Change We Can Believe In: Joe Biden Plans VIP SWAMP Fundraiser With Lobbyists In Miami

Written by Dana Sanchez

Alexander Heckler, a Miami Beach attorney, lobbyist, and Democratic party activist, is holding a March 16 fundraiser at his home for Joe Biden on the eve of the Florida 2020 primaries.

Heckler is the managing partner of LSN Partners, a Miami Beach lobbyists firm that offers advice and strategic counsel in government affairs, government procurement, business development and communications. Heckler has been named one of the most influential people in Florida politics.

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LSN Partners has received $132,307 so far in contributions in the 2020 election cycle and close to $1.1 million in contributions since 2010. These contributions came from its political action committees, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate family members, according to at the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.

Heckler is a top fundraiser in county races, according to the Miami Herald.

Biden won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, reshaping the race and dealing a blow to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surging candidacy. On Super Tuesday (March 3), 14 states and one territory will vote to award 34 percent of the convention delegates.

Biden told reporters on Saturday that his campaign had been bringing in about a $1 million a day over the previous week. “If we win solidly here I think it’s going to raise a lot of money as well,” he said, according to the Washington Post.

Most political action committees, or PACs, are sponsored by corporations, trade associations and other business and professional groups. The money comes not from the sponsoring organization but from its employees or members. That’s how they get around the 100-year-old ban on corporate and union contributions to federal candidates, according to Open Secrets.

In Miami Beach, lobbyists disclose their fees, Biscayne Times reported. Some get flat fees, for example, Heckler got $12,500 to represent Terra Group, a real estate developer with plans to build more than 1,369 apartments near the intersection of Interstate 75 and Florida’s Turnpike. 

Biden has been attacked by President Donald Trump and Republicans for the overseas business dealings of his son Hunter. In 2008, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a report, “A Family Affair” that analyzed payments by members of Congress to their relatives. The group ranked Biden among the top five senators paying the most money in salaries or fees to family members, according to the New York Times. Biden’s leadership PAC paid $38,974 to Hunter Biden’s firm for legal fees in 2005 and 2006.

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Hunter has faced accusations of corrupt behavior and played a key role in the Trump impeachment. Republicans have argued that Hunter’s “sweetheart gigs were obtained not through merit, but because of connections that he could monetize.”

Some see Biden as a part of the D.C. swamp, “suggesting that, as has been the view of his son Hunter, his family was trying to make money off the Biden name,” NBC News reported.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said that the first major piece of legislation she’d try to pass through Congress if elected president is an anti-corruption package to crack down on the entrenched culture of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Warren said she believes lobbying money in politics has stalled progress on issues such as gun violence, climate change, and the rising cost of health care.