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David Shapiro bashes Vern Buchanan over red tide crisis

David Shapiro is turning the tables on his Republican opponent in Florida’s 16th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, blaming Buchanan’s policies for exacerbating the red tide crisis.

Buchanan released a new ad just yesterday recounting his past efforts to combat red tide. But Shapiro, who earned the Democratic nomination last month, argues Buchanan is actually part of the problem in a new ad called “Clean.”

“When you see these signs, it means more than a lost day at the beach,” Shapiro begins as the video shows various red tide warnings.

“It’s costing us jobs. Vern Buchanan took over $100,000 from big sugar special interests and voted to weaken regulations that fight the pollution that make red tide worse. I’ll protect local jobs that depend on clean water and beaches, not the special interests that are ruining our economy and costing us jobs.”

Sara Chieffo, the vice president of government affairs for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, pushed those criticisms of Buchanan’s environmental record even further.

“While Vern Buchanan may try to portray himself as an election year environmentalist, his abysmal 9% score on LCV’s 2017 ‘National Environmental Scorecard‘ speaks for itself,” Chieffo said.

“At a time when their environment is more at risk than ever, Floridians in the 16th District deserve a representative who will consistently stand up to corporate polluters and Vern Buchanan has proven time and again that when it matters most, he won’t.”

This isn’t the first time Shapiro has tried to tie Buchanan’s receipt of sugar money to the red tide crisis affecting Southwest Florida. And once again, the Buchanan campaign accused Shapiro of hypocrisy for lobbing these attacks.

“Shapiro lost all credibility on red tide and the environment the moment he purchased stock in nine of the top 100 companies most responsible for global warming,” said Max Goodman, Buchanan’s campaign manager.

“He says one thing publicly yet privately does another. We just can’t trust the guy.”

Goodman is referencing a study which pegged nine companies that Shapiro owned stock in as among the top 100 greenhouse gas emitters on the planet. Shapiro has pushed back by saying those stocks were purchased as part of a retirement fund, and were not selected by Shapiro individually.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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