Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch analyzes political action committee/ Big Sugar's influence in Martin County: how corporations are more powerful than people ... by gimleteye

Gimleteye: Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, a popular Republican municipal official, was the favored candidate in the recent GOP primary election for Martin County Commission. She was also the pro-environmental candidate running on a platform of fixing the vast pollution caused by Big Sugar's domination of the water management infrastructure in Florida, connecting Lake Okeechobee to Florida's diseased waterways. For her views, she was punished by a coordinated political attack by Big Sugar.

Jacqui lost her primary election, thanks to the mysterious injection of a write-in candidate who was a high school student, and a political assault by Big Sugar, who supported the incumbent, Doug Smith, who has been a reliable mouthpiece for the Big Sugar/ pro growth agenda opposed by most Martin County taxpayers.

Smith nonetheless ran in advertisements and in mailers as "pro-environment" funded partially by Big Sugar through PACs. In the blog post, below, Jacqui outlines the ways that interlocking political action committees are pushing candidates while hiding the source of the money.

Martin County is small compared to Miami-Dade, but over the years it has managed to keep growth-at-any-cost at bay, thanks to the awareness of Martin County voters of the importance of protecting quality of life and the key factor of the local tourism-based economy: clean water.

That is in danger now, thanks to Big Sugar.

Understanding C-PAC, JTL vs the Political Machine-A Retrospective, SLR/IRL

Part #3, PACS
  1. C-PAC
Today along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, I continue my series “JTL vs the Political Machine,” a retrospective for my county commission district 1 campaign loss. I find that hindsight is always 20/20, reviewing everything is helpful, and certainly understanding how things work will make me a better candidate in the future. As a teacher it is an oportunity for me to share the electoral process so others can learn too.
Yesterday we reviewed Write in Candidates, and the Firefighters Union. Today we begin with one of multiple PACs, or Political Action Committees. On the simplest level, a PAC is an organization that raises money privately to influence elections or legislation. PACs must report monies raised to election offices, and the tiers of giving are often multilayered and not easy to trace.
I am going to start with the PAC closest to home, C-PAC. C-PAC is the political action committee for the Stuart Chamber.
I have a lot of acquaintances in the Stuart Chamber, but due to long-standing relationships and other factors the chamber supported my opponent Doug Smith. Thus we study his post card today.
The Stuart Chamber supported Mr Smith by sending out a post card for him. The average political postcard mailing for design, printing, and mailing runs around $15,000, so it is very helpful if a PAC sends out a postcard for you if you are a candidate because then you don’t have to raise the money yourself!
Below is the postcard C-PAC sent out for Doug Smith. Look closely on the back side bottom, it reads: “Paid Electioneering Communication paid for by C-PAC, 1650 S. Kanner, Highway, FL 34994” if Mr. Smith’s campaign had paid for this, it would say that…
For the busy and hardworking public, it is hard to take the time to find out where PACs get their money and thus who is really supporting a candidate so let’s look a bit deeper and see what we find out. It’s fun. Like being a detective!
First of all as C-PACs address is in Martin County, you have to go to the Martin County Supervisor of Election’s website and click on the COMMITTEE INFO, COMMITTEES, C-PAC, and then “Non Election Specific Reporting:”
Once clicking around one can see that in 2015 and 2016, C-PAC accepted PAC money from the following : IMG_5298.jpg
I know most of the donors in 2015, but who is Florida Jobs Pac in 2016 who gave $25,000 to C- PAC on 7/14/16? According to the StPetersburgBlog: Florida Jobs PAC is a political arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. That makes sense–but let’s look at the donations. As Florida Jobs Pac’s address is Tallahassee we must go to the Florida Division of Election’s website and type in Florida Jobs under “Committees:”
This is what comes up. There are many donors but some stand out like Duda and Sons Inc., Florida Crystals, FPL with so many, and United States Sugar Corporation. IMG_5299.jpgIMG_5300.jpg
So although the postcard says C-PAC. There is more to it than that. Good to know! We’ll study some more of the Tallahasse PACs in the coming days. They are very interesting too.

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