Why Does U.S. Sugar Want Bartow Residents To Thank JD Alexander For Something To Do With Stinky Stuff?

Note: Former Ledger and Tribune reporter Billy Townsend has joined the ranks of citizen journalist.

I came across an odd campaign mailer today. It’s a glossy, professionally-produced piece. On the front it reads, “JD ALEXANDER STEPPED UP AND JOINED THE FIGHT.” Flip it over, and it continues: “When Bartow residents needed help in their fight to keep “stinky garbage” out of their neighborhoods…”

There’s a Ledger pullout quote from June 10 quoting JD as saying “…we don’t need stinky stuff a mile and a half a from the downtown of our county seat.” Imagine that, the champion of turning 60 into the mother of all truck stops is a NIMBY.

I assumed at first that it was a JD campaign mailer. He’s advertising more than Barack Obama on local television these days. (Every time I procrastinate at the gym, I look up, and there he is on the wall of televisions, saying something in closed captioning about “helping.” Nothing about all his work for Atlantic Blue or Highlands Cassidy or Phoenix or the Heartland distribution node on 60, but whatever, it’s a campaign, and I digress.) But the mailer’s not from his campaign, as a quick second look can tell. The man in the family picture on the front isn’t JD at all. He looks a lot more like Anderson Cooper actually.

No, this mailer is, in fact, an “electioneering communication” paid for by “Floridians for Conservative Values,” one of those shadowy third-party shell groups designed to funnel money to campaigns without funneling money to campaigns. This one should really be called “Floridians for Sugary Values.” U.S. Sugar has contributed $135,000 of the shell’s $271,000 raised since 2006. Florida Crystals Corporation kicked in $80,000.

All of this leaves me with a thought: It’s awfully decent of U.S. Sugar to have such regard for Bartow, particularly at a time when the company has been negotiating its own billion dollar demise.

Now, the cynics among you might question the company’s sincerity. What’s that you say, maybe Big Sugar just likes having a big corporate ally working in Tally? Maybe all JD’s TV advertising and Tallahassee fundraising and third-party mailers (four months before election day) show a case of the nerves brought on by the late-breaking candidacy of Scott Thompson of Winter Haven. Maybe they’ve heard the same rumors I’ve heard of bad polling.

It would be a shame to think Floridians for Ulterior Motives, errr Conservative Values, isn’t altruistic. So say it ain’t so those of you in JD’s orbit. Come on Jack, Sam, Seth, Twyla, or anybody else, drop me an email at bi_town1@hotmail.com, and tell me JD ain’t scared.

14 thoughts on “Why Does U.S. Sugar Want Bartow Residents To Thank JD Alexander For Something To Do With Stinky Stuff?

  1. Amen Billy! It’s amazing how big the difference is between the rhetoric and reality. I’m looking forward to having Mr. Thompson in Tallahassee.

  2. Amen Billy! It’s amazing how big the difference is between the rhetoric and reality. I’m looking forward to having Mr. Thompson in Tallahassee.

  3. Wxw! xnxqqxr sxqz, x mxxn sxaxqzxr sxxux. uxn’q bxaxxvx x qxvx qqx xnau uxmmxnq…gxxss uxx

    qxvx xbxxq qqx sxmx xmxxnq xf rxxdxrs xs xawxus Dxaa.

    (Chuck’s note: Lakeland Local has a policy…if you can’t stand behind your comment…say by using your own email address for example…then we don’t publish it.)

  4. Wxw! xnxqqxr sxqz, x mxxn sxaxqzxr sxxux. uxn’q bxaxxvx x qxvx qqx xnau uxmmxnq…gxxss uxx

    qxvx xbxxq qqx sxmx xmxxnq xf rxxdxrs xs xawxus Dxaa.

    (Chuck’s note: Lakeland Local has a policy…if you can’t stand behind your comment…say by using your own email address for example…then we don’t publish it.)

  5. As always, on target, Billy T. You can bet US Sugar doesn’t do anything out of the goodness of their black little hearts.

    Take, for example, the sacrifice US Sugar management has made to sell the company and go out of business all to save the Everglades.

    Here’s the skinny on that deal:

    1) Charlie Crist thinks it’ll make him a shoo in for the VP spot, or at least a top level Washington post. Maybe JD wants Charlie out of state politics to make more room for his own blind ambition. Or maybe he’s just a buddy of Charlie.

    2) US Sugar was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy before the employees (current and former) got tired so being screwed by management and the Board that they decided to sue. What better time to find a “sugar daddy” to buy the company at a hugely inflated price and get the heck out of Dodge with personal profits intact? JD’s a huge buddy of USSC.

