Should a person seeking to be the next chair of the Broward Republican Executive Committee co-host a Republican “Victory Dinner for Veterans and Volunteers” with two of the biggest fundraisers for Democrat politicians? Well, that’s exactly what BREC Chair candidate Karin Hoffman did on Monday November 10 at the La Granja restaurant in Plantation. In an email to grassroots Republican volunteers, Hoffman wrote, “Everyone has worked tirelessly to bring this victory to a reality. We have a great opportunity to celebrate together this Monday and we wanted to extend this invitation to you and your friends for a complimentary dinner for all the hard work you have done in this election.”
Hoffman’s email stated the host committee included the Republican Business Network, the Broward Young Republicans and other local Republican clubs. But the first names listed on the host committee were Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Keiser. While several BREC members wondered who Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Keiser were, the couple is very well known to Democrat politicians such as Congressman Alcee Hastings, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Hillary Clinton.
In 1977, Arthur Keiser formed the for-profit Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale. The private college came under intense scrutiny in 2012. A two-year investigation by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, “blasted a for-profit education industry for soaking up federal student aid to the tune of $32 billion a year by recruiting students with the promise they could rely on government aid and loans to pay tuitions that are usually far higher than those charged by public colleges.”
Keiser defended himself in a Sun-Sentinel story. “After 35 years, serving the state of Florida, tens of thousands of students, their families and employers, we take great issue with the entire flawed and biased processes which have resulted in a targeted report condemning an entire sector of education,” Keiser said. Over those 35 years, Keiser and his wife funded dozens of Democrat politicians.
KEISER FUNDED WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ, HILLARY, ALCEE AND AL GORE
According to Federal and State campaign records, even though the Keisers are currently registered Republicans, they have spent the last 15 years funding the Democrats Republicans love to hate.
In 2000, Arthur Keiser gave $2,500 to the Gore/Lieberman campaign. He gave $5,000 to the Democrat National Committee, $500 to John Kerry and $1000 to Alcee Hastings.
In 2002, Keiser gave $2,000 to Bob Graham. In 2004, Keiser made hefty contributions to Alcee Hastings, Bill Nelson, Patty Murray of Washington, Harry Reid, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
In 2006, Keiser gave money to Bill Nelson and Alcee Hastings. Two years later, Keiser gave to Chris Dodd, Alcee Hastings, Kendrick Meek, Tom Harkin and Hillary Clinton.
In 2010, Keiser supported Ted Deutch, Chris Dodd, Alcee Hastings, Kay Hagan, Patty Murray and Charlie Crist’s independent bid for the U.S. senate. In 2012, he gave monetary support to Bob Menendez, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Alan Grayson.
Just this year, Arthur Keiser gave campaign contributions to Patrick Murphy, Joe Garcia, Alcee Hastings, Cory Booker and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ DWS Victory PAC.
Belinda Keiser has been just as generous with Democrats. In 2000, she gave money to the Democratic National Committee, Al Gore and Bill Nelson. Over the next 14 years she supported Alcee Hastings, Peter Deutsch, the Florida Democratic Party, David Obey, Ron Klein, Carolyn McCarthy, Tim Kaine, the DSCC, Charlie Crist, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Hillary Clinton.
In Florida races, the Keisers have supported many Broward Democrats. They supported Ari Porth, Marty Kiar, Jeremy Ring, Skip Campbell, David Aronberg, Nan Rich, Irv Slosberg and Jim Waldman. Rep. Waldman is an employee of Keiser University. Lisa Aronson, a Democrat candidate for the Broward County Commission, is another former Keiser employee.
In 2000, the Keisers spent money on Belinda Keiser’s own political aspirations. Mrs. Keiser was a Democrat candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. She contributed $150,000 to her losing bid. Published reports claimed Keiser spent more than $300,000 on her campaign.
HOFFMAN TIED TO KEISER UNIVERSITY LOBBYIST
So, how did Karin Hoffman become so close to these huge Democrat fundraisers? The answer may lie with a lobbyist for Keiser University. Terrence C. (TC) Wolfe is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Government Relations at Keiser University. According to official State records, Wolfe is a registered lobbyist for Keiser University. Wolfe has been a constant companion to Hoffman on the campaign trail.
Hoffman posted numerous pictures of her with Wolfe at recent campaign events and neighborhood walks. On election night, Hoffman posted pictures of her and Wolfe at Florida Governor Rick Scott’s victory party in Bonita Springs. At the first BREC debate last week, Wolfe and another Keiser employee were clearly supporting Hoffman. At the debate, the new president of the Broward Young Republicans stated Wolfe was the “social director” of the group. In her resume, Hoffman claims to be the “social chair” of the Broward Young Republicans.
Should a BREC chair deal with Democrat fundraisers in return for a free chicken dinner? Cozy deals and crony capitalism have fostered Broward’s atmosphere of waste and corruption.
BREC members can ask Hoffman about her ties to lobbyists and Democrat fundraisers at tonight’s debate in Fort Lauderdale.