It's all stagecraft, but you better pay attention because if Marco Rubio resigns from the US Senate to run for president, as he has promised, count on a telegenic, baby-faced GOP FL Secretary of Agriculture to be high on the list for appointment to the vacancy and, failing that, a run to succeed Gov. Rick Scott when times comes.
That would be Adam Putnam who emerged this week, recommending that a special Cabinet meeting called to take place at the Florida State Fair, where Gov. Scott will be appearing, be moved to Tallahassee because of the importance of the discussion: the lawsuit filed against the Governor and Cabinet by news organizations for sunshine law violation with respect to the firing of the former FDLE chief, Gerald Bailey.
Such is the incrementalism that distinguishes the state's top elected officials. To wit, we ought to please north Florida crackers who propelled us to a second term, not expose the administration's action in illegally terminating the top law officer in the state (corruption) to a wider audience. In other words, get on with the three-legged races and the hog tie competition. Let the good times roll.
But stomach churning "buyers remorse" for Gov. Scott re-election obscures voters from what else Secretary Putnam is doing to distinguish himself among the people who most count: the big campaign donors who control the GOP and state wide elections. I call them, the Great Destroyers, and that's who Putnam fronted for this week, as he testified before a Congressional committee against the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Commissioner Putnam Testifies Before Joint Congressional Hearing on Newest Federal Overreach
Southeast AgNet – February 4th, 2015
From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam testified today on the impacts of the Waters of the United States rule at the Joint Hearing Before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C.
Excerpts of his testimony are below:
“The EPA has once again made an attempt to expand federal jurisdiction on Florida’s waterways with its proposed changes to the rules guiding the implementation of the Clean Water Act.
“The EPA claims that the purpose of this rule is to clarify which bodies of water are and are not subject to the Clean Water Act. The EPA claims that the proposed regulations will not significantly change what currently is considered Waters of the U.S. And the EPA claims the proposed regulations will not substantially effect communities like agriculture.
“I believe this is another attempt by the EPA to regulate areas outside their authority, and in contradiction to guidance given by the courts.
“Contrary to what the EPA claims, the proposed rule will in fact lack clarity, significantly expand federal jurisdiction, impose burdensome requirements on agriculture, and impede efforts to protect and restore the environment."
Putnam didn't just put on the "hate the EPA" hat, but the change in Congress, funded by America's largest polluters, ripens the atmosphere for more attacks on the EPA.
Regulations are holding back corporations from protecting the environment, according to Putnam, dove-tailing nicely not only with the Republican Congress but the record of the putative GOP front-runner for president, Jeb Bush.
Read the editorial printed earlier here and now at ContextFlorida that puts the light to Adam Putnam and hypocrisy on the environment. Whether voters care that they are being hoodwinked, pointing in the direction of wrecking the environment to keep corporate profits flowing in some imaginary trickle-down benefit to people and wildlife, is a legitimate question.
With corporate money in politics creating a shadow government, by and for special interests and the Great Destroyers, should voters care?
The late October 2014 onslaught of TV attack ads against Charlie Crist by Gov. Rick Scott, funded from his personal fortunate, were the latest proof that Florida voters are only paying on the most visceral level, unable or unwilling to parse facts for themselves. That serves the polluters just fine.
And so, under that toxic spell, the next step could be the US Department of Justice cutting through the bullshit of whether or not to move a Cabinet meeting from the Florida state fair to Tallahassee to bring the weight of federal law down on an administration that cares so little for laws, including the Agriculture Secretary whose ambition is to be the next Governor or US Senator from the Sunshine State.