On the Snout: Florida bought and paid for.

On the Snout: Florida bought and paid for.

on the snout

“If you smell something. say something.”

I’ve written extensively about the Pacific Legal Foundation.

A group that is intent on destroying our bears, panthers, manatees and every  piece of green we have in our state. It’s also quite obvious that RIck is ruled by the Koch brothers because his agenda is their agenda. Not ours.

Last year we saw an incredible dysfunctional Florida legislature and the will of the people even for little things was just totally ignored. Like we didn’t exist.
They really don’t care. Not Rick Scott nor the people who represent you.

First this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/americans-for-prosperity-rick-scott_n_2160739.html

“AFP is extremely disappointed in leaders in Florida suggesting that the Sunshine State should create a health insurance exchange” said Slade O’Brien, AFP’s Florida State Director. “An exchange will increase insurance premiums on consumers and taxes on hardworking families. Florida’s best intentions will be masked by the federal government’s onerous requirements.”

then this.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-koch-brothers-group-attacks-gardiner-senate-over-medicaid-expansion-20150330-post.html

“Americans for Prosperity, the free-market advocacy group financed by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is going on the attack.

The group sent mail ads Monday to the districts of Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and 24 other senators over their support for a plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

“The Florida Senate continues to move forward on a plan to give good people bad coverage,” the mailer states.

It also encourages residents to call senator’s district offices. Click here to view the mailer.

AFP sent the mailers to the districts of senators who voted for the Medicaid expansion plan in committee. Gardiner, who is vice president of external affairs at Orlando Health, doesn’t sit on any committee as Senate President, but pushed expansion from the onset of the legislative session.”

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/koch-brothers-group-assists-scott-campaign/2186749

“Gov. Rick Scott is getting help from Americans for Prosperity, which has begun phone banking and canvassing across Florida.”

http://realkochfacts.com/rick-scott-the-special-interests-governor/

“The heated race for governor in the Sunshine State is just around the corner, and after throwing his tantrum on national television, Rick Scott needs something of a miracle to win reelection. Luckily for Scott, he’s got the support of the billionaire Koch brothers and their extensive political network: Koch Industries has made large contributions to Scott’s campaign, and the Kochs’ primary political arm, Americans For Prosperity, has put more than 40 paid staffers on the ground in the Sunshine State.

Scott’s ties to the Koch brothers go back a ways. In 2013, Scott spoke at Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Orlando the very same week that he skipped his own three-day education summit, a stark juxtaposition of priorities that drew this rebuke from Tampa Bay Times:

“Unless he’s worried about his base or the lingering threat of a primary challenge, it baffles us that Scott – who couldn’t find time to attend any of a three-day education summit he called himself – would find the time to speak at the AFP “Defending the American Dream Summit”… Maybe he hopes the Koch brothers, who founded AFP, will show some love to Scott’s Let’s Get to Work Committee.”

kochsrick

“This year, AFP’s annual summit was hosted in Texas, and Scott’s fellow Republican governor and friend Rick Perry joked about razzing him because the Texas summit was better attended than Scott’s Orlando event. Perry recalled, “Rick Scott always tries to one-up me, so you know, he was the first to call me and say ‘Hey, we got Americans for Prosperity, what’d you get?’”

Of course Scott called Perry to brag about his support from the Koch brothers. And of course the Koch brothers support Rick Scott, they share the same agenda – opposition to raising the minimum wage, denying the science of climate change, refusing to expand Medicaid. It’s a match made in heaven.

When Floridians go to the polls on Tuesday, they should bear this in mind. Rick Scott is the special interests governor. The Koch brothers are just one of his many interests.”

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Lakepointe and the Pacific Legal Foundation

Lakepointe and the Pacific Legal Foundation.

When it looks like a duck, and walks like duck, quacks like a duck it’s a duck.

Or in this case a big polluting rubber ducky.

duck

I’ve written about the Pacific Legal Foundation and explained who they are. When I first moved here I read about Lakepointe and even wrote to some friends about them. Something was not kosher there. Something was rotten in Denmark.  Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t have the knowledge to really understand.

Well wow. Now things are falling into place.

Here we found out how the Pacific Legal Foundation is messing with our Panthers

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/07/09/panthers-manatees-and-bears-oh-my/

Then we asked why are they even involved in all this.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/07/10/who-is-the-pacific-legal-foundation-and-why-are-our-panthers-manatees-and-bears-their-business/

They are a Koch Brothers, Scaife Foundation lackeys hiding out in bosom of an unending cash cow and really sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong but where their masters want them to go.

and they want to go to Martin County. They want to destroy us.

