Seeking Rents
Seeking Rents – The Podcast
How Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried Teamed Up to Defend Big Sugar

How Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried Teamed Up to Defend Big Sugar

Plus: A handy guide to help you with next week's primary elections.

In this week’s episode: In 2019, a group of residents living in Florida’s poverty-stricken sugar country sued the state’s Big Sugar companies, accusing them of poisoning the air. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried both stepped in to help…defend Big Sugar. (Transcript)

Further Reading:

  • Associated Industries of Florida: AIF releases roster of endorsements for 2022 legislative races

  • Palm Beach Post | ProPublica: Black Snow

  • Palm Beach Post | ProPublica: The Smoke Comes Every Year. Sugar Companies Say the Air Is Safe.

  • Palm Beach Post | ProPublica: “A Complete Failure of the State”: Authorities Didn’t Heed Researchers’ Calls to Study Health Effects of Burning Sugar Cane

  • Palm Beach Post | ProPublica: Sugar Companies Said Our Investigation Is Flawed and Biased. Let’s Dive Into Why That’s Not the Case

  • Grist: Fire Drill: ‘They’re killing people by doing this’ — why students at a school 40 miles from Mar-a-Lago can’t go outside

  • US Sugar: Second annual State of Our Air report

  • Palm Beach Post: Glades residents left behind: Nikki Fried’s ‘changes’ to cane burning served only Big Sugar

  • Miami Herald: After sugar’s $11 million investment, a bipartisan push to protect industry

  • Politico Florida: Florida Power & Light operates an exclusive, invite-only lounge for lawmakers and lobbyists

  • Birmingham News: Operative group Matrix hired detective who surveilled Southern Co. CEO

  • Miami Herald: ‘Nightmare scenario’: How FPL secretly manipulated a Florida state Senate election

  • Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s latest homeowners insurance crisis is a mess decades in the making

  • Tampa Bay Times: For Florida tenants, fighting eviction comes at a price

  • Orlando Sentinel: Locked Out: Low pay, soaring rents, pro-landlord laws set up Florida renters for eviction once COVID hit

  • Orlando Sentinel: Locked Out: Black renters in Central Florida more likely to be evicted — even before COVID

  • Orlando Sentinel: Locked Out: Not even COVID could end Florida leaders’ long record of snubbing pro-renter bills


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Seeking Rents
Seeking Rents – The Podcast
"Rent-seeking" is a term in economics that describes when a corporation uses its political influence to twist tax laws and other public policy in its favor. Seeking Rents – The Podcast brings you the stories of how that's happening in Florida, where corporate interests like Florida Power & Light, Big Sugar, and Walt Disney World wield enormous influence everywhere from local city halls to the state Capitol. Hosted by award-winning journalist Jason Garcia, Florida's leading corporate-accountability reporter.