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We the sheep

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Letter to the editor by Joe Peck

By Joe Peck

I’ve always believed that the privilege of voting is the ultimate tool that “we the people” have to control our destiny in this country. I’ve recently been forced to take another look at that premise. It might be true that an uninformed vote is worse than not voting at all.

Case in point: Amendment 4 (Florida Comprehensive land use plan). In this “tsunami” election, voters overwhelmingly chose to restrict the size and influence of government on our daily lives. Yet “we the voters” chose to relinquish our right to have a say in the control of our immediate environment to a tiny government faction which has long been suspected to be under the influence of special interests.

How could this have happened?

It’s pretty simple, really. Let’s take a quick look at the funding for both sides of this issue.

Here is a list of the top five contributors to the “vote yes” side of this issue and the amounts they contributed: Florida Watch Action, Inc., $90,000; Leslie Blackner, $67,500; Steven Rosen-Tend Skin, $30,000; Volusia Flagler Sierra Club, $17,500; Floridians for a Substantial Population, $14,500; Total, $219,450.

And now the top five contributors to the “vote no” side of the issue and the amounts contributed: Florida Association of Realtors Advocacy, $4,250,000; Pulte Homes, $567,000; Florida Chamber of Commerce Inc., $565,000; Floridians for Smarter Growth, $487,269; Lennar Family of Builders, $367,000; Total, $6,236,269.

Yes, the “vote no” side of this issue received 28.8 times more funding than the “vote yes” side of the issue.

Ask yourself a few important questions:

How many “vote yes” signs were visible in relation to “vote no” signs (I didn’t see one “vote yes” sign)?

Where were the “vote no” signs located (mostly in front of real estate offices and on vacant land owned by developers)?

If you as a voter did not take the time to investigate the facts behind the issue, how would you have voted based on exposure to public signage and TV ads?

Which side of the issue has contributors with hidden agendas and the most to gain or lose financially?

This voting result was bought and paid for with the big money of “special interests” and “we the sheep” were led to the voting booths with all the misinformation and deception that money could buy. We chose to keep big government, under the control of big money and big business, alive and well.

Joe Peck

Dunnellon