Issues Matter:  Adam Putnam Gears Up for the Gubernatorial Race

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Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam recently spoke to press members at the Associated Press’ pre-session conference.

His topic? President Donald Trump.

Speaking about the President’s controversial “travel ban,” Putnam said, “We all need to make this country more secure. It’s a dangerous world. It is not a religious test. There are certainly Muslim countries not on the list, and the ones that he selected is identical to a list that President Obama used, same seven counties. The frustrating part is why would you hire such talented cabinet and not use them in making sure that implementing that plan is as efficient and seamless as possible.”

To a casual observer, it may seem odd for the Commissioner of Agriculture to make political remarks about President Trump’s foreign policy. For political insiders, this is yet another indicator that Putnam will be running for Governor in 2018 and that he, like other candidates, isn’t quite sure how to deal with the Trump Factor, especially within the GOP Primary.

Ramping up his political activity, Putnam has spoken at length about a number of issues that are important to Floridians and has stayed remarkably silent on others.

He recently spoke out against Senate President Joe Negron’s plan to buy land on the Southern side of Lake Okeechobee. Senator Negron insists that the land purchase and the construction of a 120-billion-gallon reservoir will help reduce the impact of discharges from the lake on coastal waterways and communities.

Putnam believes “there are better ways to spend $2.5 billion for water quality and Everglades restoration.”

Senator Negron fired back, saying “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.”

Sugar industry titans, Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar Corp., own a sizeable portion of the land in question and have been opposed to the sale, despite the fact that U.S. Sugar has been under contract with the state to sell their portion since 2010. Notably, these corporations have donated more than $250,000 to Putnam’s “Florida Grown” political committee.

Putnam has suggested that, instead of spending the $2.5 billion on the Lake Okeechobee reservoir, the state should instead increase funding for economic development in rural communities. While he doesn’t expand on what this economic development would consist of, Putnam himself comes from a rural background and has some experience in large public land purchases. The Putnam family owned 2,042-acres in Highlands County, Florida, on the Northeast side of Lake Okeechobee before selling the land to the South Florida Water Management District in 2005. The News Service of Florida reported that the land was purchased in 2005 for $25.5 million, after it had been appraised in 2004 for $5.5 million, as part of a water management district restoration that included the Everglades. As part of the deal, the Putnam family retained the right to use the land for cattle grazing.

Putnam’s push for alternative economic development concepts also comes at a time when Governor Rick Scott and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala are battling House Speaker Richard Corcoran to continue supporting job creation efforts through Enterprise Florida tax incentives. Scott and Latvala strongly support continued tax breaks for companies that relocate to Florida and create jobs. Not just any jobs, the program requires businesses to create jobs that provide higher wages than the existing mean salary of the region and only awards the tax breaks if and when the criteria are met.  Corcoran calls it corporate welfare.

Putnam, for his part, has stayed silent on the fight, aside from his comments in support of “rural economic development.”

An inspection of Putnam’s history in Congress reveals an established voting record in support of government incentive programs.  While in Congress, Putnam supported the TARP bailout, the Cash for Clunkers program, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage, the “EESA” or 2008 Wall Street Bailout, as well as dozens of earmarks. His voting record also reveals his opposition to programs aimed at cutting the federal budget and a plan that would have put a stop to no-bid federal contracts.

While Putnam is proud of the Department of Agriculture issuing more than 1 million active concealed weapon permits, he has been silent on two controversial gun bills that are once again working their way through Florida’s upcoming legislative session.  One would allow the “open carry” of guns in Florida and the second would allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns on college campuses. We contacted Putnam’s office regarding his stance on these two bills, but have not yet received a response. During his time in Congress, Putnam received an A rating from the NRA (National Rifle Association).

With another Florida legislative session about to begin, and some big fights brewing over economic incentives, land deals, and gun control, it will be interesting to see how Putnam carries himself over the next few months.  Will he join the fray or focus on fundraising while his competitors roll in the mud?

