Campaign Donors Paying The Rent For Dale Holness Real Estate Office

Dale Holness’ real estate office in Plantation

Wealthy donors to Dale Holness‘ congressional campaign are paying the rent on his real estate office in Plantation, Federal records show. Holness owns the All Broward Realty (ABR) office located at 4325 West Sunrise Boulevard. For years, Holness has used his real estate office as his political headquarters.

Dale Holness & Damara Holness inside the All Broward Realty office in Plantation

In 2018, Dale Holness, his daughter Damara Holness and his campaign guru Omar Smith used the All Broward Realty office as the defacto Andrew Gillum campaign office. Holness and his daughter filmed videos shilling for Gillum.

Omar Smith at Andrew Gillum campaign rally at Dale Holness office in 2018

In 2018, REDBROWARD interviewed Omar Smith at an Andrew Gillum campaign rally held in the parking lot in front of Dale Holness’ real estate office. A few month later, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas confronted Omar Smith outside the ABR offices after undercover video showed Smith using racial slurs to describe Florida voters.

Project Veritas interviews Omar Smith outside Dale Holness office in 2018.

In April 2021, Dale Holness announced his candidacy for US Congress District 20 at a rally at his real estate office.

Holness For Congress kickoff at Dale Holness real estate office in April 2021
Dale Holness Campaign Kickoff April 2020

Dale Holness repeatedly posts pictures of supporters attending meetings at his real estate office.

Dale Holness and Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis at his real estate office.

Now, Holness is using campaign contributions to pay his rent at the ten unit shopping mall near the Florida Turnpike. In its June 2021 campaign report to the Federal Elections Commission, the Holness For Congress committee lists a $1,700 payment to Plantation Merchandise Mart for “June rent for office space.”

Instead of using Plantation Merchandise Mart’s physical address in Plantation, the Holness For Congress campaign used the Lake Worth address of In-Rel Properties which manages commerical properties.

All ten units at the Plantation Merchandise Mart appear to be occupied. The tenants include a medical office, a beauty salon, a tax and tag office, a school, a plumbing supply company, an MRI office, a uniform store and All Broward Realty.

The Holness real estate office is festooned with campaign signs for Dale Holness and the late Alcee Hastings.

REDBROWARD contacted In-Rel Properties to ask if Dale Holness had rented additional office space at the Plantation Merchandise Mart. A company representative said someone would call us back.

But on the Holness For Congress website, the only address provided is the All Broward Realty office. This same address is used on the Federal forms Dale Holness filed to run for Congress.

Is Dale Holness really using campaign funds to pay rent on his business’ office? With the election more than two months away, Dale Holness could save six months of rent payments that would have come out of his own pocket.

This would not be the first time Dale Holness gamed the system to his financial advantage.

In 2013, REDBROWARD exposed how Dale Holness failed to pay more than $13,000 in property taxes on numerous investment properties across Broward. When asked about his failure to pay his tax bills, Holness was nonchalant about the matter.

Holness told the Sun-Sentinel his paltry $92,000 County Commission salary barely covered expenses for his seven children.”I’m paying it as I can,” Holness said. “I have different responsibilities. I have children, I don’t neglect my children. I’ve been helping them because they have had a tough time and even though some [of them] are grown … I still have the responsibility.”

Since Holness was so delinquent, his property taxes were sold in tax certificate process. The Sun-Sentinel explained at a tax certificate sale, “investors compete to pay the tax bills for the owners, bidding for an interest rate that will be owed by the delinquent taxpayer. The investor gambles on the eventual payoff from the taxpayer: If the property owner pays up, the investor pockets the interest. If the owner doesn’t pay, the investor can move forward with trying to acquire the property at auction.”

To Dale Holness, there was no shame in having tax certificates sold on his properties. He told the Sun-Sentinel, “The money still goes into the tax coffers. It does cost me more. It’s like a loan.”

In 2020, REDBROWARD again exposed how Holness failed to timely pay his property taxes. He owed nearly $19,000 in taxes to the County. Two of his properties, both Lauderhill townhomes, were so delinquent that both homes were subject to public auction proceedings.

