All Politics is local.
During the 2016 election cycle in south Florida, cleaning up the state’s waterways and preventing water pollution was the local hot button issue that candidates to elected office had to contend with.
The race to replace Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) in Florida’s 18th congressional district was ground zero of the water pollution blame game.
Everyone was quick to point the finger at their respective political opponent for why the water was being polluted in the Indian River and the Indian River Lagoon.
Democrat Randy Perkins campaigned to tie donations his opponent, Republican Brian Mast, received from individuals in the sugar industry, namely from the owners of Florida Crystals, the Banjul family.
During the Republican primary race, Mast’s opponents set the tone in attacking Mast because he took and refunded those sugar industry donations, Perkins just picked up where they left off.
Big Sugar was the scapegoat for many environmental groups and the Democratic Party, who needed to retain his congressional seat.
While the Sugar industry does share some culpability in the water pollution from its farmland nutrient run-off, there is plenty of blame to go around.
During a recent interview with Congressman Posey (R), whose congressional district is also at the center of the water pollution problem in the state, Posey outlined who was really to blame-everyone.
“The state of the lagoon did not happen overnight, and its from run-off, some natural, some street run-off, some leaky septic tanks, some municipalities that have a big problems and their overflows go into the lagoon, raw sewage going into the lagoon. There is a lot of different reasons the lagoon is in the condition it is in now.
It involves local government, it involves, when I say local I mean city-county, legislature (Florida) has a big hand in it, and there is a federal role in it.”-Rep. Bill Posey (R)
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