Comments From Facebook

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Jeanette Sullivan: REALLY??? Nawwwww.....he's not governor material. He's a great guy...but not as governor!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Gwendolyn Holden Barry: Where does he stand? Like all GOP in the state.... for HIMSELF. This is definitely NOT who we need. IMO, of course.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lindsay Morris: So when Morgan (as in Morgan and Morgan), a demorat, throws his hat in the race, he won't be "in it for himself"? Hillary Clinton (a demorat) wasn't in it for herself (remember how she treated Bernie)? Laughable.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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David Garcia: The worst democrat is 100% better than any republiCON  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Shirlee Roberts McRory: David then why aren't they the majority in the House and Senate....I guess the majority of America does not agree with you!  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Steve Tracey: First part of the article --- he calls Trump's appointments a "talented cabinet". That's enough --- game over --- this guy's ANOTHER Donald Trump, aka American TRAITOR, supporter ... save your campaign money. Once ALL the shit about Trump comes out, NONE of his supporters will EVER be elected again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lindsay Morris: Lol...that's funny! Trump won Florida...even with all of the cheating going on in Broward County. People are still joining the Trump Train thanks to all of the "protesters".  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Steve Tracey: And will you STILL support him when all the Russian details come out ???!!!  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Sandy Fairfield Davis: Trump all the way hes the best fk the rest  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Steve Tracey: He IS the best ... for Russia.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lindsay Morris: Oh here comes "Russia" again. The last Russia accusations were proven untrue and these will too. Libs will believe anything the media tells them. The anchor on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" even admitted (accidentally of course) that their job is to control what people think. They sure are doing a fantastic job. Critical thinking skills are a thing of the past.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lindsay Morris: So Steve...if Pence becomes our president, what will you guys try to accuse him of? I'll tell you...Trump may not be perfect, but Pence is a very honorable man, whether you believe the way he does or not.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Steve Tracey: Proven untrue by whom ???!!! Like your hero, you seem to just MAKE SHIT UP. No sense trying to debate someone like you ...  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lindsay Morris: Ditto.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Michele McKenney: Way to have an open mind Steve! 😂😂😂  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Victor Gonzalez: Steve Tracy, in your opinion put a liberal democrat. Right? Youre full of SHIT!!  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Gary N. Moll:   
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Michele McKenney: He looks 12 for god sakes.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Jim Fromm: It's a little too early for this high schooler to be taking bribes. Let him age another 20 years.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Melvin RReese: Judith Chipkar Tear read this article.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Gary Butler: Asshole. Don't need another one!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lex McKeithen: Hell, he can't stand up on his tricycle....
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Jnc Westho: Nope, he's part of the "good ole boy" group. Sneaky politics.....
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Debbie Chaves: Strictly voting for democrats!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Marcia Anne Kanicki Glenn: That's a no!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Bud Storkamp: Will vote for whatever person opposes John "for the people" Morgan.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Barbara Levins: Hoping for Gwen Graham!  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Fred Strickland: The voters need to remember his failure on dealing with the pollution by the sugar co. that caused the algie in south fl.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Patty Pascarelli Hamilton: Republican's we have a message for you,do not even bother to run.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Larry Bolton: You said the same about Scott and Trump , how does it feel to be wrong so often ?  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Patty Pascarelli Hamilton: I would say judging by the world wide protests,it will be different this time.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Neal Benson: Republicans and their exalted ruler Don Trump are embarrassing. Scott scammed Florida Reds. Trump scammed the American Redstone.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lorrie Kotowych: Patty, the protests are bought and paid for by George Soros just like Obama was.... Just many pissed off liberal cry babies walking around making fools of themselves... the whole world is laughing at the washed up Democratic Party.... BTW, real women don't need to wear there pussy's on their head #notmymarch  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Patty Pascarelli Hamilton: Ha ha ja  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Patty Pascarelli Hamilton: The whole world is demanding we get rid of Trump.I guess there not showing it on Fox.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Lorrie Kotowych: I guess that's why Fox News, Bill O'Riley and Rush are number 1 in the country! When Hillary lost CNN, NBC and ABC lost as well.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Richard Randell: If you agree that it is good for our country to: 1. Gut the EPA. 2. De-regulate wall street. 3. De-regulate the banking system. 4. De-regulate the polluting industries ie: coal, oil etc..You are not an American patriot, you are an enemy of our country. Faux conservatives are in the process of legislating all of the above and more harmful laws.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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SherylDave Clark: Richard Randell If you think that wrecking the private property owner with EPA over-regulation, over-regulating businesses til they all move off-shore, killing the housing industry with stupid banking rules like "Dodd-Frank", and putting all energy supply and production out of business, thus making utility bills and driving un-affordable, is a good thing, THEN YOU ARE A FOOL!!!  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Patty Pascarelli Hamilton: Sheryl Dave Clark,stupid banking rules?What the hell do you think gave us the recession in 2008.Do you know what caused the housing bubble?Banks giving out bogus mortgages just for starters.Food and water not regulated?Really?You are living in some other reality,not the real one.  
