Brian Mast and Everglades Foundation Hijacking Florida Water

Current State of Affairs

KW Miller fully supports Clean Water, Agriculture and Environmental protection. These must be planned and managed in unison, not by special interest // dark money groups, like the Everglades Foundation, George Soros and their “bought and paid for” spokesperson Brian Mast, which is the current situation.

Brian Mast is directly linked, complicit and part of the Dark Money Machine that has systematically and methodically sought to destroy the Florida Agriculture Ranching and Food Processing Industry. Brian Mast is direct political tentacle of the Everglades Foundation, George Soros and their Dark Money organization.

It was Brian Mast that forced the U.S. Corps of Engineers to lower the lake level to now cause the near system collapse of the greater Everglades Protection Area by starving the system of dry season water. Brian Mast has single handedly negatively affected every breeding wildlife and fish species in the system.

We encourage all 18th Congressional District Voters to start by educating themselves on “how we got here”, and the “current special interest” deep involvement and control of our Florida Wastewater Management and Everglades Restoration Project”.

1. Who is Funding Brian Mast

So who does fund Brian Mast? Whenever money is spent in a political election with the purpose of influencing the decision of a voter and the source of the money is not disclosed, it is considered Dark Money!

Brian Mast has proven time and again, he is more than willing to echo the talking points of the highest bidder in dealing with “Florida Water and Everglades Restoration Initiatives”, because of their dark money funding. He is for lack of better terms the dark money “Pimp” in Florida.

The Everglades Foundation and other Dark Money funders needed someone to carry the Flag for them in Florida. Along came Florida’s 18th District Rep. Brian Mast, who eagerly accepted their leftist money, support, political backing and in doing so, apparently sold out the very Constitutional oath of office he swore to protect on multiple fronts, all in attempts to insure his own personal political survival.

So, what is driving the Dark Money Funders, their spokesperson Brian Mast and other special interest to hijack our Water and Everglades Restoration Initiatives? Could it be that it involves the overall Florida Agricultural Industry, their #1 target to suit their narrative that Florida Agricultural land must be shut down, to enable more development ultimately?

2. The Brian Mast Record

Has Florida’s 18th U.S. House District Representative Brian Mast Improved the Water Quality of the 18th District While in Office?

The answer is a resounding “NO”, all Smoke and Mirrors.

The Florida Economy, and the 18th Congressional district relies heavily on Agriculture, Ranching and Tourism. We are blessed with a virtually year-round growing season to provide fresh vegetables and other rotational crops and a long-standing Agricultural Industry.

For example, Let’s put things in perspective, a $200MM (Unallocated Earmark) is 2% of the low side cost estimate of $10 billion 30+ year project. Cost and timeline will most likely be much higher and longer, respectively.

Florida’s agriculture and ranching industry employs over two million people and contributes more than $104 billion to the state’s economy each year. Agriculture is Florida’s second-largest industry, creating more than 2.1 million jobs for Floridians. Florida has 47,740 farm operations; 9.5 million acres of farmland. Florida’s warm climate offers farmers a growing season from 100 to 200 days longer than other regions of the country. Florida has the Nations highest annual average precipitation which increases yield production.The George Soros (and other) backed leftist groups, which groups like the Everglades Trust, and indirectly, Brian Mast, have systematically demonized Florida Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Processors.

The strategy is clear, the systemic attacks are meant to be used as a “fundraising tool” to attempt to consistently whittle down and systemically destroy Florida’s Agriculture and Ranching Industry. It’s a classic and age-old strategy, create a “boogeyman”, and peddle that to the people.The linkage between the individuals and non-profit shell companies is interwoven.

The BullSugar organization is considered a leftist environmentalist group allegedly fronted by individuals like George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Paul Tudor Jones, who have all played a role in trying to influence Florida politics. The Everglades Foundation is supported by left-leaning political organizations like BullSugar and the Center for Biological Diversity; the group has sued President Donald Trump over 100 times.

The leftist needed someone to carry the Boogeyman Flag for them. Along came Florida’s 18th District Rep. Brian Mast, who eagerly accepted their leftist money, support, political backing and in doing so, apparently sold out the very Constitutional oath of office he swore to protect on multiple fronts, all in an attempt to insure his own personal political survival.

Mast saw the opportunity to latch onto Algae blooms and red tide as a winning agenda during his 2018 re-election campaign, following complete abandonment of the Second Amendment, another opportunistic move which grossly backfired on him. Mast needed a scapegoat. The Everglades Foundation, and other leftist groups were solid contributors to his campaign.Suddenly, Mast as the newly ordained Boogeyman Flag carrier, went to work.

Mast attempted to hijack Governor Ron DeSantis “Water Cleanup Initiative”, claim to be the leader and take all credit for the “ideology”, went on to trumpet/promote the Everglades Foundation (and their associated entities), and systematically demonize SFWMD Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Agricultural Industry.

