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Follow the money

August 17, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Some of the toxic waters being sent our way is arriving courtesy of the sugar industry that is allowed to operate in a monopolistic fashion. Much protection of the sugar industry is provided by the U.S. government so that, like drugs, we pay far more for sugar than other countries.

I am from Minnesota and am reminded of an election that we had in 1990. We had a popular Republican senator running as an incumbent and a Democratic unknown candidate running against him. The Democrat attacked the Republican as the No. 1 receiver of PAC money in the country. It worked. The Democrat surprised everyone and won. Shortly after that the No. 1 receiver of PAC money in the country was the Democratic senator.

Why? It was the sugar beet industry that is very big in Minnesota and North Dakota. Fortunately they have little if any wastewater problems but they still found good reason to use their monopolistic money to affect political actions.

Florida has two senators who have served multiple terms, one from each party. Florida has had a succession of governors and agricultural commissioners. All have failed millions of Floridians. Promising legislation has been passed to solve pollution of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers but repeals and delays followed, cancelling much of this legislation. Today, more promises but results are five years away and it is only partial relief. Why should it take five years for our politicians to get religion and what shenanigans will occur in the future?

It is incredible that the sugar industry, whose product is the most used addictive drug in this country, contributes to poisons in the water of millions of people and yet it is taxpayer money going to the federal and state government that will have to clean up the mess.

Isn't it time that the sugar industry, which operates on a federally sponsored blank check, becomes a neighbor instead of an industry that poisons the neighborhood?

Isn't it time that our politicians stop taking the sugar money and protect millions of Florida citizens that are paying the politicians to be honest and responsible.

John Benedict

Cape Coral



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