Environment Becomes an Issue in Gubernatorial Race

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 15, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

With a tough election looming in November, Gov. Rick Scott looked to showcase his commitment to the environment while his chief rival went on the attack this week.

Scott, state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sec. Herschel Vinyard and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs held a media event on Friday to announce 11 wastewater and stormwater projects are getting more than $27 million in loans from DEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

“We’ve made protecting Florida’s natural treasures a top priority, and this $27 million investment will make critical upgrades to water infrastructure so we can help improve water quality for families in our Central Florida,” Scott said. “Helping improve Florida’s water quality is another step in the right direction toward making Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family.”

“It’s wonderful to hear that Orange County has been included in today’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program announcement,” Jacobs said. “We are deeply committed to protecting our cherished natural resources, and to ensuring and maintaining water quality. Upgrading the Eastern Water Reclamation Facility will help us maintain our excellent water quality record, and will help to ensure clean water for future generations.”

Three projects are getting the bulk of the money with Cocoa Beach getting $6 million for sewer rehabilitation and stormwater improvements, Orange County’s Eastern Water Reclamation Facility in Orlando is getting the same amount for improvements while a sewer project in Lake Wales is also getting $6 million. Other communities are getting less funds, with Cape Canaveral getting $3.9 million, Daytona Beach getting more than $2.2 million for two projects, $1.5 million headed to Gulfport, Umatilla receiving $800,000, two projects in Tavares getting $700,000 and South Daytona receiving $160,000.

Legislative leaders from the area applauded the loans on Friday.

“This money will help the residents of Umatilla reduce the potential for flooding and also treat storm water, which carries nutrients into our water bodies,” said Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla. “Gov. Scott and DEP continue to show a willingness to address these issues throughout Florida.”

Scott is trailing in the polls to former Gov. Charlie Crist. Despite spending most of his political career as a Republican, Crist is the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Scott in November. Earlier this week, Crist pointed to a Politifact story focusing on Scott’s commitment to spending on the evironment and went on the attack.

“Rick Scott claims he's invested ‘record funding’ in protecting our environment. Unfortunately, that's simply not true,” Crist insisted on Monday.

The former governor maintained Scott was more concerned with padding his record for November instead of actually caring about the environment.

“Isn't it time we had a governor who truly cared about conserving our environment instead of just playing election-year games?” Crist asked.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (8)

Fran k
9:58AM MAR 17TH 2014
What we need is the Democrat lead here. More taxes, less liberty, more controls on everything, more government....

America voted Democrats to control Congress, how's that working for ya?

Aaaahhhh Yes, vote Democrat!!!
10:30AM MAR 17TH 2014
Gee, willing to discuss ANYTHING but the status of Florida's environment under Rick Scott (which is the basic subject of the article, after all) . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
9:20AM MAR 17TH 2014
What about Medical Marijuana, that's the number one concern this election in Florida. The republicans are trying to push CBD with low THC as the replacement for the medical marijuana and marijuana with higher THC as recreational marijuana. They are changing the rules before the voters. Legalizing marijuana would bring big dollars into Florida with both marijuana and Worldwide tourist industry growth. This is the big news coming to Florida. The schools, environment, are a few of the same old same old that is like a merry go round that never ends. Tell the truth Florida politicians and stop with the lies we hear every election.
the profiteers
8:15AM MAR 16TH 2014
The Sources of George W. Bush's $41 Million Texas War Chest

The Bush Profiteers: 100 Donors Who Enjoy Hands-off, Handout Government

And this was just the beginning the list has gone on and on since then!
In identifying the economic and ideological interests of Bush’s donors, researchers kept coming across large contributors who became known as the Bush Profiteers. Many of these Bush Profiteers are:
• Corporate welfare kings who derived a portion of their personal wealth from the taxpayers; or
• Donors who appear to have an interest in taking the regulatory cops off the beat.
In fact, many large Bush donors straddle both camps, seeming to want the government off their backs except when it is giving them taxpayers money. The ranks of the Bush Profiteers include corporate welfare kings, snake oil salesmen, money launderers, tax evaders, tort dodgers, tobacco hacks and toxic waste dumpers. See Aztec (Big Wheel Recycling) in The Florida Panhandle. Check the Corporate records for ACMS, Inc. the landfill schemes owned and operated by Florida Senator Charles Dean Sr, and his son Jr.

