBROWARD detailed Anthony Bonamy’s ties to Dale Holness and his close ally Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton.

REDBROWARD revealed Bonamy created “Tamarac Post Media LLC” in July 2020. Weeks later the fake news Tamarac Post website was launched as “your source for local news, politics, entertainment, music, and fashion. We provide you with the latest breaking news and updates.” In reality, when the Tamarac Post isn’t posting news releases from the City of Tamarac public information department, it’s offering anonymous puff pieces about Dale Holness and Marlon Bolton.

REDBROWARD asked Anthony Bonamy why his company was behind a website shilling for a Tamarac politicians. While Bonamy claimed he did not “run” the website, he did admit he owned the website domain. Bonamy claimed he did not know who posted articles on the website. He said his wife was set to take over posting duties in April.

In April 2021, Bonamy was fired from his position as deputy clerk for the City of North Lauderdale after REDBROWARD exposed his ties to the Tamarac Post website.

On May 1, 2021, Tamarac Post Media LLC advised the State Of Florida that its new managing member was One Millenial Media LLC of Tamarac. Formed in November 2020, One Millenial Media LLC is managed by Violene Vil, the wife of Anthony Bonamy.

On May 27, 2021 REDBROWARD reported Bonamy had been hired as Dale Holness’ commission aide.

According to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), the Dale Holness for Congress campaign made eight payments to One Millenial Media LLC. The payments were for media production, community outreach, communications strategies, consulting on phone banking and canvassing. The Holness campaign paid $9,245 to the company owned by his commission aide’s wife.

PRIMETIME STRATEGIES

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 totals may climb when the Holness for Congress campaign files new reports with the FEC.

This would not be the first time Dale Holness handsomely overpaid close associates for campaign work.

WHERE IS OMAR SMITH?

REDBROWARD has documented the close relationship between Dale Holness and his campaign guru Omar Smith.

Over the last decade, Holness paid tens of thousands of dollars to Omar Smith and his companies—A Star For I and Flyer Smith. Omar Smith operated several questionable political committees which promoted Dale Holness and his allies. Holness, Smith and Holness’ daughter Damara Holness were key components of Andrew Gillum’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

Yet, despite their longtime working relationship, Omar Smith was missing from Holness’ FEC reports. What happened?

REDBROWARD reported one of Omar Smith’s companies received a $212,000 Pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to save thirty jobs. In September 2021, REDBROWARD exposed Omar Smith’s A Star For I, Inc. company received a PPP loan despite collecting payments from Dale Holness and his allies during the COVID-19 lockdown. At the time, it appeared Smith applied for a PPP loan as a sole proprietor. Political insiders doubt Omar Smith’s company ever had a payroll with thirty employees.

Last August, REDBROWARD exposed Damara Holness’ laughable claim she owned a company with eighteen employees and a $1.4 million dollar payroll. Damara Holness used Dale Holness’ business address to obtain a $300,000 PPP loan.

Days later, REDBROWARD exposed how Richelle Holness, another daughter of Dale Holness, also received a PPP loan. Like Damara, Richelle Holness appears to be heavily involved in Dale Holness’ political operations. When REDBROWARD revealed Richelle Holness’ ties to a shadowy political committee, Omar Smith reached out to REDBROWARD to ask for a favor. With a female screaming in the background, Smith asked REDBROWARD TO redacte the name of Dale Holness’ ex-wife from the story.

In January 2022, Damara Holness was sentenced to twenty-months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud related to the PPP loan. Despite her claim of cooperating with authorities, the U.S. Attorney stated Damara Holness never revealed the whereabouts of $181,000 in cash from her PPP loan scheme.

Though he lost the congressional race to Sheila Cherfilus McCormick, Dale Holness will try to unseat her in November.

At least his consultants won’t be on the public payroll this time. Well, let’s just wait and see on that one.

Dale Holness Campaign Says Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin Gave Them Contribution With A Worthless Check

Elberg Mike Gelin “Bounced Contribution Check”

Congressional candidate Dale Holness claims Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin made a campaign contribution with a worthless check, Federal records show. Holness’ failed bid for Congress ended last year with a stunning defeat at the hands of political newcomer Sheila Cherfilus McCormick. Gelin is a longtime ally of Holness, a former Broward County Commissioner.

A January filing with the Federal Elections Commission lists a $500 contribution from Elberg Mike Gelin of Tamarac. Records show October 29, 2021 as the date of Gelin’ contribution. In the same filing, the Holness campaign lists an October 28, 2021 disbursement of $500 to Elberg Mike Gelin.

In the space marked “purpose for disbursement,” the Holness campaign wrote, “Bounced Contribution Check.

Bounced. See, Non-sufficient funds or worthless.

Of course, anyone can bounce check. And there are numerous reasons why a check would not clear. A simple bank error could have been the cause of Elberg Mike Gelin’s bad check.

Perhaps Gelin lost track of his numerous campaign contributions. A review of campaign records show Gelin made thousands of dollars in contributions to politicians over the last decade. Last year, Gelin made contributions to radical Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Raphael Warnock, the late Alcee Hastings, numerous progressive political committees, State Rep. Dotie Joseph and several (non-returned) contributions Dale Holness.

No wonder Elberg Mike Gelin tried to get the Tamarac City Commission to limit campaign contributions a few weeks ago!

But Elberg Mike Gelin isn’t just anyone. As a Tamarac Commissioner, Gelin loves to spend taxpayers’ money.

Remember the race track controversy at a city park?

What about the huge increase in Commissioners’ travel budget?

And don’t forget the recent City newsletter that some residents feel was Gelin campaign propaganda.

Then, there’s the $300,000 disparity study that Gelin wanted to ram through without disclosing his wife was a huge proponent of the study.

REDBROWARD obtained an August 2020 video of Shaheewa Jarret Gelin, founder of the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce, bragging how the studies would help her affiliates get a piece of the 41 million dollars spent by the City Of Tamarac. The 2020 interview was conducted by Ann Marie Sorrell, one of consultants seeking the $300K deal with Tamarac and a relative of Dale Holness.

Now, Gelin wants more money Tamarac taxpayers so he can hire more aides and community liaisons to spread his name across town.

If Elberg Mike Gelin can’t keep his own finances in check, should Tamarac residents continue to trust him with their money?

Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers Running For Broward County Commission

Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers is running for the Broward County Commission District 9 seat. Rogers, a Jamaican born Democrat, filed her paperwork with the Broward Supervisor of Elections office last week. The seat is currently held by Broward County Commissioner Torey Alston.

Rumors persist that Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton (D-Clown) will run for the same seat.