Rubio releases Everglades campaign video

Mike Riggs Contributor
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Another day, another Marco Rubio for Senate video. This time, however, the focus of attention isn’t Rubio, it’s Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and his pro-Big-Sugar Everglades policy.

Here’s the NYT’s rundown on what went wrong with Crist’s allegedly pro-environment plan for the Everglades:

Standing amid the marshes at theLoxahatchee National Wildlife Refugein June 2008, Mr. Crist said, “I can envision no better gift to the Everglades, the people of Florida and the people of America — as well as our planet — than to place in public ownership this missing link that represents the key to true restoration.”

Nearly two years later, the governor’s ambitious plan to reclaim the river of grass, as the famed wetlands are known, is instead on track to rescue the fortunes of United States Sugar.

The proposal was downsized only five months after it was announced. By April 2009, amid the deepening recession, the state said it could afford to purchase only 72,800 acres of United States Sugar’s land, for $536 million. The company would stay in business and the state would retain the option of buying the remaining 107,000 acres at a future date.

United States Sugar dictated many of the terms of the deal as state officials repeatedly made decisions against the immediate needs of the Everglades and the interests of taxpayers, an examination of thousands of state e-mail messages and records and more than 60 interviews showed.