Dirty Money

How Big Sugar hides behind the small farmer

May 19, 2022

The counterattack was inevitable – and utterly predictable. While the billionaire sugar barons haven’t deigned to comment on the “No Big Sugar Money” campaign which launched last week, they’ve sent their surrogates out to spin. Predictably, it’s been picked up…

Why we need to end the influence of ‘Big Sugar’

May 13, 2022

Florida Sportsman publisher – and VoteWater Board President – Blair Wickstrom makes the case: In 2020 alone, Florida’s sugar industry — the home of Big Sugar — put at least $11 million into congressional campaign coffers. This happened on both…

‘No Big Sugar’ campaign hopes to sour politicians on industry political donations

May 12, 2022

Florida’s powerful sugar industry spends millions to buy influence in the halls of power. Today begins a new campaign to make that money toxic. In conjunction with a broad array of environmental groups, companies and political leaders on both the…

Vote as if your water depends on it – because it does

May 11, 2022

This commentary was first published in late April, by Ryan Smart of the Florida Springs Council – no relation to VoteWater Executive Director Gil Smart – as a depressing post-mortem on this year’s legislative session: Going into the 2022 legislative…

DeSantis endorsement of Simpson not a good sign for clean water

April 26, 2022

It looked like there was a real wedge between the two most powerful Republicans in Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis and current Senate President Wilton Simpson, who’s running for state Agriculture Commissioner. But they’ve kissed and made up. And that…

Is Gov. DeSantis taking backdoor sugar money?

April 6, 2022

Call this a master class in how politics really works in Florida. And yet another reason we should all Vote Water. On Substack, Jason Garcia’s “Seeking Rents” takes a look at “Associated Industries of Florida,” a lobbying group whose name…

Sweet deal: Big Sugar’s campaign cash fuels Wilton Simpson’s ambitions

March 10, 2022

Wilton Simpson has more clout than virtually any other elected official in Florida. And Big Sugar has greased the skids in his ascent to power. Simpson, often referred to as “a Trilby egg farmer” (in truth he runs a multi-million…

TCPalm columnist rips Florida senators for being full of sugar

February 11, 2022

TCPalm outdoor columnist Ed Killer has penned a dead-on piece lambasting the Florida senators who voted in favor of notorious Senate Bill 2508 as being little but shills for Big Sugar, and determined to advance the industry’s priorities over clean…

In the communities south of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, ash falls on houses and cars, the children call it black snow.

Investigation shows how Big Sugar money influences local elections and beyond

February 3, 2022

In a blockbuster Feb. 3 story, the Palm Beach Post and ProPublica laid out exactly how the sugar industry manages to capture local politicians, and indeed local communities, which then helps them stave off change at the state level –…