Adam Putnam’s greedy selective environmental concerns?

Adam Putnam’s greedy selective environmental concerns?

Syndicated from the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam seems quite selective when it comes to his concerns — suspiciously so.

Surprising? No.

Disappointing? Absolutely.

At last week’s Associated Press legislative planning session in Tallahassee, Putnam talked to the media about citrus greening, pythons in the Everglades, screwworms, the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the Giant African Land Snail.

The toxic blue-green algae that has ravaged both of Florida’s coasts in two of the last three years? The putrid, disgusting goo that has sickened children, closed businesses, killed fish and wildlife and forced people along the waterways to abandon their homes?

Not so much.

On Zika, Putnam stands firm: “A state that had 105 million visitors last year can’t tolerate a widespread epidemic of a disease that would keep families away.”

Yet when it comes to an algae outbreak that forced Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency that lasted 225 days in 2016, closing beaches and restricting fishing, the agriculture commissioner was mute.

The mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, he noted, could well come back. Putnam was oblivious, however, to the likely recurrence of the blue-green algae, a toxic bacteria that takes hold whenever water levels in Lake Okeechobee force the U.S. Army Corps to flush the filthy excess into our coastal waterways and estuaries as a flood control measure.

Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is right about Putnam’s opposition: “If there was ooze and poisonous fluids flowing down the center of Bartow and Polk County (Putnam’s hometown), we wouldn’t be talking about an abstract schedule or making comments that somehow this is a political effort.”

For decades, there has been broad scientific consensus on the solution to the algae crisis: Increase water storage south of Lake Okeechobee, so the stored water can be cleansed and put to use, saving a dehydrated Everglades and collapsing Florida Bay.

Putnam is having none of it. He apparently knows better than the hundreds of scientists who have long advocated a reservoir south of the lake despite the commissioner’s suggestion that the proposal is out of left field.

“You put all these engineers in a room, you put all these federal and state partners in a room,” he proclaimed, and “they come up with these big plans and they only seem to last until the next election, when somebody else wants to airdrop in a new boxcar load of cash for the latest new shiny object solution.”

Forget the reservoir, says Putnam. “I was opposed to it the first time under Gov. (Charlie) Crist, and I still am.”

The real culprit, Putnam believes, are broken septic systems — with a healthy dollop of good old-fashioned Florida regionalism on the side.

“Nobody has been more focused on getting water policy right than for the state than I have,” he asserted. “For the whole state, not just the part that is south of Lake Okeechobee.”

Call me cynical, but I can’t help thinking that the commissioner might be influenced by more than a quarter-million dollars that the sugar giants, Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar Corp., have poured into his “Florida Grown” political committee in just the last 20 months. It might be a mere coincidence that these two sugar companies happen to own much of the land in question (at enormous profits), but I think not.

One reporter asked Putnam if he would ever take a position against the sugar companies. His answer: “I was opposed to it (buying U.S. Sugar land) the first iteration of the buyout, which is not the position they held, so I would say I already have a track record.”

When he was reminded that, back then, Florida Crystals shared his opposition to the buyout (unlike U.S. Sugar, which had contracted to sell all their holdings), Putnam gave what might have been the most telling response of his career.

“You didn’t qualify that. When there’s division amongst them, I gotta pick.”

Kimberly Mitchell is executive director of the Everglades Trust and a former West Palm Beach city commissioner.

