Who’s Pulling the Purse Strings from Behind the Proverbial Curtain?

7

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…..

Al Zucaro

Boca Raton – Elections – Responsible_Neighbors_Alliance_Funding

 

 

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Alfred Zucaro has resided in Palm Beach County since 1982 and has been a resident of Boca Raton since 2008. A graduate of Fordham University, he holds a Magna Cum Laude degree in Economics. Mr. Zucaro attended Nova University receiving a Juris Doctorate Law Degree in 1986. He is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar, practicing in the area of Immigration Law for the majority of his career. Currently he is manager/member of Palm Beach Investment and Finance LLC, a USCIS approved regional center identifying foreign investment leading to permanent resident status. Mr. Zucaro served as a City Commissioner in West Palm Beach from 1995 to 2002 and as the President of the City Commission in 2000/2001. He has also been a member of and/or served on the Economic Council, the Business Development Board, the Film and Television Commission, the Tourist Development Council, the Workforce Alliance and the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Of particular interest is his founding of the World Trade Center Palm Beach, an organization that focuses on international economic development. Married to Yvonne Boice, they are avid world travelers having visited 6 continents and dozens of countries since their 2008 nuptials.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting times as the emperor builds his court. Oh, you know, the king, the ruler of Batmasia. Since Batmasian’s own as much as they do, why not control 3 seats on the City Council for total and complete control. With Mayor Haynie receiving money secretly under the table for 7 years we now see candidates lining up. The King and Queen fund campaigns of Grossman with its dishonest ads, Rodgers, now Steve Abrams’ steps up to kiss his majesty’s ring, pleading with residents to honor the King and Queen’s selection for City Council. Meanwhile Mr. Abrams has his hand out for the necessary succor he will need for his next political bid.

    THE CITY OF “BATMASIA” (formally known as Boca Raton) – a City owned and operated for the benefit of James and Marta Batmasian.

  2. Not quite sure why all of the attacks are at Investments Limited and the Batmasians. I own a business and property in downtown Boca Raton. I see many signs on retail property for Investments Limited. I also see that whenever they purchase a retail property they follow this up by renovating and improving the look of said property. This improves the appearance for all of downtown Boca Raton. I have lived and worked in this city for a lot longer than anyone I see posting here. I may not approve of the extra traffic we have but I still frequent the Downtown area and support its businesses. Please if you are going to attack them tell us what they are doing besides improving the look that warrants such attacks.

  3. Mike,

    Comments are important and thank you for yours. Investments Limited does an exceptional job rehabbing its properties old and new. And too, the Batmasian family has been giving to the community with generous gifts over the years.

    My take away from today’s article is I feel their generosity does not entitle them to literally buy our City Counsel to insure their development objectives are met. Especially the way their funding of Grossman’s negative campaign has shown itself. Isn’t owning +/- half the town enough that their buying candidates in such a blatant manner repugnant to any reasonable person? Just me, but a vote for anyone other than Mayotte and Do is a vote for more rampant development and more money for the Batmasian’s.

  4. Yes, it is true the Bats have purchased and upgraded many properties in downtown Boca
    via Investments Unlimited. Why wouldn’t they upgrade their properties, it is primarily to their advantage to increase the value of those properties Look to the future, those properties primarily being small sites could easily be tomorrows “hi rise and hi density buildings” if they have control of the city council. Remember they already have plans to do it to Royal Palm Plaza.

  5. Mike, we are not attacking them personally . I happen have a deep respect for Jim and Marta for what they have done for this city. I don’t see any other group spending over $100k for a statue of Mizner with his monkey honoring Boca heritage. I remember 20 years ago Marta complaining it was up to high. She was right. After last recession 2007 they were close to financial disaster but continued to invest and improve their properties. I am happen for them and the residents. There charity work is well known. But than about 5 years ago some outside gun slingers came into town throwing bullets and mud on a nice young fireman in a seat for council. Boca went from nice to ugly politics which carries to this day. We hold Jim and Marta responsible since they are funding Todd and Mike in running Armand and Jeremy’s campaigns. We view them as the bad guys trying to control the council for their benefit. Money fosters greed. We all know about the mayor’s deal. Mike, they are not the problem it is the political thugs that have showed up. Mike, we were like sheep we would show up to a political gun fight with a tennis racket . No more. The sheep are now wolves. Mike, all will be ok. The city is doing great.

  6. As the old counselor to the king famously said when recommending a charity donation: “Better to give SOME of what you have so they don’t start a revolution and take ALL that you have”. A fair warning to he who thinks himself a king.

  7. Its encouraging to see that a reasonable debate can take place on Boca Watch without the derogatory adolescent name calling that some frequent commentators typically default to. Batmasian is acting out of his his own self-interest and whether we like it or not he has the right to do so. On the other hand we have the right to express our opposition via the ballot box.

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