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Mary Bennett: Doesn't he have Big Sugar in his pocket?!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Neal Benson: Not a great guy. True colors showing. Big money from big sugar. His job to STOP big sugar from dumping their garbage in Lake Okeechobee. Wimp.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Frances Jones: Not my vote tired of the GOP
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Barbara Levins: Gwen Graham!!!
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Greg Walsh: Another jerk.
Posted ON : 02/22/2017
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Pete Crumpacker: PUTNAM DOESN'T WANT A CLEAN WATER FLORIDA
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Amy Fitzgerald: Just what we need, a baby Rubio.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Carmen Munez: Florida residents will be absolutely insane to vote in another Republican! Not that Democrats are any better,I hope there's a green or independent out there somewhere with spine!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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SherylDave Clark: In other words, you'll support any democrat, un-named, PERIOD!!!  
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Carmen Munez: Hell no smart ass!  
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Max M. Haiflich: He's FOR any issue that makes himself, his family (well, most of them), and Rich Friends/Supporters, a profit and Against anything that might cost himself, his family (well, most of them), and Rich Friends/Supporters, anything. Any other issue will be by Party Ideology.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Gerry Moran: More of the same!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Michael Pringle: Corrupt piece of Shit! When are Floridiots going to stop voting republikkkan & elect some trustworthy Democrats that will work for us NOT against us like all Republikkkans do!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Shirlee Roberts McRory: Can't find a trustworthy democrat either!  
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Michael Pringle: That's your opinion Shirlee! You're part of the problem! Did you get your diploma at Devos High School?  
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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James Dennison: This just lost Putnam my vote!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Teresa Duff Dillon: Never cared much for the little weenie anyways.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Lisa Rathbun Romfh: I might be a Republican, but I will never vote for this A#*! NEVER....
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Danny DiPietra: Not to be trusted. Koch bros. favorite. In cahoots with Rick Scott. Against the EPA and a friend of big sugar. POS
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Eileen Machules: Oh,no.......not good for Florida ......
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Timothy Arnwine: Great....another Prick, just with hair
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Stephen Olmstead: Trump clown clone
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Don Walker: Bull shit!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Kitty Martin: Nope. Big sugar owns him
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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James Rhoden: Don't think so he passed on big sugar, they are in his pocket.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Judith L Valerius: Boo!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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David Deal: I pray he wins!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Theodore Johns: Another corrupt GOPER with the magic (R) behind his name. It's time Florida has a Democrat in the Governors mansion.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Karen Regan: He is endorsed by Obama by by
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Keith McClung: Who is endorsed by Obama?  
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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JC Button: Oh God.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Chris Woods: Ill be calling his office to tell them I don't want him running for governor.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Carol Slade: Will NEVER get my vote. Scott toady.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Maurice Saoirse: We need to get rid of all the republicans in Tallahassee.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Danielle Clark: Sworn off voting for Republicans. I'll be looking at the other candidates.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Linda Baker Bryson: No WAY NO WAY he is a Republican! Remember what they have done to our state for the last 16 years!!!!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Tom Albert: Ask him if supports the Tea Party?
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Mary Ann Mummey: Adam Putnam is not My governor!!! I didn't vote for Scott either!!! Vote blue next time!!! Voting republican has Not been good for Florida!!!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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David Garcia: A rubio clone
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Richard Edwards: Another Republiklan racist lying Christian Bigoted asshole.
Posted ON : 02/23/2017
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Sylvia Wadlington: The guy is a total waste of time, he's a republican!
Posted ON : 02/23/2017