Then I wrote about their relationship to Martin County and our Economic Foundation

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/07/11/bring-it-on-home-the-pacific-legal-foundation-and-martin-county/

Don’t believe me. Believe this:

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2009/08/wade-hopping-follows-jim-king-by.html

“Hopping was also chairman of the Pacific Legal Foundation. The PLF “was established in 1973-74 by a group of attorneys from California’s Justice Department to counter reform of the welfare system and the liberal public interest legal groups that were pressing for better environmental and health regulations. Especially targeted were the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund. Governor Ronald Reagan of California appears to have provided the required financial links to Pittsburg billionairre Richard Mellon Scaife who funded the initial office in Sacramento.” The PLF’s interest in Florida coincided with the acceleration of government initiatives to protect the the Florida Keys and East Everglades in the early 1990’s.

The PLF obituary notes, “(Hopping’s) notable achievements included coordinating the Florida business community’s efforts to enact laws relating to manatee protection, an expedited environmental permitting process, and the Bert J. Harris Jr. Property Rights Protection Act.” The Bert Harris Act is the best example how the unintelligent design of laws provides energy to a precept of radical conservatism: that self-interest of corporations can protect the public interest better than rules and regulations.”

We have a comp plan in Martin County. Developers don’t like it. They don’t like some of our commissioners. They certainly don’t like that we pay attention and we don’t want to be an extension of the cement jungle of South Florida. and they don’t like Maggy Hurchella who is one of our greatest gifts.  Maggy fights for us day and night and all she got for her efforts was a silly SLAPP suit which is costing her thousands of dollars.

http://opinionzone.blog.palmbeachpost.com/tag/maggy-hurchalla/

“Lawsuits meant to silence questions about development in Martin don’t pass smell test”

This is how you destroy American. Quietly through money supplied by the Koch Brothers.

This is from last year from the Hobe Sounds Currents. (The pro Lakepoint pro development paper)

http://hobesoundcurrents.com/hard-to-keep-up-with-comp-plan-lake-point-lawsuits/

“The evidence from Heard’s hearing, according to court records, is important to Lake Point’s case against former County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla for allegedly making false statements to county commissioners with the intention of interfering with Lake Point’s ability to conduct business. Lake Point filed suit at the same time against Martin County and the South Florida Water Management District for breach of contract.

Lake Point filed a motion in January seeking permission from the court to amend its lawsuit to charge Martin County with tortuous interference. A public records request filed by Lake Point with County Attorney Michael Durham asked for copies of all correspondence, public and private, between three county commissioners and Hurchalla regarding Lake Point. Apparently the request was ignored for a year.”

http://hobesoundcurrents.com/blog/page/4/

“The Pacific Legal Foundation—a 40-year-old public interest firm known for winning its cases to protect US landowners against excessive government regulation and the loss of private property rights—questioned this week not only the county commission’s closed-door sessions, but also the apparent disregard of Florida’s Public Records Laws by two commissioners, Ed Fielding and Sarah Heard, for failing to report and protect their private electronic communications used to conduct public business.

If the allegations by Lake Point Water Restoration Project attorneys prove accurate regarding the “manipulation” or deliberate destruction of Fielding’s and Heard’s secret emails with environmentalist Maggy Hurchalla, both commissioners also are likely to face criminal charges, as well as ethics violations.”

Maggy is a citizen. She is not an elected official. This is just a circus pointed to our commissioners to destroy Martin County.

http://www.tcpalm.com/business/key-player-in-lake-point-restoration-project-to

“George Lindemann Jr., a key partner in the Lake Point Restoration project, and companies associated with him have been very generous to Martin County commissioners and commission candidates who support business causes.

Lindemann Jr. and the companies based at 4500 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Suite 105, contributed a total of $32,000 in the past five years to the political campaigns of three county commissioners and two commission candidates, campaign finance records show.

He is the son of George Lindemann Sr., an investor whose family is reported by Fortune magazine to have a net worth of $2.2 billion.

Lindemann Jr. gained national prominence in the early 1990s as an equestrian with Olympic aspirations. He made headlines when he received a 33-month prison sentence in January 1996 after his conviction in federal court in Chicago for fraudulent insurance claims on a show horse he ordered killed, according to published media reports.

In Martin County, Lindemann Jr. is known for the controversial Lake Point project in southwestern Martin County and his campaign contributions to five pro-business candidates for countywide office since 2008.

