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Firefighters, Amendment 1 And A False Alarm

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Florida Professional Firefighters are withdrawing their endorsement of Amendment 1, but opponents of the controversial solar ballot initiative say TV viewers wouldn’t know it.

FPF president Jim Tolley issued a carefully worded statement late last week saying the group was pulling the plug after its members complained the utility backed measure was misleading.

But chief anti-Amendment 1 organizer Susan Glickman says the airwaves continue to be blanketed with TV ads featuring the firefighter endorsement. She says its politics as usual for a proposal Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“The big monopoly utility companies have poured, already, more than $26 million into this deceptive campaign. They’ve also spent tens of millions of dollars making political contributions to lawmakers as well.”

A campaign spokeswoman says organizers couldn’t reach every broadcast station over the weekend to cancel the ads, but she vowed they’re being pulled. But Glickman says the damage is already done.

Amendment 1 is being promoted as pro-solar, but critics contend the only signification change it makes would pave the way for higher utility rates for solar users.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.