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Jesse Martinez: He has been a disgrace
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Carolyn L Ownbey: What are we going to do with the likes of you
Adam ?????
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Kat Gentkowski: Who Voted for him???
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Scott Whiting: Appointment by tricky Ricky  
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Kat Gentkowski: He needs to Step down Immediately  
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Robert Tice: I think he was elected.  
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Jim Westberry: He was elected unfortunately! Maybe people who don't vote party lines or are republican sheep. Also in central counties the churches do mix politics and religion. I'm just saying from what I've seen.  
Posted ON : 02/11/2017
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Juliann Daly: They keep putting the same criminals back in power and expect a different result.
Posted ON : 02/12/2017
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Kat Gentkowski: Step Down Now
Posted ON : 02/12/2017
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Debbie Erskine Merkiel: I didnt vote for him!!!!
Posted ON : 02/12/2017
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Jim Westberry: I've never voted for him or other republicans ever!  
Posted ON : 02/12/2017
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Keith McClung: A republican, concerned about something that does not affect him.....won't happen. When will people learn?
Posted ON : 02/12/2017
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Raoul Bataller: Commissioner of Agriculture doesn't get into the business of the Army or Water Management district. Who pays for this rag, Tudor Jones?
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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Jim Bond: He is supposed to get involved, but Big Sugar doesn't want him to.  
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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Raoul Bataller: Crap  
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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Christian Green: I dug through this rag of a paper.. looks like some more soros anonymous bullshit. .  
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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Raoul Bataller: Soros rags are top-dollar bullshit with the best anonymous crap  
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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John Pelech: Yup
Posted ON : 02/13/2017
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Jesus De Armas: Put is not a Scientist ! He KNOWS better than them ! Phony fraud ! Which makes him SPECIALLY QUALIFIED to be a REPUBLICAN !!
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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Robert Tice: Adam Putnam going to be our next Governor, and Gov. Scott to Washington as Senator that replaces Sen Nelson.
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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Jim Bond: Heaven forbid!  
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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Jackie Kensler: Sounds great to me!  
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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Barbara Sanchez: I hope not...puck Scott.  
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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Barbara Hering: Moron!
Posted ON : 02/14/2017
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David Chaves: Just another asshole that denies sciene
Posted ON : 02/15/2017
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Carl Folkman: This is all crap put out by Jack's cronies. Don't believe all this stuff. He is a good man and do much better than John M
Posted ON : 02/16/2017
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Jim Bond: Big Sugar must be really taking care of him.
Posted ON : 02/17/2017
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Carmen Munez: I don't think people really vote for these crooks,I think they are installed via fraudulent voting and corporate collusion and cover ups.
Posted ON : 02/17/2017
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Edris Curry: 🎶🎶🎶🎶  
Posted ON : 02/17/2017
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Edris Curry: Adam is a great guy ! This is false news media .
If he is a republican , get him !
Posted ON : 02/18/2017
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David Garcia: If he's a republican, run for the hills  
Posted ON : 02/18/2017
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Carmen Munez: Yeah I heard he opposed Scott several times and stood up for what's right,but I just don't know if it's true. I don't place my trust in any man either way,however I have heard positive things about him.  
Posted ON : 02/18/2017
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Mary Ann Mummey: I haven't trusted him since he got into politics years ago, still wet behind the ears!!!
Posted ON : 02/19/2017
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Gene Limi: Putnam you are not for florida
Posted ON : 02/19/2017
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John Smith: Oh horseshit get all the old and failing septic systems either fixed or removed. That will go a long way to getting rid of the algae. Knock off all the golf courses and large high dollar residents from using so much nitrogen fertiziler. Get the swamp and tributary creeks clean and keep them that way. All you folks new to this state have no idea how bad milaria was here years ago. Zika could be the same scourage. Quit bitching and get in the game!
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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Jim O'Keefe: Re-direct the water the way it was before the Army Corp of Engineers decided "their" east-west direction was better. Get in that game!

I'm for all waterfront, residential homes A) Having working septic. B) limestone, Xeriscaped lawns. Over-fertilization, pesticides are killing the Gulf, Rivers, Lakes and Atlantic. Waterfront farms, same deal. Bad idea. We are wasting water and dumping tons of fertilizers into our waters for green grass. Real stupid.

The bottom line is to look at what is doing the greatest harm. When huge volumes of freshwater are pushed to Lee and St .Lucie / Martin Counties it kills plant life, sea creatures, juvenile fish and habitat in general. You cannot mix extreme volumes of fresh with saltwater. It kills! Duh! Not to mention deposits silt and bottom muck, full of poisons onto oyster bars, sand bars, grasses and beaches. It has to stop. The Army Corp of Engineers made a horrible mistake and it has to be corrected. They started in the late forties and it was wrong. If it isn't corrected our fisheries, beaches, canal, rivers and lakes will continue to get worse and worse. How hard is that to understand. This is fact. It's common sense. It's not a blame game. It has to be fixed. It needs to start yesterday. The State of Florida is CLEAN BEACHES, THRIVING HABITAT, FISH, SEA MAMMALS, and sunshine. If we do not fix what was done wrong, millions of people will suffer, trillions of dollars lost and our future generations will be left with a big dead mess.
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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Christian Green: fake news.
your whole site is full of bullshit.
your site ownership is hidden for whois.
soros sponsored bullshit...
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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Christian Green: here is your author.
Kimberly Mitchell is executive director of the Everglades Trust and a former West Palm Beach city commissioner.

she apparently doesn't understand the roles of the army corps of engineers, the water/soil management districts, or DEP.

she just hates putnam because of his party.