To be clear, Governor Ron DeSantis was severely damaged in Florida due to his ties to Brian Mast and the Dark Money tentacle baggage that came with it. Mast was leading the attack on the heart of Florida’s economic engine and a voter base. We note that DeSantis did recognize this and has since distanced himself from Brian Mast and the Dark Money handlers.

Nonetheless, Mast continued to peddle the conspiracy and falsehood that Florida Agriculture, Ranchers, and Processing Facilities were all in cahoots, responsible for the pollution in Lake Okeechobee water discharges that make algae blooms grow, and so on.

The Leftist money, political science, and Mast were in business. Mast has apparently systematically accused virtually every legitimate person involved in the “Florida Wastewater Management and Everglades Restoration Project “of denying science and voting against Florida’s environment”. There had to be more Scapegoats.

3. Exposing Brian Mast “Smoke and Mirrors” Environmental Record

Mast has been involved with 12 Environmental Policy bills, only 2 of which have passed the House, and none have passed the Senate to date according to information from: www.congress.gov.

Mast only sponsored one (1) of those passed bills, H.R. 335 The South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act of 2019. This was a bill he originally filed in 2017. The bill directs the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia to assess potential approaches to reduce harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in the ecosystem. The task force must also submit a plan, based on the assessment, for reducing, mitigating, and controlling harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in the region.

While this bill seems productive on the surface, it essentially just “Smoke and Mirrors”.

The reality is scientists have already identified ways to reduce, mitigate, and control algal blooms, and it begins with reducing nutrient pollution. This Mast “Smoke and Mirrors” bill just creates more planning and analysis of a problem, when the State of Florida requires firm action on the multiple scientifically based plans already in place at both the Federal and State level.

The other bill that passed is the Local Water Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Craig which Mast Co-sponsored which reauthorizes till 2024 grants to states for programs that control non-point source pollution to navigable waters and groundwater.This legislation simply keeps a needed grant program going and is again more “Smoke and Mirrors” from Mast.Currently, Mast is one of 26 Co-sponsors on the Protect & Restore America’s Estuaries Act. This act is to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to include more water bodies such as Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, and to reauthorize the National Estuaries Program.

Again, this bill is keeping an already successful program going, more “Smoke and Mirrors” and no real change.

4. Brian Mast Hijacking of Florida Water Resource Development

Mast has filed 5 bills in this policy arena and co-sponsored one (1). None of them have passed the House of Representatives. Many of these bills have strong titles and brisk language, but are once again, more “Smoke and Mirrors” from Mast, or put into other words, “Political Science” vs. “Actual Science”:

  • Stop Harmful Discharges Act, which would make human health and safety regarding cyanobacteria a primary concern for the Army Corp.
  • Toxic Health Threat Warning Act of 2019 which would require the Army Corp to give us notice prior to discharging cyanobacteria to the estuaries from Lake Okeechobee.

There is no peer-reviewed science that proves cyanobacteria is as harmful as claimed. There are ongoing studies that indicate we should limit our exposure to it, and emerging science that shows some links to neuro-degenerative diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s, etc.

BUT NOTHING CONCRETE!

In the face of flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers is going to do what they need to do to operate our critical flood control systems and protect property and lives.The Everglades FIRST act filed 5/11/2017 is of interest considering recent events.

This bill directed the Army Corp to expedite several Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) Projects:

  • The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, The Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project, and the Western Everglades Restoration Project.

This is of note because Mast recently wrote a letter to the Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District claiming the approval of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project “could now jeopardize the timely completion of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project”.

This is not true. Brian Mast receives his direct talking points, handed down by the Everglades Foundation/ Trust/ Coalition. Mast is for lack of better terms, the Bagman for the Dark Money, Special Interest Groups.

These groups, which donate significant amounts of dark money and in-kind support to Brian Mast have decided they don’t like ASR wells, WHICH HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A KEY PART OF CERP!

Brian Mast has proven time and again, he is more than willing to echo the talking points of the highest bidder, because of their funding. But it is much deeper and more complex than that.

5. Comprehensive Water Management, Everglades Restoration and Funding Plans

The most important point regarding this is, there IS an existing plan. The biggest need the State of Florida has is the funding and completion of Everglades projects with URGENCY!There are 68 projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and the Federal Government is approximately one billion dollars behind the state of Florida in funding this restoration plan, which is a 50/50 cost share partnership.

There are multiple projects in process, being done simultaneously, and it’s all planned out including cost on the Integrated Delivery Schedule.

Fighting for annual funding and the passing of a Water Resources Development Act every two years is ongoing and involves hundreds of people, from the activist, local government representatives, all the way up to Congress.

Brian Mast has a bad habit of attempting to take credit for any funding acquired and other Smoke and Mirror activities he sponsors, when in fact, it takes many people to get such large dollars approved and appropriated.Recently, he claimed victory for acquiring $200 Million for Everglades Restoration.

In fact, Rooney, Mast, Mucarsel-Powell, Hastings led a bipartisan effort, including letters signed by Representatives Matt Gaetz (FL-1), Ted Yoho (FL-3), Al Lawson (FL-5), Michael Waltz (FL-6), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Bill Posey (FL-8), Darren Soto (FL-9), Daniel Webster (FL-11), Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Greg Steube (FL-17), Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Donna Shalala (FL-27).

