by Dan Bacher
Only in the allegedly "green" state of California would a Governor use a legal loophole to divert millions of dollars from a campaign to raise taxes for public education over to an entirely different campaign to pass a pork-laden $7.5 billion water bond to fund huge dams, bike trails in conservancies, and subsidies for corporate agribusiness.
Opponents of Proposition 1, the controversial State Water Bond, on September 20 criticized Governor Jerry Brown and the backers of Prop. 1 for taking over $2.8 million raised to enact a tax increase for public education and diverting it to their campaign to pass "the biggest dam-building program in California history."
Carolee Krieger, No on Prop. 1 leader and California Water Impact Network (CWIN) Executive Director, said, “The governor is using a legal loophole to divert donations for public education to back his deadbeat dams, pork programs and subsidies for huge agribusiness. None of the donors of this $2.8 million left over from Prop. 30 could have had any idea their money would be spent on this water bond."
"This is especially ironic since Prop. 1 takes away General Fund money from public education and pushed a school bond construction measure off the November ballot. Is this the political equivalent of the bully taking another student’s lunch money?” she stated.
Under "Historical Names for This Committee" on the Secretary States Website, five names are listed. The top name is "BROWN; YES ON PROPS 1 AND 2 A BIPARTISAN COALITION OF BUSINESS LABOR REPUBLICANS DEMOCRATS AND GOVERNOR." Below that name is "BROWN; YES ON PROP. 30 - TO PROTECT OUR SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC SAFETY, A BROAD COALITION OF TEACHERS, LABOR, BUSINESS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND GOVERNOR."(http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?)
The reporting period from May 18, 2014 to June 30, 2014 lists "ending cash" as $2,857,587.27. The expenditures for this period were $551.19 and the total expenditures from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014 were $13,855.31.
In addition, the "Yes on Props 1 and 2" campaign has received $909,600 in donations as of September 17, according to Ballotpedia. These contributions includehttp://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014)
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) recently released a 14-Point Analysis and Statement of Opposition to the Proposition 1 Water Bond that is on the November 4, 2014 ballot. The $7.5 billion Bond includes $2.7 billion for new dams and is a "serious threat" to the Delta and Central Valley rivers and fisheries, according to CSPA.
Among numerous reasons the water bond is bad for California is that Proposition 1 undermines: the public trust doctrine by purchasing water the public already owns, at inflated prices, to protect the public’s rivers and environment; the principle of beneficiary pays by subsidizing projects that benefit special interests and the core principle that projects should be responsible for mitigating their adverse impacts.
"Proposition 1 is a poster-child of why California is in a water crisis; it enriches water speculators but accomplishes little in addressing the drought, solving California’s long-term water needs, reducing reliance on the Delta or protecting our rivers and fisheries," said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. "When the pubic focuses a critical eye on Prop. 1, they’ll realize that it’s just another expensive pork-filled gift basket to special interests.” (http://calsport.org/news/cspa-releases-14-point-analysisopposition-to-water-bond/)
"Prop 1 will cost California taxpayers $360 MILLION dollars per year for 40 years on top of our already staggering $777 BILLION dollar state debt," according to the Vote No on Prop 1 campaign. "Prop 1 will crowd out funding for schools, healthcare, and other essential programs and will force Sacramento to dip into the General Fund. It won't solve our state's water needs. Instead, Prop 1 gives BILLIONS to special mega grower interests."
For more information about Prop. 1’s many severe flaws, please visit http://www.noonprop1.org.