Money is, in some respects, like fire. It is a very excellent servant,
but a terrible master.”
P. T. Barnum
BIG SUGAR'S FLURRY OF FAKE
Two federally-subsidized sugar corporations – US Sugar and Florida Crystals – fund an entire cottage industry that makes a fortune keeping things broken. They spend tens of millions of dollars each year protecting the death grip they hold over the public’s water. They dole it out as political contributions to politicians and lavish monthly retainers on hundreds of lobbyists and consultants.
This well-organized political/public relations scam benefits the industry goals of Big Sugar by influencing public policy and law. They repeat industry arguments for water management practices, always advocating for solutions which won’t interfere with Big Sugar’s decades-long stranglehold on South Florida’s water supply.
MOVERS AND FAKERS
They also invest heavily in campaigns of misinformation. Astroturf agents, like the South Florida Water Coalition and One Florida Foundation, sprout up. Online “news” outfits flood social media and legislators’ inboxes, like Sunshine State News, The Capitolist, and Florida’s Conservative Voice – all designed to attract uber-conservatives, then used to attack honest Everglades advocates and true restoration.
Pay-to-play manipulators are rewarded handsomely to write “articles” or “reports” so the industry, and all their enablers, can circulate them as if they are legitimate.
It’s easy for them to peel off millions, as the federal sugar program hands them hundreds of millions of dollars – yes, you read that right, hundreds of millions of TAXPAYERS’ and CONSUMERS’ dollars, each year.
So, what’s $25 million a year among friends?
As quickly as they can dish it out, we are here to shine a bright light on it and call it out for what it is – rubbish. Funny thing about science, facts, and the Everglades Trust – we’re stubborn things and we aren’t going anywhere.