Thursday, October 04, 2018

Florida voters and the most consequential November election in American history ... by gimleteye

Feel like you are getting information overload? You are not alone.

But hang on just a while longer: the most consequential election in modern US history is scarcely 30 days from now.

Meanwhile, Florida IS swimming in a sea of pollution.

Florida's big polluters -- who dominate the Florida legislature through the Republican majority -- perfected the art of pointing fingers in others' directions. It's "north of the Lake O" dairy farms, not sugar billionaires. It's septic tanks draining subdivisions along the Loxahatchee, not sugar billionaires. It's not just sugar billionaires, either. Rock miners. Phosphate miners. Developers of suburban sprawl. The interests of Florida's grifters intertwined with Fortune 500 companies. It's global warming and there's nothing we can do about it. All pulling the oars in the same direction.

No one exemplifies this phenomenon more than Gov. Rick Scott.

The Scott administration and key supporters (Jimmy Patronis, running for state CFO, Matt Caldwell, running for ag. commissioner, and Adam Putnam who expected to be next GOP governor of the state until upended by Ron DeSantis) sallied forth like crusaders against "burdensome environmental rules and regulations" as friction to "jobs!".

Rick Scott is busily trotting out state environmental officials whose missions he had defined -- for eight long years -- with a single purpose: dismantle environmentalism wherever it had taken root. Now Scott claims he's done more than anyone else!, or, "Florida's diseased waters are the fault of the federal government!"

In fact, Rick Scott and his team are in federal court arguing AGAINST the federal settlement of pollution in the Everglades. A settlement HE LITERALLY TOOK CREDIT FOR.

Let that sink in. Rick Scott and Big Sugar are on the same side in a federal appeals court arguing against "judicial overreach" because environmentalists had successfully sued the US EPA for failing to enforce federal pollution standards agreed upon as a result of ANOTHER federal lawsuit establishing without a doubt that Big Sugar farm runoff was killing the Everglades.

It is important to think about this fact, because it intersects with the Trump nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

One of the only GOP principles that is outlasting the Trump wrecking ball is this idea: the federal government should stay out of the business of regulating and enforcing against polluters. The reason this is the only principle left untouched is that the nation's biggest and wealthiest polluters, like Big Sugar in Florida, have a vise-like hold on state politics through campaign finance corruption (unlimited corporate money) and gerrymandering (locked districts). If they can keep the federal government out of environment regulation, they can more easily control their business models through state legislatures.

The point about Kavanaugh: he will represent an extreme right swing of the nation's highest court, assuring that big polluters who funded Republican majorities will have advocates for a hands-off approach to problems that appropriately belong to federal authority not the states. And if you don't believe me: ask yourselves the question, how is Florida going to compel states polluting the Mississippi River and killing the Gulf of Mexico? Florida can't and won't. Florida won't even enforce existing rules against polluters.

The bottom line: while Rick Scott rails on, how "it's the federal government's fault", his own Republican party is the chief culprit in knee-capping each and every federal agency charged with protecting human health, natural resources and the environment.

GOP candidates like Rick Scott spurned efforts by the federal government to regulate and enforce against pollution. They put their trust in "voluntary compliance" by polluters and other business-friendly measures that delivered a cesspool filled with dangerous air-borne toxins lifting off the state's diseased waters, right to your doorstep.

For chrissakes, the state of Florida won't even allow state regulators to crack down on the farming practices of specific polluters who -- data and science show -- are causing massive pollution overloads to our rivers and bays and streams downstream.

This is all provable. All true.

So in November, vote for clean water and clean air. Voters, this is your opportunity.

Check out the voter guide for reliable information on candidates and endorsements in the upcoming election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live and work on the Beach. Yesterday, Mayor Gelber sent a blast e-mail to all residents that it is safe to swim. IT IS NOT! Those of us who live on the Beach know. Neighbors, children, tourists, and even lifeguards are suffering from irritated eyes, skin irritation, and ear infections as a result of swimming in the ocean over the past few weeks. What is wrong with these politicians; local and state? It is called greed! I pay thousands of dollars in taxes for my property only to have blatant lies from these men. Shame on them.