Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bob Norman's must-see video of Florida Panthers president, who DOESN'T want to answer questions about $7.7 million sweetheart loan from Broward County

The must-see Bob Norman investigative video I have for you at the bottom of this post, from Thursday night's Channel 10 six o'clock newscast, is the perfect follow-up to my recent emails to some of you out there in the blogosphere on the never-ending subject of the NHL's Florida Panthers asking the Broward County Commissioners, their landlord at the Bank Atlantic Center, for a multi-million dollar loan, an egregious example of crony capitalism.

It's a subject that I first raised here on the blog in a November 6, 2011 post titled, The Florida Panthers hockey team's owners & mgmt. are about to get a cold dose of economic reality falling on their head -no taxpayer money for you!

I was wrong about the "no taxpayer money for you" part, though, as on Tuesday afternoon, the Commission caved-in to specious reasoning by a vote of 6-2.

It was the worst sort of crony capitalism, as instead of just picking winners and losers, and in this case, one where one party will profit much sooner at the expense of the other -as so often has happened the past ten years in my own city of Hallandale Beach with CRA loans under the direction of Mayor Joy Cooper- the County Commission was given financial information days before the vote by County Auditor Evan Lukic that the deal as reconfigured from November would make taxpayers 'The Biggest Loser,' they went ahead and voted for it, anyway.

The most recent South Florida Sun-Sentinel articles on this anti-taxpayer vote:

Panthers deal enriches arena operator, not Broward, county auditor charges
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
January 17, 2012  9:26 p.m.
Florida Panthers back at table with new loan request, $7.7 million Broward vote Tuesday
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
January 31, 2012  4:10 a.m. EST, 

Broward Politics blog
Lobbyist Watch: Milledge says county shouldn't be looking for profit from Panthers
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel 
January 31, 2012  02:56 PM
Broward says yes to Florida Panthers $7.7 million loan
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
January 31, 2012  6:55 p.m. EST

My favorite take away is from the first one from January 21st:

Broward County has gotten the short end of the stick in its financial deal with the Florida Panthers, and a proposed loan would only tip the scales further, the county's auditor charges.

To date, the county has paid more than $90 million for the arena that serves as the Panthers' home, and gotten back just $331,000 in profit-sharing.

The Panthers side of the scoreboard is far brighter, according to county records. Since the doors at BankAtlantic Center opened 13 years ago, Arena Operating Co., the Panthers' sister company that runs the arena, has rung up a reported $117.4 million in profits. That's more than 353 times what the county has banked.

This absurd loan to the Florida Panthers, via the use of the county's hotel bed tax,
is opposed by the Greater Ft. Lauderdale hospitality industry, a preening, self-important and self-serving group to be sure, but one which most people would agree has a much better idea about what tourists do and do not want to do when they visit Broward than the County Commission, and going to a Panthers game on the outskirts of The Everglades near nothing but a huge shopping mall -Sawgrass Millsis NOT one of them.

My last bit of context for you to absorb before watching Bob Norman's eye-opening video is this Forbes.com video featuring the Florida Panthers' smug and tone-deaf president Michael Yormark.

Yormark won't answer reasonable questions from an actual reporter from the area like Bob Norman, someone who WONT feed him marshmallow questions like Forbes.com's Executive Editor Mike Ozanian does.

Forbes.com video:, Winning Panthers Look To Cash In. January 11, 2012.

January 12, 2012 @ 3:12PM
Panthers Skate Towards More Revenue

Article at: 

The Channel 10 video, and the antics of the people shown, speaks for itself.

Bob Norman's Blog
The BankAtlantic shuffle
Published On: Feb 02 2012 08:03:45 AM EST  
Updated On: Feb 02 2012 08:26:55 AM EST


Coming tonight on Channel 10's 11 p.m. newscast, Bob Norman asks, Where are the profits?

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