A political committee supporting the reauthorization of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County failed to file required financial reports with the Supervisor of Elections office. Citizens For Broward’s Children was supposed to file the report by June 10, 2014. Today, the Supervisor of Elections Office sent a letter to Fred Lippman, president of Citizens For Broward’s Children, informing him of penalties for failing to file on time. The committee faces a fine of $50 per day for the first three days, then up to $500 a day.
Last month, RED BROWARD reported Children’s Services Council CEO Cindy Arenberg Seltzer urged friends to “like” the Facebook page of “Citizens For Broward’s Children.” The newly created political committee claims it is interested in Broward County ballot issues regarding “children’s services in Broward County.” Promotion material obtained by RED BROWARD, shows the committee is headed by Fred Lippman, a longtime Democrat member of the Florida legislature. Citizens for Broward’s Children, Inc. says it is a “countywide group of community, business, civic and political organizations and leaders who are working together to support the reauthorization of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. Citizens for Broward’s Children was created by a group of concerned Broward County residents who want to ensure the Children’s Services Council is reauthorized by voters in the 2014 Election. Membership in Citizens for Broward’s Children is free and open to anyone who shares our goal of supporting the reauthorization of the Broward County Children’s Services Council.”
Kim Lee Bove, treasurer of Citizens For Broward’s Children, works for Cornerstone Solutions of West Palm Beach. According to their website, Cornerstone Solutions helps “clients win political or issue campaigns, or pass/defeat ballot initiatives or legislation. We do it with award-winning strategic and integrated communications plans.”
In November 2013, the founder of Cornerstone Solutions, Rick Asnani, attending a meeting of the Children’s Services Council. The meeting minutes state, “Mr. Rick Asnani, Principal at Cornerstone Solutions, who was hired by the Community Foundation of Broward to look at the referendum process and landscape for CSC’s success, summarized the findings and thought process behind their recommendation of the 2014 general election for the CSC retention question.”
Last month, Citizens For Broward’s Children raised more than $18,000 from local non-profit organizations. The CEO of the Urban League gave $100 to the cause, as did the CEO of Hispanic Unity, the local affiliate of La Raza. Howard Talenfeld, the co-chair of Citizens For Broward’s Children, gave a $1000 contribution. He is the president of Florida’s Children First. Former State Sen. Nan Rich chipped in $500 to the committee. Children’s Services Council(CSC) President Cindy Arenberg Selzter also added a $500 contribution. But the political committee’s largest contribution was $15,000 from the Community Foundation of Broward.
At the November 2013 Children’s Services Council meeting, The Community Foundation of Broward announced it would something it has never done-advocate for a political cause. Thor Barraclough, Community Foundation of Broward Vice President of Marketing & Communications, “speaking on behalf of the Community Foundation of Broward, expressed support for the referendum, citing a long history of various partnerships with the CSC and the effectiveness of the CSC in providing services in the community. He noted that this is the first time in the Foundation’s 30 year history that it has undertaken grassroots advocacy efforts. He explained that the findings of a study commissioned by the Community Foundation of Broward support placing the CSC retention question on the 2014 general election ballot.”