This is just a small example of the sort of collaboration occurring that Mast is part of, but certainly not doing on his own, nor has he achieved anything tangible other than making a lot of noise, taking credit for large team efforts, and systematically alienating virtually all stakeholders.

6. Summary on Brian Mast Complete and Dark Money “Florida Water Scam”

While Mast has certainly been vocal and brought attention to the Lake Okeechobee discharges, cyanobacteria, and Everglades issues, it takes more than that to be effective. He has spent a lot of time filing bills that sound good, but don’t really accomplish much, and don’t get passed anyway. He then touts those bills as accomplishments on social media, at speaking events, etc. to justify having the title of Congressman.

Mast spends a lot of time proposing “solutions” that are not a solution at all. Altering the way lake Okeechobee is managed, for example.

The only reason there were not Lake Okeechobee discharges in the summer of 2019 is we received below average rainfall in many basins, and just barely average rainfall throughout the greater Everglades.

Mast knows nothing of requisite lake, basin, and water levels. He got lucky making wild public statements about requisite water levels, and once again claimed to be the prognosticator, Political Science vs. Actual Science.This is not normal for Florida, as we often function above average, or worse, in a drought.

There are many, many environmental and economic reasons we must protect our water supply, and until more integrated Everglades Restoration projects are completed, Lake Okeechobee is used to hold water back; it’s a delicate scientific balance.Mast has spent far too much time interfering in the State of Florida politics, attacking and alienating State employees, engineers, consultants, and volunteers.

Mast should have spent his time writing and passing stronger Environmental Bills, which actually deal with the causes of the problem. Getting Everglades Restoration projects funded and completed instead of throwing up roadblocks is his job.Perhaps Mast should have also worked on our dreadfully inadequate sewage infrastructure over the past 3+ years, another major issue that the State of Florida could use funding at all levels of government, another Brian Mast Failure.

Let’s give credit where credit is due, Governor Ron DeSantis should be credited with backing and moving the Florida Wastewater Management and Everglades Restoration Project along.

So why Do Everglades Foundation, BullSugar and Spokesperson Brian Mast Peddle the EAA Reservoir So Hard?

Everglades Foundation, and their (paid) spokesperson, Brian Mast peddle political science like snake oil salesman, touting the same talking points, that a southern reservoir in the EAA (“EAA Reservoir”) is the cure-all for of the Everglades restoration and Florida Bay.They argue, based upon flawed political science that a water reservoir in the EAA, released through the Shark River Slough is the only way to improve water quality in Florida Bay. When in fact the water quality in Florida Bay is not at issue, the lack of adequate freshwater flow is the issue.

Completing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and Central Everglades Planning Project is critical to restoring proper freshwater flow, not the EAA Reservoir. Yet Brian Mast continues to attack publicly and privately the very organizations critical to the restoration of the Everglades Restoration Plan, demanding everything be abandoned so the EAA Reservoir can be completed.

So why are Brian Mast, Everglades Foundation, and other special interest groups so fixated on the EAA Reservoir one might ask?

Clearly the Taylor Slough, a 247 square kilometer wetland system that extends more than 32 kilometers (20 miles) from headwaters that begin in the central portion of the East Everglades to the coastal mangrove fringe along Florida Bay is not to be ignored.The Taylor Slough crosses parts of the C-111 basin, but the major portion of this system lies within Everglades National Park (ENP). Headwaters of Taylor Slough provide the main inflow to eastern Everglades National Park. Taylor Slough headwaters include the extreme southern portion of the East Everglades, the area known as Frog Pond.

Taylor Slough is the central component of the Florida Bay drainage basin. Under natural conditions, it is the major source of overland “freshwater flow” into Northeast Florida Bay.

Clearly moving freshwater through the Taylor Slough, the most effective means of delivering freshwater, would help save Florida Bay by reducing salinity levels.Yet the Everglades Foundation and their spokesperson, Brian Mast, whose sole existence revolves around the mantra “send water south into Florida Bay”, opposed proposals to move more water through Taylor Slough, similar to their opposition to the initial publicly approved C-111 South Dade study. Contrary to their talking points, marine and water science can solve the freshwater flow problems.

So, what is driving the Everglades Foundation and their spokesperson Brian Mast and other special interest regarding the EAA Reservoir?

Could it be that it involves the Agricultural Industry, their #1 target and Boogeyman?Everglades Foundation and their spokesperson Brian Mast all claim that freshwater sent through Shark River Slough reaches Florida Bay. Yet this claim that has been completely discredited by actual science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Are the Everglades Foundation, BullSugar and spokesperson Brian Mast on the wrong side of science, or are they making up “Political Science” as they go along to suit their narrative that Florida Agriculture is the Boogeyman?

We suggest you investigate and reach your own conclusions. While you are at it, look into exactly who are the primary donors to Everglades Foundation and their spokesperson Brian Mast!

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