05 Mar 2018 Who’s Pulling the Purse Strings from Behind the Proverbial Curtain?
This article was originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, preserved here now for historical purposes.
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Over the past two weeks, we, the voting public, have received a number of political advertisements from the Armand Grossman campaign and a Political Action Committee (PAC) supporting the Grossman campaign.
These political advertisements have come in the form of a video and three mail pieces attacking Boca Raton City Council candidate Monica Mayotte with a series of unsupported lies, innuendo and political misinformation. These materials, however, remain somewhat a mystery as to whose interests are involved because the Grossman campaign reports filed to date have hidden the contributors’ identities from the public view. These materials are being generated with ‘dark’ monies; monies generally provided to Political Action Committees (PACs) by undisclosed financial interests whose identities are purposefully being hidden from public view.
Evidence has now been uncovered directly connecting some of this PAC ‘dark’ money to Jim and Marta Batmasian of Investments Limited, the largest commercial landowner and developer in downtown Boca Raton. The Batmasians have, over time, written thousands of dollars in checks to a Political Action Committee associated with the Grossman campaign.
‘Batman’, as he is sometimes affectionately referred too, has contributed heavily to the Grossman campaign and it’s supporting PACs with cash contributions and with political signage littering the public’s view corridors throughout the downtown and along Federal Highway. The Batmasians have contributed to a PAC controlled by Mr. Grossman’s political consultant, Todd Richardson. Contributions were then moved to the Richardson PAC responsible for the negative mailers and video circulating to the public in our mail boxes and on TV. (See below) These four (4) political advertisements have been published and paid for by a political action committee (PAC) called “Responsible Neighbors Alliance.”
BocaWatch’s research has uncovered the following facts:
- The Chairperson of this PAC is Todd Richardson, Grossman’s campaign consultant (see below). Richardson is also the political consultant for both the Jeremy Rodgers and Scott Singer City Council campaigns.
- The Treasurer of the PAC, Michael Millner, is also Armand Grossman’s campaign treasurer (see below). Grossman is running against Monica Mayotte for Boca Raton City Council, Seat D.
- That Todd Richardson is associated with a number of PACs; PACs that have failed to timely file contribution and expense reports for transparency purposes; a political parlor trick to keep the public from knowing whose financial interests are actually being served.
Because of the late reporting deadline for PACs, it is unlikely we will see who is funding the ‘Responsible Neighbor Alliance’ PAC, and for how much, until after the election is over. Like the Grossman campaign itself, as of the February 10th reporting deadline, “Responsible Neighbors Alliance” has not reported any contributions or expenditures (see below).
If prior years are any indication, pro-development forces are pouring tens-of-thousands of dollars into the PAC to defeat Monica Mayotte and purposefully manipulating the reporting requirements to cover-up the developer interests funding the Grossman campaign.
Eureka!!! Actually evidence has now been uncovered supporting the above operating thesis. We now know that some of these suspicions are true.
As it turns out, another PAC, “Floridians for Integrity in Government,” also chaired by Grossman’s campaign consultant Todd Richardson, has filed its March 10th treasurer’s report early. According to this filing (see below), Investments Limited, the commercial real estate and development company run by embattled local developer Jim Batmasian, made a $10,000 contribution to “Floridian’s for Integrity in Government” on February 2 (see below). That same day, “Floridians for Integrity in Government” transferred $7,500 to “Responsible Neighbors Alliance”; to wit: proof positive that Batmasian interests are, in part, funding the attack ads against Mayotte. The “Floridian’s for Integrity in Government” PAC also showed a payment of $8,853.80 to Root Strategies, LLC on February 22 for direct mail services. Root Strategies is Todd Richardson’s consulting firm (see attached).
As reported last week, Grossman’s campaign has listed $75,000 + in loans and contributions with only $503.23 dollars in expenditures. As of today, Monday morning, the City Clerk has posted the latest reports for all the March city council races. All candidates have timely filed with the exception of Mr. Grossman. Mr. Grossman and his campaign consultant are clearly and deliberately hiding the campaign’s financial activities. This lack of transparency and the previously reported lack of integrity and truthfulness by Mr. Grossman is tell-tale….and…. all this before being in a position of power. These underhanded and secretive campaign characteristics are indicative of what Mr. Grossman’s intentions and actions will be if and when actually elected to the city council.
Whose tune do you think Mr. Grossman will ‘dance’ to; the resident or his behind the scenes ‘developer’ puppet masters? You be the judge….
And this – Just In: Per the most recent Campaign filing report for Mr. Grossman, Crocker Partners controlled entities and executives contributed a total of $5,000. This represents more than 54% of the $9,225 Grossman raised during the period. Crocker Partners is currently pushing hard for massive rezoning in the city’s midtown area. It is highly unlikely the contribution was made out of the kindness of their heart.
One by one, the dominoes are falling in place and we are seeing the usual ‘dark’ forces behind Boca Raton politics at play once again. More on this as additional facts are uncovered.
Remember, your vote is your voice; let your voice be heard loudly at the ballot box next Tuesday, March 13th …..Vote the ‘resident friendly’ vote…..