Beware of national scorecards in the fight for clean water
One of the lessons learned during this past algae season is it’s hard to go thru a devastating environmental crisis during an election year. Things were not so bad during the primary but the moment after all hell broke loose. Seriously, at 12:05 the onslaught begin.
The major post being shoved my throat was the record of “Brian Mast” and “Ron Desantis.” It all looked great until you start reading the scores of sugared up Democrats like Debbi Wasserman Schultz. Mast and Desantis got low scores while Debbie got a glowing report. How could this be?
They even endorsed her.
That’s very nice for Debbi but not for us. Why? Because none of their issues that they are scoring has anything to do with Everglades Restoration which is our issue.
This is their mission.
When you do a simple search of the their site this is what you get along with multiple endorsements of democrats. There is nothing here at all about our discharge issues or even Everglades Restoration.
There were loads of issues with “Blue wave” voters becoming aggravated beyond repair at us “purple voters.” The answer to everything was to cut and paste this scorecard. People who I held in high regard did this. Local environmental leaders did this. Even after contacting them they continued on their LCV binge. People who ran “sugar free” campaigns shared this as if it was gospel.
I don’t mind having a good hearty conversation but I really mind the extensive use of propaganda at most and completely disingenuous information in an election. This means both sides. There is no one party that will fix our water issues. Both are terribly sugar sweet.
I lost respect for multiple people. Our water issues are not a secret. For any environmental group to ignore this and go for the big sugar candidates proves this is not a resource we should be looking at for guidance with our particular issues.
I did a little research and didn’t like what I saw. Most of it was from a conservative think tanks so its like the pot calling the kettle black. Then the black kettle calling it pot. This made me uncomfortable.
So I asked around.
“National scorecard like the LCV do not accurately reflect who will have the political courage to stand up to Big Sugar, which blocks our efforts to stop toxic discharges. Just look at Dems like DWS- she has been indistinguishable from Marco Rubio on stopping the toxic discharges.” Chris Marony from Bullsugar told me. “”Both are in the Fanjul’s pockets. Yet she has a 92 % lifetime score. The LCV score is misleading when it comes to toxic algae.”
He went on to say that Bullsugar.org tried to get Sugar Reform into multiple national scorecards last spring and met surprising resistance.
My friend Tim Canova was not so kind. Tim ran for congress this year as an independent. He previously ran as a Democrat in the election two years ago.
I think you get the point. Even if the LCV voters was not totally disingenuous they are not including our issues: Everglades Restoration, discharges, toxic algae. They won’t because their job is to promote democrats and too many of them would not be able to obtain life times scores like Debbi Wasserman Schultz.
Our entire state was engulfed by water issues this past summer. We can’t afford to fight over this when we have dolphins dying, humongous fish kills, sick and dying dogs, toxic algae in our lungs and our brains.
Local democrats insisted that our need to fix our discharge and algae issue issues was a NIMBY issue and we were single issue voters. I disagree. This is a health issue not only for our environment but for the recipients of these discharges. This past summer we saw people who had microcystin in their noses, dogs got sick, one died, we, all had algae brain, headaches, nausea and now its being reported its being found in people’s lungs.
But this is the bigger picture: The issue needs to be fixed for the people of South Florida, the Everglades and for Florida Bay. if you think thats NIMBY then you need to do some more reading because we are talking about the water for millions of people and an entire bay. and if we loose the Everglades we loose everything. It’s all a big puzzle and we all all connected- us , the west coast, South Florida, the Florida Bay- it all goes together and comes under one -Everglades Restoration.
Many people hollered back: The LCV is the big picture. I would respectfully disagree. While climate change does affect the toxic algae there are many more immediate things that do. Look at this way:
If you had vascular disease and no or very little blood was going into your feet you would want immediate attention to increase blood flow. Of course you would want the patient to do all the things they need to get better but right now you have to fix the feet issue. Thats the emergency. Everything else is the cause. You don’t send the person home and tell them to take better care of themselves. You take care of the issue and then make recommendations on how to improve the situation.
Back to my story.
So this gets literally shoved in my face and down my throat. So we presented two lists of endorsements. One was Bullsugar and the other was the Everglades Trust. Why? Because these are the people who work day and day out on our issues. What do Dems do? They create this crazy narrative and a huge backlash against both. The same people shoving the disingenuous propaganda down our throats. At the very least we don’t know the people from LCV in D.C. We know Bullsugar and the Everglades Trust. They live here. They are our friends.
People actually railed against the very people who were endorsing their own candidates.
In spite of it all we did manage to get rid of Adam Putnam and Matt Cauldwell. Thank Goodness!
In the future we must be equitable when sharing information. As Erin Brockovitch said “This is not right or left. This is right or wrong.”
We don’t have the luxury of fighting with each other anymore. We have new and re-elected officials and it is our job to hold them accountable.
If you have anything to add to this feel free to do so in the comments or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel like I’m totally wrong and out of my mind you can also send a letter to us and we will post it.
update remarks by Dave Preston
Really well said Cyndi Lenz. If I wanted to talk to somebody at League of Conservation Voters about the Everglades or the Lake O discharges, I wouldn’t even know who to call. They are literally non-existent on the ground in FL. And in this year’s election they gave FL’s smartest corporate polluters/corrupters some serious cover, which made it hard for non-partisan clean water groups to push D candidates for accountability on our very specific issues.
In reality, LCV is basically an arm of the Democratic Party, and Democratic candidates automatically get a rubber stamp ‘A’ rating by way of the organization cherry picking the votes that they calculate the grades on. Which would be fine, as long as they are not claiming to be an independent nonpartisan organization – which they do.
We will only see the real progress on fixing FL’s water issues if all affected parties can figure out how to work together, and organizations like LCV just effectively further sew division in today’s polarized political climate, glazing over the actual issues and basically saying whatever it takes to push voters to one side of the ballot.