Commissioner Doug Smith and former Commissioner Ed Ciampi received a total of $9,000 each from Lindemann and his companies in the past five years, records show. Former Commissioner Patrick Hayes received a total of $7,000.

They said they believe the Lake Point stormwater facility is good for the environment and Martin County because it reduces the amount of polluted water going into the St. Lucie Estuary.

The rock mine also provides building materials and jobs that are helping Martin County’s economy, Smith said.

“It is to clean up the nutrients out of the water,” Smith said. “Every project that we add into the mix that diverts dirty water … is a good thing.”

How’s that going Doug?

“But new Commission Chairwoman Sarah Heard and some of her political allies questioned Lindemann’s campaign contributions to their political adversaries and the Lake Point rock mining agreement that calls for the donation of about 1,800 acres to the South Florida Water Management District in 20 years..

“I don’t think it’s a good deal for Martin County taxpayers,” Heard said about the “It looks to me like all they’re doing is digging holes and selling off the rock or sand, whatever they’re mining out there. How is that a benefit for Martin County?”

Critics of the Lake Point project like Maggy Hurchalla, an environmentalist and former county commissioner, say a proposal to siphon water from the St. Lucie Canal into the Lake Point property and send it south to utilities in Palm Beach County could harm the St. Lucie Estuary instead of helping it.

The St. Lucie Canal receives water from Lake Okeechobee, Hurchalla said. So increasing the number of customers relying on the lake for water could lead to more water storage, higher lake levels, larger discharges of polluted water into the St. Lucie Estuary, and less water for the Everglades.”

How’s that working for our Estuary? Maggy ,as usual, was right. Who’s threatening her? Let me repeat.

This is who she is fighting against.

“Lindemann Jr. gained national prominence in the early 1990s as an equestrian with Olympic aspirations. He made headlines when he received a 33-month prison sentence in January 1996 after his conviction in federal court in Chicago for fraudulent insurance claims on a show horse he ordered killed, according to published media reports.”

Who approved this in the first place? Who does that ? Who allows a horse killing felon to operate in our county?

Translated he was convicted of killing a horse to collect the insurance money. Because why? He didn’t have enough money?

Now Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding who have supported the river and supported the comp plan of Martin County are being attacked by Lakepointe
In the same lawsuit, Lakepointe  claims the commissioners smashed their own computers and hid their emails in a secret plot against the rockpit company.”

A secret plot? Funny. It’s always a secret plot.

There will be a hearing on those charges before Judge McManus at 9:30am Thursday Aug 27 at the Martin County Courthouse. Ed and Sarah will be testifying.

Please understand that this is beyound  issue even between a local business and our commissioners.  We have been targeted here in Martin County by the Pacific Legal Foundation and unless we do something about this it will never end.

We will loose everything. Our environment. Our wetlands. I  may as well have stayed Palm Beach County because we’re gonna look just like them. A cement jungle ruled by a bunch of big businesses.

Sugar U: Fanjuls some history and a little trouble in Paradise.

Sugar U: Fanjuls. Some history and a little trouble in Paradise.

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The Fanjul Bro’s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanjul_brothers

The Fanjul brothersCuban born Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul, José “Pepe” Fanjul, Alexander Fanjul, and Andres Fanjul — are owners of Fanjul Corp., a vast sugar and real estate conglomerate in the United States and the Dominican Republic. It comprises the subsidiaries Domino Sugar, Florida Crystals, C&H Sugar, Redpath Sugar, Tate & Lyle European Sugar, La Romana International Airport, and resorts surrounding La Romana, Dominican Republic.

The Fanjul brothers’ were born in Cuba and are descendants of the Spaniard Andres Gomez-Mena who immigrated to Cuba in the 19th century and built up an empire of sugar mills and property by the time he died in 1910. In 1936, his descendant Lillian Gomez-Mena married Alfonso Fanjul, Sr, the heir of the New York-based sugar companies the Czarnikow Rionda Company and the Cuban Trading Company. The couple’s holdings were then combined to create a large business of cane sugar mills, refineries, distilleries, and significant amounts of real estate. Due to Fidel Castro‘s 1959 Marxist Cuban Revolution, the family moved to Florida along with other wealthy, dispossessed Cuban families. In 1960, Alfonso Sr., the father of the current CEO of Fanjul Corp. Alfonso Jr., bought 4,000 acres (16 km2) of property near Lake Okeechobee along with some sugar mills from Louisiana and started over on the US. Alfonso Sr. and his son Alfy Fanjul got the firm off its feet and Pepe, Alexander and Andres joined in the late 1960s and 1970s.[1] Pepe Fanjul Jr. joined the sugar firm in 2002. As of 2008, the company owned 155,000 acres (630 km2) in Palm Beach County.

