September 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaign: 'Trump’s business with Cuba appears to have broken the law'




A day before her visit to South Florida, Hillary Clinton's campaign pounced on the Newsweek article that concludes Donald Trump's company violated the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba.

“Trump’s business with Cuba appears to have broken the law, flouted U.S. foreign policy, and is in complete contradiction to Trump’s own repeated, public statements that he had been offered opportunities to invest in Cuba but passed them up," said Clinton advisor Jake Sullivan in a statement. "This latest report shows once again that Trump will always put his own business interest ahead of the national interest - and has no trouble lying about it."

Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts paid at least $68,000 to a consulting firm in late 1998 in an attempt to give Trump’s business a head start in Cuba if the U.S. loosened or lifted trade sanctions, according to the front-page Newsweek report, titled “The Castro Connection.” The consulting firm, Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corp., later instructed the casino company on how to make it look like legal spending for charity.

The news could hurt Trump's efforts to win the Cuban American vote in Miami.

Clinton speaks in Coral Springs Friday afternoon where she is courting Democratic voters including blacks and Hispanics. It's unclear if she will use her speech to bash Trump about the embargo. In 2015 while in Miami, Clinton announced her support for lifting the embargo.

- with Patricia Mazzei



September 28, 2016

Cory Booker to attend Clinton fundraiser in Broward

FullSizeRender (15)@PatriciaMazzei

Miramar Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief will raise money for Hillary Clinton's campaign Saturday, with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey headlining the event.

Booker is a top Clinton campaign surrogate, especially in the African-American community. With polls showing Clinton running head-to-head against Donald Trump in Florida, her team has stepped up its outreach to black voters, airing radio and TV ads aimed at drawing them to the polls.

Donors must contribute at least $250 to get into Sharief's fundraiser, though tickets at that contribution level were limited, according to an invitation obtained by the Miami Herald. Other donation levels are $500, $2,700 and $5,000.

September 20, 2016

Trump camp says it has 3 offices in Miami-Dade, 2 in Broward


Donald Trump's campaign will inaugurate three Miami-Dade County field offices Tuesday, along with a second one in Broward County, his team said.

As part of a statewide "Trump Tuesday" plan to mobilize supporters and volunteers, the campaign will open offices in Miami, Hialeah and West Dade, and in Coral Springs. Trump had already set a campaign location in Fort Lauderdale.

His campaign has trailed far behind Hillary Clinton's in ground operations, though it's been moving quickly to catch up under new Florida chief Susie Wiles. A Huffington Post reporter recently toured Trump offices across the state and found little going on in them yet.

Below is the list of offices provided by the Trump campaign:

Continue reading "Trump camp says it has 3 offices in Miami-Dade, 2 in Broward" »

September 09, 2016

Broward to offer maximum early voting hours

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Broward County will offer the maximum number of early voting hours in advance of the presidential election -- longer than initially planned.

The county will offer early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 6.

A brochure on the website of the Broward Supervisor of Elections states that early voting hours will be from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. for two weeks.

The Miami Herald had asked Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes if she planned to keep those hours after Miami-Dade County announced it would offer the maximum 168 hours of early voting. Snipes' assistant told us in an email today that "early voting hours will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a period of 14 days."

There had been some discussions among Democrats about whether the county needed the maximum number of early voting hours.

Sen. Chris Smith, who lost his race for County Commission, said he spoke with Snipes about early voting during the primary which drew only 16 percent turnout -- the lowest in the state.

"I mentioned to her the general will be much different and she needs to maximize the hours," Smith said. "She said she was looking into it."

Election supervisors have until Oct. 9th to set the hours. Statewide early voting doesn't have to begin until Oct. 29.

There were long lines during the 2012 election which prompted a change in state law to allow more early voting hours. Broward has about 1.1 million registered voters -- including the highest number of Democrats in the state -- so it is expected to turn out in large numbers for the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Election day is Nov. 8th, but it's possible that half or more of voters will cast ballots before election day at early voting sites or by mail.

- Patricia Mazzei contributed to this article


Trump campaign to hold 'Day of Action' in Broward Saturday


Florida's bluest county will see a whole lot of Donald Trump campaign action Saturday.

The campaign for the Republican will open it's first Broward County office in Fort Lauderdale, organize volunteers at multiple fast food and coffee shops across the county and bring a campaign RV to a Haitian community event. 

The "Day of Action" includes organizing volunteers in multiple Broward cities to go door-knocking, according to an email sent to the Broward Republican Executive Committee. Door-knocking is also planned in Hispanic neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County.

A Trump campaign RV will stop by the Haitian Community Resource Fair at Franklin Park, 2501 Franklin Drive, in Fort Lauderdale from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

The Trump campaign will hold a grand opening of its first South Florida office on Saturday afternoon at 800 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale at 1 p.m.

The Trump campaign also plans to open an office at 1401 University Drive #301 Coral Springs on Sept. 13, according to an email sent to Broward Republicans from Dolly T. Rump, the Broward County chair for Trump campaign. The grand opening will be held from 5-8 p.m.

In total, seven Trump offices are expected to open soon in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Tim Canova to run against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2018



Tim Canova may be headed for a rematch against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in South Florida.

Canova filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Thursday so he can start fundraising to run in the Broward/Miami-Dade district in 2018. The Nova Southeastern University law professor backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders raised about $3.8 million in his first campaign.

