Gnorb.NET Florida (although mostly Broward) Voter Guide

Contents

Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services
The agriculture commissioner job is an important one, overseeing more than 3,700 employees and in charge of ensuring food safety, prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices, managing public lands and promoting Florida products. It’s the largest department of its kind in the country and the commissioner is one of three members of the state Cabinet, which decides along with the governor pardons, restoration of civil and fire arms rights and clemency.

  • Charles H. Bronson (Republican): Bronson is currently the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
    • Accuses Copeland of not understanding the job; “My opponent doesn’t understand he’s not about to change the laws of the state of Florida. He’s also going probably to have to change the constitution of the state of Florida to do the stuff he’s talking about.” (source)
    • Has helped increase sales of Florida produce.
    • Launched Farm to Fuel initiative, intended to help growers take first steps in the new bio-energy market.
    • Supports a mesured response to illegal immigration, understanding that with unemployment low in Florida, there are not enough Americans willing to labor in the fields.
    • Has supported agriculture at the expense of the environment
  • Eric Copeland (Democrat): Copeland is a Coral Gables tax attorney.
    • Criticizes Bronson for focusing too much on the Agriculture and not enough on the Consumer Services part of his job; criticized handling of the citrus canker problem (inherited by Bronson in 2001; program was 10 years).
    • Pushing for greater property tax exemptions for farmers.
    • Looking to better develop a bioenergy program.
    • Proposes a program to build on the State’s Rural Lands Stewardship Program with increased state support.
    • Promises to fight skyrocketing insurance rates.
    • Promises to better regulate utilities.
    • Supports restoring felons’ rights when released from prision.

Gnorb’s Impressions: One has a ton of experience with agriculture, the other has a ton of experience as a… tax attorney? I guess that’s why he’s so gun-ho in the Consumer Services area, but does he know anything about agriculture, a critical Florida industry?

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