José-y-Alfonso-Fanjul-Nuevo-Herald

Here are some great articles and blogs on the Fanjul’s.

Make sure you read  http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com for great commentary!

Here’s a little classic salsa to set the mood!

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2013/06/big-sugars-money-ball-by-gimleteye.html

But managing water is a state responsibility; Big Sugar’s interest in counties goes deep into the bread and butter of local politics: land use zoning. While Big Sugar wages water use and water quality battles on many levels of judicial review, fighting tooth and nail to dictate every last term of its water pollution control measures, it wages war on the land use zoning front by ensuring complicit county commissioners are well funded. If not sugar cane, then rock mines and inland ports and shopping centers and subdivisions strategically placed to thwart the aims of environmentalists to protect the Everglades and our rivers and streams and estuaries.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2010/05/fanjul-family-big-sugar-influence-under.html

Jose “Pepe” Fanjul, one of four brothers who control a sugar empire that includes Domino and Florida Crystals. Fanjul and his family have held at least two fundraisers for Rubio at Florida properties this year, while donors associated with Florida Crystals have given Rubio at least $81,100 since 2009.

(also some money from the Koch Brothers. Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by conservative activist brothers Charles and David Koch: $37,200. (Koch has donated $17,000 to Sen. Paul since 2010.)

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

Here’s an early story on the Fanjul sugar interests well worth reading: “The power and wealth of the Fanjul family is enormous, so much so that they can quietly control their public image. But behind that image lies a family with a reputation for ruthlessness whose riches were made on the backs of migrant laborers and at the expense of America’s public resources and tax dollars. Without the artificial federal price supports of sugar, their industrial advantage and wealth would collapse.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2008/08/dear-alfie-and-pepe-fanjul-no-nyet-non.html

The Fanjuls of Coral Gables and Palm Beach are among the richest farmers in America. The family interests own Florida Crystals/ Flo Sun in lands formerly of the Everglades.

AG049

I wouldn’t care except that the Fanjul’s sugar growing interest in the Everglades Agricultural Area is a home-grown Florida polluter whose influence in the political sphere has contributed to the destruction of millions of acres of publicly owned property and irreplaceable natural resources. What adds to my ire is that in the execution of its business strategy, Fanjul lobbyists and attorneys take maximal positions in defense of the last dime of profit– even when lands like the 50,000 acre Talisman Farm have been committed to public ownership– causing years and years of delay.

Here are some other articles worthy of reading.

From 2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/29/opinion/america-s-sugar-daddies.html

Sugar growers in this country, long protected from global competition, have had a great run at the expense of just about everyone else — refineries, candy manufacturers, other food companies, individual consumers and farmers in the developing world. But now the nation’s sugar program, which guarantees a domestic price for raw sugar that can be as much as three times the world price, needs to be terminated. It has become far too costly to America’s global economic and strategic interests.

The less defensible a federal policy is on its merits, the greater the likelihood that it generates (or originates from) a great deal of cash in Washington, in the form of campaign contributions. Sugar is a sweet case in point. The Fanjul brothers, Florida’s Cuban-American reigning sugar barons who preside over Palm Beach’s yacht-owning society, were alone responsible for generating nearly $1 million in soft-money donations during the 2000 election cycle. Alfonso Fanjul, the chief executive of the family-controlled Flo-Sun company, served as Bill Clinton’s Florida co-chairman in 1992 — and even merited a mention in the impeachment-scandal Starr report, when Monica Lewinsky testified that the president received a call from him during one of their trysts. Meanwhile, brother Pepe is equally energetic in backing Republicans, so all bases are covered.

The Fanjuls harvest 180,000 acres in South Florida that send polluted water into the Everglades. (A crucial part of their business over the years has been to lobby not just against liberalization of the sugar trade, but against plans to have the sugar industry pay its fair share of the ambitious $8 billion Everglades restoration project.) The Fanjuls had been Cuba’s leading sugar family for decades before Fidel Castro’s takeover. Crossing the Straits of Florida, they bought land in the vicinity of Lake Okeechobee, which feeds the Everglades, and imported platoons of poorly paid Caribbean migrant workers. Their business was aided by the embargo on Cuban sugar. The crop is protected from other competition by an intricate system of import quotas that dates back to 1981.

