Shadowy SuperPAC Used Dale Holness & Gregory Tony Donors To Support Congressman Alcee Hastings

A shadowy SuperPAC supported the re-election of Congressman Alcee Hastings with contributions from supporters of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, Federal records show. As REDBROWARD reported last year, the People Of Principle PAC is tied to campaign operatives of Holness. Throughout 2020, the political committee repeatedly failed to report campaign finances to the Federal Elections Commissions (FEC). But on January 4, 2021, People of Principle PAC finally revealed its fundraising and spending totals.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show People of Principle PAC was created by Charmalin Brown in January 2019. Brown used the address of a Margate UPS store as the headquarters for the political committee. State corporation records show Charmalin Brown, a tax preparer, started a business in 2006 using Omar Smith as her registered agent. Brown used a home on the 300 block of Berenger Walk in Royal Palm Beach as her business address.

Numerous records show Omar Smith uses the same Berenger Walk address. Omar Smith, the owner of A Star For I Inc, is Dale Holness’ campaign marketing guru.

During the 2020 election cycle, mailers and palm cards produced by People of Principle PAC urged voters to support black candidates in Broward and Miami Dade County. Dale Holness, Gregory Tony and others were featured on the cards. But, documents signed by Charmalin Brown on January 4, 2021 show all People Of Principle expenditures were made in support of Congressman Alcee Hastings.

Hastings, an impeached Federal Judge, is a longtime representative in Broward County. When he actually faces an opponent, they rarely make a dent in his vote totals.

Federal records show the Alcee Hastings campaign raised more than $600,000 for his 2020 re-election. Why did People of Principle PAC feel compelled to help Hastings coast to an overwhelming victory?

WHO ASKED HOLNESS/TONY DONORS TO HELP SUPERPAC?

In October 2020, Superior Hospitality Group of Windermere, FL gave $1,000 to People of Principle PAC. The company is owned by Tyrone Nabbie of Orlando. In 2019, Nabbie and his companies contributed $3,000 to Dale Holness’ campaign. Nabbie’s companies run concessions at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Who asked Tyrone Nabbie to give money to an obscure Federal political committee based in Margate?

On July 14, 2020,Westway Towing gave $1,000 to People of Principle PAC. One day later, Westway Towing gave $2,500 to Dale Holness’ campaign. Who asked Westway towing to give money to People of Principle?

On August 13, 2020, Pierre Vilme gave $2,500 to People of Principle PAC. That same day, the Dale Holness campaign reported a $1,000 contribution from Vilme.

Also on August 13th, Winston Dumornay gave $500 to People of Principle and $1,000 to Dale Holness.

In December 2019, B & B Professional Consulting gave $1,000 to Dale Holness’ campaign. On October 3, 2020, B & B Professional Consulting gave $2,500 to People of Principle PAC. Earlier this month, REDBROWARD revealed B & B Professional Consulting is owned and operated by the aunt of Miami Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

On July 13, 2020 apartment complex companies owned by Krishna Persaud gave $5,000 to People of Principle PAC. Persaud, owner of the Jamaica Tallawahs cricket team, is a longtime supporter of Dale Holness.

In August 2016, REDBROWARD exposed Persaud’s financial support of The Latino Vote, another local shadowy political committee supporting the re-election of Dale Holness. Again this year, on July 24, 2020 Persaud’s Windsor Forest Apartments gave $4,000 to The Latino Vote.

Derrick Foster is another supporter of People of Principle PAC and The Latino Vote. Records show Foster gave $1,000 to People of Principle and $1,500 to The Latino Vote.

One supporter shared by Holness, Tony, Hastings and People of Principle PAC is Tamarac Commissioner Mike Gelin. In 2020, Gelin Benefits Group gave $2,000 to People of Principle PAC. Two of Gelin’s fellow Tamarac Commissioners were endorsed by People Of Principle PAC.

BROWARD FIRST?

Several People of Principle PAC donors made large contributions to Broward First, a political committee supporting Sheriff Gregory Tony.

Veterans Security Corporation of America gave $2,500 to People of Principle PAC. The company gave $1,000 to Broward First.

People of Principle PAC and Dale Holness donor Westway Towing gave $5,000 to Broward First.

