Senate President Joe Negron, whose district encompasses estuaries and rivers that have been devastated by Lake Okeechobee toxic releases, has made land acquisition of at least 60,000 acres one of his highest priorities in this legislative session.
That means: Senator Negron is trying to cut a deal with the principals: the Fanjul billionaires and US Sugar Corporation right now. To jog your memory, US Sugar contracted with the state, led by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, in 2008 to sell its sugar lands. At that point, the Fanjuls stepped in; funding Marco Rubio to run against Crist for US Senate. The rest is history. For predictable reasons (money!) Rubio has opposed acquisition ever since.
More than 200 scientists and tens of thousands of Floridians have signed the Now Or Neverglades Declaration urging the addition of significant additional storage to solve, eventually, the problem of too much polluted water in Lake Okeechobee and not enough clean water in Florida's rivers, in the Everglades, and Florida Bay.
Big Sugar -- through the Rick Scott administration -- is making the realization of taxpayer dreams as difficult as possible in order to ratchet up the value of its land.
If there are secret negotiations going on right now between Negron and Big Sugar, yesterday's tactic at the Miami-Dade County Commission -- that saw a majority of commissioners rejecting the clear interest of millions of South Floridians in favor of low politics and arm-twisting -- could not have helped.
Big Sugar is pulling out all the stops to put as much negative pressure on the negotiation process as possible: enlisting fake news, fake arguments, and slick political pressure campaigns to push back against Negron and his constituents whose lagoons and waterways have turned to shit. ("Who Owns Sunshine State News?", July 2015)
How many voters understand that Miami-Dade's county commissioners care more about making America's wealthiest farmers even richer than them, or, that they stepped right into the ploy of using "poor farmer workers" as Big Sugar pawns again?