State Reps. Targeted For Taking Big Sugar Money





Legislators — including at least two from Broward — are being targeted in attack ads for not doing enough to fund restoration of the Everglades.

Negative mail is aimed at Democratic State Reps. Katie Edwards of Plantation and Kristin Jacobs of Pompano Beach. It began hitting in their districts this week.

The pieces slam the two legislators for not supporting Everglades restoration while accepting contributions from “Big Sugar.” Sugar growers located on the south side of Lake Okeechobee have historically been blamed for polluting the Everglades.

The pieces are the work of The Everglades Trust, a non-profit that advocates for environmental preservation. The group’s campaign comes amid a legislative special session that has ignored the Everglades as members wrestled to hammer out a budget.

A news release from the Trust states:

“Over the next several weeks, the Everglades Trust will run a direct advocacy campaign in the districts directly impacted highlighting the need for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee…In other targeted districts, the campaign will highlight the hypocrisy of legislators catering to special, corporate interests while forgetting the needs of their constituents.”

The release says the campaign’s tools will be “direct advocacy, direct mail, digital communications and constituent engagement.”

Everglades Trust President Mary Barley is quoted, “The Everglades and our drinking water are at risk while Florida legislators refuse to act. As toxic algae and pollution threaten our waterways, we draw attention to the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to care about our environment, but instead protect the corporate interests, like Big Sugar, that contribute tens of thousands of dollars to their campaigns.”

Ironically, Jacobs is one of Tallahassee’s most outspoken environmentalists and a long-time advocate for projects to preserve Florida’s water supply.

Jacobs texted from the floor of the House:


“The attack mailer is baseless and frankly, just plain bizarre. My entire career has been dedicated to sponsoring and passing landmark sustainable water and land conservation policies, many of which have become best practice models across the U.S. It is why the White House invited me to be with President Obama during his recent visit to the Everglades.

“I remain an outspoken supporter of Florida Forever’s priority acquisition list as well as advocating for Broward to receive its fair share of dollars for more land for parks and trails.”


Edwards took to Facebook this week to counter The Trust’s attacks:

“I suppose working to make sure that our existing public lands are maintained, our existing (Everglades restoration) projects are completed and our backlog of deferred operations and maintenance of water infrastructure makes me a target for out-of-state billionaires and their Gucci loafer wearing lobbyists. My constituents should not be misled by these recent attacks on me by these special interests.”


Edwards told that “these types of campaigns have become par for the course for the lobbying and consulting community in Tallahassee.   Whether it’s Medicaid expansion or gaming or even funding for Amendment One, there is always going to be some lawmaker who takes hits to justify some politico having a job.  Nothing new as you know but doesn’t mean I appreciate people scaring or misleading my constituents.”

She blamed the attack on billionaire hedge fund financier Paul Tutor Jones, chair of the Everglades Foundation, and “his lobbyist” Nick Iarossi, a partner in the Tallahassee-based Capital City Consulting who represents the Trust and Foundation.

The negative piece aimed at Edwards is here:

Everglades Trust Edwards Mailer



State House members targeted: Kristin Jacobs followed by Katie Edwards:



katie edwards


14 Responses to “State Reps. Targeted For Taking Big Sugar Money”

  1. Restore the Everglades says:

    Isn’t it worth reporting Buddy that the fair haired maiden’s part-time job as a State Representative for Plantation is in direct conflict with her day job as an Agriculture Attorney for Counties far North of us with competing interests relative to clean water?
    Who does she really serve?
    Her Legal website reads:
    Ms. Edwards proudly serves South Florida’s agricultural community.
    To better serve clients in Glades, Okeechobee, Martin and Hendry counties,
    Ms. Edwards has an office located at 500 NW 6 Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972. That’s quite a commute.
    Who does Ms. Edwards serve when she is in the Tallahassee, her constituents or her law clients? Her position on clean water issues and Everglades restoration demonstrate she serves the Agriculture industry and not Broward citizens.

  2. amos says:

    Ms. Edwards points out a distressing trend where lobbyists produce these pieces when they see they can’t win by advocacy alone. Ron Book didn’t become one of the top lobbyists by needing to resort to this kind of misleading and lying crap. Katie Edwards loves and honors the Everglades.

