Hollywood, FL – Only weeks after she was forced to resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee, incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz enlisted the help of her powerful friends in Florida’s sugar industry and that of a hedge-fund manager with extensive ties to the fossil fuels industry.
Patriot Majority PAC, a Washington D.C. based Super PAC, is slated to spend over half a million dollars in broadcast and direct mail supporting her reelection bid. According to its latest filing, Patriot Majority PAC received $250,000 dollars in funding from Donald Sussman, founder and Chief Investment Officer of Paloma Partners. Paloma Partners is a hedge fund with over $100 million dollars in energy and fossil fuel investments. If one takes into account further interests in associated industries like plastics, Paloma Partners may have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in industries with crucial stakes in fossil fuels.
Not surprisingly, during last week’s debate between Wasserman Schultz and her Democratic primary opponent, Tim Canova, the incumbent revealed she is open to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract fossil fuels in Florida. Fracking has been tied to extensive ecological impacts in other states, including water contamination, pollution and the possible triggering of earthquakes. This comes on the heels of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration adopting rules to permit higher levels of toxins in our water, including many of the same toxins used in the fracking process.
Patriot Majority PAC also received $25,000 in funding from Florida Crystals, a privately held company that is part of FLO-SUN, the sugar conglomerate owned by the Fanjul brothers and one of the main sugar producers in Florida. The sugar industry has come under criticism for their role in the toxic blue-green algae blooms that have afflicted numerous lakes, rivers and beaches in southern Florida. The industry has also impeded efforts to restore the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades, thereby renewing the aquifer for South Florida. Wasserman Schultz has voted time and again for hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for these sugar companies.
“This Super PAC’s activities on behalf of my opponent are a prime example of what is wrong with our campaign financing system,” said FL-23 Congressional candidate Tim Canova. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been able to call upon her allies in Big Sugar and the fossil fuels industry to come to her aid in this race, but we know we are primed for victory because we are supported and funded by everyday Americans, not corporate interests. Wasserman Schultz can say she’s against Citizen’s United and that she’s an environmental champion. But it’s just another example of her saying one thing and doing another.”