By Tom Lauder
A website started by an aide to Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness just unleashed a nasty anti-Semitic smear against Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez.
The November 7, 2021 story in the “Tamarac Post” claims, “Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez Under Heat For Receiving PPP Money.” The story is the fifth Tamarac Post smear against Gomez since August 2021. All five stories were allegedly written by “Maria Colson.”
On August 31, REDBROWARD revealed how Tamarac Post reporter Maria Colson was not a Tamarac resident.
According to her social media accounts, Maria Colson is a 20-something woman living in Sidcup, England. According to her LinkedIn page, Colson works for TJ MAXX and a public policy firm. Both jobs are located in England, NOT Tamarac.
Colson’s Tamarac Post bio gives a vanity website, mariacolson.com, which appears to be a dead link. Links to her Facebook and Twitter accounts are also provided.
According to her Twitter account, Maria Colson is deeply interested in British animal rights causes and climate change initiatives. She makes no mention of Tamarac, or Broward, or Florida, or even the U.S.A.
REDBROWARD attempted to contact Maria Colson via her Facebook page.
She never responded to questions about her reporting.
Also, in August, REDBROWARD reported a link provided by the Tamarac Post revealed “MBOLTON” and not “Maria Colson,” authored recent stories attacking Michelle Gomez and other City of Tamarac politicians. Many Broward political insiders believe “MBOLTON” likely refers to Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton.
Since it first went online, the Tamarac Post repeatedly posted stories praising Marlon Bolton and his Commission cohort Elberg Mike Gelin.
In March 2021, REDBROWARD revealed Marlon Bolton’s deep ties to “The Tamarac Post,” owned and operated by close Bolton ally Anthony Bonamy.
The City Of North Lauderdale fired Anthony Bonamy from his position as deputy clerk after REDBROWARD revealed his role on the website. Bonamy was quickly hired as an aide to Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.
When REDBROWARD spoke to Bonamy in March, he said his wife, Violene Vil, would assume control of the day-to-day operations of the Tamarac Post.
According to Federal elections records filed last month, Dale Holness’ failed congressional campaign paid $2,000 to One Millenial Media LLC, a Tamarac company owned by Violene Vil Bonamy. State corporation records show Tamarac Post Media LLC is owned by Anthony Bonamy and Violene Vil.
Both companies owned by the Bonamys used the same Tamarac address as their official place of business.
In the November 7 story, “Colson” raises an issue with COVID-19 relief loans (PPP) obtained by a law firm owned by Michelle Gomez. The disturbing screed claims the Tamarac Post “visited” Gomez’s office and spoke with an employee. “Colson” uses anonymous sources “close to” the mayor to deliver libelous claims about her business practices, income, and state of her business.
Then, “Colson” randomly attacks a Tamarac resident because she is a defender of Gomez. The story fails to point out that Tamarac resident Dr. Darcy Schiller is a well-known and vocal critic of Commissioner Marlon Bolton.
An image accompanying the Tamarac Post story features Michelle Gomez dressed as a vampire in a coffin with two other vampires. The vampires are drinking from glasses filled with blood.
Imagery depicting Jews as vampires or other blood-sucking creatures is common in anti-Semitic attacks. Why did the Tamarac Post choose to depict Michelle Gomez as a vampire?
BOLTON’S DOCUMENTED ATTACKS ON JEWISH POLITICIANS
Earlier this year, REDBROWARD exposed the existence of a 2020 bombshell investigation commissioned by the City of Tamarac Human Resources Department, which revealed a pattern of “bullying” of city employees by Commissioner Marlon Bolton.
The report documented several instances of Bolton attacking political opponents by using their race, ethnicity, and religion.
During a public discussion of the report, Bolton lashed out at his perceived enemies, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.” Bolton said, “it was ‘patent public corruption and misuse of taxpayer funds for Mayor [Michelle] Gomez to have instigated this bogus investigation for the sole purpose of advancing her own political agenda.’”
Testimony from two longtime city firefighters described Marlon Bolton’s behavior while campaigning for Elvin Villalobos in 2018. Marlon Bolton served as Villalobos’ campaign treasurer when Villalobos ran against Michelle Gomez.
Captain William Duesler told investigators about Bolton’s behavior during early voting at the Tamarac library. Duesler said Bolton told a voter Gomez was a “White Jew–Don’t vote for her.” Another complaint heard Marlon Bolton say to a voter, “Gomez can’t even speak Spanish…and that she is a White Jew.”