In August 2020, Broward First made a large contribution to the South Florida Accountability Project, another local political committee. While this committee did not contribute to Holness’ campaign, the South Florida Accountability Project made payments to a companies tied Dale Holness’ family and campaign guru.

FLYER SMITH STRIKES AGAIN?

In September, REDBROWARD exposed yet another political committee tied to Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.

In July 2020, Kayla Butler, a former Holness intern, created the Stronger Together Florida political committee located at a home on Barnstead Circle in Lake Worth with the telephone number (754) 444-6117.

This telephone number was used for third party groups conducting voter registrations. The same number is listed for “All Consulting And Marketing, Inc.” which conducted voter registration drives at 4325 W. Sunrise Blvd in Plantation since May, 2019.

This is the address for All Broward Realty, Inc, a real estate company owned by Broward Mayor Dale Holness.

According to the State third party voter registration records and State corporate records, All Consulting And Marketing Inc. is owned by Richelle Holness, the daughter of Broward Mayor Dale Holness.

Records show the home on Barnstead Circle is the residence of Dale Holness’ ex-wife.

In July 2020, a brand new company using the same Barnstead Circle address made a big splash in local politics. On August 13, 2020 All Priority Consulting, Inc was paid $15,000 for mail media consulting by the South Florida Accountability Project. Less than month later, the South Florida Accountability Project paid $20,000 to Omar Smith’s A Star For I company for mail media consulting.

Why did Broward First contribute so much money to another political committee? Why did the South Florida Accountability Project pay a company located at the home Dale Holness’ ex-wife? Why did this committee pay Omar Smith.

As REDBROWARD documented for years, Omar Smith is repeatedly hired by these shadowy political committees. The People of Principle PAC is no exception. Most of the money raised by this super PAC was paid to Smith’s A Star For I company.

On August 3, 2020, A Star For I was paid $20,000 for marketing services in support of Alcee Hastings.

On August 21, 2020, A Star For I received $12,000 for working in support of Alcee Hastings.

Foreign Donor Operating Cricket Stadium Gave Big Bucks To Shady PAC Tied To Broward Commissioner Dale Holness (Again!)

The owner of a Jamaican cricket team made large contributions to a Federal political action committee (PAC) tied to Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. In 2017, Holness was the driving force behind giving control of the Broward County-owned cricket stadium to Krishna “Kris” Persaud, the new owner of the Jamaica Tallawahs. As REDBROWARD reported, Dale Holness worked hard to give Persaud control of the $80 million dollar cricket facility along Sunrise Boulevard. Holness said, “Kris Persaud and his team members are willing to invest their own funds to help Broward County utilize [the] stadium to fulfill its mission of providing international cricket games that will not only bring tourists to Broward County, but also grow our economy and create jobs for the people of Broward County.” Campaign records show Kris Persaud was more than willing to invest his money in Dale Holness as well.

Last year, REDBROWARD revealed key members of Dale Holness’ campaign team tied to the shady People Of Principle PAC. This committee circulated mailers endorsing primarily black candidates in Broward and Miami-Dade county. Records show Holness’ longtime campaign marketing guru Omar Smith was tied to the “People Over Principle PAC.”

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show People of Principle PAC was created by Charmalin Brown in January 2019. Brown used the address of a Margate UPS store as the headquarters for the political committee. In April 2019, Charmalin Brown purchased the domain name currently used by People Of Principle PAC.

State corporation records show Charmalin Brown, a tax preparer, started a business in 2006 using Omar Smith as her registered agent. Brown used a home on the 300 block of Berenger Walk in Royal Palm Beach as her business address. Numerous records show Omar Smith uses the same Berenger Walk address.

For months, the PAC failed to file the required campaign reports documenting money raised and spent on political activities.

When the reports were finally filed after the November election, only the contributions were provided for review.

These Federal Elections Records show five companies owned by Kris Persaud made large contributions to the People Of Principle PAC. The companies represented Broward apartment complexes owned by Persaud. They were Canterbury Square, Golf Vilas Square, Lauder Ridge Apartments, Oakland Hills Square and Windsor Forest Apartments. On July 13, 2020 the five companies gave $5,000 to the People Of Principle PAC.

