For Immediate Release: October 3—Stuart, Florida—Clean water advocacy Bullsugar.org today announced its endorsement of Sen. Bill Nelson for US Senate, and the release of its bi-partisan voter guides for the 2018 general elections.
Bullsugar.org’s voter guides identify candidates committed to policymaking that addresses Florida's toxic bloom crises and the restoration of America's Everglades.
In the race for US Senate Bullsugar.org endorsed Nelson for his public acknowledgement that Florida's flawed water management has fueled toxic algae and red tide blooms on both coasts, and for Nelson's support for solutions that protect the health and safety of waterside communities, as well as the health of Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
“The policies that led to toxic blooms on Florida's coasts put human health at risk, damage our economy, and threaten Florida's wildlife and environment. Protecting our waterways demands leadership in Washington, and I thank Bullsugar.org for their endorsement of the work I've done and will continue to do in restoring clean water for all Floridians,” Nelson said.
Florida governor Rick Scott, Nelson's opponent, has crippled Florida's capacity to detect and prevent toxic blooms by cutting funding for water quality monitoring and public health services, eliminating pollution regulations, and appointing underqualified political allies to lead water management agencies.
"In two terms Governor Rick Scott has dismantled decades of environmental protections. He has gutted expertise and budgets at FDEP and the water districts. We are witnessing the consequences of these policy decisions today," Bullsugar.org co-founder Chris Maroney said. "Florida can't sustain another six years of Rick Scott. Bill Nelson is the clear choice to represent Floridians in the Senate."
Bullsugar.org also endorsed Rep. Brian Mast for US House, District 18, citing his legislative record, especially his introduction of the Stop Harmful Discharges Act (HR 6700). This bill would require the federal government to prioritize human health and safety in water management decisions, including protection of all Floridians from the risks of toxic blooms like those that closed Florida beaches and sickened people and animals along the Treasure Coast and Gulf Coast in 2018.
“Erin Brockovich said it best this weekend when she came to Stuart to support the Stop Harmful Discharges Act: We don't care about right and left, we care about right and wrong,” Bullsugar.org's Maroney said. “Mast’s legislation and tough interrogation of water managers has exposed existing policies that do not put people's health and safety first. That’s wrong, and those policies have to change.”
Bullsugar.org voter guides (bullsugar.org/vote) identify candidates whose statements, records, and questionnaire responses show commitment to clean water policies and a refusal to allow contributions from the sugarcane industry to influence their decision making. The guides focus on competitive contests where voters' choices can change Florida's water management policy, but they also identify lesser-known candidates making clean water a key issue in their campaigns.
Peter Girard for Bullsugar.org
Bullsugar.org is a nonprofit dedicated to stopping the damaging discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and restoring the flow of clean freshwater to Florida Bay. Bullsugar.org's Voter Guides for the 2018 General Election are available at bullsugar.org/vote.