Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Smelly Swampland Deal Investigated

Now federal investigators are scrutinizing a smelly deal birthed last year from Everglades muck. A year ago, New Times probed the Bush administration's planned $120 million buyout of mineral rights in the Big Cypress National Preserve from the wealthy Collier family, whose operation is based on Florida's west coast ("Big Cypress Buyout," September 12, 2002). The deal, announced in May 2002 on the White House lawn by the president and little brother Jebbie, was also to include to-be-determined tax breaks that could have amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Though New Times revealed that the feds ignored staff estimates that the mineral rights were worth only $5 million to $20 million, there was little response.

Florida Swampland? Sounds like the classic con is seeing new life in the Bush Administration.


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