Amazingly, this was not the first time Kris Persaud gave money to a shady political committee with ties to Dale Holness.

THE LATINO VOTE

In August 2016, REDBROWARD exposed Persaud’s financial support of a local shadowy political committee supporting the re-election of Dale Holness. The Latino Vote funded by Persuad, the director of a Cayman Islands-based reinsurance company. Formed in 2015, The Latino Vote of South Florida political committee received its first contributions one year later. Four of the five contributions were the apartment developments owned by Persaud, the director of Oxbridge RE Holdings in the Cayman Islands.

Just like the People of Principle PAC, The Latino Vote failed to list expenditures even though its mailers were showing up all across Broward. The group’s card featured the likenesses of Holness and Congressman Alcee Hastings. The card was dubbed the “diversity ballot.”

The card urged voters to “increase diversity” by voting for African-American judicial candidates, but the real stars of the card were Hastings and Holness.

Records show companies owned by Persaud made direct contributions to Holness’ campaign. According to the Broward Supervisor of Elections website, in 2016, The Latino Vote made two $1,000 campaign contributions to the Dale Holness campaign.

This year, Persaud supported both shadowy PACs. On July 24, 2020 Persaud’s Windsor Forest Apartments gave $4,000 to The Latino Vote.

Why is Dale Holness tied to so many shadowy political committees?

Who keeps asking Dale Holness’ supporters to make big contributions to these political committees?

Why can’t these political committees follow the rules?

Does anyone care?

Relatives Of Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon Gave Big Bucks To Shady “People Of Principle PAC” Linked To Broward Commissioner Dale Holness

Two of the most controversial County Commissioners from Miami-Dade and Broward appeared to form an alliance in order to influence the 2020 Election, federal records show. In October, a company owned by relatives of Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon made a large contribution to the “People of Principle PAC” based in Margate. In September, REDBROWARD revealed Broward Mayor Dale Holness’ campaign team appeared to be behind the mysterious federal political committee backing mostly black candidates.

In numerous mailers sent to Broward Democrats, the People of Principle PAC urged voters to use “your voice” by supporting Dale Holness, Congressman Alcee Hastings and other black candidates. Even though the mailer stated “#BlackVotesMatter” and “#BlackExcellence,” the piece included several white candidates such as Judge Frank Ledee, Judge Patti Englander Henning and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Records show Holness’ longtime campaign marketing guru Omar Smith is tied to the “People Over Principle PAC.”

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show People of Principle PAC was created by Charmalin Brown in January 2019. Brown used the address of a Margate UPS store as the headquarters for the political committee. In April 2019, Charmalin Brown purchased the domain name currently used by People Of Principle PAC.

State corporation records show Charmalin Brown, a tax preparer, started a business in 2006 using Omar Smith as her registered agent. Brown used a home on the 300 block of Berenger Walk in Royal Palm Beach as her business address. Numerous records show Omar Smith uses the same Berenger Walk address.

At the time of our first report, Federal records showed People of Principle PAC failed to report its financial information. The FEC sent “failure to file” notices on August 15, 2019, February 19, 2020 and May 1, 2020 to the committee.

Now, the Federal Elections Commission website lists numerous contributions to People Of Principle PAC.

HARDEMON FAMILY FUNDS SHADY BROWARD PAC

On October 3, 2020, B and B Professional Consultants, Inc. made a $2,500 contribution to the federal “People of Principle PAC.” State business records show B and B Professional Consultants, Inc. is owned by Keon Hardemon’s aunt, Barbara Hardemon.

According to published reports, Barbara Hardemon and her husband Billy Hardemon are closely tied to projects coming before the Miami City Commission where Keon Hardemon served before winning a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission.

In March 2019, the Miami Herald featured Barbara Hardemon in “How Miami commissioner’s aunt became a high-priced lobbyist.

After failing the previous year to convince the city to hold a voter referendum on the project at Jungle Island, real estate investment firm ESJ Capital Partners hired Barbara Hardemon to hurriedly set up meetings during the first week in June with Commissioner Keon Hardemon’s staff. Over a 48-hour stretch, they say she assisted in negotiating a deal that will steer millions into housing and economic development funds during the life of the park’s extended lease on Watson Island and helped nail down her nephew’s support for a voter referendum.

