Monday, July 16, 2018

Big Sugar boosters attempt whisper campaign against Bullsugar ... by gimleteye

The writer Carl Hiaasen quoted the late Nathaniel Reed in a New York Times obituary last week, "He'd say, ‘Don’t be discouraged. Get angry, show up, make your voice heard, and when they ignore you, make it louder the next time.’"

The group "making it loudest" was formed during the toxic algae outbreak of the winter of 2015/ 2016 when the state's rivers, bays and estuaries downstream from Lake Okeechobee were poisoned primarily through the influence of Big Sugar on South Florida's water management infrastructure. That group is Bullsugar, and this year -- and election year -- the slime is baaa-aaack.

Yes, the slime is back and it's dangerous. Cyanobacteria is linked to severe neurological disease. The state of Florida has been downplaying the risk, avoiding the science, and failing to protect citizens through rigorous science, effective regulation and enforcement against polluters.

One change from 2016: Big Sugar launched a whisper campaign against Bullsugar, a grass roots group founded in Martin County, calling the group "liberal" and "extreme". As if anything could be less radical or conservative than pointing out taxpayer money is being squandered as quid pro quo to Big Sugar's campaign contributions.

Rick Scott and Adam Putnam and Matt Caldwell come foremost to mind as defenders of the polluters: Scott is Florida's term-limited governor seeking to unseat US Senator Bill Nelson, Putnam being the state's Agriculture Secretary seeking to be the next governor, and Big Sugar's legislator of the year, Matt Caldwell, a state representative being offered as Putnam's successor.

Where Big Sugar sees a political ladder, bolted together with unlimited contributions, Bullsugar sees bowling pins set to be knocked down by angry voters. For Big Sugar, that's a problem.

Yes, these are all Republican, but Bullsugar doesn't shy from explaining: when it comes to accommodating the state's biggest polluters party affiliation doesn't matter: Big Sugar is an equal opportunity contributor and Florida Democrats are just as susceptible if not more so -- with a few startling exceptions -- to sugar's sticky, treacle and influence.

One of the Democrat standouts for honesty is Chris King, seeking the party's nomination to be next governor. King has made Big Sugar's corrupting influence on state politics a rallying cry of his campaign. King recently told the Tampa Bay Times:
"Sugar corporations bear clear responsibility for the billions of gallons of toxic algae water pumping out of Lake Okeechobee and threatening public health," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King said after campaigning in communities most hurt by algae blooms around Lake Okeechobee. Then he moved on to the corporate headquarters of U.S.Sugar in Clewiston. "After traveling deep into sugar country to call out their vise grip on Florida's environment, it's safe to say Big Sugar wasn't a big fan of our campaign today. We've led the debate against Sugar and forced the conventional politicians I'm running against to take a stand and return their sugar industry cash, and I'll continue to call out Big Sugar's abuse of Florida's environment –– even if the political establishment doesn't want to hear it."
Sugar's whisper campaign against Bullsugar seeks to negate the hundreds of thousands of Bullsugar followers on Facebook and the web.  Big Sugar has mobilized paid-for "fake news" to spread rumors and innuendos.

By throwing enough bulls** against the fan, the polluters want voters to be confused and to avoid learning how its polluting ways is putting Florida citizens directly in the path of cyanobacteria; a form of toxic algae that scientists are studying for links to severe neurological diseases including Alzheimer's.

For saying so, Bullsugar is attacked for being "impolite" and "rude" and "unreasonable". They grumble, Bullsugar won't compromise like other "more polite" groups. That is bulls**.

There should be no choice or compromise when it comes to public health. No choice or compromise when it comes to requiring the polluters to bear the costs of their pollution. It is thin-skinned of the state's political heavyweights to take offense at a small grass roots group, but that's what happens when one's fingerprints are all over the slime.

It is time for voters to reset the direction and to reject green slime candidates like Rick Scott, Adam Putnam and Matt Caldwell.

They don't like that Bullsugar is compiling voter guides because -- horror! -- taxpayer and voters might start putting two and two together and figure out that they've been voting against their best interests. So when you hear Big Sugar's whisper campaign; hold your breath, cover your ears and turn your backs. If it feels sweet and sticky, run.


Lois Lane said...

Erhmagosh !! You surprised me !! Thank you for your capture of my fb post. I congratulate NewsChannel 5 (WPTV) for protecting their employee. Bravo eyeonmiami - whomever you are. ♥

Anonymous said...

Bullsugar would get more support if they were truly non-partisan. Hopefully their "voting guide" will do a better job of acknowledging Democratic involvement with sugar money than this blog does. Its an issue for both political parties that should be addressed without a partisan slant.

Anonymous said...

Where do we get a Bullsugar tee shirt? This is going to be the year to get their message across loud and clear-if enough people survive the toxic contributions of Big Sugar....