Democrat Benjamin Lap loves to tell people that he’s out to beat Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca (R-Panthers). One of Lap’s closest advisers is the lobbyist/salami sandwich doyenne Judy Stern. One would assume LaMarca and his team would be concerned that Ms. Stern showed up to hear his speech before the Cuban Americans For A Better Florida group in Davie.
Well, guess again.
LaMarca sent his taxpayer-provided commission aide and his wife to stand in front of a Daily Broward writer to prevent any recording of his speech. They didn’t stand in front of Stern. LaMarca didn’t even blink when Stern strolled into the room.
As usual, LaMarca’s speech was an unremarkable litany of the usual topics, so why hide? Perhaps Chip didn’t want residents of his district to hear him tout the importance of the Sawgrass Mills mall as a tourist attraction. That’s the same argument the Florida Panthers make when trying to get another $80 million dollars from Broward taxpayers. Could Chip be signalling his intentions to support the Panthers?
District Four voters want those tourist tax dollars used on beach re-nourishment and a convention center hotel. They don’t want a taxpayer bailout for the billionaire owner of an NHL team.
The Panthers are filling Broward Commissioners’ campaign accounts with cash. According to this report, the Panthers may have tried to hide $4000 in contributions to LaMarca’s campaign.
Don’t forget about the controversy over Billy Joel concert at the BB&T Center in January. Panthers CEO Michael Yormark invited LaMarca, Marty Kiar and Barbara Sharief to give the Piano Man a “Key To The County.” Yormark told the Commissioners they paid Joel $4 million dollars to perform two sold out shows at the arena.
Wait a minute, if they’re losing so much money, why did they pay $4 million to Joel?
It’s the typical game professional teams play with taxpayers. They claim to be losing money, but don’t ask to see the books.
The Panthers operate the BB&T Center for hockey games and concerts. Sure, the hockey side of the business may stink, but what about the concert side? Could an arena which plays host to sold out concerts by One Direction, Billy Joel, Andrea Boccelli and Bruce Springsteen be so unprofitable?
Perhaps LaMarca didn’t want to answer these kind of questions with video cameras rolling.
So sad.Chip fears fellow Republicans more than Judy Stern, a controversial Democrat lobbyist for the Florida Panthers. Then again, in 2010, LaMarca admitted he talked to Stern about his campaign.
What the heck is really going on in Broward County?
By the way, here is the unobstructed video of LaMarca’s speech at the Cuban Americans For A Better Florida meeting. Just his aide needs more practice blocking the media.