Friday, June 05, 2015

It is time for every state legislator to be held accountable for doing Big Sugar's bidding ... by gimleteye

Attack Mailer by Everglades Trust
Big Sugar has proven, time and time again, that it has no intention of any compromise in its practice to make as much money as quickly as possible from land its agricultural practices are exhausting. In the effort to balance the needs of the environment, public drinking water and public health, Big Sugar never was a fair player. So citizens are going to have to take the fight directly to elected officials who have gotten a free pass by voters. It hasn't worked before, but with each passing year the stakes are higher.

Call you state legislator and tell him or her that weaseling out of full commitment to purchase sugar lands with Amendment 1 funds is going to cost them their political careers.

Everglades Trust launches attack mailers
Palm Beach Post, Christine Stapleton
June 5, 2015

The Everglades Trust has taken a page from the playbook of nasty political campaigns my mailing attack ads targeting lawmakers who it claims are hypocrites and have not done enough for Everglades restoration.Jacobs2

The negative mailers are targeting legislators on the direct impacts in their districts, such as toxic algae, while hitting others on what the trust calls hypocrisy.

The mailer targeting Democratic Rep. Katie Edward of Plantation features a check for $29,250 made out to Edwards from “Big Sugar Special Interest.”

The flip side features a photo of Edwards beside the question: “Political Paybacks or Clean Drinking Water?” and claims “BIG SUGAR is calling in their favors and pressuring our legislators to turn their backs on the will of the voters.”

Democrat Rep. Kristin Jacobs of Pompano Beach responded on her Facebook page to the mailer attacking her.

“The attack mailer is baseless and frankly, just plain bizarre,” Jacobs wrote. “My entire career has been dedicated to sponsoring and passing landmark sustainable water and land conservation policies, many of which have become best practice models across the U.S. It is why the White House invited me to be with President Obama during his recent visit to the Everglades.”

The Trust, a political non-profit that lobbies and supports grassroots restoration initiatives, launched its most recent campaign two weeks after the board of South Florida Water Management District voted unanimously against buying 46,800 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee from U.S. Sugar.

The Trust and its sister organization, the Everglades Foundation, spearheaded the campaign to buy the land with radio, television and Facebook ads, claiming a reservoir could be built on the land that would relieve damage to the St. Lucie Estuary and Caloosahatchee River. Water from the lake is dumped into the waterways when lake levels become too high and threaten the aging dike around it.

Mary Barley, president of the Trust whose husband, George was a founding member of the Everglades Foundation, said in a statement: “As toxic algae and pollution threaten our waterways, we draw attention to the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to care about our environment, but instead protect the corporate interests, like Big Sugar, that contribute tens of thousands of dollars to their campaigns.”

When asked about the mailers, Erik Eikenberg, CEO of the Foundation and a member of the Trust’s board, said “I’m not the one making those decisions.” Eikenberg said he was in Tallahassee this week meeting with lawmakers about how money raised by Amendment 1 should be spent.

Eikenberg declined to say whether he endorsed the mailers or knew of the Trust’s mail campaign: “I’m running the Everglades Foundation everyday,” Eikenberg said.


Anonymous said...

It's important that our citizens, taxpayers, voters, all know that this is not a partisan issue. Big Sugar (BS), gives lots of money to many politicians. It just so happens that in FL, the Leg is dominated by the Republicans so of course the reporting will show a lot more money to Repubs. Let there be no doubt that if the Dems controlled the FL Leg, the numbers would be flipped. Cory Booker attended a fundraiser in Coral Gables that was well attended by BS. I sent a correspondence to Booker's people expressing my displeasure for him taking money from BS. No response. I invited him and his staff to visit the real Florida and see the devastation of BS. No response.

BS is non-partisan. They need all politicians on their side.

Anonymous said...

I expect nothing less from Katie "Pave over the Farm" Bureau person. She's a panzy to whoever pays her.

Anonymous said...

Katie "shoot from the hip" almost killed the DC Farm Bureau with her stupid positions based on retribution. So sorry she is a rep, we need good people not shills for sugar. She could not win in MD because she is so unliked. Broward did not know any better.

Anonymous said...

Well, when Edwards lost the election in Dade county and moved back to Broward where her rancher/politician daddy and chamber-running mommy lived, Katie Edwards DID NOT change her spots. Just look at her history in South Dade. She was nasty, bitchy and evil. Why would she change after she got the taste of being QUEEN?

She ran with the DC Farm Bureau Republicans until she needed to be Democratic to run for office. And even then, she drew down alot of money from the Republican contingent in the ag community (the Dade county Dems ignored other candidates and poured alot of love into Katie.)The dems screwed everyone except Katie --- Thank you, Ron Saunders.

Edwards raised much more money in Dade county and she still lost to
Artilles. Campaigns must be cheap in Broward.

2012 Florida State House, District 98 Won-$180,256
2010 Florida State House, District 119 Defeated-$371,979

Anonymous said...

"the White House invited me to be with President Obama during his recent visit to the Everglades" Well woopy-dee. That and $3.5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks.
She is a complete environmental fraud. She has done nothing to preserve green space in Broward County. She is supported by a combination of the ignorant and the corrupt.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad but yes, all those negative comments about Katie are true. She is also grudgeful and vengeful, she has all the innate qualities of being a pandering, self serving politician.