  3. Audubon Supporter says:

    Not followed Kristin Jacobs in Tallahassee. On the county commission she was the SOLE VOICE for reason when it came to the environment.
    Doesn’t make sense to me that she would reverse of lifetime of commitment so this ad card ended up in the garbage where it belonged.

  4. Christina says:

    IMHO, Jacobs lost her environmental credentials once she formally endorsed Candidate Patrick Murphy for Senate. Any politician who endorses a candidate that voted “YES” for the Keystone Pipeline cannot claim to be a friend to the environment.

    Not surprised that she has become as two-faced on environmental issues as any career politician.

    “As beauty fades, the rent still needs to be paid” …. O.L. H.

  5. Just one vote says:

    I am one of Rep. Edwards constituents let me just say sugar daddy and the N.R.A = REPUBLICAN.
    Frankly, I don’t believe a word that comes out of Rep. Edwards mouth.

  6. Floridan says:

    If this is really about the Everglades, it is s rather strange strategy. With all the knuckle draggers on the right side of the aisle who would pave over the Glades if they could get away with it, why attack representatives who have a good environmental record? Doesn’t seem like a sustainable course of action.

  7. Talks like a politician says:

    Kristin Jacobs was one of the Broward County
    Commissioners who voted for the expanded south runway at FLL instead of a new north runway. The south runway expansion was the most environmentally invasive, most expensive version.
    When it was brought to her attention that the runway would be 65 feet high instead of the 45 feet level in the Environmental Impact Study, she took the documentation paper between her thumb and forefinger as if it was soiled toilet paper and remarked, “This is just a piece of paper.”
    The south runway expansion took FLL from 3 runways to 2, brought commercial jets over residential properties dumping oily residue, fumes, and noise levels detrimental to ones’ health. An new north runway would not have been so invasive.
    The only environmentally friendly action she took regarding FLL was cooing over planting some trees on the roof of a building.
    Environmentalist? Maybe she likes the green of money.

  8. Sophie Steinberg says:

    Katie Edwards has a solid record of legislating in the best interest of the people in the 98th District and in all of Florida. The fact that she was unopposed in her re-election last year attests to the trust she has earned. I trust her. I totally agree with her that it would cost too much of taxpayer money to convert the parcel of Sugar land into a reservoir that will never be sufficient to use for water quality/conservation.

  9. Floyd Flood says:

    It’s outrageous to accuse Katie Edwards and Kristin Jacobs of “hypocrisy . . . .catering to special, corporate interests.” Their stand on opposing the construction of a reservoir is common sense. The reservoir would be nearly useless because it would be too small: only 26,000 of the 46,000 acres would be useable — not enough to handle the job. Edwards is right. It would cost too much to build a reservoir that will have too little, if any, effect on water quality.

  10. Behind the Scenes says:

    Katie Edwards is nasty, two-faced and ambitious beyond her talents. Watch and see.

  11. Susan Goldstein says:

    There should be some kind of recourse. They did it to me also, 8 years ago, only in a TV ad. I received one campaign contribution from a lobbyist with a disabled child because he appreciated my advocacy. He worked for a sugar company. I never sat on an agriculture committee, never voted on one ag issue. Just accepted a contribution from a grateful parent who happened to work for the company.
    This was their attack in response. It’s defamation.

  12. Hey Susan says:

    Weren’t Franklin Sands and his lobbyist son, Alex Heckler, the ones who were responsible for this attack? So nasty. Children with disabilities lost their strongest ally when you left.

  13. Susan Goldstein says:

    Who knows? He did need another vote to secure the Minority Leader position, and as a result he did spend a small fortune to target me. Then he unfortunately lost the rest of his fortune to Madoff. Guess it’s true what they say about Karma.
    But I am still working very hard up here to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And always will, God willing.

  14. Count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    You know in York co Maine wealthy public officials’ n their family donate land to keep green spaces and a liveable environment,here in south Florida politicians always want taxpayers to pay. As for opposing rep Murphy for the senate nomination, who would be the alternative? Nasty hard left Israel bashing self-hating Jewish congressman Grayson, the rand Paul or ted Cruz of house?