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Frankel wanted Digital Domain student to appear in campaign ad

by Andrew Abramson | October 2nd, 2012

Lois Frankel (center) celebrates in 2010 as city inks deal with Digital Domain and FSU

Lois Frankel was turned down this summer when she requested a FSU student from the Digital Domain Institute appear in one of her congressional campaign ads.

FSU’s refusal to loan one of its students ultimately saved Frankel from what would likely have been an embarrassing ad. The school cited a policy that doesn’t allow FSU’s brand to be used in an endorsement.

Frankel was mayor of West Palm Beach in 2010 when she urged commissioners to support a package that included $10 million in cash and a $15 million bond issue for Digital Domain, a visual effects company that wanted to partner with FSU to build a digital animation college in the city. The city already gave $2 million to Digital Domain for the FSU portion of the school.

Before Frankel left as mayor in March 2011, the city released to Digital Domain a prime 2.4-acre downtown property valued at $10 million. Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy last month and laid off nearly 300 employees in Port St. Lucie. West Palm Beach is fighting in federal bankruptcy court to regain the downtown land it gave to Digital Domain.

Last month, Frankel said she would give to charity $20,000 in campaign contributions from Digital Domain executives. Frankel made the promise after she learned The Palm Beach Post planned a story about the contributions. Frankel received the donations just days after she announced her congressional campaign and three months after the city deeded its land to Digital Domain.

In July, Andrew Syder, director of digital media programs for FSU, told FSU’s film school dean that Frankel wanted a FSU student from Digital Domain to appear in a campaign ad.

Frank Patterson, dean of the FSU film school, responded in an e-mail on July 5, “you are right to be concerned about how FSU is represented. The university has a policy that clearly forbids anyone from using our brand as an endorsement … I know we all respect Ms. Frankel’s hard work. We also know her to be a straight shooter, who will respect our clear university policy that guides us in these matters.”

Christina Dixon, director of strategic business development for Digital Domain, responded later that day, “I spoke with Lois and she understands our restrictions of both FSU and DDI and thanks us for our consideration.”

The FSU portion of the Digital Domain Institute is still operational, although university trustees said they are unsure if the school will remain in West Palm Beach without the support of Digital Domain. City leaders want to keep FSU in West Palm Beach.

Frankel’s opponent in the congressional, Adam Hasner, was state House majority leader when it voted in 2009 to ease oversight of incentives, paving Digital Domain’s way to a $20 million state grant.

Hasner said recently that it was up to Enterprise Florida and the governor’s office to review specific companies.

“It was probably a good deal in the sense that it was probably a good idea to try to transform our economy through economic incentives like we’ve done with Scripps and others,” Hasner said. “It was probably just a bad person to do it with, bad execution.”

As for Frankel’s role in luring Digital Domain to West Palm Beach, Hasner said, “I’m going to let the voters decide on what they think of her role during that process.”


24 Responses to “Frankel wanted Digital Domain student to appear in campaign ad”

  1. Say no to Lois Says:

    Wow, contribution after land given. Wow seems to me to be an illegal contribution. I sure hope the Feds are hard at work looking at these and other campaign contributions. I cannot believe the Feds are not looking at this lady.

  2. Fire Lois please Says:

    Wasn’t. The original agreement that they would get the land only if they submitted approved building plans and proved firm costruction financing by a certain date?

    Dd never did either?

    Why would frankel give such alleged scammers the land and 2 million dollars?

    Also if fsu has this policy why is frankel holding an fast jersey and Mitchell wearing a silly fsu hat at press conference above?

    Now the commissioners are all hiding like Roaches when the lights come on! They won’t even talk about it to the people who paid for their stupidity!

  3. Reading is fundamental Says:

    The picture is from 2010 at a press conference/celebration when the city made the deal with Digital Domain and FSU.

    Presumably FSU would agree then since it was a press announcement about a deal they (FSU) were entering into.

    FSU did not give permission for Frankel to use in her campaign ad.

    Reading comprehension FTW!

  4. Truth Teller Says:

    Wow, Remember, Lois is always here to support us! I sure hope the masses are listening! Helicopter rides on our tax money, the feds asking for millions back on the silly BLUE TARP fiasco, $156,000,000 for a city hall we didn’t need, public giveaways to big campaign contributors. Maybe I was wrong, she would be fit in perfect in Washington. Stop rewarding the silliness and corruption!

  5. Goofy commissioners Says:

    The picture above should be blown up three stories tall and hung over the entrance to the 180 million dollar unneeded city hall frankel pushed through and it’s contractor catttafoomo.

    This would remind the people daily of the goofballs running west palm beach….probably the biggest municipal idiots of all time. Thy cannot leave soon enough.

  6. Seminole Booster Club? Says:

    The pic above looks like a bunch of grandmas at an FSU booster rally. How did FSU get tied up with the likes of frankel/Mitchell and her good friend texttor? Probably the most naive Silly move ever in west palm beach…digital domain-textor must be laughing out loud now?

  7. Bello Says:

    taxpayers get hosed, digital domain crooks get super rich with all that free money!!

  8. SteveO Says:

    If Lois had any integrity (yeah, right), she should have known this was wrong. But her supporters will continue to defend her. Why, I don’t know. All you have to do is open your eyes and have a little common sense to see how bad she really is.