    3) Guess who the semi-silent partner in all of this is…CSX. Yep, you don’t have to scratch the surface of this “Everglades Restoration” deal to deep before you find out that much of it is tied to the “inland port” and CSX. US Sugar owns not one, but two railroad systems that connect CSX and FEC rails through the Lake Okeechobee region. JD’s a huge buddy of CSX.

    The “enviros” haven’t stopped celebrating long enough to realize that the “Everglades Restoration Deal” is just the sugar coating to make a multi-billion dollar corporate rescue (USSC) and another multi-billion dollar corporate welfare program (CSX) palatable.

    Who’s supposed to actually do the work to save the Everglades? Well,that would be the South Florida Water Management District, who to my knowledge, hasn’t finished anything they started.

    Anyone opposed to “the deal” is opposed to “saving the Everglades,” and must be shunned. This is “have you stopped beating your wife?” mentality.

    Where do we find leaders with good sense?

  6. As always, on target, Billy T. You can bet US Sugar doesn’t do anything out of the goodness of their black little hearts.

    Take, for example, the sacrifice US Sugar management has made to sell the company and go out of business all to save the Everglades.

    Here’s the skinny on that deal:

    1) Charlie Crist thinks it’ll make him a shoo in for the VP spot, or at least a top level Washington post. Maybe JD wants Charlie out of state politics to make more room for his own blind ambition. Or maybe he’s just a buddy of Charlie.

    2) US Sugar was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy before the employees (current and former) got tired so being screwed by management and the Board that they decided to sue. What better time to find a “sugar daddy” to buy the company at a hugely inflated price and get the heck out of Dodge with personal profits intact? JD’s a huge buddy of USSC.

    3) Guess who the semi-silent partner in all of this is…CSX. Yep, you don’t have to scratch the surface of this “Everglades Restoration” deal to deep before you find out that much of it is tied to the “inland port” and CSX. US Sugar owns not one, but two railroad systems that connect CSX and FEC rails through the Lake Okeechobee region. JD’s a huge buddy of CSX.

    The “enviros” haven’t stopped celebrating long enough to realize that the “Everglades Restoration Deal” is just the sugar coating to make a multi-billion dollar corporate rescue (USSC) and another multi-billion dollar corporate welfare program (CSX) palatable.

    Who’s supposed to actually do the work to save the Everglades? Well,that would be the South Florida Water Management District, who to my knowledge, hasn’t finished anything they started.

    Anyone opposed to “the deal” is opposed to “saving the Everglades,” and must be shunned. This is “have you stopped beating your wife?” mentality.

    Where do we find leaders with good sense?

  7. Your comments are right on Billy!
    Nice to see you are still doing your investigative reporting for the public!!!

  8. Your comments are right on Billy!
    Nice to see you are still doing your investigative reporting for the public!!!

  9. Thanks Billy. Yes it is a travesty that we’ve elected someone to represent “our public” interests who seems to take more pride in representing “his personal” interests to our exclusion.

    Some readers (voters) might like to go to this CSX web site (http://investors.csx.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92932&p=irol-presentationsarchive) and click on the investor presentation titled “2007 Investor and Financial Analyst Conference” then once you’ve downloaded their presentation then go to page 30 of the document and look at their slides numbered 59-61.

    Then ask yourself why did JD’s Atlanticblue, Inc. (http://www.theledger.com/article/20080704/NEWS/807040311) a real estate development company, just buy Phoenix Industries which handles warehousing and distribution of refrigerated food products and are part of the huge CSX Winter Haven FDOT Intermodal Logistics Center development project, being built with large sums of our taxpayer money. Coincidence? Or misuse of our trust?

    Our “economy” continues to slide but JD’s “economy” continues to rise? With help from his friends at CSX, and FDOT, and the City of Winter Haven. Weather forecast: Government in the Sunshine still cloudy and heavily overcast!

  10. Thanks Billy. Yes it is a travesty that we’ve elected someone to represent “our public” interests who seems to take more pride in representing “his personal” interests to our exclusion.

    Some readers (voters) might like to go to this CSX web site (http://investors.csx.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92932&p=irol-presentationsarchive) and click on the investor presentation titled “2007 Investor and Financial Analyst Conference” then once you’ve downloaded their presentation then go to page 30 of the document and look at their slides numbered 59-61.