One month later, Barbara Hardemon was hired again, this time by David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise as it neared a make-or-break vote on a $1 billion stadium and retail proposal. She registered three days before a scheduled vote and arranged a lunch at a waterfront restaurant between her nephew and the Mas brothers, the Miami businessmen who are part owners of the MLS franchise. Days later, Commissioner Hardemon voted in a close decision to put the proposal on the November ballot.

In August 2020, the Florida Bulldog exposed how one activist claimed Keon Hardemon funded a non-profit operated by Barbara and Billy Hardemon.

The same day, [Grady] Muhammad filed a letter with the city clerk addressed to Mayor Francis Suarez…attacking Hardemon for sponsoring and voting for resolutions that awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in city and federal grants to the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. and the Foundation Of Community Assistance and Leadership, aka FOCAL, since he was first elected in 2013. Billy Hardemon is the economic development corporation’s volunteer chairman and his wife, Barbara, is FOCAL’s $25,094-a-year executive director. Their two daughters are also employed by the foundation, earning annual salaries of $70,494 and $50,989, respectively.

“Over the last seven years, Keon Hardemon has given…over seven million dollars via waving of competitive bids to both not-for-profit organizations headed by his uncle Billy and his auntie Barbara Hardemon,” Muhammad wrote.

According to the Bulldog, the actual amount given to the Hardemon’s non-profit was closer to $12 million dollars.

In response to the story, Keon Hardemon told the Bulldog, “Such an accusation just before election day is clearly an attempt by him and my opponents who know him well to organize and send an unpaid, illegal, and negative political advertisement with your assistance.”

“Billy Hardemon echoed his nephew’s comments. ‘Grady is obviously trying to slime Keon,’ Billy said. ‘I consider him a hater.'”

UNCLE BILLY

In 1996, the Miami-Dade government was rocked by the FBI investigation dubbed “Operation Green Palm.”

The Los Angeles Times reported, “Bahamian offshore bank accounts, shadowy meetings with informants on borrowed pleasure yachts, multimillion-dollar extortions, slush funds–this one might have it all. The once powerful are being brought low, including a lion of the Cuban-exile community, Cesar Odio, now facing charges that he allegedly shook down city vendors so he could buy a new Rolex.”

Elected officials were charged after Howard Gary recorded conversations documenting shakedown of companies seeking to do business in Miami. One of the officials charged was Miami-Dade County Commissioner James Burke.

In addition to Burke, a Federal grand jury indicted Burke’s aide, Billy Hardemon. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Hardemon claimed the charges were racist.

“The charges contained in this indictment are damnable lies,” Hardemon said. “This case is not Operation Greenpalm. Operation Greenpalm has turned into operation high-tech lynching.”

Hardemon, Burke and a third individual were “charged with 12 counts of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and wire fraud. The government alleges they were involved in a bond kickback scheme involving the $180 million refinancing of a garbage recycling plant and a proposed $210 million bond issue to build a new Miami Heat arena.”

While Burke was convicted of the charges, Billy Hardemon was acquitted in 1999.

One year, Billy Hardemon entered into a plea agreement with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office over charges stemming from misuse of campaign funds:

Don Ungurait, spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, said Hardemon accepted guilt but was not technically convicted.

That means Hardemon can say he has never been convicted, even though he will serve a year of probation.

Ungurait said Hardemon was accused of taking campaign contributions over the $500 limit and of having inaccurate campaign finance reports, then testifying that they were accurate.

Hardemon had also been charged with felony counts that accused him of using his campaign money to pay people who were not doing anything for the campaign, but those charges were dropped when a witness died and another recanted.

Even though Keon Hardemon serves in Miami-Dade, the Hardemon family has been involved in Broward politics for several years.

MIAMI ETHICS PROBE PUT SPOTLIGHT ON MIRAMAR GOVERNMENT

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.”

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 Colburne 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 Colburne.

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

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

Both Yvette Colburne and Alexandra Davis are allies of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.

Miami. Miramar. And now, elections all over Broward. Will Hardemon’s influence extend further across Broward County? Does Dale Holness need allies in Miami-Dade County?

Do Broward residents really want Miami-Dade lobbyists and officials influencing their governments?