Oh, this is too good.
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about how the state of Florida has an opportunity to purchase 46,000 acres of land, just southwest of Lake Okeechobee, currently owned by Big Sugar companies. The state has an option to purchase the land, but that option expires in October. Environmentalists say
that the land could be used to divert lake water, polluted by phosphorus and nitrogen discharged from sugar and other agricultural interests, and clean it before it eventually flows down to the Everglades. Right now, when the lake is too high, it threatens to flood, so polluted lake water is dumped into the St. Lucie River,
which eventually flows into the Indian River Lagoon. You might recall coverage in recent year
s of massive algae blooms in the lagoon, as well as record numbers of dolphins and manatees dying of mysterious ailments.
Big Sugar doesn't want to sell that land to the state – big shock, we know – and has been trying to convince people that this is a "land grab"
and not in the state's best interests. The industry has the backing of Tea Party supporters, the Broward Palm Beach New Times
says, and on Thursday, the Tea Party Miami
held a protest outside the offices of the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach. Crowds of people held signs telling the state two "stop the land grab," and insisted that this wasn't a project taxpayers support. But those crowds? They were hired hands, paid to hold signs and pretend they care.
Check out this Facebook post (which has since been taken down) that Progress Florida put on its blog yesterday:
And look at this post from an actor, put up on Raw Story:
Today, Karen Donohue, the realtor who originally posted the call for actors to pretend to be protesters, has an inspirational meme posted to her wall referencing people who like drama.
Maybe some people are not fueled by drama, but by what Progress Florida calls "artificial sweetener."