The government does not pay sugar producers income supports as it does many other kinds of farmers. Instead, it guarantees growers like the Fanjuls an inflated price by restricting supply. Only about 15 percent of American sugar is imported under the quota rules, and while the world price is about 7 cents a pound, American businesses that need sugar to make their products must pay close to 21 cents. Preserving this spread between domestic and world sugar prices costs consumers an estimated $2 billion a year, and nets the Fanjuls — who have been called the first family of corporate welfare — tens of millions annually. The sugar exporters who are able to sell to the United States also benefit from those astronomical prices. The Dominican Republic is the largest quota holder, and one of the big plantation owners there is — surprise — the Fanjul family.

The sugar situation hurts American businesses and consumers, but its worst impact is on the poor countries that try to compete in the global agricultural markets. Their farmers might never be able to compete with corn or wheat farmers in the United States, even if the playing field were leveled. But they can grow cotton and sugar at lower prices than we can, no matter how advanced our technology. Our poorer trading partners bitterly resent the way this country feels entitled to suspend market-driven rules whenever it appears they will place American producers at a disadvantage.

In fairness, the United States is not alone in distorting the sugar trade, and the European Union’s massively subsidized exports of beet sugar make it the biggest culprit. The American sugar lobby uses that fact as a shield, arguing that the crop not be included in any regional trade deals until distortions are addressed by all countries at the World Trade Organization. But quotas are set between trading partners, not on a global level. Right now the United States is negotiating the creation of a hemispheric free trade area that would benefit many United States industries, including other agricultural sectors. It is ridiculous for the sugar lobby to argue — as it does vociferously — that sugar should not be included in the agreement even though it is one of the few products that some Latin American republics can hope to ship to the American market.

So far the Bush administration has rightly rejected the sugar lobby’s push to keep the commodity off the table. The danger, however, is that American trade negotiators might still prove far too deferential to sugar industries when hammering out the trade deals’ specifics. For instance, any move to phase in elimination of sugar quotas over a period longer than a decade (as was done in the North American Free Trade Agreement) would undermine any promise a trade deal might hold for poor farmers in Latin America. The strength of the protectionist sugar lobby in Washington — which unites Southeastern cane growers and Midwestern beet farmers — was apparent in the success of Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana last year in bashing Nafta’s modest sugar provision during her re-election bid.

If the sugar trade were liberalized, world prices would start creeping up and domestic prices would fall, which would benefit both the developing world and the American economy. The industry itself cites ”alarming” studies that if the United States imported an additional two million metric tons — roughly the amount Central America exports — domestic prices would be cut in half. But that is no argument for opposing trade liberalization. That is an argument for the handful of individuals who control the sugar business in this country to start thinking about a new line of work, and be grateful for the long run they had.

Harvesting Poverty: Editorials in this series remain online at nytimes.com/harvestingpoverty.

The Fanjuls are looking back to the future with Cuba

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sugar-tycoon-alfonso-fanjul-now-open-to-investing-in-cuba-under-right-circumstances/2014/02/02/4192b016-8708-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

This, I’m sure, will make Marco Rubio’s head spin.

http://news.yahoo.com/here-s-where-marco-rubio-gets-his-campaign-money-204131516.html;_ylt=A0LEV79NuX5VmnIAgronnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0MjRrZ2t1BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZYVUkxMl8xBHNlYwNzYw–

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement on reports of Cuban-American sugar tycoon Alfonso Fanjul considering investing in Cuba:

“At a time when the democracy activists on the island are facing even harsher reprisals from the brutal Cuban regime, it’s pathetic that a Cuban-American tycoon feels inspired to trample on the backs of those activists in order to give the communist thugs more money with which to repress. The only little old thing that is standing in Alfy’s way of realizing these sleazy business deals with the devil is US law. He doesn’t talk about the arbitrary arrests of pro-freedom leaders in Cuba or the continual beatings endured by the peaceful Damas de Blanco. Oh no, for Alfy, the only hindrance to turning a profit off the suffering of the Cuban people is pesky US laws and he is working with groups to undo those laws. It is sickening to read that he brings up the separation of the Cuban family when he is doing all he can to exacerbate that problem. Shame on him..”

A little trouble in Paradise!

Despite the Fanjul family’s influence over U.S. policy and access to government officials at the highest levels of power, Alfy Fanjul has never become a U.S. citizen. He remains a permanent U.S. resident who maintains Spanish citizenship. Alfonso Fanjul served as co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s Florida campaign in 1992 and is a major contributor and fundraiser for the Democratic Party. His brother Pepe, who is a U.S. citizen, contributes to the Republicans.

How to grow your own sugar cane. DIY