New Demo Candidate’s Home In Foreclosure





When U. S. Sen. Cory Booker Jr. of New Jersey attended a lavish cocktail reception at an east Fort Lauderdale estate in March, he probably didn’t know the home was in foreclosure.

The home, owned by Democratic up-and-comer Benjamin Lap, had been in foreclosure for a month, according to court files.

Lap, a lawyer, is now making noise about running for the county commission against incumbent Commissioner Chip LaMarca, a Republican.

The Daily Broward blogsite had a story Thursday that Lap had been introduced at a Pride Center Founders reception as a candidate. confirmed that discussions had taken place between Democratic leaders and Lap about running.

“This guy can self fund his campaign,” one Democrat said. “He’s the real deal.”


Tell that to U. S. Bank National Association which filed foreclosure on Lap’s $1.85 million waterfront Victoria Isles house on Feb. 15.

In addition to hosting Booker, Lap has thrown a series of other Democratic political events at his home, which is next to the home of Democratic fundraiser Mitchell Berger. The Sun-Sentinel said Berger was the co-host of the Booker affair.

But Berger gave $1,000 to Booker.  Lap gave nothing, states.

Lap has also been a $100 or $50 contributor to some candidates recently, not the high roller of the past or that Democrats believe.

If he enters the field against LaMarca, he would have two other Democrats to contend with  — Former Commissioner Ken Keechl and Christopher Warnig.


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25 Responses to “New Demo Candidate’s Home In Foreclosure”

  1. Just the Facts says:

    Here’s an interesting fact: Ben Lap, Chip LaMarca and Lap campaign consultant Michael Albetta all have something in common … all three of them are in court as defendants facing foreclosure of their homes … in front of the same circuit judge. Perhaps they met there. It certainly makes it easy to plan their next joint campaign strategy session.

  2. The Critic says:

    you can’t possibly believe everything Mike Ahearn tells you, right? Looks to me like Lap has been pretty generous to quite a few Democratic candidates.


    As I wrote, he has been generous in the past.

  3. Old timer says:

    Remember when Judy Stern used to pull moves off like this with ease. Damn blogs.

  4. Really? says:

    Good investigative reporting, Buddy. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Keechel is behind this. I meanb he has one dem challenger who is a felon and now another dem challenger is in forclosure? Oh, and Lamarca is in foreclosure too? Unless someone real steps up, Keechel is back on the commission next year.

  5. Anonymous Broward says:

    I don’t think Team Keechl wants to play the fiscal responsibility card. The nation — Florida in particular and Broward especially — has been in a foreclosure crisis for years. People make choices and deal with the consequences based on their own personal situations. Ken Keechl, on the other hand, collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from citizens and lobbyists, and spent it on luxurious travel and conferences, extravagant meals, and cases of wine for he and his husband. And also rented his own property back to himself at an inflated rent just to make a few more bucks. That’s why the voters kicked him out of office in 2010, and rejected his candidacy in 2012.

  6. Is it Rothstien Part Deux says:

    Lap was a big donor in 2008, as was Rothstien, neither donated much since.

    Intereting that Lap claims he used to be CEO of a company called Biosentinel, but stepped down in 2011 and to be Chairman of the Board.

    Yet the company website says nothing about him.

    It is ironic that many of his 2012 contributions he continues to list himself as CEO.

    EXCEPT for his contributions in 2010 and 2012 to Rep. Hastings, Ben Lap says he is “retired”… is it possible he didnt want his company tied to his donation to Rep Hastings? If so, why?

  7. Well I Guess says:

    Well I Guess, Keechl, has a problem then also, as in his campaign paid over 3000, a month rent on a home he owned.

  8. Well I Guess --Not says:

    Come on Team Lamarca. Gotta do at lot better than that. I predicted that this was the race to watch in 2014! Lamarca and Keechl are going to smear each other just like in 2010. Sadly, for Chip his friends on the commission screwed him over. The seat is now a safe D seat. He is toast. But it will be fun to watch.

  9. Word around the rectory says:

    I believe Chips campaign office was up in the seafood world plaza in LHP. Walk in it was campaign stuff to the left and generator brochures to the right. Then in the back there was an office with a tv DVD player for mob movies with a picture of JFK and signed photos with Chip and Charles Crist. Looking back at chips 2010 reports it would appear if it was that office he was using campaign funds to pay his construction/campaign office rent. Shockingly it appears having no more campaign funds coming in he shut down the office and moved it to his house.

  10. Life is a cabernet says:

    Obviously due to a downward turn in the economy many went through foreclosure. There is no shame in going through foreclosure. The issue for Lap and LaMarca is they openly continued to live the champaign lifestyle where life is a Cabernet while not paying their mortgage. When these guys have to go to the hard hit neighborhoods west of Federal in their designer suits and expensive cars and try to sell they were victims of he economy just like everyone else it won’t fly. Chip says his construction business is bad, does he find another way to make a living to pay his mortgage? No. He sits back living off his 92k a year part time job. Every other man on the dais has a full time job besides being a cCommissioner, why not Chip? As for Lap who can even figure out what he does for a living.

