Win At All Costs: Part1

March 17, 2020 is the date for the election of three City Commissioners. This story is part one of 4 stories and concerns the last election and what transpired in what the Post compared to “The city hadn’t seen the likes of this kind of nastiness since Mayor Jeri Muoio defeated former Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell in a knockdown, drag-out, no-holds-barred mayoral brawl back in 2015.” 
In the Muoio/ Mitchell election Rick Asnani of Cornerstone was the political consultant for Muoio. History repeats itself.
Why was the 2018 election run so nasty and unprofessionally,
why were lawsuits filed? There was a lot at stake, namely Related’s project the OBD (Okeechobee Business District) and I ask readers to pay attention to the dates and my thoughts and opinion will be in Italics
Sept.2017  “The city commission rejected the OBD proposal by a 3-2 vote.”
Materio was one of the 3 who voted against the proposal. What could Related do to get the 25-story office building near the waterfront built? One option would be to defeat the 3 commissioners who listened to residents and rejected the proposal. After the vote was taken, Mayor Muoio commented how disappointed she was and came out strong in support of Lambert and Related’s OBD project.
April 2018 “Christina Lambert was sworn into office as West Palm Beach City Commissioner for District 5 defeating Materio by 183 votes.” Lambert and Shoaf rode into office with votes from the western community. Think your vote wont count? If one neighborhood took the time to vote a different outcome may have been possible. Lets not repeat our mistakes in 2020. Your vote is crucial.
Lobbyist Lawyer for Related Companies Harvey Oyer (middle), Christina Lambert (bottom) Rick Asnani (left) political consultant for Christina Lambert and Related Companies community outreach. Gopal Rajegowda, (bottom right) Vice President of The Related Companies. See how close they are? Click to enlarge picture.
Aug, 2018 Mayor Muoio in 4 short months brought back the Related project.  After they were sworn in Lambert and Shoaf voted to approve the OBD. See what money and dirty politics can do to a city, and it’s residents, but what a gift to developers. 
June 2018  PB Post “Former West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shanon Materio alleged in election complaints Thursday that her opponent’s political adviser, Rick Asnani, hid contributor names by having campaign donors give through shell corporations.

In three complaints she said she filed to the Florida Elections Commission, Materio alleged that Coalition for American Jobs, Inc., Taxpayers for American Jobs, Inc. and Citizens for Safer Neighborhoods, Inc. collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for political purposes without declaring themselves political organizations, which are required to identify contributors.

All three were created and run by Asnani, whose Cornerstone Solutions, Inc. served as Lambert’s political consultant leading up to the March 13 election, the complaints said.

Any group that collects more than $500 for political purposes is required to register and identify its donors but these three didn’t, according to the complaints. At least one passed $55,000 or more to a political organization called WPB Residents for Integrity in Government Inc., which in turn paid for negative mailers about Materio. That organization is run by Bill Newgent, a political operative allied with Lambert and Asnani.”

“I have not been involved with any of those committees nor have any knowledge of their donors or activities,” Lambert said Friday in an email.” Lambert was the candidate does she expect us to believe she didn’t “have any knowledge” of what Asnani and Newgent were doing to insure her election? Does she expect us to believe she didn’t approve flyers sent to the public? She doesn’t know who contributed to her campaign? She didn’t know how crucial her vote would be to Related?  She knew how to vote in Aug. 2018.

“These corporations Asnani set up aren’t businesses of any kind,” said Richard Giorgio, president of Patriot Games, another of the county’s most active political consultants, who did not work for Materio or Lambert in the election. “They have no employees, don’t generate any revenues. They’re simply being used to shield money from the public. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are going into these corporations and the money goes to political committees. So they’re skirting state statutes by hiding contributions”  I assume  Richard Giorgio of Patriot Games a successful political consultant knows how the game is played and I appreciate being informed of the games Cornerstone played in the 2018 election. How much money did Related and the Chamber of Commerce funnel into Lambert’s campaign? Read the entire story in the PB Post below.


Below is a piece by PB Post  Rick Christie

June 2018  “It’s been nearly three months since challenger Christina Lambert unseated West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio by a mere 183 votes in a heated, and increasingly controversial race.

And Materio is back for Round 2. According to the Post’s Tony Doris, she has filed three complaints with the Florida Elections Commission alleging that three shell companies were created to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for political purposes without declaring themselves political organizations — which are required to identify contributors.

The political purpose? Electing Lambert.

The contributors? Voters don’t know. But shouldn’t they, for the sake of transparency?

Lambert, a newcomer with business community ties, managed to knock off the more seasoned Materio mainly because she had the money. She also had in her corner Rick Asnani, one of the county’s top political consultants.

That’s all good. Lambert won the seat, and is ensconced on the commission. Ready to vote, among other things, on a rejuvenated plan to create the Okeechobee Business District (OBD). Yep, the same OBD that would allow the construction of the 25-story One Flagler office building pretty much on Flagler Drive.

That’s not all good. A number of city residents — vocal city residents — don’t like the idea of building the tower on an already traffic-clogged Okeechobee Boulevard. They especially don’t like the fact that the issue seemed dead after it was defeated when it came before the commission in September.

Election campaigns laws exist for a reason. The primary one being so that voters know who is influencing or attempting to influence candidates that are vying to represent constituents.

We know that transparency is a good thing… and “democracy dies in the darkness.”

But this long after the election, is there value in Materio’s insistence on knowing the names of the people or entities that contributed to those three mysterious shell companies created by Asnani? “

I will not live long enough to understand Christie’s last paragraph. I am grateful to Shanon Materio for filing the complaints against Rick Asnani of Cornerstone. As a voter I want to know who the elected officials will be grateful too for donations and who they may feel obligated to repay by their vote. If Materio didn’t file complaints do you believe they wouldn’t try their luck again with the upcoming election. Hopefully they will think twice, but my mind is made up and I’ve lived long enough to know a leopard can’t change its spots or simply put it’s impossible to change their character.  I will now pay attention to a candidates political consultant and have learnt to vote for their opponent.

Read the entire story below.