A Fool and His Money: House Candidate Milked By Campaign Team

 

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!

 

 

 



27 Responses to “A Fool and His Money: House Candidate Milked By Campaign Team”

  1. Bamboozled says:

    Hey Herman give Chip LaMarca a call, he can advise you on how to claim the “I was bamboozled” defense. Ask your pal Warnig he probably has Chip’s number.

    You are right Buddy, how can the public have any confidence in Herman, LaMarca and other electeds when it is shown these electeds cant even manage their own finances yet are trusted to deal with billion dollar budgets

    http://mediatrackers.org/florida/2013/10/25/politicians-foreclosure-reveals-tangled-web-lobbyists-campaign-cash

    http://www.browardbugle.net/feature.php?id=114&c=1

  2. DeeDee says:

    You are right, Buddy. Herman is using his campaign to pay for his lifestyle, including showing off at Democratic Party and gay dinners.
    If elected, he would be ineffective.
    As far as Barry Harris, nobody treats him seriously except for the suckers who hire him. Wasn’t he involved with the Chaits and that corruption scandal?

  3. send them to Tally says:

    @Bamboozled
    Bobby Dubose City Commissioner in Fort Lauderdale head of Broward League of Cities and other Important ceremonial positions has had three foreclosures/Lis Pendens/Final Judgements in three years
    one in Coconut Creek
    one in Fort lauderdale and one in Lauderhill

    https://205.166.161.12/OncoreV2/search.aspx?q=detail

    Its really unfair to ask them to be more fiscally responsible than the rest of us not in elected office
    they do not want to be held to a higher standard
    they are simply victims of pulling equity out of their properties homesteaded or not and just not catching the market right

    That said Dubose is running for a seat in tally representing a small district in central Broward
    Given his financial acumen and tarck record he will make a fine representative!

  4. Watchman says:

    Buddy, when Herman was interviewed by the Sun-Sentinel, he said he’d been ” ‘extremely welcomed’ by his new party”. Well, YEAH, if he’s giving them money for every fundraiser that comes down the pipe. It should also be noted that Herman’s campaign as a Republican consisted of surrounding himself with a bunch of Republican smoke-blowers while going to every event he could find and…well…waving.

    As for Harris’ consulting… when I was younger saw consulting like that, only it was called “looking busy”. Not that Herman would know the difference.

  5. Just Saying says:

    Herman is a gadfly that nobody takes seriously. The fact that he hired Barry Harris just proves how bad of a candidate he is: all of Harris’ candidates are the politically “dead man walking” … but they are too clueless to know it.

    The only contest Herman could win is for “most inept Broward candidate of the 2014 cycle” … but I’d guess he will lose that contest to his former pal Chris Warnig.

  6. Kevin Hill says:

    Of course this ALWAYS happens with those hapless marks who run for judge; most of them get fleeced like a lamb.

    But you are right, Buddy. At this level it’s just pathetic.

  7. GiGi says:

    It is not a crime to spend your own money to run for office. Ask the Governor. Maybe if Representative Moraitis had spent a little more for admin help he would not have filed reports late.
    What is a criminal is the hatchet job this “story” represents.

  8. Barry Harris' Front Teeth says:

    We wish Barry hadn’t stopped working for Scott!!!

    We need that money for the orthodontist, and the good doc doesn’t accept Barry’s Diners Club card!

  9. Susanna Bott says:

    Buddy,

    I worked hard for the “Elect Scott Herman Campaign” ~

    Please be fair & include what else I did to support my candidate ~ if you are going to report it, I would respectfully ask you report it all.

    Please know, I contributed back financially (in compliance with campaign election law) to the “Elect Scott Herman Campaign” by paying for and coordinating the flying of an outdoor advertisement along Fort Lauderdale Beach (a happythings.org sponsorship @ of a-$500 airplane banner) to Gain & Enhance Name Recognition for Scott Herman in District 93 on behalf of the Democratic Candidate, Scott Herman seeking election for State Representative, the banner was flown between Dania Beach Blvd. and Commercial Blvd. on Memorial Day, 2013.

    I would appreciate you acknowledging this generous act by a Campaign Coordinator, single-mom of two boys, working on a Campaign and supporting her Candidate. :)

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    FYI, Scott Herman was very happy to have me as part of his team ~

    Thank you.

    Susanna Bott

  10. Team Aronson says:

    Barry is the best. If it’s true Barry is running the Aronson campaign it’s bye bye Miller, Rose and Bogen

  11. frank says:

    This is the political consultant equivalent of a lawyer that hands out business cards at an accident scene.