    In the end save sympathy for those in foreclosure who deserve it, not rich guys who sucked the equity out of their homes thinking the bubble wouldn’t burst and still live life as a Cabernet.

  11. Notocorruption says:

    The dregs, all of them.

  12. Chip "I feel your pain" LaMarca says:

    Yeah those residents west of Federal Highway in District 4 like North Andrews Gardens, Pompano Highlands and West Deerfield are going to really relate to LaMarca partying up with his foreclosure lawyers at a $600 a head charity ball.

  13. Mr. Feltcher says:

    @ Word around the rectory – clearly this is Mr. or Mrs. Aturd. I guess you now have to run a three way race with against two other gay guys (sounds like a party) that do not live in District 4. If Ken uses his last office Aturd, you should break out that sweet moped you used to drive around in high should to get back and forth to Ken’s office. Hopefully Ken’s campaign gets a better deal on the office then the Patrick Murphy Campaign. Not to worry, if Ken loses, you can go back shacking down people involved with the School Board on bond deals. Remember one thing Aturd, you and your buddies have no juice in Tallahassee. The Gov.’s picks are important. Too bad his people would never take your call, Aturd.


    Mr. Feltcher

  14. Wally says:

    Who is this Mike Ahearn I’ve seen mentioned on this blog? None of my people have heard of him. As far as Chip LaMarca goes, Keechl couldn’t even win his last primary with Wilton Manors in there and he had done the job before. He is so disliked by constituents in District 4 that he will not win there either despite the hack job his minions did on that map. I am hearing some Democrats who wrote Keechl some nice checks last time say they will not support him, and foreclosure or no foreclosure, people like LaMarca and are happy with the job he’s done since he’s been on the commission. These same few anti LaMarca people can comment till their fingers fall off here, but it doesn’t change the fact that LaMarca has done a really good job. I live in an area that made it possible for me to see up close and personal the time he put in on beach re nourishment.
    That alone garnered my vote.

  15. Wally says:

    Incidentally I read here that LaMarca drives around in a Jaguar. I’ve seen him in it, it’s definitely not a new one. It’s at least a couple of years old. For the hell of it I looked in the Blue Book and a used one from 2010 (picked a random year) is about $22,000. I’m underwhelmed.

  16. Pepe says:

    That Jag is a 2005. Estimated value around $5K. Wow… such extravagance.

  17. The Broward County Bagman says:

    @ Chip “I feel your pain” LaMarca – this is also a post by Mr. or Mrs. Aturd as well. Mr. Aturd, get real, we all know Tom Lauder is your lackey that gets paid by Ken on the side (what a Republican). You see, we all know it’s not about party politics for you two. Rather, you both are pathetic individuals with low self-esteem. What you both share is your common desire to hurt people more successful than you. It’s really sad when you think about it Mr. Aturd.

    Lauder is one to judge LaMarca. He should focus on paying Citibank on his credit card debt and move out of mom’s house.

    PS – Mr. Aturd, it was nice seeing you at the Demo meeting the other day with Charlotte. Still living in Judy’s shadow??

  18. It's about the voters, stupid says:

    People can cry about campaign operatives and debate all day on here but it doesn’t matter in the end.

    The voters matter and with the addition of 10k more Democrat voters, all or most living west of Federal Highway, Chip has big problems. Chip is not going to play well to those voters who are financially struggling or in foreclosure when they find out he drove to the Mods Gala in his Jag, he and his wife in new designer clothes, partying it up with his foreclosure attorneys at a event that cost $1200 per couple to attend. I wouldn’t even assume Republcans will be at ease with those facts.

  19. Sam The Sham says:

    Why shouldn’t the house be in forclosure? Dems are bankrupt in mind, spirit and money too.

  20. Kelly blue book says:

    Who knew so many random people just happend to comment on Broward Beat today that know the year, make , model and vale of Chip’s car.

  21. Well I Guess --Not says:

    Team Lamarca, You gotta do better than that or Chip is gone. Look, Keechl and Lamarca are both ok guys who have made mistakes. But no one really knows either of these clowns. It’s about one thing: the numbers of Rs and Ds. Unless you got something new and explosive on Keechl, you better change tactics. Just saying.

  22. Well I Guess says:

    Intersting, 2900 voters in the primary would rather vote for “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane” in the general, 2718 would rather vote for “Norman Bates” rather than Chip Or Keechl, Keechl can’t win this time either and should get out, before he embarrasses himself again.

  23. Kevin says:

    There is a whole lot of insider baseball going on in here. In my opinion being in foreclosure on your home does not speak well of your ability to manage Broward’s budget. Lamarca and Lap should focus on getting their personal lives in order before seeking to represent others.

  24. Well I Guess says:

    Kevin you may be one of those uninformed and clueless voters, who never know when the election is, and it always, seems to pass you by.

  25. just one vote says:

    a look at the cunty recorder website shows these homeowners pulled out equity in a big re-finance,and now can’t make the upsizedd monthly payments
    thats why they are in foreclosure
    not because f the original loan and original monthy payback

    and we want them representing us? again, in lamarcas case?