Yesterday, Captains for Clean Water executive director Daniel Andrews sent a letter to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried complaining about her appointment of a pair of water experts to a board with oversight of Lake Okeechobee. Their sin? Being registered lobbyists who happen to represent agricultural interests in the Lake Okeechobee area.
Captains for Clean Water is an environmental activism organization funded by the greenwashing, celebrity photo-op gala event specialists known as the Everglades Foundation. The Foundation has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Captains for Clean Water for them to act as a front group and has no fewer than seven lobbyists currently registered to their various organizations to advocate on their behalf.
But The Capitolist has obtained a photo showing that Andrews himself isn’t averse to hanging with lobbyists, either, and lots of them, in one of Tallahassee’s best-known lobbyist watering holes: the Governor’s Club. The photo shows Andrews, rocking a sport coat along with his iconic beard and baseball hat, sipping expensive wine and chatting with a pair of Tallahassee lobbyists, with plenty more visible in the background. [Editor’s Note: Two different sources, both of whom are members of the Governor’s Club, contacted The Capitolist and repsectfully informed us that the photo was taken in violation of Club policies on photography inside the facility. While no one at The Capitolist is a member of the Governor’s Club and thus, not subject to those policies, we have agreed to remove the photo out of respect for our relationship with those sources.]
Clearly, Captains for Clean Water is not averse to relying on and associating with lobbyists. So it stands to reason that Andrews’ objection to Nikki Fried’s appointees, Tom MacVicar and Bill Baker is, in no way related to the fact that they are registered lobbyists, but the fact that they represent agricultural interests in the Lake Okeechobee area.
But what is Nikki Fried, Florida’s top advocate for farmers and agricultural interests, supposed to do? Appoint people like Andrews himself, who have no regard for the plight of farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area and blame agriculture for algae blooms while ignoring the real problem? It should be noted that in Andrews’ letter to Fried, he offers no solution to the problem. The letter is just more environmental activist “noise” designed to blame south Florida farmers because its politically expedient and good for fundraising efforts.