Two weeks ago, REDBROWARD shared video footage of Fort Lauderdale Mayor candidate Kenneth Cooper violating electioneering laws at the Coral Ridge Mall early voting location. Cooper, a seasoned Democrat candidate, approached voters at the entrance of the mall in violation of the 150 foot zone determined by Supervisor of Elections officials. A concerned resident confronted Cooper three times before returning with an elections office employee.
Cooper claimed ignorance. One day later, members of Cooper’s campaign mocking the rule in videos posted on Facebook.
Now, Kenneth Cooper appears to be violating another important part of the Florida elections rulebook.
Before accessing the main website, visitors to Kenneth Cooper’s online site are met with a screen asking for a campaign contribution. Visitors are asked how much they want to contribute, if they wish to make it an ongoing contribution and whether they wish to use a credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.
Just one problem.
Florida law prohibits accepting and using campaign contributions this close to election day.
Appeals for campaign contributions were supposed to end October 29th at midnight. It’s spelled out on page 29 of the Florida candidate rule handbook.
As of October 31, Kenneth Cooper’s official website is asking for campaign money.
As early voting began this week, Fort Lauderdale mayoral candidate picked up a big endorsement of his campaign to unseat Mayor Dean Trantalis. Just one problem. Despite numerous opportunities, Cooper never mentioned that he picked up the support of fellow Democrat Robert McKinzie, a Fort Lauderdale Commissioner.
On Monday morning, REDBROWARD received a “Robert McKinzie Picks” flyer at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale. McKinzie tells his supporters to pick Kenneth D. Cooper for Mayor. After confirming the flyer was legitimate, we checked Ken Cooper’s social media and website for news of the endorsement.
Normally, a campaign will eagerly post endorsements, especially from an elected official. Not Ken Cooper.
On Monday afternoon, REDBROWARD reached out to members of the Cooper campaign to ask about the endorsement. A Cooper campaign official scoffed when asked if the campaign would issue a press release in the age of “social media.”
In a post on the Save Fort Lauderdale Facebook page, Cooper told REDBROWARD he spent Monday morning at the African American Research Library. He included a picture of himself on location. But still no mention of the McKinzie endorsement.
Nothing on Tuesday. No mention Wednesday during a Cooper townhall. Not a peep Thursday or Friday. Nothing this weekend.
Why is Robert McKinzie’s support such a secret? What is Ken Cooper waiting for? Does Ken Cooper even know he was endorsed by McKinzie?