Bradford County phosphate meeting blowup caught on video, snares VIP Steve Pieczenik


Activists opposed to phosphate mining in Union and Bradford Counties got into a videotaped scuffle at a Bradford County Commission meeting that ended with the forcible removal of  a local VIP named Dr. Steve Pieczenik, a Republican heavyweight and business partner of bestselling novelist Tom Clancy. 

Pieczenik, a former State Department official and author, served in the Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush (41) administrations. In addition to his foreign policy chops, he’s also known as a skilled hostage negotiator. Clancy’s Jack Ryan character (played by Harrison Ford in the 1992 thriller Patriot Games) is reportedly based on Pieczenik.

More controversially, he is also known for his appearances on programs like The Alex Jones Show, where he discusses conspiracy theories.

Pieczenik was joining fellow Bradford County residents to voice opposition to the HPS II Phosphate Mining Project, which has been undertaken by landowners in the area. More than 10,000 acres would be earmarked for mining, alarming activists concerned about potential air and groundwater pollution.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected].


  • Joy King

    May 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Dear Ms Ross,
    Actually, very few of pour opposition group are”activists”. We are citizens of Union and Bradford counties who are concerned about our families ‘ health, week – being and quality of life. We have received and greatly appreciate aassistance from some folks who have the knowledge and experience to guide us in this fight (ie Our Santa Fe, Sierra Club, etc ) . They have worked tirelessly alongside us and have been enormous contRibutors to the success in obtaining a one year moratorium in Union County but the vast majority of our members have zero experiebce in political or environmental activism. HPS II owner Jack Hazen has referred to us as a “bunch of professional protesters” and this is simply not true.

  • Catherine Thomas

    May 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Not to mention it is going to change the dynamic of our community… These mining zones are pretty close to my front door n it’s going to destroy my beautiful neighborhood.

  • Hsaive

    May 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Dr. Pieczenic is an expert at exposing government crimes and conspiracies against the American people. The conspiracies are no longer “theories” but serve to endanger all of us including you adn your own family.

Comments are closed.


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