  9. Doug Says:

    Did the PB Post ask Adam Hasner for comment or do you not want his comment?

  10. GOP = Hypocrisy Says:

    Par for the course for Republican trolls to attack a Democrat for trying to bring private sector jobs to the region! I mean, can you believe it? A politician trying to help employers locate to SoFla? *gasp*! Perish the thought!


    From the squawking of the laughable GOP parrots here, I take it that Adam Hasner would do absolutely NOTHING to bring jobs to FL-22. Duly noted. And that is why he doesn’t stand a chance against a dedicated public servant like Lois.

    And you can be sure as sh*t that we need Lois in the district since Allen West and Rick Scott have been too busy trying to kill the middle class to even begin to think about creating good-paying jobs.

  11. no lawyer better than lubin Says:

    one thing always seems to be forgotten about lois frankel is this. HER EXHUSBAND IS RICHARD LUBIN . mr lubin is one of the best in the entire state. i would think no one wants to press charges against her that are not 100 percent convictable. as far as kim mitchells hat, kim went to fsu. kim also grew up in the north end of palm beach with the digital domaine owner. very cozy.

  12. Bob Says:

    Lois Frankel is worthless. She is such a hypocrite. Her stupid tv ads are proof to those who know her and have worked with her personally. She is not the person in those tv ads. She is so rude and pathetic. They must have injected her with some kind of drug because she is not ALWAYS on our side. She may have more money than her opponent, but I hope she loses. And if she doesn’t, then too bad for us.

  13. Loo who? Says:

    So what if Kim Mitchell went to fsu every politician yo yo in that pic as on something from fsu ….it looks like the geriatric fsu booster committee…….this deal was no surprise…. Carl domino and others warned loudly that ths deal was no good……but the worst part s…who approved giving them the land and two million ahead of schedule?

    Lublin? Don’t even start going down the south florida attorney sewer hole…..Lois is an attorney too and everyone knows attorneys in power create and inflame problems so they can get hired…bogus.

  14. time to reflect Says:

    As a life long voting Democrat it will be the first time I will have to vote for a Republican because no one could be worse that bully Frankel. Not even Hasner.

  15. nemo Says:

    Isn’t the fat guy at the far left(no pun intended) in this photo dead? Since he’s dead, and at the far left, does he not get to vote?

  16. SteveO Says:

    @Nemo, Lois always cast Bill’s vote and will once again. No big deal.

  17. moishe Says:

    So she received 20 grand for giving away the land..what a sleazebag..why isn’t she in prison??

  18. Fools in Garnet and Gold Says:

    Excerpts from Sept 2010 PB Post article featuring picture above of blithering idiot commissioners and their leaders Frankel and Mitchell?

    “.. commissioners gushed over the proposal and later held a press conference wearing Florida State T-shirts, Textor could get the go-ahead next month.

    “This is a game-changer for our city,” Mayor Lois Frankel said. “I’m so happy to see so many people have embraced this.”

    It comes at a cost for the city. ”


    “CRA director Kim Briesemeister said if the city doesn’t move forward with the Digital Domain Institute, the land wouldn’t be developed in the foreseeable future. ”

    “…Textor had to overcome several hurdles, including allegations from State Rep. Carl Domino that Textor had improperly received $20 million from the state to help fund the studio. Textor said the charges were personal attacks from Domino, who lost money on a deal with Textor more than a decade ago. The state never investigated. ”
    “…Earlier this month, Jeffrey Kukes of Boca Raton — an investment partner — filed a lawsuit against Textor that alleged breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Textor called the lawsuit “extortion” and said Kukes is trying to publicly embarrass him just as the deal with West Palm comes to fruition.”

    City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, a Florida State graduate who helped put the deal together, praised Frankel for moving forward.

    “Lois and I have sparred for seven years, but on this one she’s been incredible,” Mitchell said. “All these great jobs over the years kept passing us and going to Boca, but it was time for West Palm.”


    Sounds like Kim Mitchell should have kept up her track record of fighting Frankels failed and corrupt ideas.

    Star Struck and whacked out on her Seminole Mania she was hypnotized by an alleged svengalia waving an empty bag of hot air and waving a flag of Garnet and “Fools” Gold.

    Why has not one govt or CRA official been fired over this boondoggle?

    When will the City tell the people WHO authorized giving Digital Domain the land and the 2 million dollars without submitting building plans and approved construction financing as agreed?

    Grifters. Backed by Grifters and Grifter Lawyers too probably, who are the only one’s making money in and out of this mess now.

  19. Legal Eagle Says:

    @ moishe

    God isn’t interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchip or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time, forty-three species of parrots and Nipples for men!

    And Slugs! HE created slugs! They can’t hear. They can’t speak. They can’t operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?

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  21. Left holding the bag!! Says:

    SHE’S GIVING THE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DIGITAL DOMAIN TO CHARITY??? How about giving it back to the stock holders and the tax payers who funded this bullsh*t boondoggle!

  22. Lawana Says:

    This past week, Trump offered to give $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice if he releases his college and passport records. Obama responded by telling his own joke about him and Trump fighting while growing up in Kenya.

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