Big Hollywood Law/Lobbying Firm Gets Bigger


In another example of the revolving door between government and lobbying, the big Hollywood-based law firm Becker & Poliakoff is opening a Washington office with veteran Democratic and Republican congressional staffers.

The new office will include:

  • Omar Franco, former Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep.Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida.
  • Clarence L. Williams,  Chief of Staff to former U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek of Florida.

Franco and Williams join two dozen other lobbyists at the firm in other offices.  The lobbying team  is headed by Becker’s Practice Group Chair Bernie Friedman.

The firm, which has an extensive commercial practice in addition to lobbying, has approximately 125 lawyers in 13 Florida offices, New York City, New Jersey, Nassau (Bahamas) and Prague.

Becker is highly controversial in Broward.

Not only does it represent well-heeled clients involved in industries such as gambling, waste and development.  Friedman and his crew have been accused of trying to buy influence by backing less-than-stellar politicians. Becker attorneys have fervently supported some pols that have been arrested or are under suspicion.

Friedman was a product of the revolving door himself.  He was national Young Democrats leader decades ago and a staffer for former U. S. Rep. Larry Smith, D-Hollywood, who is now a lobbyist, too.

“Our clients can now rely on us for Federal Government relations as they have at the local, regional and state levels. As government work becomes more interrelated, it is important for lobbyists to be able to represent clients at all levels of government, Friedman was quoted in a news release.

Here is the background of the new Becker lobbyists from the release. It illustrates Washington’s revolving door in both parties:

Mr. Franco joins Becker & Poliakoff from Franco Government Lobbying, a firm he founded in 2010, which served as the lead government relations representative for Florida Gulf Coast University, Secure Wrap, Inc., Medical HealthCare Plans, and the Florida municipalities of Hialeah, Miami Lakes and North Bay Village.

During his four-year tenure as Chief of Staff for Congressman Diaz-Balart, Mr. Franco was responsible  for managing the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. and District operations and focused on areas of expertise that included Federal appropriations, healthcare, higher education and issues dealing with the State of Florida.

In his first three years, he assisted the Congressman in securing over $77 million dollars in appropriations for Florida local governments, as well as significant funding for Miami-Dade County’s MDX‘s Intelligent Transportation Systems Integration and other transportation related issues.

Mr. Franco served as a member of the National Hispanic Working Group for the Bush/Cheney 2004 re-election campaign and is an active member of the Republicans Associated for Mutual Support (RAMS).

Mr. Williams served an eight-year term as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff for Congressman Meek, managing the 22


4 Responses to “Big Hollywood Law/Lobbying Firm Gets Bigger”

  1. says:

    Bernie Friedman is a joke in Tallahassee.

  2. Warren Meddoff says:

    Having known the firm for over thirty years, based on personal experience, any client using this firm will get the best of representation.

  3. RA says:

    Say what you want, Becker/Bernie/Neil, etc are very effective!

  4. says:

    Bernie Friedman has one vote on the county commission and that is Sue Gunzburger. He is hired to get her vote.

    Neil Schiller is an extension of Bernie. In meetings he reads talking points that Bernie prepared. A trained monkey could do it.

    Alan Becker shows up to collect a fee.