#154 of My Stupid State
Most Floridians don't even know who they are. I wish I didn't. You probably haven't heard of them.
But you are paying them.
TIME magazine has called them the "First Family of Corporate Welfare"
John Ellis Bush (JEB), Rick Scott, and other GOP politicians kowtow to this family like no other. They were a top donor for W. And they are almost singlehandedly destroying our Everglades.
Welcome to Keeping up with the Fanjul family of Palm Beach. The Fanjul family is synonymous with the term "Big Sugar" here in Florida. They control 1/3 of our nation's raw sugar.
This family collects over 60 million a year in Federal subsidies. As a result, you pay an artificially high price for raw sugar, but of course that's not all. You not only support their hedonistic lifestyle (such as Casa De Campo, their 7000 acre multimillion resort), horrible labor practices, and right-wing politics: you support the killing of our Everglades National Park.
I am not being hyperbolic. The Park is actually going to die, along with Miami's fresh water supply.
One of their subsidiaries is Florida Crystals (among other sugar affiliates). You can see how much of the Everglades that is by itself on the map below. (See the orange and yellow)
(If Photobucket took the picture down, you can view it HERE)
That huge lake is Lake Okeechobee, the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the Continental United States. You can pick it out on any map because it is so large. The Fanjul's use this lake to irrigate their crops. The discharge is toxic.
The irrigated water should be recycled in a reservoir, but it isn't. The family dumps it in the coastal estuaries. The level of toxic algae it creates is stunning.
Before Tallahassee was taken over by teabags, our state was making an effort to clean up the Everglades. The one crucial piece was a binding contract that the sugar industry signed that would sell land to the state to create a reservoir. Not only that, Florida passed Amendment 1 last year. The whole purpose of that amendment was to guarantee a source of funding for land acquisition to protect Florida's Everglades and our very fragile estuaries.
Despite the GOP's election wave last year, Amendment 1 received 78% of the vote.
Our state has an opportunity to buy the land we need from Big Sugar, (the land is shown here), at fair market value. The University of Florida issued a report yesterday to say it's desperately needed. The contract ends on October 12, 2015.
Unfortunately, it isn't going to happen.
Our GOP legislature and, as always, Gov. Sick Scott, are steadfastly refusing to purchase the land we were promised. You see, one big reason the rightwing interests didn't pour money into fighting Amendment 1 is they knew they could just ignore it. Just look at Amendments 5 and 6 back in 2010: they were supposed to end gerrymandering. Didn't happen. They completely ignored those as well, which is why every black neighborhood from Jacksonville to Orlando is crammed into District 5. Because f*** you.
In fact, the only amendment that Pam Bondi and Rick Scott ever fought for was the only one declared illegal by the courts: banning gay marriage.
Rick Scott cares nothing about the Everglades. Heck, he made money allowing fracking in the Everglades before he was caught (and still won re-election). Of course he's not going to care about toxic water.
By the way, if all of this is new to you, I don't blame you. As always, our local media is silent. Also, our state party hasn't said anything. Even though this critical issue is next to our DNC chair's home, Debbie-Wasserman, she hasn't said one word. She is too wrapped up in a failed Senate run.
Please go to SavingFLwater.com and add your name/contact your legislator. If you are out of state, it provides a link to tweet/facebook Rick. At the very least, we can let our politicians know that we were watching.