Disgraced Democrat Hands Toxic Algae To Governor’s Bewildered Secretary In Photo Op

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy drove to Tallahassee Tuesday in a bid to force Florida Gov. Rick Scott to confront the issue of toxic algae in the state — but Scott wasn’t there.

“We have repeatedly called on the governor to come down and visit our district to see this first hand, and the governor has refused to see it,” Murphy told reporters in the rotunda outside the governor’s office. Scott was at a scheduled jobs event in Orlando.

“So, I decided that I wanted to come to Tallahassee and deliver this bottle of toxic algae to the governor to make sure he sees exactly what we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis,” Murphy continued.

Since Scott wasn’t there, Murphy was forced to leave the toxin-filled bottles on the desk of Scott’s assistant, who didn’t know what to do with it.

Murphy said he thought Scott should declare a state of emergency, clearing the path for federal funds to assist the clean up of the toxic algae. Murphy also wants Florida to use something called “amendment 1 environmental funds.”

This fund was created by a Florida constitutional amendment passed in 2014 that reserves a third of tax revenues to create a fund “designed to manage and restore natural systems and to enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands,” according to Ballotpedia.

The algae is growing in waterways in South Florida at an exponential rate. Due to the high amounts of algae, tourism in fishing and water sports, such as kayaking and airboat tours, experienced severe slumps in what is generally considered the height of tourist season.

“We wish Congressman Murphy would spend more time in Washington getting Congress and the president to approve funding to repair the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike, which has caused the algae problem in the Treasure Coast,” Jackie Schultz, Scott’s spokesperson told the Miami Herald. “Time and time again, the state continues to show up and put up funding to help with the water quality in this area and we wish Congress and the president would do the same.”

This wasn’t the first time Murphy used the toxic algae’s effect on small businesses in South Florida to score political points. The Small Business Administration announced (SBA) earlier in July it would authorize relief for small business owners who depend on the state’s waterways to earn money. Murphy’s office reportedly emailed back, asking for the SBA to delay announcing so Murphy himself could do it during a press conference.

Murphy was also at the center of a CBS investigation that determined his claims of being a small business owner and accountant to be outright false. Murphy ran several ads during his campaign to promote his small business and accounting experience, saying he would be the best candidate to represent small business owners in his district.

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