But despite his warchest he couldn't compete with the name recognition and long roots of Wasserman Schultz who won her first elected office -- for the state Legislature -- in 1992 and was elected to Congress in 2004.

Wasserman Schultz beat Canova by about 14 percentage points in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary. She will face Republican Joe Kaufman Nov. 8th in the left-leaning district. In 2014, Wasserman Schultz beat Kaufman 63 percent to 37 percent.

Jon Reinish, a spokesman on behalf of Wasserman Schultz, provided a statement that didn't mention Canova and said she is focused on passing a Zika bill and Hillary Clinton's race.

"Debbie knows that we need to focus our energy and effort on helping Democrats win in 2016," he said. 




September 08, 2016

Bill Clinton fundraised in Miami Beach, met clergy in Broward


Former President Bill Clinton met with black ministers in Broward County and then headlined two fundraisers on behalf of Hillary Clinton in Miami Beach Wednesday.

Clinton met with clergy at the Miramar Cultural Center. Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam,the son of Jamaican immigrants, has been a surrogate for the Clinton campaign with Caribbean and African-American voters in Florida and campaigned for her during the primary in South Carolina.

Clinton headlined a fundraiser at Fillmore Miami Beach which drew 600-800 people. Retired Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning introduced Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine who hosted the fundraiser.

In addition to praising Hillary Clinton and bashing Donald Trump, Clinton "talked about sea level rise and climate change and our city's efforts to make our city resilient and how we need help from the federal government and how her quarter trillion infrastructure fund would be helpful," Levine said. 

Clinton also called on Congress to pass a Zika funding bill. The Senate deadlocked over Zika funding again Tuesday.

Levine then hosted a smaller dinner fundraiser with Clinton at his home where donors were asked to each give $50,000.

Trump and the Clintons are expected to repeatedly campaign in Florida before the Nov. 8 election where polls show they are virtually tied. The Trump campaign plans to doorknock in Hispanic neighborhoods in Miami-Dade and open it's first South Florida office in Fort Lauderdale Saturday.

- Photo is of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and former President Bill Clinton


September 07, 2016

Donald Trump to open South Florida offices in next week


Donald Trump will open a campaign office in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, the first South Florida office for the Republican during the general election.

His campaign is expected to open 25 offices across Florida within the next week, including seven in Broward and Miami-Dade, said Healy Baumgardner, a Trump campaign spokeswoman in Florida.

No further details such as the address of the Fort Lauderdale office or the locations of the Miami-Dade offices were immediately available.

Miami-Dade has the highest number of registered Republican voters — about 365,000 — in the state. Broward has the third highest, about 250,000, slightly behind Hillsborough County.

The Trump campaign has been sluggish at opening offices for the general election in Florida. On Aug. 8, the Donald Trump campaign said its first two dozen campaign field offices would open across Florida within two weeks. But that never happened.

On Tuesday, the Trump campaign opened an office in Winter Park. Previously his campaign had only opened one Florida office — his headquarters in Sarasota. An opening is also planned for Pensacola on Saturday.

Keep reading here.


September 01, 2016

Murphy, Rubio to debate Oct. 26 in Broward College


Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy have agreed to a single debate -- for now -- in Florida's U.S. Senate race. It will take place Oct. 26 at Broward College in Davie.

The debate between Rubio, the incumbent Republican, and Murphy, the Democratic challenger, will be sponsored by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. The hour-long debate will be produced by WPBF 25, a Hearst-owned ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, and be broadcast live from 7-8 p.m. through a network of stations in all of Florida's media markets. It will be moderated by WPBF news anchor Todd McDermott and a media panel still in the works.

"The outcome of Florida's Senate race literally could affect the future direction of the country, and 13 days before Election Day we know the eyes of the state and the nation will be on this debate," Leadership Florida President Wendy Walker said in a statement. "We are pleased that both major parties' nominees have committed so quickly to participate."

"The free exchange of ideas is at the heart of our system of democracy because it creates and informed electorate," said Dean Ridings, president and chief executive of the Florida Press Association. "This debate will provide an outstanding opportunity for Florida voters to see the candidates and understand their positions and their differences."

Rubio has challenged Murphy to five more debates, but Murphy has refused to accept, saying he wants Rubio to commit to serving a full, six-year Senate term instead. Rubio has already accepted other debate invitations, including one from the Tampa Bay Times.

Mitch Ceasar to return as Broward Democratic chair


Mitch Ceasar, who lost his race for Broward Clerk of Courts Tuesday, has resumed his position as chair of the county's Democratic Party.

Ceasar was first chosen by party activists in 1996. He took a leave of absence last year to run for the clerk position. He had said he would return after the primary through the Nov. 8 election. Ceasar did not run for precinct committeeman, so that means he can't run for the chair position in December.

Cynthia Busch, who took over as interim chair, remains first vice chair.

Broward County has more than 578,000 registered Democrats -- the largest county contingent in the state. That means Ceasar will be tasked with helping drive up turnout for Hillary Clinton Nov. 8. 

"Democrats have to rise up and provide the margins necessary to carry Florida," Ceasar said.

Ceasar lost the Clerk of Courts primary to Brenda Forman, wife of long-time Clerk of Courts Howard Forman who is one of the county's longest serving elected Democrats.

- Photo by the Sun-Sentinel