ya'll hippys get your shit together.
I am almost embarrassed for you.
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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Paula Freeman: Florida is the worst state to get anything environmental done I call it the state of denial run by crooks and a few people who try very hard for the good of all
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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John Midyette: Not mention his hot head temper that comes out when challenged. He has fought EPA wetlands rule since he took office first. He profited from over priced, over appraised ranch that his family still gets to use free of any taxation. Don't buy that millions of sugar money does not influence his opposition. He is running for governor with his small hands out pandering developers and their attorneys, Farm Bureau, Large landowners, and others corporate special interests. Just a red headed Dick Scott.
Posted ON : 02/20/2017
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Raoul Bataller: More pretend journalism
Posted ON : 02/21/2017
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Fred Strickland: His record in south Fl. is deplorable
Posted ON : 02/21/2017
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Joseph Barnett: He has started a petition to not tax kayaks.....Is this just to "seem" Environmental?????? It shouldn't have even been an issue. Was it made an issue to allow him to seem Environmental?...I am getting cynical in my old age!!!
Posted ON : 02/21/2017
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Rebecca McLaughlin: Kayak Tax stems from here ---> http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-paddling-boats-licensing-controversy-20170127-story.html  
Posted ON : 02/21/2017
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Luanne Ferrazano: He's greedy never voted for him and he's a punk.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Glen L. Trumble: https://youtu.be/KdHugm7Lc4w
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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David Keen: Florida has become the dead state too. Not that we have room for the elder to come and live and then die. The coastal county's are sucking the life out of Florida. They need to go desalination and leave our inland water alone. I don't have a problem with the visitors that come down and go back. As far as the industries in Florida, they were here long before some of you dubbed up cupcake demarcates that want to come here and tell us how it should be. As for you USAherald.com. You can keep your Cupcake nose out of our Florida business, you have a hidden agenda here in this story.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Al Erdman: This is my shocked face. He's Rick's boy. Go figure.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Alan Vena: Vote him out.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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LaDonna Weatherford: He's a sellout. His family owns ranch land in Hardee county inland. Sugar owns him and many others in our state.
Vote them out.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Robert Stillwell: another tRUMPTARD!!!!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Andrew Rock Lenze: Another purchased politician--never, never vote for this person Floridians.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Kevin Dodd: Souless ginger
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Frank Schooley: Bought and paid for. Who elects these putzes?
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Burt McKee: Adam has more character and integrity than the whole sordid crew in Washington.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Dorothy Pease Tellin: Putnam does whatever is financial best for Putnam-greed is rampant in the great state of Florida!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Wayne Carroll: I do not need USAHerald to comment on ANYTHING especially my agricultural commissioner/congressman Adam Putnam. He will be here when you asses are gone.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Gary Butler: Screw these turds
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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William Burgess: This misguided clown is just the offspring of his parents,rick scott, and pam bundy, why would anyone with even half a brain believe his intentions were to help florida, or her citizens? By all rights, after rick and pam have departed with there millions he should be rode out of the state on a rail.
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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Kat Gentkowski: He should be Fired
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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Matt Presnell: well it sounds like a bunch of liberals and such that is jealous that they are not well off! If they had the chance to earn or get that kind of money he has worked hard for and just remmber he must be doing a good job he keeps getting elected and guss what the Florida legislature keeps getting controlled by the republicans so they must be doing something right to keep controll of the legislature. See the Democrats lost controll of the house and Senate about 20 years ago and wwas loosing controll of it before then . This is when the Democrats went to shit and people started leaving the party in droves . Like running from a wild fire. This is because the Democrats lost all their balls and would not stand up for the right things. They all went to the left. anyone worth anything left the Democrat party. No all did not become Republicans at all but the ones that left wihich was most of them went to NPA, Independent, Republican or Libertarian . They dam sure did not stay with the Democrat party. What did stay as a Democrat don't vote democrat they just been democrats so long and it is a family thing but they don't vote Democrat at all. I left the Democrat party going on 8 years now and should have left before that. I stayed Democrat but did not vote democrat most of the time. I don't see me going back to the Democrat party any time soon as it has become a communist party as for as I concern! Yes Putnam is aGood man and does a great job and He might very well be our next Governor of the great State of Florida! He got my vote for sure!
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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Paul Colling: It's all about Big Sugar. Always has been, always will be.
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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Dave Ames: Putnam's under attack by a paid ad. This early? I mean the guy may be a slimeball but, lemme repeat myself, this early?
Posted ON : 02/24/2017
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Chuck Spranger: who ever can line his pockets!
Posted ON : 02/25/2017