The following Bush Profiteer profiles cite the total amount of money that the Profiteers contributed to Bush’s two gubernatorial campaigns (some totals include the contributions of nuclear family members).

Number 63 on that list is José Fanjul (Palm Beach, FL): $10,000
“The First Family of Corporate Welfare, the Fanjuls control a third of Florida sugar production, collecting $60 million a year in federal subsidies. Their Everglades land was drained at public expense, an environmental nightmare that costs taxpayers $63 million a year to maintain. The Fanjuls invest heavily in politicians.”
Number 65 on that list is Richard (Rick) L. Scott (Ft. Worth, TX): $10,000
With start up capital from Richard Rainwater (No. 10), Scott started Columbia/HCA Healthcare chain. The HMO’s 10-year, hospital-buying binge ended in 1997 with federal investigators raiding Columbia facilities for evidence of Medicare fraud. [also acquired South Florida Hospitals through management companies like CFWBMCM and GALEN HOSPITAL GRP many believed to be the remnants of the Miguel Recarey – International Medical Centers with connections directly to Jeb Bush.
May 27, 2009 - Sen. Carey Baker is an amazing non-representative of his constituents to say he was just toooo frantic to review the bill that gave the St. Johns water district more power. To admit that is unbelievable — isn't that his job? What if each of us did such a poor job? Even better: "Oh, yeah. We made a mistake, but we'll fix it in the next session." Who knows what St. Johns managers can do before that? This legislation permits the water district's executive director exclusive decision-making capability without further accountability. As such, it is duck soup for developers who have already been [damaged] to the maximum the environment of this formerly wonderful state. For the record, I am not a "greenie" — just a 77-year-old lifetime Republican, native Floridian, with a balanced outlook.

Bob Short Retired director, Information Services Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty When I wrote Rep. Alan Hays (Now Senator Alan Hays) about this, I received a reply complaining about the "liberal media." I couldn't care less about his thoughts, feelings, motivations or what he had for breakfast. The fact is, whether knowingly or not, he voted for a terrible piece of legislation that sold us down the river. And now, instead of owning up to it, he's whining about the media coverage. Give me a break. SB 2080 pulled down the shade on transparency and propelled us backward to a time when deals were made in back rooms without the knowledge or participation of the people they would most heavily impact. Money, power and influence were the driving factors in the process, and the environment and future welfare of the state be damned. That's good old boy business as usual in Florida.
9:28PM MAR 15TH 2014
Yes, yes, the Florida GOP lead by Rick Scott must be right --> "Gov. Scott and DEP continue to show a willingness to address these issues throughout Florida" . . . . . . guess that's why we fought against more stringent numeric standards and TDMLs in Florida . . . . while the Indian River Lagoon and our springs turn thickly green . . . . .

And that's why we culled scientists and engineers from the Water Management District and reassigned DEP scientists who had the courage to not issue polluting permits . . . .

And I guess that's why we basically abandoned the Florida Forever program trying to protect Florida's most sensitive lands . . . .

And that must be why we're suing to keep that key Florida resource, the Chesapeake Bay, from being cleaned up, despite the agreement of every state (and Washington, D.C.) that border it that this must be done . . . . .

Yes, the Florida GOP . . . . and its environmental protection heritage . . . . the answer is flowing in Florida's water resources of just how well that's working out . . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
Fran k
9:55AM MAR 17TH 2014
Idiotspeak....again and again...
10:23AM MAR 17TH 2014
Of course, you must be right . . . . name calling always brings out the bright ones among my SSN fan club want-to-bees (and it certainly isn't intelligence, as your singular word response continues to so clearly demonstrate) . . . . . . . so the truth hurts, doesn't it . . . . glad I reduce you to sputtering mutterings . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
10:48AM MAR 15TH 2014
Yes, when Scott with the assistance of the legislature took away more than 2 billion dollors from the Water management Districts as well as gutting their staffs plus cutting developers loose from any meaningful restraint or accountability there just might be an advantage to Crist. Or any Democrat.

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