  12. City Activist robert Walsh says:

    Comm.Bobby Dubose you got someone hot on your trail. #3″Send them to Tally”. Real story is why? Three foreclosing in 3years. So because of your revelation, because he is in foreclosure makes him not qualified to be an elected official. He has won two (2) elections. So I don’t think a lot of people think the way you do.

  13. Broward Dem says:

    Seems as though Herman is a Democratic placeholder for Moraitis so no credible candidate will enter the race to oppose Moraitis. Why else would anyone switch parties, start campaigning so early, and not even attempt to raise money.
    Herman has not had any fundraisers I know of, and has never asked any folks who help fundraise for any help.
    He is either a shill, or a terrible candidate.
    That being said Moraitis is the worst legislator in Broward, voting with Rick Scott 100% of the time, and working overtime against his constituent’s interests by raising their property insurance rates.

  14. The plan says:

    Could it be that Motitias cut a deal a few years back to get Barbra Stern on the Election Commission in exchange for her not running against him for two terms? The possible deal almost belw up last cycle when George almost lost. For the plan to succeed…George made sure that the push to remove Stern by Latvala looked good in the media but ended there. For it to work n the other side, Herman runs against Perry last cycle in which Perry could claim he could finally beat a Republican. Miracles of miracles Herman becomes a D and does a flip creating a layup for Moritias. Keep an eye down the line… Moritias will run for Congress either here or more likely against Murphy if he survives and Stern will run for George’s seat in a Persidential next year. True? False? You make the call?

  15. Watchman says:

    @Broward Dem,

    Two things 1)He’s a terrible candidate. 2) How does Moraitis voting with the Governor (a fellow Republican) make him the worst legislator in Broward, when every Dem votes with every other Dem?

    I’ll tell you what, on the off chance your party gets the Governor’s mansion, we’ll see how discordant your party’s legislators are to the Gov. until then you should probably think before submitting party-line twaddle like that.

  16. Seriously says:

    Susanna Bott,

    6,000? Seriously? For what? You say be fair and include what “else” you did, but what did you do for $6,000? You say you gave “back”. What does that mean? You took some of the $6,000 and funneled back to the campaign?

    On behalf of single moms, why invoke that characteristic when the issue is how did he spend all that money and give you $6,000 on “administrative work” at this stage of the campaign? For too long in this county, the routine has been to hire and then give lots of money to “campaign consultants” embedded in the structure. They fleece candidates and more importantly the donors.

    Answer the question — what did you do for $6,000 at this stage of the campaign and how much more do you expect he will pay you between now and November?

  17. Take A Seat says:

    Why won’t Kristin Jacobs run against republican State Rep. George Moraitis? She actually lives in that district. I am told that the Tallahassee democratic leadership wanted her to run against Moraitis. She has represented much of that area as a commissioner and could beat him. That would win a new seat for the democrats. If she is a true democrat she would help the democrats win control of the Florida House. Steve Perman, a chiropractor who served in the House before, is a good democrat and has already been endorsed by State Rep. Jim Waldman, who is leaving that seat due to term limits, and Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congressman Alcee Hastings and State Reps. Clark-Reed and Hazelle Rogers. That’s enough support from true democrats to convince me to vote for Perman and tell Kristin Jacobs to get tough and run against Moraitis. Then you won’t have to move into a new district. Do they still call people who do that “carpetbaggers”?

  18. True Blue says:

    It is odd that Barbra Stern never ran against Moritias again now that everything she predicted about him when they ran is true. Stern would have killed George in 12′. Hope it is not true, the only reason that makes sense that she doesn’t run against George is if she made a deal to get the Division of Elections seat.

  19. SAO? says:

    #16 is right, and the State Attorney should be asking those questions to see if this is criminal misuse of campaign funds.
    Hiring campaign consultants is not wrong or illegal. However, using the term “consultant” to fleece contributors and candidates while providing nothing in return of value is wrong, if not illegal.
    This should at the least be a warning to candidates, be sure to check into your consultants or you are likely to end up with nothing to show for your experience but a hole in your pocket.

  20. frank says:

    The plan has no clue what he’s talking about. George Moritis doesn’t have any clout in the Senate.

  21. George the empty suit says:

    You are right George has no clout. On the other side the Republicans do not want to lose a House seat. Throw Stern a bone in exchange for not running and beating George keeps the seat in the R column. Gov Scott does not appoint Democrats to anything, so why was Stern so special? Stern’s mother runs the Sachs campaigns, Stern could easily ride those coat tails to beat George. The woman who ran against George last time got 47% of the vote being no more than a live body in the ballot. Makes no sense to me why such a champion of womans rights would refuse to run against a State Rep who runs on a Christan Right anti woman agenda. The only explanation in my opinion is there was a deal cut that she wouldn’t run against him.

