Pay-To-Play: Inside Talabisco’s Dirty Deal: Udine, Alex Heckler, Oster, Kaplan, Stracher & Lieberman

Inside Talabisco’s Dirty Deal: Six Democratic Insiders

The Dirty Deal 

“Give Me Money Right Now”

Democratic leader Alex Heckler: Involved with dirty developers

Lieberman:  Reviewed and approved dirty ads

Retired  political writer and columnist, now found  in  .

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine was Broward politics’ Mister Clean.
Lawyer/lobbyist Alex Heckler was a respected conduit to national Democratic politics.
Michael Kaplan and Russ Oster were well-thought-of political consultants.
County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman was once one of the top politicians in Broward.  Beverly Stracher was a leading political operative.

All that is in the past.
After today’s release of the evidence in the case against Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco, the six are simply slimy insiders willing to bend election laws for developers with cash.  None of the six have been charged with any crime.
But they are neck deep in a dirty political deal.  They were part of an effort to use hidden campaign money from dirty developers Bruce and Shawn Chait to win an election, according to the Talabisco arrest affidavit.
Planning was even done by Heckler and Udine, members of the Florida Bar.

The Dirty Deal 
Outlines of the alleged conspiracy to trade votes for cash is contained in the arrest affidavit for Talabisco:
“In February 2006, Shawn Chait met Alex Heckler, Russell Oster and Michael Udine at the law office of Michael Udine to discuss ways Shawn Chait could get involved in the 2006 Tamarac mayor’s race
Chait had a reason to be concerned who became Tamarac’s mayor.  He wanted to pave over two golf course and replace them with condominiums.
The only problem was Tamarac residents. They were against the project.

The affidavit continues:
This first meeting eventually resulted in a decision.  A poll was done.  The poll suggested that the Chaits form a largely anonymous political committee to attack Talabisco’s opponents.
Talabisco and Shawn Chait met at political consultant Stracher’s house.  Stracher was Talabisco’s campaign manager.
Stracher said she needed $21,000 for the committee.
The law in 2006 said that a committee and a campaign were not supposed to be coordinated.  The affidavit describes Stracher and Talabisco violating this election law, although neither of them were charged with this.
Stracher now works as Lieberman’s county commission aide.  You are paying her generous salary.
Back in the day, she was also the Chaits’ lobbyist.

“Give Me Money Right Now”
Stracher then told Chait that she needed the money right away.  The money needed to be brought to Heckler, who I again remind readers is a member of the Florida Bar.
Heckler also brags about his connections to national Democrats. What  he won’t be bragging about is how he planned with crooks to fund a shadowy political committee.
Here is his bio on his law firm website: “A nationally recognized Democratic party activist and fundraiser, Mr. Heckler is the Treasurer (Finance Director) of the Democratic Governors Association.  Mr. Heckler also served as a National Finance Committee Member for the Obama Victory Fund, was the Florida Finance Chair for Hillary Rodham Clinton and served as National Finance Co-Chair for Kerry-Edwards Victory 2004.”

Democratic leader Alex Heckler: Involved with dirty developers
I’m sure Democrats need the help of someone like you, Heckler.
The affidavit continues:
Heckler met with another sterling member of Broward’s Democratic community, consultant Barry Harris, “and completed the documents for the (committee).”
Harris was the front, the person who’s name would appear on the committee’s public documents.  The rest of the players would remain hidden, including the Chaits.
The Chaits obtained the money from two of his subcontractors. Then the Chaits reimbursed them.
Kaplan and Oster consulted on the attack pieces the committee would create. They earlier did the poll for the Chaits.
County Commissioner Lieberman, also a lawyer, showed up at the end of the process.  Lieberman, Talabisco and Stracher were political allies and personal friends.
County Commissioner Lieberman “reviewed and approved the filthy committee attack ads which slammed Talabisco’s opponents, states the affidavit

Lieberman:  Reviewed and approved dirty ads
Later, Lieberman warned Talabisco.  She told Talabisco that her quid pro quo to get campaign funding in return for voting for a development was illegal.
“Lieberman felt Talabisco had a voting conflict. Talabisco told Commissioner Lieberman she was still going to ‘vote’ because she had made a commitment,  according to the affidavit.
Again , nobody but Talabisco has been charged.
Udine, Heckler, Oster, Kaplan, Stracher and Lieberman have not been charged with wrongdoing.
But Udine, Heckler, Oster, Kaplan, Stracher and Lieberman appear from this affidavit to be part of everything people hate about politics. They were willing to wallow in political slime to do the bidding of rich developers…and the public be damned.
Udine hoped for a big political career.  After reading the affidavit I have only one impression about Udine’s political future: Give me a break.

Udine, Heckler, Oster, Kaplan and Lieberman should remember this:
When you walk into a room from now on, people will be saying one thing to your face.  But they’ll be whispering another thing behind your back.
You lost respect on Wednesday.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
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