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Poll: Floridians dislike Crist's Glades-Sugar deal

Associated Industries of Florida has posted results of a new Zogby International poll showing that Floridians largely oppose Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to buy 73,000 acres of U.S. Sugar land for $536 million and then lease it back to the company.

Only 11 percent support it, with 86 percent are opposed. More here

The results would seem to conflict with a Florida Everglades Foundation survey of a few months back. There, 75 percent of Floridians seemed to support the deal compared with 18 percent who didn't.

But there's a big difference in the polls. The questions themselves. Here's what AIF asked:Do you support or oppose the state government spending $536 million of taxpayer's money to buy 73,000 acres of farmland from US Sugar Corporation in the Everglades and then leasing it back to the same company?

Here's what the Everglades Foundation asked: Gov. Charlie Crist recently announced that the South Florida Water Management District will be purchasing 73,000 acres of land from U.S. Sugar for the purpose of restoring the Everglades.

Also, the Everglades Foundation poll question followed a number of other survey questions about the importance of protecting wildlife, the economy and drinking-water supplies. So by the time respondents were asked if they generally supported "restoring the Everglades" the placement of the previous questions (as well as the question itself) could have made a difference in responses.

As for the AIF poll, it has a glaring omission. It doesn't point out that the Sugar buyout money is from property taxes in the 16-county South Florida Water Management District. It won't be paid by taxpayers statewide -- that is those who live north, east and west of Orange County (the northern-most border of the district).

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