    Then ask yourself why did JD’s Atlanticblue, Inc. (http://www.theledger.com/article/20080704/NEWS/807040311) a real estate development company, just buy Phoenix Industries which handles warehousing and distribution of refrigerated food products and are part of the huge CSX Winter Haven FDOT Intermodal Logistics Center development project, being built with large sums of our taxpayer money. Coincidence? Or misuse of our trust?

    Our “economy” continues to slide but JD’s “economy” continues to rise? With help from his friends at CSX, and FDOT, and the City of Winter Haven. Weather forecast: Government in the Sunshine still cloudy and heavily overcast!

  11. The Everglades is slated to be totally underwater if we don’t get a handle on sea level rise. Go to
    http://www.Architecture2030.com and look at the sea level rise maps for south Florida. Any further public investment in this area is lunacy. Unless CSX’s trains can go underwater they are losers too!

  12. The Everglades is slated to be totally underwater if we don’t get a handle on sea level rise. Go to
    http://www.Architecture2030.com and look at the sea level rise maps for south Florida. Any further public investment in this area is lunacy. Unless CSX’s trains can go underwater they are losers too!

  13. Things you would have to believe to vote for
    JD Alexander
    10 Only your grandma still has a land line
    * JD voted twice to raise our phone rates (SB654, HB1683)
    9 Electrocuting criminals while they are smaller and
    younger is an effective way to conserve electricity
    *JD voted to amend the constitution to allow the use of death penalties on children under
    16 years old (HJR951)
    8 The Best way to keep small businesses in florida is to keep
    businesses small
    *JD voted against a small business tax credit (SB.426)
    7 Childhood illness is a great way to keep the children of
    working families from becoming a burden to taxpayers
    later
    *JD voted to deny affordable health insurance to 20,000 of Florida’s children (SB2000)
    6 You’ve always wondered how they would tax poker and
    porn
    *JD voted Voted twice to make it easier to tax the internet (HB21,
    SB1776)
    5 Since disabled veterans can’t work, they should have to
    contribute somehow
    *JD voted against funding for the Veterans Nursing Home of Florida, but supported taxing
    license plates for disabled veterans (SB568)
    4 Who needs car insurance when you can’t afford gas?
    *JD voted to raise car insurance fees (SB2364)
    3 You haven’t really lived until someone has stolen your
    identity
    *JD voted to allow the state to sell your personal information to third parties (HB3275)
    2 It doesn’t matter how much college costs because your
    kids may never make it there
    *JD voted against funding for safe schools, but supported raising college tuition rates by
    75% (HB4213, SB2236)

    and the number one thing you would have to believe to vote for JD alexander….

    1 If you’re not getting anything for your tax dollars,
    shouldn’t your senator?
    *JD pushed to spend nearly $10 billion in tax dollars on projects that he would financially
    benefit from (CSX and Heartland Parkway)

  14. Things you would have to believe to vote for
    JD Alexander
    10 Only your grandma still has a land line
    * JD voted twice to raise our phone rates (SB654, HB1683)
    9 Electrocuting criminals while they are smaller and
    younger is an effective way to conserve electricity
    *JD voted to amend the constitution to allow the use of death penalties on children under
    16 years old (HJR951)
    8 The Best way to keep small businesses in florida is to keep
    businesses small
    *JD voted against a small business tax credit (SB.426)
    7 Childhood illness is a great way to keep the children of
    working families from becoming a burden to taxpayers
    later
    *JD voted to deny affordable health insurance to 20,000 of Florida’s children (SB2000)
    6 You’ve always wondered how they would tax poker and
    porn
    *JD voted Voted twice to make it easier to tax the internet (HB21,
    SB1776)
    5 Since disabled veterans can’t work, they should have to
    contribute somehow
    *JD voted against funding for the Veterans Nursing Home of Florida, but supported taxing
    license plates for disabled veterans (SB568)
    4 Who needs car insurance when you can’t afford gas?
    *JD voted to raise car insurance fees (SB2364)
    3 You haven’t really lived until someone has stolen your
    identity
    *JD voted to allow the state to sell your personal information to third parties (HB3275)
    2 It doesn’t matter how much college costs because your
    kids may never make it there
    *JD voted against funding for safe schools, but supported raising college tuition rates by
    75% (HB4213, SB2236)

    and the number one thing you would have to believe to vote for JD alexander….

    1 If you’re not getting anything for your tax dollars,
    shouldn’t your senator?
    *JD pushed to spend nearly $10 billion in tax dollars on projects that he would financially
    benefit from (CSX and Heartland Parkway)

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