Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Environment Needs More Than Slogans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Environment Needs More Than Slogans

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

He's tanned, rested and ready.

That whimsical campaign slogan became a staple at political conventions on T-shirts and buttons featuring a photo of a smiling Richard Nixon long after he resigned the presidency in disgrace.

Charlie Crist didn't resign his governorship, although some of his former Republican friends insist he left office in disgrace.

But he's tanned and he's rested, and this week Crist launched his first television ad to let Florida know he's ready to be the state's next governor, this time as a Democrat.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but "sunshine" is a major theme.

Gov. Rick Scott, of course, has been looking out at you from television sets for months now, already having dropped $12 million on campaign ads.

Folks, it's only going to get worse between now and November.

You will be seeing more of Scott and Crist than John Morgan and the Farah and Farah brothers.

There will be gobs of talking points used to answer every question no matter how unrelated.

There will be meaningless charges and countercharges.

There will be snarky one-liners that operatives hone and feed their candidate.

What there won't be is a lot of meat.

Voters must demand more and ask that famous political question from years ago, "Where's the beef?"

That's especially true when it comes to Florida's environment, which in many ways is at a tipping point.

The state's water management districts, under the thumb of Scott's Department of Environmental Protection, are busily setting minimum flows and levels for the state's rivers and springs.

It's critical that these are done correctly, or the health of our waterways will continue to suffer.

It would be unacceptable if the MFLs amount to little more than weak standards that allow big water users to continue to contribute to the degradation of the water resources that make Florida what it is.

At the same time, the water management districts are looking at developing alternate water supplies to meet the demands of growth. …

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