Campaign Finance Analysis for District 2 Commissioner Sarnoff

I have long been a believer in the concept of “following the money” in politics. Unfortunately, the political climate in this country has become one in which candidates and incumbents must raise substantial amounts of money in order to take or retain elected office. Almost a year ago to the day, I published some analysis of the City of Miami mayoral election in order to provide my  readers some insight into the movers and shakers in our City’s political system. If you compare the two lists, you will see many of the same cast of characters.

I decided to compile this report after noticing that the Chairman raised over $275,000 in a single quarter over a year before his bid for re-election. This while his own popularity among actual voters seems to be fading. It is very telling that the majority of these contributions are not from residents of his district (unless they have a vested business interest in the City). Out of 640 donors, only 54 of them donated $199 or less (8.4%), with the majority of the contributions $500 (or more if they are spread between spouses, business partners or multiple companies). Using incumbency to hit up special interest donors is very common, as the larger the war chest early on, the more likely potential competitors will shy away from throwing their own names in the hat.

My methodology in doing this analysis involves a combination of research (using and a simple Google search), knowledge of key players, and the ability to remember names to make connections throughout the often long reports. This is in no way 100% accurate, as I do this alone during my free time and sometimes I may make connections between individuals and businesses on circumstantial evidence. That being said, this should provide some framework to the reader, whether you are an activist, member of the press, blogger, elected-official, lobbyist, or even one of the people on the list. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

Outdoor Advertising Companies (multiple instate/out of state donors) – $7500
Fuel Miami LLC (Outdoor Advertising) – $500
Bak Consultants (Outdoor Advertising) – $500
Marcelo Touced (Outdoor Advertising) – $500
Pablo Cremaschi (General Manager, Fuel Miami LLC) – $1000
Michael/Jennifer Friedman (CEO Fuel LLC) – $1500
Marc Miller (New York City Advertising) – $1000
Jame Taggart (New York Advertising) – $1000
Gary Shafner (considered one of the “Mad Men of L.A.”, outdoor advertising) – $500
Barry Rush (of Worldwide Rush, outdoor advertising) – $2000
Clear Channel Worldwide (outdoor advertising) – $500
The Miami Heat (allegedly have illegal LED sign outside stadium) – $1000

Trustee Deborah Hoffman – $500
Ex-Officio Trustee Mary Frank – $500
Board President Gail Meyers (and husband) – $1000
Trustee Sabina Cornely – $500
Aaron Podhurst – $1000
Patricia Papper – $500
Paratus Group (Designed Miami Art Museum) – $500

Law Offices of Solowsky, Pertnoy & Allen (Including Steven Perricone) – $8500
Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz (Lydecker Law) – $1000
Richard Lydecker (Law firm, Chairman of Miami-Dade Democratic Party) – $1500
Brown & Brown (Insurance company with ties to Lydecker) – $4000
Israel Alfonso (Greenberg Trauig, downtown Miami Hotel Project and Grove Harbour) – $500
Abadin Cook (Law firm) – $1000
Manuel Alonso-Poch (Attorney, Real Estate Investor, Urban Empowerment Corporation Board) $500
Shubin & Bass P.A. (Law firm) – $1500
Akerman Senterfit ( Law firm, lobbying activity) – $4400
Joseph Falk (Greenberg Trauig) – $1500

Lawrence Rothstein (Real Estate) – $8000
Andrew Mirmelli (Parking) – $3500
Antonio Alonso (Retail Developer) – $1000
Giraldo Leyva (Marinas) – $1500
Thomas Murphy (Coastal Condos/Construction) – $1500
Anthony Goldman (Real Estate and other, 10 LLCs) – $5000
Jeffrey Berkowitz (Real Estate Developer) – $2500
Panther Management Services (Property Management) – $1500
Oscar Delgado (Real Estate Developer) – $3000
Stephen Bittel (Real Estate Investor) – $3500
David Stone & Gregg Lichtenstein (Real Estate Developers) – $5000
Gary Gerson (Real Estate Developer) – $10,000
Wiliam Miller – $4000
Scott Wessel (Grove Key Marina) – $1500
Craig Robins (Dacra Development, real estate) – $2000
Peter Gardner (Pointe Group, real estate development) – $10,000
Munilla Construction Management – $1000
Howard Wolfson (Hotel management) – $1500

Elvis Cruz (Miami Neighborhoods United) – $500
Grace Solares (Miami Neighborhoods United) – $500
Sue McConnell (VOCG and MNU) $100
Barbara Bisno (activist) – $250
Monty Trainer – $250
Alyn Pruett (Fmr Coconut Grove Village Council member, City of Miami Planning and Zoning) – $200
Barbara Lange (VOCG Homeowners) – $200
County Commissioner Katy Sorenson – $100
City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez – $500

Paragon Entertainment (New Cocowalk movie theater) $500
Cocowalk – $500
Milam’s Market – $5000 (with questionable $2000 additional)

Miami Entertainment District Association (coalition of downtown nightclubs and bars) – $500
Adam Russakot and Russell Faibisch (Ultra Music Festival ) – $1000
Dr. Howard Wittell (Medical profession) – $4000
Roger Reyes & Charles Dudley (Tallahassee Consultants) – $2500
Skip Braver (Boating) – $2500
Floridians for Constitutional Integrity (Political Action Committee) – $500
Aabad Melwani (Rickenbacker Marina) – $1500
Communikatz (Public Relations for Port of Miami Tunnel Project) – $500


One Response to “Campaign Finance Analysis for District 2 Commissioner Sarnoff”
  1. Aunty Em Ericann says:

    Why would a mayoral candidate need that much money to run for office? Because elections are bought with money. And favours.

    This is a very good analysis. While I don’t know all the players, I am sure you do. Have you broken down how much “out of town” money he’s getting by percentage? That would be an interesting figure.

    With all my love,
    Aunt y Em

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    The contents of this blog do not reflect the opinions of the Coconut Grove Village Council, the Democratic National Committee, the Florida Democratic Party, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, or any elected official or organization referenced herein.

    All opinions are exclusively those of Stephen Murray.

    All content (c) 2010 Stephen Murray

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