Allison DeFoor named chair of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign

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Allison DeFoor, former environmental advisor to Gov. Jeb Bush, is the new chair of the political committee backing Amendment 1, the proposed constitutional amendment for land conservation funding.

The Crawfordville resident became chair of the Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Inc. PAC, according to documents submitted this week to the state Division of Elections reports Bruce Ritchie in the Florida Current.

DeFoor, a former board member of statewide business and environmental groups, was Gov. Bob Martinez’s running mate in his unsuccessful 1990 re-election bid. He will now lead the effort to provide $19 billion from documentary stamp-tax revenues over 20 years for conservation land acquisition and rehabilitation. Most of Florida’s environmental groups support the initiative.

“This is where Floridians’ hearts are,” DeFoor told the Current. “It just needs to be well discussed — exactly what is being proposed.”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Republican state leaders such as House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz oppose the measure. They say establishing budget allocations by way of constitutional amendments are poor governance, citing California as an example.

DeFoor is not only a former board member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Associated Industries of Florida, 1000 Friends of Florida and Audubon Florida; he is also a former vice-chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

“That shows I’m not a leftist Greenie,” he said, pointing to the bipartisan support for the amendment. DeFoor served as a lawyer and minister, a former Monroe County sheriff and former judge.

DeFoor takes the place of director of conservation finance Will Abberger who becomes campaign manager for the Trust for Public Land.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.