State Democrats Throw Rep. Franklin Sands A Lifeline After Madoff Loss


His millions stolen by Bernie Madoff and his legislative term near its end, state Rep. Franklin Sands has received a political lifeline from the state Democratic Party.

Sands is getting a new job to oversee Democratic efforts in several South Florida counties.  Included are Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.

The job will involves grassroots efforts, including a beefed up get-out-the-vote campaign and coordinating the various candidates with the state party.

Some Democrats are already complaining about rumors that Sands will be earning a large paycheck from the financially-beleaguered party.

“I’m told the money he is getting is a lot of money.  It could be into six figures with incentives, said one Democrat. “That’s a lot for the Democrats.

Sands probably needs the money after being victimized by Madoff. He said almost all of his savings is gone.

The lawmaker lost more than $3 million. He faces another $2.3 million bill from lawyers in a clawback lawsuit, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Since his loss to Madoff, Sands got a job as a consultant working with health insurance claims.

Sands is in his last two years in the Legislature.  He must leave in 2012 because of term limits.

A state Democratic Party spokesman refused comment, saying a number of appointments by the new state Chairman Rod Smith will be made shortly.

Sands told numerous Broward Democrats he has the job.  He recently has  attended various Broward Democratic meetings and has been seen taking copious notes.

Franklin Sands argues a point in the Florida House

On one level, Sands is the perfect choice:  He is the former House Democratic Leader, 2008-2010, and has a wide network of contacts.

On another level, Sands is a strange choice:  He lost every one of his tough campaigns.

Sands was beaten in a competitive 1997 Weston city commission race.  He was defeated in a combative 2002 state House Democratic primary.

He only won in 2004 when he had no Democratic challenger.

There was a Republican candidate, but the state House Plantation/Weston District 98 is heavily Democratic about two Democratic voters to each Republican at the time of the race.

Before getting the new Democratic Party job, Sands considered running for state Democratic chair earlier this year.  Smith won that position.

16 Responses to “State Democrats Throw Rep. Franklin Sands A Lifeline After Madoff Loss”

  1. Tomas the Democrat says:

    I have never understood the appeal of Franklin Sands, who honestly has accomplished nothing in the legislature. In addition to that, from meeting him I have noticed he is nasty and condescending. That’s my opinion and I’m a Democrat!

  2. Tiny Bubbles says:

    What does it say about somebody that they lost all their money? I say it indicates he is gullible.

  3. Broward Lawyer says:

    This ain’t passing the smell test. It’s not fellow Democrats fault that Sands lost lots of money to Madoff. Sands got greedy and instead got screwed. Tough!!!

  4. The real reason says:

    The real reason they are doing this is because of Sands son Alex Heckler. They should, Alex Heckler has raised a ton of money for democratic candidates in Florida.

  5. DEC says:

    The real reason makes some sense. Heckler is a Democratic lobbyist who brags everywhere he can raise money. He used to brag that his stepfather was in the legislature. Today he brags about himself. If the Democrats need to hire Sands for Heckler, they are in worse shape than we imagine. Nobody will give money to Democrats because they have done nothing but lose for a decade. Obama will raise and keep his own money. Heckler would have to raise $100,000 just to pay for his stepfather.

  6. Its a shame says:

    It is such a shame that you are all on here making derogatory comments about a man who spends his days working for the community. So what if he is trying to make a living or support his family. Sands is an honorable man who is doing what every person would do. He is neither selfish, greedy or irresponsible. As a matter of fact, none of you made it a point to demean Hadassah for investing over $90 mil or Zsa Zsa Gabor who invested $10 mil in Madoff for that matter. Madoff was a scam artist, a damn good one…NOBODY knew it. Don’t judge Sands for being taken just like the rest of them. If you want to judge him based on becoming a success and losing it all, I would really like to know what you have all done with your lives that is so impressive.

    And the fact that his step-son, Alex, is so successful should only be a testament to this family. Kudos to Sands for being so resilient and being such a hard worker rather than mooching off the system and collecting unemployment like the rest of them.

  7. Great choice Rod says:

    For all of you naysayers writing – you obviously don’t know Sands. I met him when he came to speak at my son’s school once. And he is a very nice man and a dedicated democrat. I think he did a great job as leader so it makes sense for the party to want to keep him around. As far as the salary – ever hear the saying – spend money to make money – this is a perfect example. If he is making a nice salary it’s because Smith is confident in his abilities which he should be based on his performance. And Buddy, I normally agree with you but get over the lost races. Who cares about races 10 years ago…The guy has been in office for like 6 years…


    The point of his losing races is that he never won one himself. In fact, I would bet he has never been intimately involved in a difficult race that was won by Democrats. While he was House leader, the Democrats lost seats!

    Now he is leading Democrats in an effort to win tough races. That is why I bring up the past. I believe it is relevant. In fact, I heard it mentioned by others, too.

  8. betty cobb says:

    Not too sharp putting all your eggs in one basket Liked what Howard Finkelstein said about Madoff investers Greedy

  9. Daniel Simpson Day says:

    The naysayers about what Sands will earn from the Democratic Party are just jealous. They’re not the ones who have the brains, talent and know how to do the job or earn that kind of money and they know it. They’ll tear Sands or anybody else down rather than build themselves up.

  10. Patti Lynn says:

    I have heard both positive and negative about Franklin Sands. How much of it was political posturing, I don’t know. I do know that he attended every program that the League of Women Voters conducted in Broward; that he supported women’s issues in the Florida legislature; and that he was responsive to those attending those meetings. That being said, it is obvious that the entrenched Democratic machine has been more of a failure than Franklin Sands could ever be. We lost the entire executive branch of Florida’s government….and we have a governor that was disliked by the Republican establishment, yet, he still won the office. Franklin Sands most certainly deserves a chance to inspire those Democrats who rarely come out to vote. I will gladly join any intelligent program that he might propose to invigorate Florida’s Democratic Party.

  11. Dday25 says:

    Typo in the headline should be Lifeline not Lineline

  12. Med From Cleveland Clinic says:

    I remember that Sands raised much of his money from Republican doctors from the North Broward Hospital District because his opponent Roger Wishner stood up to them in Tallahassee. That is not a sign he is a dedicated Democrat.

  13. Jeffrey bauman says:

    I have known Franklin Sands for the better part of 25 years. He is one of the hardest working individuals there are. I will stand by Franklin for his honesty and his integrity.
    As far as Madoff is conceared he was led to him by other sources even the so called protectors of the people the SEC who was warned years ago did nothing.also tell me any President or politician that doesn’t go on the talking circuit for gobs of money or leaves politics to take jobs in the industries they were supposed to oversee.Franklin works for the people and should not be treated differently because some blogger with a stick up where the sun don’t shine should rethink his position

  14. Hey Buddy says:

    Hey Buddy! why do we smell Shifty Shifrel All over this story. The only source he is good for his blowing his own horn.

    What would Shifrel have to do with this?

  15. Obama, Democrats Start Early In Broward : says:

    […] Sands got appointed to his new job earlier this year.  I wrote about it here. […]

  16. Liz Yurat says:

    some of you up there are probably sands relatives.@@