At his campaign kickoff in April, REDBROWARD asked Dale Holness about his failure to pay his property taxes on time.

Shouldn’t Dale Holness pay his own bills?

Holness For Congress website lists Dale Holness real estate office as its address
Holness For Congress campaign paperwork lists Dale Holness real estate office as address.

Florida Senate Democrats Announce New Senate Victory Leadership Team

Lauren Book

Press release from State Senator Lauren Book:

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book (D-Plantation) today announced the Senate Victory leadership team to help defend incumbent Democratic Senators and win new seats in the 2022 cycle. The diverse team of hires includes Sierra Fareed as Finance Director, Christian Ulvert as General Consultant, Claire VanSusteren as Communications Director, and Tim Wagner as Political Director.

“I am excited to welcome our new team of Democratic operatives to Senate Victory as we lay groundwork to defend incumbent seats and win new ones,” says Leader Book, who was installed by her peers in April. “Our diverse of team will bring with them winning skill sets and battle-proven experience to effectively elect more Democrats to the Florida Senate.”

Sierra Fareed, Finance Director
Sierra Fareed is a two-time graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate degree, which she earned while serving as an executive board member of the College Democrats and working on President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. While in law school, Sierra was elected vice-president of the Black Law Students Association. After graduating in 2016, Sierra served as a field organizer for the Florida Democratic Party working to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. During the 2018 campaign cycle, Sierra served as a finance associate for the Florida Democratic Party. She comes to us after more than a year as the Finance Director at Ruth’s List Florida. 

Christian Ulvert, General Consultant
Christian Ulvert is the Founder and President of EDGE Communications. He has served on and managed several successful campaigns across the state of Florida, ranging from municipal, state legislative, state’s attorney, issue advocacy, and statewide campaigns. Most recently, Christian served as the lead strategist and senior advisor for Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s historic win and senior advisor for President Joe Biden’s campaign. In addition to his work on Mayor Levine Cava’s race, Christian led and advised over a dozen successful campaigns during the 2020 election cycle, including the re-election of Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, and School Board member Luisa Santos. Prior to his launch as a political and media consultant, Christian served the Florida House of Representatives Democratic Caucus as communications director and policy advisor to House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber during his two-year leadership term. Born in Miami with family roots from Nicaragua, Christian graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration and Policy. Today, Christian lives with his husband in Miami Shores.

Claire VanSusteren, Communications Director  
Claire VanSusteren is the Founder and President of CVS COMMS. An EMMY Award-winning producer and 30 Under 30 in Florida Politics alum who boasts in-house and agency experience, Claire has provided public relations, strategic communications, and advocacy consulting services to political candidates, elected officials, and organizations for the past decade. From billionaires to activists, state agencies to sitting Senators, Claire has garnered millions of dollars in earned media for a diverse array of clients while organizing and executing statewide bus tours, advocacy events, K-12 curriculum development, best-selling book launches, award-winning communications campaigns, international speaking engagements, and more. After serving as an intern for the Florida Democratic Party and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Claire began her career with Sachs Media Group in Tallahassee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Leadership Studies Certificate from the Florida State University. 

Tim Wagner, Political Director
Tim Wagner, a Hoosier native, has spent the last nine years working in politics. In 2020, Wagner helped lead the Federal IE Program for the Environmental Defense Fund as Political Director. Earlier that year, Wagner was part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Florida operation as Deputy State Director. In 2019, Wagner hoisted Mayor Jane Castor to a resounding win in the Tampa Mayoral race; and in 2018 Wagner helped lead Senator Janet Cruz to her historic victory over Dana Young, which is in the top five most expensive State Legislative races in U.S. History. Beyond Florida politics, Wagner has managed two DCCC Red to Blue races in Indiana and New York, and an incumbent protection race in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, known as Senate Victory, serves as the political and fundraising organization acting on behalf of Florida’s Senate Democratic caucus – providing support to defend incumbent Democratic Senators and working to elect more Democrats to the Florida Senate. Leader Book’s new hires affirm her commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive organization that employs and elevates women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.