Karin Hoffman, candidate for chair of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC), co-hosted a political forum with the Florida Young Democrats which included an elected Democrat politician. In February 2011, Hoffman’s now defunct group, “DC WORKS FOR US,” sponsored THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE in Coral Springs. A post on the group’s defunct website stated, “DC Works For US and the Young Democrats of Florida are hosting a true discussion on the liberal and conservative ideology that is driving American politics. We really can’t say Democrat or Republican as we find strong evidence of both ideologies on both sides.” Hoffman wrote, “This is not campaign related but an effort to have a true discussion of the ideology behind the politics and if that ideology is carried through to its logical conclusion, where does that lead our nation.”
“We surround ourselves in our bubbles. It’s almost like a group think,” Hoffman told The Sun-Sentinel. The idea is to “challenge what you believe…. It’s not a political debate. You’re getting beyond issues and discussing ideology.” On the event invitation, Hoffman wrote, “If you are liberal, bring your conservative friends and family to this. If you are conservative, bring your liberal associates. We cannot move forward until we truly know where we are going.” According to The Sun-Sentinel, Karin Hoffman brought her liberal friend, the vice-president of the Broward Young Democrats.
The Sun-Sentinel reported Franco Ripple, the vice president of the Broward Young Democrats, was Hoffman’s “partner” in planning the event. In 2008, Ripple had been a field organizer for the Obama campaign.
The American Experiment would feature a discussion by a conservative team and a progressive team. Hoffman would serve as the moderator of the discussion. The progressive team included Ripple, Laura Hammad, a Muslim-American activist and Alexander Lewy, a Hallandale Beach city commissioner.
According to The Sun-Sentinel, Hoffman and Ripple met at a 2010 Florida Atlantic University forum where both spoke. “It was a great discussion, and we’ve become friends,” Hoffman said. “I said we need to take that and build on it.”
“What we’re really trying to drill down to is the ways our various philosophies solve our nations’ emergent problems – without the campaign platforms and sound bites,” Ripple said. “It’s not designed to be a gotcha kind of thing.”
But less than a year later, Ripple and his Broward Young Democrat crew were playing “gotcha” at a Mitt Romney event in Pompano Beach.
In January 2012, REDBROWARD reported Franco Ripple and members of Awake Broward/OFA_FL/ Florida Young Democrats/Broward Young Democrats tried to hand GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney a “pink slip” at a rally in Pompano Beach. The juvenile stunt had been orchestrated by Democrats all over the state. REDBROWARD snapped pictures of Ripple and his friends trying to confront Governor Romney.
Since leaving Broward County, Ripple has moved up the political ladder. He recently served as a spokesman for the Charlie Crist campaign. “Gov. Crist looks forward to discussing his priorities for moving Florida forward on Monday morning and hopes everyone has a great weekend,” said Crist spokesman Franco Ripple to The Palm Beach Post.
Guess Hoffman’s open discussion did not convince Ripple to become a conservative. Perhaps this was just another event designed to shine a spotlight on Hoffman?
Hoffman’s ties to Broward Democrat operatives may explain her decision to co-host a “victory dinner” with two big Broward Democrat fundraisers. Last week, REDBROWARD reported Hoffman hosted a free chicken dinner with Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Keiser, the folks behind Keiser University. This year, Arthur and Belinda Keiser supported Patrick Murphy, Joe Garcia and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Next week, Broward Republican activists will have one last chance to ask Hoffman about her ties to these Democrat supporters and operatives. A final BREC debate will be held December 4th in Plantation. Hoffman will debate BREC vice-chair Christine Butler, Levi Williams and Chris Leggatt.
Sources tell REDBROWARD that Butler is the overwhelming favorite to be the next BREC Chair.
The full invitation for the “DC WORKS FOR US” is below:
“Getting the dialogue going in America, starting next Thursday: The American Experiment: Where Do We Go From Here…
DC Works For US and the Young Democrats of Florida are hosting a true discussion on the liberal and
conservative ideology that is driving American politics. We really can’t say Democrat or
Republican as we find strong evidence of both ideologies on both
Join us for The American Experiment: Where Do We Go From Here… (flyer attached) on Thursday, Feb.
3 at 7:00pm at Coral Springs Christian Academy 2251 Riverside Drive in Coral Springs.
Franco Ripple – VP of Young Democrats and a member of Obama’s transition team
Hon. Alexander Lewy – City Commissioner of Hallandale
Laura Hammad, Esq. – President of Young Democrats/Orlando
Conservative Team: David Gobeo, Esq. – Board Member of Republican Business Network
Sheela Venero – President of Young Republicans/Broward
Robert Lowry – Entrepreneur, President of Hollywood Republican Club
DC Works For US will be moderating the event. This is not campaign related but an effort to
have a true discussion of the ideology behind the politics and if that ideology is carried through to its
logical conclusion, where does that lead our nation. If you are liberal, bring your conservative friends
and family to this. If you are conservative, bring your liberal associates. We cannot move forward until
we truly know where we are going.
Sample of topics covered in the discussion: What is the role of the Constitution? Does it empower
government or limit it? The government is to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Define what it
is that we cannot do for ourselves? Who do you trust more, Big Business or Government? More than
this will be covered but this will give you an idea. We will be streaming the event live, more details to
We look forward to seeing you there.
Your fellow patriots,
Karin Hoffman and the DC Works For US team”