Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Taxpayers: keep your fingers crossed that State Senate President Joe Negron can cut a deal on acquiring Big Sugar lands this legislative session ... by gimleteye

Yesterday low politics prevailed at the Miami Dade County Commission, as stagecraft by Big Sugar stepped in to block the county commission from affirming what it has already done: advocate for purchase of Big Sugar lands by the state to advance restoration of the dying Everglades.

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?

Doc 120516 by Alan Farago on Scribd


Anonymous said...

Big Sugar not only owns the Governor, but it owns a good chunk of the Miami-Dade County Commission. Every one of those commissioners should be shamed for putting the industry's interest over the residents' water. Forgot, they are shameless/sin verguenza.

Mark Potter said...

A lot has been said regarding the loss of sugar production jobs relating to the Everglades restoration and the purchase of the agricultural land south of Lake Okeechobee. It seems to me the type of employee needed to do the type of work needed to construct the storage reservoirs are very similar. Running land movers, graters, bulldozers and other large equipment is not much different than driving tractors front loaders and large trucks in farm fields. Sugar workers who lose jobs should be given preference to the new jobs and training to do the restoration work...