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California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

Mike Taugher appointed to DFG communications post
by Dan Bacher
Thursday May 17th, 2012 1:19 PM
Taugher is known for his coverage of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta issues, including the dramatic decline of Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Central Valley salmon, threadfin shad, striped bass and other fish species in recent years, due to a combination of increases in water exports, toxics and invasive species. He also covered the scandal of agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms, selling subsidized water back to the public for a big profit.
Mike Taugher appointed to DFG communications post

by Dan Bacher

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Mike Taugher, 49, of Benicia, to the position of assistant deputy director of communications, education and outreach at the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Taugher has been a reporter for the Bay Area News Group and Contra Costa Times since 2000, according to a news release from the Governor's Office.

Taugher is known for his extensive coverage of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta issues, including the dramatic decline of Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Central Valley salmon, threadfin shad, striped bass and other fish species in recent years, due to a combination of increases in water exports, toxics and invasive species. He also covered the scandal of agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms, selling subsidized water back to the public for a big profit.

He is regarded by Delta advocates as one of the few mainstream reporters who has consistently and fearlessly covered the peripheral canal fiasco and the drive by corporate agribusiness interests and southern California developers to divert more water from the Delta.

Taugher was an environmental reporter for the Albuquerque Journal from 1995 to 2000, a reporter for Greeley Tribune from 1992 to 1995 and a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from 1989 to 1992.

This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $90,000. Taugher is registered decline-to-state.

The appointment of Taugher takes place in a long tradition of California's revolving door between mainstream media, state government and private industry posts.

For example, Tupper Hull, formerly a San Francisco Examiner reporter and spokesman for the Westlands Water District, now serves as Vice President, Strategic Communications, for the Western States Petroleum Association.

Likewise, Tom Philp, formerly a Sacramento Bee Editor, now works as an executive strategist for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Brown also reappointed Jordan Traverso, 36, of Sacramento, as deputy director of communications at the California Department of Fish and Game. Traverso has been deputy director of communications, education and outreach for the Department of Fish and Game since 2008 and served as director of communications for the Consumer Attorneys of California from 2007 to 2008.

She was director of communications for the California Restaurant Association from 2004 to 2007, director of public liaison for the California State Treasurer's Office from 2003 to 2004 and assistant press secretary for Governor Gray Davis from 2000 to 2003. Traverso has been a member of the Sacramento Press Club since 2004.

This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $98,844. Traverso is registered decline-to-state.