Karin Hoffman appears to be using the Republican brand and a Miami Dolphins marketing slogan in her campaign for chair of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC). The banner on Hoffman’s campaign website declares, “Victory For Broward GOP, Stronger Together.” The unfinished website contains biographies of Hoffman and her running mates, Daniel Ruoss and John Pisula. Another section of the website reveals Hoffman’s platform for BREC. Hoffman writes, ” Every idea will be vetted.” Perhaps Hoffman should have vetted her domain name and campaign slogan.
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) has strict rules on the use of party names and logos. The very first RPOF rule of procedure deals with the use of the name Republican. It states, “No person or group of persons shall use the name, abbreviation or symbol of the Republican Party in connection with any club, group, association or organization of any kind unless approval and permission have been given in writing by the chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee and at least two of the following officials of that county: State Committeeman, State Committeewoman and County Chairman.”
Hoffman’s domain name, “KarinforBrowardGOP.com,” is a direct reference to the “Grand Old Party.” Did Hoffman get permission to use GOP in her domain name? Did she ask about using an elephant and the words “Broward GOP” in her logo? Did she even know to ask?
More troubling may be Hoffman’s “Stronger Together” slogan. The same slogan is currently used by the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). The team uses the “stronger together” slogan in marketing materials to ticket holders, signage on the team website and hashtags on the team’s social media posts. Last June, The Miami Herald reported, “The team’s latest marketing campaign is based on this ‘ethos,’ as Lezcano called it: Stronger Together. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see that slogan everywhere — from roadside billboards to TV ads to banners at construction sites.”
Hoffman is clearly a Miami Dolphins fan. Her current Facebook profile picture is Hoffman holding a banner at a recent Miami Dolphins game.
Perhaps Hoffman will claim it is a common saying. This is true. A Google search shows the “stronger together” slogan is used by the AFL-CIO union, the SEIU union, and Unite Blue, a progressive Democrat group.
This isn’t the first time Hoffman has been accused of borrowing someone else’s ideas.
DID HOFFMAN “HIJACK” TEA PARTY MOVEMENT?
On her “KarinforBrowardGOP” website, Hoffman claims, “She orchestrated the historic meeting of Tea Party leaders and the Chairman of the RNC on Capitol Hill in 2010.” This “historic” meeting resulted in many Florida tea party leaders claiming Hoffman had hijacked their movement. The controversy made national news as Hoffman bragged about her meeting on CNN.
From The Atlantic: “We don’t have any idea who these 50 people are,” said Robin Stublen, who runs the Punta Gorda Tea Party in Punta Gorda, Florida. “Last night on a national conference call [organized by the national group Tea Party Patriots] with over 100 people on it, let’s say the reception was not good.” The magazine reported that leaders of the South Florida Tea Party questioned whether Hoffman was legitimate. “[Hoffman’s] been referred to as a South Florida Tea Party leader in news reports. But Everett Wilkinson, who leads the group that is officially called the South Florida Tea Party, questions whether she’s actually connected to the movement. Wilkinson protests not only her meeting with Steele, but the fact that she’s being referred to in the press as a “South Florida Tea Party leader”–a mantle which, he insists, belongs to his group alone. Wilkinson sent [a] letter to Steele last week, protesting the meeting and insisting that Hoffman is not part of the Tea Party movement.”
In a recent email, Tea Party Fort Lauderdale co-founder Danita Kilcullen mentioned Hoffman’s checkered tea party history. Kilcullen wrote, “This past Saturday Tea Party Fort Lauderdale celebrated its 300th continuous week of meetings since our beginnings in early February 2009. While Ms. Hoffman sent emails and made phone calls for us to attend her D.C. Works for Us meetings — and many of us did — I can remember only one time that she attended one of our tea party meetings, when she came toward the end of a large outdoor rally to take a picture. I did ask her once if DC Works.. was a tea party or a 912 group. Her answer was, ‘both.’ ”