Why Did Broward Republican Party Leaders Fail To Endorse Republican Women For Judge? Twice!

Last August, the board members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) issued endorsements of candidates in the primary election. Unlike the Broward Democrats, BREC leaders decided to endorse candidates in the non-partisan races for Broward judge. The BREC board includes Chairman George Moraitis, Vice Chair Celeste Ellich, Secretary Rupert Tarsey, Treasurer Kevin Moot, State Committee Woman Michele Merrell and State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli.

In the three-person race for Broward County Court Judge Group 9, the BREC Board endorsed Tanner Channing Demmery over Leonore Greller and Corey Amanda Cawthon. In the November runoff, the BREC Board once again endorsed Demmery over Cawthon.

In October, Javier Manjarres of the Shark Tank wondered why the BREC leadership decided to endorse Demmery, a Democrat public defender over Corey Cawthon, a registered Republican.

Manjarres wrote, “This is disgraceful for Republicans, but is an expected move from the embattled misfit group of Republicans who supposedly represent all Broward Republicans.”

In a statement to Manjarres, Chairman George Moraitis, “affirmed the decision, stating that the decision was made to endorse after ‘the attorneys’ recommended it. Moraitis did not say who the attorneys were.”

The only attorneys on the BREC Board are Moraitis, Moot and DeNapoli.

DEFENSIVE DEMMERY DENIES “PAY FOR PLAY

REDBROWARD caught up with Tanner Demmery last month at the early voting location in Coral Springs.

As REDBROWARD reported, Tanner Demmery faced questions over his endorsement by the A Better Florida For All political committee. The committee strongly supported Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. With close ties to controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, the committee also endorsed local African-American candidates for judge. Local insiders were shocked to find Demmery listed on the “Diversity” slate for judges.

Buddy Nevins at Broward Beat reported the four non-partisan judicial candidates appearing on the A Better Florida For All card were Haccord James Curry, Stefanie Camille Moon, Jackie Powell and Tanner Channing Demmery.

“Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited,” Nevins wrote.

When REDBROWARD caught up with him at the Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs, Demmery cried “harassment” when asked about his appearance on the partisan card from the A Better Florida For All political committee. Demmery even asked a woman to call the police.

Demmery said, “I don’t pay anyone to be on endorsement cards.” When asked about the BREC endorsement, Demmery’s answers were not as clear cut. He claimed he was on the card because “people support me.”

When asked if he met with Rupert Tarsey, Demmery said, “I don’t even know who Rupert Tarsey is.”

When asked about his contact with Richard DeNapoli, Demmery denied meeting with anyone but would not answer when asked if he talked to him or any other BREC leader. “I never paid to be on any of these cards,” Demmery said.

Demmery was badly beaten by Corey Cawthon.

https://youtu.be/DNBIzGe4t8A

2016 FIGHT OVER ENDORSEMENT LEADS TO LACK OF PALM CARDS

The controversy over the Demmery pick is not the first time endorsement drama enveloped the BREC Board. In 2016, BREC failed to include Judge Nina DiPietro on its list of endorsements. Her husband, David DiPietro was former legal counsel for BREC.

After some prominent Republicans complained about DiPietro’s exclusion, BREC was forced to print new endorsement cards. Buddy Nevins of Browardbeat.com “was also told that the board of directors of the local GOP were split over whether to redo the cards, which will be distributed to select voters. A number of directors opposed changing the list to include Judge Di Pietro.”

What was the real story behind the DiPietro mess?

According to former BREC Chairman Robert Sutton, one particular BREC Board member did not want Judge Nina DiPietro the palm card.

“Richard DeNapoli said he did not want Nina DiPietro to get the BREC endorsement,” Sutton told REDBROWARD.

In an October 2016 e-mail to REDBROWARD, DeNapoli included the endorsement card without DiPietro. He said it was available on the party Facebook page. DeNapoli wrote, “This was the finalized guide as decided by the Board and amendments voted upon by the BREC members at the September meeting.”

Sutton said party leaders in Tallahassee were extremely angry over the slight and the cards were reprinted.

Did DeNapoli let his dislike of David DiPietro interfere with BREC business? In his 2014 failed race for the Florida House, DeNapoli was angered when DiPietro held a fundraiser for his opponent.

Did DeNapoli’s personal feelings influence his endorsement of Democrat Tanner Channing Demmery?

BREC members deserve answers, right?

Broward County Airport Vendor & Dale Holness Supporter Paid For Controversial “Diversity” Sign At Polls

Campaign signs featuring the photographs of four Broward judicial candidates was paid for by the operator of restaurants at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The large signs featured Haccord James Curry, Stefanie Camille Moon, Tanner Channing Demmery and Jackie Powell under the headline “Diversity.” Moon and Powell won their elections to the Broward bench on Tuesday. Curry and Demmery lost badly. A small disclaimer states the signs were paid for by Tyrone Nabbie of Windmere, Florida.

