Local Lobbyist Named Democratic Big Shot

 BY BUDDY NEVINS

In another example of how lobbying and politics are entwined, registered Broward lobbyist Alex Heckler was handed a big political job this week: Treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association.

Heckler was called “one of the nation’s leading Democratic fund raisers in a news release announcing his appointment.

Hmmmmm.

Alex Heckler

I’ve got absolutely nothing against Heckler, who is 33.

However, the real brains of the lobbying operations at the local Shutts & Bowens office is George Platt, former county commissioner and ex-Broward Democratic Party leader. Platt has always been smart enough to hire some good helper bees, like Heckler.

Platt plays in the local corridors of power, where there is money to be made.  Heckler has always fancied himself a national political player.

He backed John Kerry early in 2004.  Ooops.

He backed Hillary Clinton early in 2008.  Double ooops.

Dabbling in local politics, Heckler is backing the re-election of County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin along with his firm.  Triple ooops.

Heckler, whose stepfather in Florida House Democratic Minority Leader Franklin Sands, is a rainmaker for Shutts & Bowen.  His role is explained on the firm’s website like this:

 “Mr. Heckler’s approach to government relations and his clients’ business development is about much more than simply reacting to procurement opportunities.  Instead, Mr. Heckler proactively educates government officials and private companies about new ideas, products and better ways to operate key projects.

I read this as:  Heckler figures out ways to pry money out of taxpayers to help his clients.

But that’s the definition of lobbying, isn’t it?

Heckler’s more than two dozen clients, most of which he shares with others at Shutts & Bowen, include:

Bergeron Environmental & Recycling, which won a big disaster debris contract in Broward; Morgan Stanley & Company; Southern Waste Systems, which is trying to break into recycling in a big way; Parades Shops, the international airport stores; Gilly Vending, Clear Channel Airport Advertising and Charcuterie Too, the restaurant in the main county library.

I praise Heckler for taking the new job.  It’s like being invited to walk the plank.

I don’t care how much money he raises in his new position.  The Democrats are going to lose governors racesincluding unfortunately most likely here in Florida.

It is tough being a Democratic fund raiser any year.  This year it’s going to be tougher…especially on Election Night when the returns start coming in.



18 Responses to “Local Lobbyist Named Democratic Big Shot”

  1. Democrat says:

    Alex is a nice young man who always thought he would make it to Washington.
    That’s all he is. Don’t take him seriously.

  2. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Man… That’s a nice tie he’s wearing. Clip on ties sure have come a long way.

  3. the Truth is says:

    As much as it pains me, “Democrat” is right on point. When it comes to raising money, Alex takes a lot of credit for other people’s work. As a local fundraiser for local candidates, he has continuously promised to raise thousands of dollars, and it always comes down to having to call him 3, 4, 5 times and the thousand are one check for $500, maybe $250. Nice guy, a lot of hot air.

  4. knowledge says:

    The truth above is correct Alex is strictly the front kid and carries the water,Alex pretemds to be something he is not.Good thing for step dad and his friends,although he is having his own finacial issues

  5. Talk About Oops says:

    I can’t imagine a chance in hell that Bill McCullum beats Alex Sink for governor. Alex has everything over Bill, and is a moderate like most Floridians. People in Florida can’t be that stupid.

    Republicans have been in charge in Tallahassee too long. The state is getting nothing done, the situation is only getting worse not better. The situation up there is so pointless,
    you can’t hardly even get a flight up there anymore. Why bother? There’s no point going up there.

    With Alex Sink we can have a governnor that everyone can connect to, someone who can unify the state. And that’s what we need, we need to stop all this anger and fighting. Bill McCullom is not about bringing us unity and moving this state forward. He is about throwing gasoline on the fire.

    FROM BUDDY:

    Unfortunately, every recent poll indicates McCollum is far out in front. Sink has a lot of catching up to do.

    Date Sample McCollum (R) Sink (D) Spread

    RealClearPolitics Average 1/20 – 3/18 — 42.8 33.0 McCollum +9.8
    Rasmussen Reports 03/18 – 03/18 1000 LV 47 36 McCollum +11
    Daily Kos/R2000 03/15 – 03/17 600 LV 41 35 McCollum +6
    PPP (D) 03/05 – 03/08 849 LV 44 31 McCollum +13
    Fabrizio (R) 01/27 – 01/28 800 LV 41 32 McCollum +9
    Quinnipiac 01/20 – 01/24 1618 RV 41 31 McCollum +10

    *Source RealClearPolitics.com
    Listed by dates that the poll was done., followed by the number of people polled. LV (likely voters) or RV (registered voters). Followed by the percentage for McCollum, the percentage for Sink and McCollum’s lead.

