Welcome to the New Website for Asscociated Industries of Florida...The Voice of Florida Business!

Floridians Overwhelmingly Oppose Governor’s Land Purchase, Poll Shows

December 21, 2009

TALLAHASSEE – Poll data released today by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) shows an overwhelming majority of Floridians believe the nearly $600 million Gov. Crist wants to spend to buy more land in the Everglades Agricultural Area from U.S. Sugar Corporation should instead be dedicated to building projects that will clean water, create jobs and produce real results for Everglades restoration.

When given the choice of how to use more than $500 million for Everglades restoration, results indicate 86 percent of likely Florida voters do not support the Governor’s multi-million dollar plan to purchase additional land and instead prefer to use the funds for the construction of restoration projects.

“Florida is facing another lean budget year with a $2 billion-plus shortfall,” said Barney Bishop III, president and CEO of AIF.  “In these tough economic times, this magnitude of government spending could be better utilized for job creation or other economic stimulus measures.”

When asked specifically if respondents support the measure that calls for $536 million in government spending to buy 73,000 acres of farmland from U.S. Sugar Corp., 75 percent of respondents are opposed while only 11 percent support it.

Today’s poll results come on the heels of last week’s polling data, which revealed the numbers between Gov. Crist and former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio narrowing in the bid for the U.S. Senate Republican primary.   The AIF-Zogby poll surveyed likely Republican voters.

Participants were also asked if they favor or oppose having members of local water management boards appointed, as they currently are, or if they prefer these individuals to be elected. Seventy-two percent of respondents support an election of water management board members over the 16 percent who prefer the current appointment method. 

“No one cared for taxation without representation in the early years of our nation and that is clearly still the case today,” Bishop added. “The majority of Floridians believe the current selection method for local water management board members doesn’t work, as these appointments allow for taxes to be levied by individuals the people did not elect.”   

Conducted by Zogby International on Dec. 7-11, 2009, the poll surveyed by telephone 801 randomly-selected likely general election voters throughout Florida.  It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.  Questions regarding the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial Republican primaries were posed to 303 randomly-selected likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percent. 

View more details on the poll results