BY BUDDY NEVINS
When Scott Herman was a Republican last year, he got 16 percent of the vote running for state House.
Now a Democrat and running again, Herman apparently hasn’t learned much about campaigning.
Herman is challenging incumbent state Rep. George Moraitis, a Fort Lauderdale Republican.
Maybe Herman would have a better shot…if his campaign stopped hemorrhaging money.
Herman has spent 19 times more money than he raised.
Not that he didn’t try to raise money. But Herman raised only $1,875.55 since kicking off his campaign in March, which shows how little support he has in House District 93…or anywhere else.
He covered the runaway campaign expenses of $35,875 with $34,258 of his own money.
What has he been doing with the money?
A big hunk of the money went to supporting a group of campaign consultants. These consultants, in my opinion, are milking Herman for every dime he is willing to throw into the campaign.
First there is Barry Harris, a Democratic activist. Harris’ company, Politically Direct, has soaked up roughly $10,000 of Herman’s money as a “campaign consultant.”
Harris’ partner in the company, Susanna Bott, is received roughly $6,000 additional dollars for “administrative work.”
Then we have all the other expenses that really have nothing to do with winning a campaign. Maybe Harris should have earned his money and told Herman he is wasting his:
- $1,084 for accomodations at the Diseny Beach Club Resort during the state Democratic Convention. How many votes can you get at that convention? None is the right answer.
- $1,200 to Equality Florida, a gay civil rights group. Another waste of money, since these folks will be backing Herman anyway.
- $538 for a bullet proof vest. After waffling and denouncing the report in Mediatrackers by Tom Lauder of the vest, the campaign in a news release stated it was bought because of “the current hostility towards the LGBT Community.”
- $500-plus for a storage unit.
- $800 for tickets to a Broward Democratic Party fund raiser in Weston and $520 in hotel charges for the Weston hotel.
- Roughly $85 monthly for a subscription to the News Service of Florida.
- $20 for a subscription to Florida Trend magazine.
There are paid luncheons described as “staff meetings;” a fee for fundraising, although he didn’t raise many funds; money for a photograph and mucho bucks thrown at the web and technology consultants.
But while Herman is misusing money and misrunning his campaign, Moraitis was working as a legislator. It was announced this week:
*The Florida Chamber of Commerce gave Representative Moraitis an “A” rating on its Legislative Report Card and designated him a “Pro Biz” legislator. The Chamber noted Representative Moraitis’s efforts to streamline Florida’s growth management laws.
*The Business Section of the Florida Bar Association recognized Moraitis with its Distinguished Legislator Award. The Business Section noted his efforts to introduce and pass legislation that consolidates and modernizes Florida’s arbitration process after decades of case law and statutory changes.
* The Broward League of Cities presented Moraitis and Democratic State Rep. Hazelle Rogers with its Legislative Appreciation Award for their effective advocacy in the Florida legislature.
Moraitis is the favorite in this race. But this is a swing district where GOP registered voters hold only a 3 percent edge over Democrats. It took over $250,000 by the Moraitis campaign last year to beat a weak Democratic candidate who only spent $8,700.
So Herman — who has no experience and is spending like a drunk who just got paid — might just win this.
That would be sad.
Because if Herman handles taxpayers money like he is managing his campaign funds, watch out!