Broward Health Is Fountain Of Campaign Cash





Broward Health, the county’s public hospital system, is a fount of campaign cash for County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Nothing illegal in that.

But it is a throwback to the 1970s through roughly 2004 when two powerbrokers raised thousand for candidates from those doing business with the hospital system and its physicians. Those wily pols were real estate investor Hamilton Forman, perhaps the shrewdest political figure in Brwoard for decades,  and hospital attorney Bill Scherer.

Forman controlled the governing board of the North Broward Hospital District for decades with the support of various governors, who repeatedly appointed him. The District is the legal name of Broward Health.

Forman’s handpicked lawyer for the district was Scherer, who became a political power by following Forman’s lead and using the hospital doctors and staff for campaign bundling.

Now we have David DiPietro, the chair of the governing board appointed by Gov. Rick Scott.

DiPietro, a lawyer, got his start as an associate at Scherer’s office. He obviously learned from the master.

A longtime friend of LaMarca, DiPietro is also the commissioner’s lawyer. So it was no surprise to me when roughly 30 contributions from businesses, individuals and physicians connected to Broward Health showed up as donors to the LaMarca re-election.



David DiPietro (on right) next to County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.  Hospital district Commissioners (from left) Darryl Wright and Rocky Rodriguez 


DiPietro downplays his involvement in the contributions:

“I have donated myself but I am not actively raising donations for his campaign.”

Here is what LaMarca says about the contributions:

“Several months ago a friend of mine in the healthcare industry hosted a fundraiser for my campaign that brought together leaders in the medical community. Over my time in Broward, I have met many of these people in a variety of ways including friends such as the host or during my time as Chairman of the Broward Republican Party. As you can imagine, community and industry leaders like those you reference have donated to events and candidates attached to the party over the years.”

DiPietro also helped LaMarca in another way. He helped a Melbourne, Florida group called Families for Lower Taxes, a group behind on a recent attack mailer targeting Democrat Ken Keechl, who is LaMarca’s opponent.

DiPietro’s political committee A Better Florida contributed $3,500 to Families for Lower Taxes the same month the attack ad was mailed.

“A Better Florida is an ECO (Electioneering Communications Organization) set up to support Chip LaMarca. Families For Lower Taxes was putting together an ad that we felt benefitted Chip,” DiPietro candidly explained.

It is good to see that DiPietro learned from the fabled Forman and the ebullient, outspoken Scherer, who even has his own public relations consultant:

DiPietro is frank about what he does in the background…just like Forman and Scherer.

Political power is not about how powerful you are. It is about how powerful people think you are.

So flaunt it.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about David DiPietro.


9 Responses to “Broward Health Is Fountain Of Campaign Cash”

  1. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Isnt the district effectively a tax payer funded agency under the effective control of whoever is the governor of florida? So effectively practicalky government employees n vendors are being pressured to support politically with money a or governors political allies. Too bad broward doesnt have either the federal hatch act or miami beachs no vendor or lobbyist can contribute to political candidates

  2. Plain Language says:

    Question: We pay taxes to the hospital districts so they can pay for those who are uninsured. I thought Obamacare took care of that or am I mistaken? If it did then why do we need to pay those taxes anymore? And if the districts are government agencies since we pay them taxes, why are they involved in endorsing partisan candidates?

    Second question, isn’t this the same group saying we shouldn’t pay to reauthorize the Children Services Council? But they still want us to pay hospital district tax? Yet don’t want a public option in health care?

    It’s confusing, Buddy can you help me figure this out?

  3. to be accurate says:

    The eco hit piece put out by Dipoetro was in the primary where Keechl won 72 to 38 against Ben Lap who according to the Sin Sentinle had H’s campaign run by Judy Stern and Eric Johnson. Sure looks like the piece had little or no impact.

  4. Doctors Money says:

    The county commission does little with the hospital district. Any money doctors are funneling to LaMarca is to win favor with DiPietro, the man who decides their contracts.

  5. Lauderdale girl says:

    I live in Ft. Lauderdale and received the negative piece on Keechl. It was essentially a bad cartoon. If this is the best they got Chip will have a lot of free time on his hands soon. He needs to explain why he should keep his job especially with all the bad press he has been getting.

  6. Rico Petrocelli says:

    #2 Plain Language.. The actual Hospital District did not cut a check, individual Doctors did. Those Doctors can get involved with any election, partisan or not…

    As far as #4. they are networking as any business would, individual or as a group.

    Rico Petrocelli
    Former Councilman
    City of Plantation

  7. Local Voter says:

    Isn’t this the same guy that wrote an article almost two years ago calling LaMarca’s fundraising “mediocre”? Now the guy is crushing it in every sector of the business community and Buddy writes an article picking it apart. The guy is raising money and doesn’t meet with lobbyists. What’s the problem?

  8. dear buddy says:

    Didn’t you write a piece for the Broward Bulldog on this race where Chip railed against negative campaigning. I guess for chip it’s ok if the eco made for him does it and not the chipster?

    Also wasn’t the. ECO funded in part by Chips uncle a Catholic priest? I thought priests have a vow of poverty? Where did he come up with the cash? Odd that the holy father’s nephew is in deep debt and in foreclosure yet won’t help him out of dent but will fund an eco. That’s messed up.

  9. OIG says:

    THe OIG needs to have oversight over the workings at Broward Health and hopefully steps will be taken to do so.

    In the near future a percolating problem at Broward Health is on the horizon where they may get hit for a multi million dollar fine for Medicaid issues. Some say, that Mr. Scherer signed off on the offending conduct. Others say, Dipietro is going to protect Scherer and get the votes to oust Nask and blame him. Nothing but rumors at this point, so we shall see…

    Should be interesting.