Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Republican Party In Palm Beach Lauds GOP Anti-Environmental Crusader ... by gimleteye

Alfie Fanjul (l) and Pepe Fanjul (r), top Palm Beach County Republican donor. The brothers head a billionaire dollar empire carved out of federal subsidies and corporate welfare programs protecting Big Sugar, the primary polluter of Everglades wetlands

The Republican Party of Palm Beach County has invited James O'Keefe to be its keynote speaker at its mid-summer event.

A press release describes O'Keefe as "an award winning journalist". In fact, he is better known as a right-wing activist who infiltrated ACORN and an office of Planned Parenthood and also invites legal action against himself.

In 2010, O'Keefe was convicted of breaking into the offices of Sen. Marie Landrieu:

Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe was sentenced to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misdemeanor charges stemming from his involvement in a break-in at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office. In January, O’Keefe and three others were arrested by federal authorities at Landrieu’s office on allegations of phone-tampering. Prosecutors initially said they caught four individuals in the process of committing a felony, but the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors."

O'Keefe and the Florida GOP meant to time his visit to Palm Beach County -- where virulent anti-environmentalism is coordinated through the Fanjul & US Sugar Corporation cartel -- with revelations of his incursion into the League Of Conservation Voters; an attack rebuffed yesterday by LCV with the California Attorney General.

The local GOP press release crows, "O’Keefe was ultimately credited with having a significant impact on the 2016 presidential elections for his October Surprise video series."

In "Has James O’Keefe Accidentally Stung Himself Again?", New Yorker writer Jane Mayer -- who chronicled influence peddling of the nation's largest polluters in "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" -- writes:
In the latest chapter of his strange career, the League of Conservation Voters, a national environmental-advocacy group, has filed a complaint against three individuals who infiltrated its operations, at least two of whom, the group alleges, “could be associated with” O’Keefe and have past ties to him. The group’s leaders recently began to suspect that they were being scammed, and decided to go to the authorities before O’Keefe or his alleged associates released any material on their own.
The timing of the Florida GOP conspiracy with O'Keefe occurs within context of a massive erosion of environmental rules and regulations by the Trump White House.

It is the identical strategy Florida polluters are planning to blend into the important 2018 political races where Big Sugar's main apologist, Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, is poised to be the GOP candidate to replace Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott, who counts on campaign financial support from Big Sugar, will likely aim for the senate seat held by incumbent Democratic Bill Nelson.

Overshadowing Florida's nasty, anti-people and anti-environmental politics is a recent report by federal scientists to the Trump administration calling climate change a greater, current threat to economic and national security than earlier estimates. According to the New York Times:
The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.
The Trump White House has not released or commented on the report and was hoping, perhaps, that a titillating "explosive" revelation against LCV would help its cause in climate change denial.

Governor Rick Scott has prohibited state agencies and staff from using the words, "climate change", although Florida's economy, real estate and tax base is most vulnerable to its impacts in the nation. Recently, the US Department of Agriculture ordered "climate change" to be similarly deleted from its communications.

In the New Yorker report, Mayer contacted O'Keefe for comment. He responded:
“I don’t comment on investigations real or imagined, or work with mainstream reporters who operate in bad faith,” he told me. In 2016, I wrote an article for this magazine about O’Keefe’s bungled attempt to sting George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, a liberal nonprofit group that O’Keefe had targeted.

O'Keefe, in his role feeding the beast of disinformation through channels like Fox News, Breitbart, Infowars and Rush Limbauch, will dine on lobster tails at the Palm Beach GOP anti-environmental love-fest at the Polo Club of Boca Raton, 5400 Champion Boulevard, Boca Raton at 6:30PM on August 17.

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