  6. knowledge says:

    with the lack of unity in the State and Broward county democratic party and the major in house fighting in the party,they need to clean up there factions frist,The Democratic party needs Leadership,after the unity function(former Jefferson-Jackson diner)the party is very divided in all directions.You are correct Buddy all polls shows McCollum leading and the Senate seat with Meeks is worse,Leadership is a MUST

  7. Good For You Alex says:

    I have had the complete opposite experience with Alex Heckler than those who have written above. Most people in this industry take credit for the money raised by others, but I don’t find Alex to be that way at all. While we all agree that he is a very nice guy, I think he is a very competant and successful young man. I have met him multiple times at fundraisers and such and was very impressed by him and the money which he has raised. My congratualtions go to him and the D’s on the appointment of this position.

  8. knowledge says:

    Alex is a nice guy yes but he will not be able to carry the water for a splintered Broward and State Democratic party.Although I do wish Alex luck

  9. Way to go Dems says:

    Good for the Dems. I think Alex is a great appointment, who might be able to help turn things around for the party. I do agree that with recent occurances the Broward Dems do not seem to be in the best shape, but it takes getting good people elected into office and appointed to positions to fix that status. This can be a good start.

  10. knowledge says:

    ALEX has been involved in Broward politics a lomg timehe saw some of the problems of the Broward DEC and dig not really take any type of role to improve it

  11. Nona says:

    Alex is a good D. A busy D. An honest D. A rising D. A super D. An inspiring D. D is for Democrat. Democrats are good. Alex is good too.

  12. knowledge says:

    Alex is a nice man and he knows a lot of connected people,he is a front man because of his relations,but he has not really exhibited any leadership skills,ALEX IS GOOD,HIS LEADERSHIP IS UNKNOWN AT THIS TIME

  13. David Brown says:

    Alex Heckler has an outstanding work ethic and a strong commitment to a set of broad based values that includes family, country, faith and those less fortunate than himself. The Democratic Governors did well to select Alex as the face of the next generation of Democratic organizational activists.

    Alex has achieved much because he works hard and produces. That accounts for some of the jealousy posted above but in no way diminishes what he brings to the table now or the contributions and leadership he will add moving forward in his expanded responsibilities.
    Go Alex.

  14. Great posting David says:

    David Brown, that is a great positing you put up there. Nicely done; and I absolutely agree with it!

  15. knowledge says:

    once again David Brown has got to take pot shots when people have free speech,good luck on your campiagn with Steve Geller,I hope things work out for you this time,as far as Alex goes he could prove his leadership skills especially now ,lets see if Alex can step up since the mason dixion poll shows McCollum leading Sink 49% to 34%.
    It is silly to say that some people are jealous of Alex,I just dont see tremendous leadership that all,maybe now that Sink is down in the polls,Alex could bring his leadership to the forefront

  16. David Brownnose says:

    David Brownose is doing his best to live up to his name.

    He likes to kiss the ass of Alex Heckler because Heckler must feed him campaign work. One thing David Brownnose likes is feeding time.

    I’ve seen David Brownnose kiss up to Franklin Sands at every opportunity. Hey, David. Has Franklin done anything at all since being elected except lose all his money to Madoff.

    David Brownnose wants everybody to vote for Steve Geller. Good luck. The public doesn’t want a developers lobbyist elected to the county commission.

  17. Uh, Noooo says:

    Alex is a nice person.

    If you are a local candidate in City X, and you call Alex, he says I will get you 2 grand. You are lucky if you get one check. It takes multiple calls and it is already out there don’t bank on his money, Alex is unreliable. When he was involved in raising money for the Pines Bond issue, he failed miserably and it took Howard Forman to jump in at the end to raise the money on a referendum issue that needed every cent because it barely passed. Alex couldn’t do it. Locally, he struggles mightily. maybe at a bigger level, he is more effective. call around, check it out. yowsa.

  18. The Truth is says:

    Love ‘ya, Dave Brown BUT

    Alex is not a good, reliable local fundraiser (remember Platt raises the money for the County Commissioners). Call 10 local elected officials at random and just ask them off the record for an honest answer and you’ll see.

    RICHARD KAPLAN FOR STATE ATTORNEY. THROW OUT SATZ!!

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