In 2013, Karin Hoffman, leader of the defunct “DC WORKS FOR US” tea party group, wanted Republican leaders to urge Governor Rick Scott to drop his 2014 re-election bid. Hoffman’s coup attempt came amid a constant barrage of negative media for Governor Scott. Hoffman hoped Scott dropping out of the race would open the door for Florida CFO Jeff Atwater. Multiple sources say Hoffman backed away from her plans after most Republican leaders scoffed at joining her. The sources say a meeting was held with Scott campaign staffers.
Hoffman, a candidate for Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) chair, has a long history of attacking Governor Scott and other Republicans. In 2013, Hoffman attacked Governor Scott in The Orlando Sentinel. “If some are baffled, others are bitter. Said Karin Hoffman, founder of DC Works For Us in Fort Lauderdale, who organized a tea-party conference attended by 220 activists in Orlando in January, ‘There’s a, ‘If you are not going to listen, we will go away from the party,’ attitude emerging. So that’s kind of where it is.'”
In 2010, Hoffman supported Bill McCollum over Rick Scott. The Tampa Bay Times reported “[Hoffman] is supporting McCollum, saying his years as a politician gave him ‘a better depth of knowledge to issues and solutions’ compared to Scott’s baggage. “We do not give an immediate pass to those who are new,’ she said. ‘Even though we are antiestablishment … it’s not a knee jerk reaction.'”
In 2012, Hoffman attacked U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack. The Miami Herald reported, “‘When he got into the race it’s almost like Connie Mack sucked the air out of the race, but he wasn’t able to sustain that,’ said Karin Hoffman, CEO of the Broward County-based DC Works for Us, which organized a tea party conference in Orlando attended by all the Senate candidates recently. ‘As more time has gone on,’ she said, ‘the reaction to him from people paying attention has become, ‘Well, not so much.’ Hoffman had organized a forum in Orlando that turned into a pep rally for Mack’s challenger, U.S. Senator George LeMieux.
A controversial straw poll was held at Hoffman’s event.
“Organizers initially said there would be no straw poll because the organizations hope to avoid taking on the appearance of political groups, and taking sides in a campaign could threaten their tax-free status. Nonetheless, there was ‘overwhelming’ sentiment in favor of a poll, said Karin Hoffman, founder of DC Works for Us, one of the organizers of the event. Hoffman said she considers the results a reliable representation of the feelings of the attendees, and heard no complaints afterward from any attendees about the accuracy or appropriateness of the straw poll.”
But others questioned the legitimacy of the poll.
“But one attendee, Jason Hoyt of Orlando, said the poll wasn’t representative—voters included campaign volunteers, and rules concerning the candidates’ interactions with voters weren’t consistently enforced, he said. ‘If anyone chooses to interpret this straw poll as representative of the tea party movement’s support or endorsement – that’s a mistake and is not the case,’ Hoyt said.”
In typical Karin Hoffman fashion, she would soon bolt from the LeMieux campaign. Sources say she quit her position with LeMieux when she believed CFO Jeff Atwater would jump into the race.
Last week, REDBROWARD revealed Hoffman’s hypocritical attacks on Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Hoffman’s family-owned business, Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc., accepted nearly $80,000 in Federal tax dollars in a contracts with the School Board of Broward County. In January 2011, as part of a new history program, the School Board of Broward County approved a week-long trip to Washington, D.C. by thirty elementary, middle and high school America history teachers. Sonshine agreed to “provide intensive training on the history of the United States.” The Board awarded the $68,354 contract states to Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc. In April 2011, the School Board of Broward County awarded the $16,520 contract to Hoffman’s Sonshine Educational Tours, Inc.for a two day trip by elementary school teachers to St. Augustine.
The funding came from a $1,000,000 “Teaching American History” grant from the Federal government.
In a January 2011, Hoffman attacked Priebus because The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported Priebus’ firm , Michael Best & Friedrich, helped clients secure stimulus funding. Priebus denied having anything personally to do with that work.
“I never counseled a single person on the stimulus,” Priebus said. “It’s all garbage.”
Hoffman told Politico she was not buying Priebus’ excuses. “That violates everything that the tea party movement has been fighting against, so the fact that the RNC voted for him shows that the party still doesn’t get it at all,” said Hoffman.
Even while she attacked Republicans, Karin Hoffman seemed eager to open talks with Democrats. In 2010, when a CNN anchor asked if she would meet with officials from the Democrat National Committee (DNC), Hoffman said:
Oh, that’s another great question, too. We are open to have a discussion with the DNC, there’s no problem with that. In fact — but it’s interesting because, right now, in the past year, the DNC and the Democrats at the House and the Congress and with that, they have had free reign of pushing legislation through….So, also, the interesting perspective too is that it — there’s been communication on the side of the Democrat Party as far as who we are…Although, I think it would be time, just like, Karin, let’s sit down and have a discussion about that, just like what we had this week with Chairman Steele and the RNC. That would be a good move to be able to have an open discussion with the DNC.
Tonight, BREC members will elected a new chair. The election begins 7PM at the Sheraton Suites Hotel on Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale. Karin Hoffman, Levi Williams and Chris Leggatt face the overwhleming favorite BREC vice chair Christine Butler.