Everyone likes BP penalties going to Gulf restoration

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A bill that would ensure that at least 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are used for restoring the Gulf of Mexico enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Florida, according to a new poll. The telephone survey of 700 voters, conducted by the pollsters for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, shows that Democrats, independents and Republicans all support the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act by margins of 70 percentage points; independents approve of the idea by an 88-7 count. Among self-identified members of the tea party movement, support is 84 percent, compared to 14 percent of those polled who opposed the idea. Even when given reducing the federal deficit as the alternative to the fines being used for restoration, Floridians support the RESTORE Act by a 79-12 margin. “Particularly in this political environment right now, what’s surprising about our poll was the lack of partisan division,” said David Beattie of Hamilton Campaigns, Nelson’s polling firm. The other firm involved in the poll was Ayres, McHenry and Associates, which works for Rubio.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.