In her interview for the investigation, Mayor Michelle Gomez described her encounter with Marlon Bolton at early voting. Gomez heard Bolton tell voters, “You can’t vote for her; She is a Jewish White woman who can’t speak a lick of Spanish.” Gomez told Bolton, “Yes, I am Jewish.”
Marlon Bolton told investigators he was simply trying to provide information to voters.
“[Bolton] advised resident “our beloved Mayor is a White Jewish individual and only claims to be Hispanic because she spent two years in a Hispanic household,” the report states.
Bolton told investigators he “viewed his actions as a mediator versus an agitator insisting that Ms. Gomez tell people that she is a White Jewish female.”
BOLTON FEELS PPP LOAN HEAT
The Tamarac Post on Michelle Gomez came just hours after the daughter of Commissioner Dale Holness pleaded guilty to Federal charges she fraudulently obtained a $300,000 PPP loan. Damara Holness admitted she used fraudulent documents to obtain the loan. And according to published reports, Marlon Bolton is the one “under heat” for a PPP loan.
On April 21, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Marlon Bolton’s Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church received a $36,000 PPP loan to pay its twelve employees.
Just one problem, there is no record of Bolton having twelve employees. Under Florida law, employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but the state says the church provided no record of having the employees, as is required.
“We did look up Praise Experience World Outreach Church Inc. and Marlon Bolton in our Division of Workers’ Compensation Portal and have found no records,” John O’Brien, press secretary for the Florida Department of Financial Services, told The Sun-Sentinel.
Two weeks earlier, REDBROWARD revealed controversial North Lauderdale Commissioner Regina Martin used Marlon Bolton’s home address to receive a PPP loan.
According to public databases, Regina Martin was awarded a $20,000 PPP loan on July 16, 2020. Martin’s loan was coded as “Insurance Agencies and Brokerages (Self-Employed Individuals).” Records show the funds were not disbursed.
State records do not show Regina Martin as a licensed insurance broker.
On February 18, 2021, Regina Martin was awarded a $20,000 PPP loan for her “Tax Preparation Services….Existing or more than two years old” business. This loan was disbursed to Martin.
For both loans, Regina Martin used an apartment on Ann Lee Lane in Tamarac. Campaign records and even a police report show this same address is the residence of Marlon Bolton.
Marlon Bolton’s official campaign treasurer’s reports from July 2020 and February 2021 list his address as the same Ann Lee Lane unit used by Regina Martin.
State records show Regina Martin owns several businesses located at Ann Lee Lane in Tamarac. Regina Martin Enterprise LLC, House of Baby Doll LLC, and Millennium Kingdom International Embassy.
REDBROWARD previously reported on Regina Martin’s close ties to Marlon Bolton.
Happy Feet Advertising, LLC, a political consulting company tied Marlon Bolton, performed extensive campaign work for Regina Martin, records show. Campaign treasurer reports show Martin paid $14,750 to Happy Feet during the 2020 election cycle. In fact, Martin paid Happy Feet nearly $1,000 more than Bolton paid for similar campaign work.
Bolton and Martin are also tied to The Tamarac Post.
When Anthony Bonamy applied for the North Lauderdale in late 2020, he listed Marlon Bolton as a reference. After being sworn into office on November 19, 2020, Regina Martin’s first official act was making a motion to hire Anthony Bonamy. Her motion was seconded by North Lauderdale Commissioner Samson Boregelin. Marlon Bolton spoke at the meeting. He urged North Lauderdale leaders to hire Bonamy.
Why does The Tamarac Post use anti-Semitic imagery in its stories about Jewish politicians?
Why does Marlon Bolton think it’s acceptable to attack his opponent’s religious beliefs?
The answer is simple. Marlon Bolton is an online tough guy. He runs from questions when confronted in real life. He does not respond to phone calls, texts, and emails requesting comments or clarification.
But the real cowards are his enablers in Broward politics. When will other Broward elected officials stand up and defend their friends in Tamarac?
Will no Broward official tell Marlon Bolton to stop attacking female politicians, reporters, and residents?
Will our so-called leaders allow Bolton to hide behind the Tamarac Post as it launches bigoted smears against women, Jews, and others?
Does anyone care about the residents of Tamarac?
Originally reprinted with permission from RedBroward.com.
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