The address on the disclaimer is shared by Superior Hospitality Group, an Orlando-area food service company. State business records show Superior Hospitality Group is owned by Tyrone Nabbie. In 2015, the Sun-Sentinel reported Superior Hospitality Group opened new restaurants at the airport:

Concession operator Delaware North and its partner Superior Hospitality Group plan to invest more than $21 million in new food and beverage venues in Terminals 3 and 4, where it holds the restaurant contract.”

Contracts for concessions at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport are awarded by the Broward County Commission.

In 2015, Campaign finance records show Superior Hospitality and its restaurants gave thousands of dollars to the re-election of County Commissioner Dale Holness. In May 2018, the County-Sponsored “Broward Means Biz” conference presented an award to Nabbie.

A BETTER FLORIDA FOR ALL SCANDAL

Last week, REDBROWARD reported on the controversy surrounding the inclusion these four Broward judicial candidates on an illegal endorsement card. The partisan card was produced by A Better Florida For All, a political committee with deep ties to Dale Holness. Omar Smith, the treasurer of the committee, owns FlyerSmith. Campaign records show FlyerSmith has done extensive work for Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. For his 2016 re-election campaign, Dale Holness paid Flyer Smith $15,161 for marketing, flyers, IT services and consulting. Judicial candidates are barred from appearing on partisan campaign literature. When the State of Florida revoked authorization for the committee, a Broward Judge ordered the removal of the card from early voting locations.

Then, a stunning undercover expose by Project Veritas Action featured Omar Smith disparaging Florida voters. Smith called Florida a “cracker” state. He said Andrew Gillum was telling voters a “fairy tale” to win their votes.

The video and a follow up interview were recorded at Dale Holness’ real estate office.

DECLINE TO COMMENT

REDBROWARD contacted Tyrone Nabbie at his Orlando offices on Wednesday. Nabbie admitted to paying for the signs. When asked why, Nabbie claimed he wanted to be involved in the community. When asked if he discussed the signs with Dale Holness or Omar Smith, Nabbie said, “I have to decline comment.”

This appears to be the second time Dale Holness reached out for political help from someone doing business with County.

In September, REDBROWARD exposed how Dale Holness hosted an Andrew Gillum fundraiser at a building the County might purchase.

According to Broward property records, the building sold for $11.525 million in July 2018 to Spectrum Investors LLC. According to State of Florida records, Spectrum Investors LLC is managed by Sheldon Gross of Palm Beach.

In August 2018, The Sun-Sentinel reported Broward County Commissioners were looking for a new home for the Broward County Property Appraisers Office and the Broward Supervisor Of Elections Office. Located near highways and public transportation lines, the new building has a cafeteria, a hurricane-proof data storage bunker and room for a warehouse. Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness said the building has a “real nice gym.”

The price tag for the sprawling new government campus is $24 million taxpayer dollars.

This building is the same one owned by Gross at 2050 Spectrum Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Even though he bought the building for less than half that amount just three months ago, Sheldon Gross claims the $24 million dollar price is competitive for the area.

Broward Judge Candidate Tanner Demmery Doesn’t Want To Answer Questions About The Shady Voter Card Passed Out By His Volunteer

On the first day of early voting, Broward County judicial candidate did not want to answer questions about shady palm cards endorsing his campaign. When REDBROWARD caught up with him at the Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs, Demmery cried “harassment” when asked about his appearance on the partisan card from the A Better Florida For All political committee. Demmery even asked a woman to call the police. As REDBROWARD exposed in January, the Palm Beach committtee is tied to controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.

The Holness-friendly group is using the palm card to promote Democrat candidates including Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson. Last week, Buddy Nevins at Broward Beat reported four non-partisan judicial candidates appeared on the latest card. They are Haccord James Curry, Stefanie Camille Moon, Jackie Powell and Tanner Channing Demmery.

“Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited,” Nevins wrote.

On Friday, Omar Smith of A Better Florida For All told the Sun-Sentinel, “none of the candidates were picked because of financial ties to the political action committee or to any of Smith’s businesses, which perform campaign services.”

Demmery told the Sun-Sentinel, “[H]e had no idea why his name appeared on the Better Florida for All flier, though he did pay one of Smith’s contractors for campaign signs. Dennery said he was unaware of the connection between the contractor and Smith, and by extension the PAC, until after the flier began circulating in Tamarac.”

DEMMERY VOLUNTEER PASSING OUT CARD

By last Friday, Tanner Channing Demmery was fully aware of the legal and ethical situation surrounding the A Better Florida For All card. But this week, a REDBROWARD reader sent a photograph of a Tanner Channing Demmery volunteer passing out this very card at early voting. Wearing an official Demmery campaign t-shirt, the female volunteer is shown with the card at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale.

Demmery is running against Corey Amanda Cawthon for Broward County Judge.