“NowOrNeverGlades” supporters – Candidates who signed the petition to buy land from Florida sugar-cane growers, coincidentally or not, caught toes on the hurdle and fell on their faces. Chief among them was Bernie Sanders acolyte Tim Canova, who beat the drum to blame Big Sugar. Others were Chauncey Goss, Mark Freeman, Annette Taddeo, Jason Maughan, Augie Ribeiro, Jason Pizzo, Andrew Watt and Tinu Pena.
To attach Tim Canova’s loss to the Declaration, really? Canova, a first-time candidate, ran a credible, bootstraps campaign against an incumbent with deep roots and decades of history in Broward County.
Brian Mast, GOP candidate for Florids’s 18th Congressional District, was among winners Schorsch neglected in his context of the Declaration and bungled metaphor.
After winning, Mast told Breitbart, “… the main issues in the campaign, where he connected with the voters were environment disaster created by the Army Corps of Engineers, when they deliberately forced freshwater from Lake Okeechobee into the salt water estuaries along Florida’s Treasure Coast and the criminal mismanagement of the local Veterans Affairs facilities.” (for a video of Brian Mast, who faces Democrat Randy Perkins in the general election, signing the Declaration, click here.)
The Now or Neverglades Declaration calls for acquisition of lands from Big Sugar to spare Florida’s rivers and bays and the Everglades from the pollution spewing out of Lake Okeechobee. Moreover, the Declaration backs the assertion by more than 200 scientists that Everglades restoration depends on significant additional acreage for water treatment and cleansing marshes to be removed from sugarcane production or multi-billion dollar taxpayer commitments will come to naught.
Big Sugar, by the way, is not opposed to selling land as it has in the past. Its entire strategy is to extract the highest possible price from taxpayers even if it means burning Florida politics to the ground.
Big Sugar’s political team plays the game to win, but when Schorsch writes, “This talent is paying dividends”, come on: Big Sugar has been Florida’s political piggy bank for decades. Big Sugar takes taxpayer largesse and gives dividends back to politicians who vote against taxpayer interests. How much talent does it require to buy results when you can hand out five and six-figure PAC contributions like Tic Tacs?
Big Sugar: smart, strong and battle-ready, according to Schorsch — whose annual review of Tallahassee influencers is coffee-table ready and filled with industry and lobbyist advertisers — has his own context, but the fair assessment belongs to GOP anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Norquist calls the corporate welfare enabling Big Sugar and its stable of politicians: “cronyism in its undiluted, inexcusable majesty”.
Big Sugar can win elections the old fashioned way, but Florida’s distressed waterways and Everglades underscore why the Now or Neverglades Declaration is here to stay.