According to sources, plans for the Broward Republican Party’s Annual Picnic have been suddenly derailed by Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca (R-Says Who?). First held two years ago at the Bergeron Ranch in western Broward , the picnic is a low-cost family friendly event where grassroots Republican activists mingle with politicians and candidates. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam was scheduled to be the guest of honor. Invitations for the September 28th event were about to be sent to members of the Broward Republican Executive Committee when planners received word the low-cost event had been changed to an exclusive big ticket fundraiser for LaMarca and Putnam at the behest of the LaMarca campaign.
As word to began to spread among Broward Republican activists, RED BROWARD learned from multiple sources that LaMarca’s loyalists were blaming local environmentalist and businessman Ron Bergeron for the cancellation. One source says Team Chip is claiming Bergeron only wants “high cost” events at his ranch. The cost of the BREC picnic is $35.
A source close to Bergeron vehemently denies he played any role in the matter. RED BROWARD was told Bergeron Ranch hosts dozens of events for children’s groups, charities and politicians regardless of the ticket price.
In fact, Bergeron never complained that the price of the previous BREC picnic was just $25. That 2011 event attracted a who’s who of politicos including Senator George LeMieux, Congressman Allen West, Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, Fl Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Sheriff Al Lamberti.
Bergeron supports numerous candidates from both parties. He has attended other BREC fundraisers such as the annual Lincoln Day dinner.
When asked for comment, BREC Chairman Tom Truex diplomatically said the event was “not hijacked” and he looks forward to helping LaMarca win re-election.
So, why would Team Chip blame this on Bergeron?
Why would LaMarca risk Adam Putnam’s standing with local Republican activists in an election year?
Why would LaMarca disappoint hundreds of Broward Republican families so he could play host another snooty fundraiser for dozens of Lauderdale developers?
Perhaps someone should ask Chip?