This relates to the Oct. 20 Herald article on Congressman Vern Buchanan’s intention to seek funding for red tide (Karenia brevis) research: Stating an intention “to urge congressional leaders to include funding to combat the harmful red tide algal blooms,” albeit without a price tag or other details, is a good thing. Vern Buchanan should be commended, assuming he carries through and actively pursues this goal. He and other Florida congressional representatives have repeatedly done so previously.
Why, however, does a mere announcement two weeks before an election of future plans for “next month” after the election qualify as “news?” Surely it is unusual for a congressional representative to announce an indistinct future intention on a house.gov website? Indeed, this one sounds suspiciously like campaign advertising requiring a disclaimer and/or subject to the 90-day ban on use of official resources.
This news story as all the more ironic given that Buchanan’s opponent, Jan Schneider, has been actively involved in fighting marine pollution for several decades. Among other things, she represented the United Nations Environment Program for 10 years at the U.N. Law of the Sea Conference, which I also attended.
She has also published many articles on the subject of marine pollution. She is also a co-founder and vice president of Protect Our Waters, Inc., a local environmental group founded in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill and active on other clean water quality issues.