Forty-One Reasons Why “Buy the Land” is Dead on Arrival in 2017 Session

by | Nov 10, 2016

Forty-one. That’s a big number in terms of how many candidates lost out of a field of fifty-five. And that’s exactly what happened to those candidates who supported the #NowOrNeverglades Declaration.

Before the election, the Everglades Foundation launched an ill-fated, 12-day, 20-city bus tour that snaked its way across the state to promote it’s “NowOrNeverGlades” Declaration, inviting citizens and candidates to sign a petition to “buy the land” south of Lake Okeechobee. As previously reported here, here, here, and here, the declaration has less to do with “environmental preservation” and everything to do with a broader effort funded by billionaire Paul Tudor Jones in his never-ending quest to cleanse his profit-seeking soul by sucking up to environmentalists in the name of philanthropy. Nevermind the fact that his plan seeks to force the state and federal government to buy up and then flood some of the most fertile farmland in America, putting tens of thousands of people out of work.

In the Donald Trump wave that crashed across Florida, voters rejected Jones’ “government knows best” approach by defeating 41 of the 55 candidates that supported this anti-farming petition.

Today, incoming Senate President Joe Negron, who supports Jones’ idea, tried to put a happy face on the loss by claiming he has a “strong foundation of support” from 25 Republicans out of the Senate’s 40 members. It’s hard to see how that could be true, though, given the fact that only four incoming Senators who signed the NowOrNeverglades pledge actually won their respective races, one of them being Negron himself.

Of those incoming senators, only one of them, Jose Javier Rodriguez,  actually defeated an opponent (Miguel Diaz de la Portilla) who didn’t sign the pledge. The three others who signed and won were running against opponents who also signed, meaning it couldn’t have been a deciding factor in the race. Contrast that with the outcomes in Senate Districts 17, 18 and 23, where the candidate(s) who signed the pledge lost. In fact, in District 18, both a Democrat and a No Party Affiliation candidate signed the pledge and lost to a Republican who didn’t sign.

The bloodbath was even worse in the Florida House, which saw a devastating 20 out of 22 candidates who signed the declaration go down in defeat. That’s a full 91 percent failure rate for the Everglades Foundation in the Florida House, and perhaps the biggest reason why “Buy the Land” is dead on arrival next spring, regardless of Senator Negron’s effort to breathe life into it.

Still, you’ve got to hand it to the TC Palm for trying to do their part. Near the bottom of the story (linked above), the paper included a bold headline that reads: “GROWING MOMENTUM.”  Underneath, they say the Everglades Trust endorsed 14 candidates, and seven of them actually won. Not only can the TC Palm not be bothered to do the math on just how poorly the effort actually fared, the paper can’t even find all seven names that supposedly won their races. They only list five. Here’s a screen grab:


Note the quote by Kimberly Mitchell, who said the election was all about the Everglades and clean, plentiful water. If that’s true, then losing 75 percent of their preferred candidates sends a pretty clear message that “buy the land” isn’t really a high priority for voters.

Here is the complete list of candidates who signed the #NowOrNeverGlades Declaration and the result (winners are in bold):

Candidate Name Party Running For Election Results
Tim Langer DEM Citrus County Commissioner District 3 Lost
Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich DEM Florida House District 103 Lost
Carlos A. Puentes Sr. DEM Florida House District 110 Lost
Rosa Maria “Rosy” Palomino REP Florida House District 112 Lost
Jeffrey Doc Solomon DEM Florida House District 115 Lost
Dan Horton DEM Florida House District 120 Lost
Joe Snodgrass DEM Florida House District 19 Lost
Ray Guillory DEM Florida House District 2 Lost
Adam Morley DEM Florida House District 24 Lost
Noel Cheryl Bickford DEM Florida House District 25 Lost
Bob Doyel DEM Florida House District 41 Lost
Benny Valentin DEM Florida House District 42 Lost
Carlos Guillermo Smith DEM Florida House District 49 Won
Sean Ashby DEM Florida House District 50 Lost
David Anthony Kearns DEM Florida House District 53 Lost
Bernard “Bernie” Fensterwald DEM Florida House District 65 Lost
David Vogel DEM Florida House District 67 Lost
Charles Messina NPA Florida House District 76 Lost
John Scott DEM Florida House District 79 Lost
Mary Westcott Higgins DEM Florida House District 82 Lost
Crystal Lucas DEM Florida House District 83 Lost
Gayle Harrell REP Florida House District 83 Won
Robert Simeone DEM Florida House District 85 Lost
Laurel Bennett REP Florida House District 86 Lost
Lori Berman DEM Florida House District 90 Won
Ken Keechl DEM Florida House District 93 Lost
Linda Stewart DEM Florida Senate District 13 Won
Dean Asher REP Florida Senate District 13 Lost
Amy Tidd DEM Florida Senate District 17 Lost
Bob Buesing DEM Florida Senate District 18 Lost
Joe Redner NPA Florida Senate District 18 Lost
Frank Alcock III DEM Florida Senate District 23 Lost
Joe Negron REP Florida Senate District 25 Won
Bruno Moore DEM Florida Senate District 25 Lost
Jose Javier Rodriguez DEM Florida Senate District 37 Won
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell DEM Florida Senate District 39 Lost
Anitere Flores REP Florida Senate District 39 Won
David Purdo REP Islamorada Village Council Seat 2 Lost
Cheryl Meads REP Islamorada Village Council Seat 2 Won
Mike Forster NPA Islamorada Village Council Seat 5 Won
Jill Zima-Borski DEM Islamorada Village Council Seat 5 Lost
Robert Pryor INT Martin County Sheriff Lost
Bill Snyder REP Martin County Sheriff Won
Tony Bennett DEM Palm Beach County Commission District 1 Lost
Dave Kerner DEM Palm Beach County Commission District 3 Won
Taniel Shant REP Palm Beach County Commission District 5 Lost
Ed Young NPA Seminole County Soil & Water Conservation District Group 4 Won
April Freeman DEM U.S. House District 17 Lost
Brian Mast REP U.S. House District 18 Won
Alina Valdes DEM U.S. House District 25 Lost
Joe Garcia DEM U.S. House District 26 Lost
Carlos Curbelo REP U.S. House District 26 Won
Scott Fuhrman DEM U.S. House District 27 Lost
Corry Westbrook DEM U.S. House District 8 Lost
Patrick Murphy DEM U.S. Senate Lost



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