  22. frank says:

    “Scott does not appoint Democrats to anything”
    The elections commission appointments are required to be balanced between Democrats and Republicans, by law. So he had no choice but to appoint a Democrat.

  23. Progressive Democrats United says:

    The PDU is proud to announce the formation of the Draft BABS Committee.

    BABS – Bring Accountability Back Stat

    The BABS Committee over the following months are going to create a Coalition of Progressive to support and draft Barbra Stern to run against State Representative George Moraitis.

    As many are aware Barbra lost a close race to Representative Moraitis 4 years ago. Since then she was the head of theNational Women’s Political Caucus. In the coming months we will being an online poll as well as the creation of a Facebook page and website.

    After reading the article here, we as Progressive Democrats must support BABS and show our support to get Barbra Stern to run and have the District reflect the wants and beliefs of all residents to just the religious right ones.

  24. Give me a break says:

    Both of these guys are zeros.

    Moraitis has had an underwhelming tenure in the House and Herman is, plainly, a loser. Moraitis’ awards are simply lobbyist favors that would rate any lock-step Republican so they can have an “achievement” on their mailers – and he is no more than a “yes” man to his (who appears to be) high-maintenance wife (who really is wonderful, by the way – she’s the brains behind the insipid operation).

    Yawn.

  25. Andrew Markoff says:

    Scott Herman wants to work with, be known by and be friends with activists in the Democratic Party, in caucuses and in political groups. He contributes to causes and attends functions and gets to know people and their issues. I would too, if I could afford to buy the tickets and pay for hotel rooms. I enjoy getting to know people and discussing politics and issues regarding good government. To slam Scott Herman for engaging in such an effort seems to be really reaching for some kind of controversy.

    I don’t know about that $500-and-change bullet proof vest, but for all anyone knows, perhaps it comes in handy after hours if his fetish might involved such expensive equipment. For everything else, well, buying a plate of rubber chicken is just how some groups raise money for causes and how candidates get to know the activists involved.

    Herman may have trouble raising money simply because business interests are more interested in an incumbent and individuals just don’t have money to spend on political campaigns. Most of us are asked for money every single day for every single cause and candidate we might care about but just don’t have the money to back financially. This is a lousy system that requires so much money raised to run for anything.

    This post, however, seems intended not to point out the fiscal management skills of a candidate or to point out some controversy or some issue anyone should care about. It appears designed to do only one thing: attempt to slam a Democrat and say little about the Republican while simply inferring that the Republican is better than the Democrat. This blog has become so nakedly partisan that I continue to wonder if it’s more about Buddy Nevins getting his bills paid by pretending to have an opinion for the benefit of any particular candidate willing to pay him than its about any genuine concerns.

    Scott Herman is a nice man who appears to mean well. He also certainly appears to have a learning curve ahead of him on various issues of concern to Democrats and that pertain to the better interests of everyone who cares about clean air and water and other issues of good government.

    Spending money on getting to know activists and political groups and attend functions doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all to me. It’s not always only about getting votes from the people in the room. It can also be about getting knowledge and gaining respect, something this blog appears too often to actively attempt to obstruct with rather pathetic attacks against people who mean well. We should all have some more respect for people who are willing to throw their hat into the ring as long as doing so isn’t strictly about personal financial benefits, a la the Republican clown car of candidates hoping for book deals, Fox News deals and speaking fees.

    I’m glad that Scott Herman has money to spend on showing up and being involved. I hope that results in him being a good Democrat and a well-meaning activists for better government.

    FROM BUDDY:

    I have attacked Moraitis in the past. I couldn’t care less who wins that seat.

    As far as “Buddy Nevins getting his bills paid,” let me clear the air about that.

    I pay my own bills without help from anybody in politics. I retired from a full-time job at 59. I have absolutely no debt. I am in no need of financial help from anybody.

    I do no political consulting and have have no involvement in any of the ads that appear on Browardbeat.com. (Google ads handles that. I have no idea what ads will pop up on my site.) I have turned down offers to do both consulting and take “sponsored” stories.

    There has never been a financial incentives to write anything I write, including when I was on the Sun-Sentinel and other papers. I call them as I see them, Andrew. And I see Scott Herman as a foolish candidate who is wasting his money.

  26. frank says:

    You’re right. The only thing your post is missing is a “Heckava job Brownie!”

  27. In BABS we trust says:

    BABS thank you and Nick for stepping up. With Crist and Sen Sachs leading the way Barbra Stern is shoo in to beat Moraitis.

    Run Barbra Run! Not ony do the Dems need you, it is what is best to protect the women of this State.

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