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Schwarzenegger Announces Water Commission and Delta Conservancy Appointments
by Dan Bacher
Friday May 14th, 2010 2:14 PM
Paul Rodriguez, the chair of the Latino Water Coalition who claimed recently that Schwarzenegger had appointed him to the Water Commission, wasn't chosen for the Commission. However, Schwarzenegger did appoint agribusinessman Joe Del Bosque, 61, of Los Banos.
Schwarzenegger Announces Water Commission and Delta Conservancy Appointments

by Dan Bacher

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the "Fish Terminator," announced his appointments to the Water Commission and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy on Friday, May 14.

Paul Rodriguez, the grower, comedian and chair of the Latino Water Coalition who claimed recently that Schwarzenegger had appointed him to the Water Commission, wasn't chosen for the Commission. However, Schwarzenegger did appoint Joe Del Bosque of Los Banos to represent San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness.

Del Bosque has been president and chief executive officer of Empresas Del Bosque, a "diversified farm" in the San Joaquin Valley, since 1985. He is a member of AgSafe, California Farm Bureau, California Latino Water Coalition and Western Growers Association - and is expected to push for increased water exports from the California Delta at the expense of collapsing Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish populations.

Surprisingly, Schwarzenegger appointed a recreational angler and conservationist, Charlton "Chuck" Bonham, 41, of Albany, to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. Bonham, a Democrat, has worked for Trout Unlimited as California director and senior attorney since 2004 and, previously, was director of the organization's California Water Project and staff attorney from 2000 to 2004.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the appointments represent corporate interests, water agencies and environmental NGOs that support Schwarzenegger's campaign to build a peripheral canal around the Delta. The canal, estimated to cost anywhere from $23 to $53.8 billion, is likely to result in the extinction of threatened and endangered salmon and Delta fish populations. Of course, no representatives of California Indian Tribes, environmental justice groups or grassroots Delta organizations were appointed.

The appointments of Michael Eaton to the Conservancy and Anthony Saracino to the Water Commission are very problematic, since these folks are among the biggest corporate greenwashers in California water politics.

Eaton, 58, of Sacramento, has been executive director of the Resources Legacy Fund since 2007. From 1995 to 2007, he was senior project director at The Nature Conservancy and, from 1983 to 1995, was an independent environmental consultant.

The Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF) is a shadowy organization that privately funds the Governor's corrupt and unjust Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative - and Eaton's appointment by Schwarzenegger shows the direct connection between Schwarzenegger's ocean privatization plans and his Delta water privatization and canal building schemes.

The RLFF's MLPA Initiative has outraged environmental justice and civil rights advocates by banning the Kashia Pomo Tribe and other tribes from gathering seaweed and shellfish off Stewarts Point, a site sacred to the Kashia. In addition to practicing cultural genocide against indigenous people, initiative officials have openly violated the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act and the First Amendment by banning video journalists and still photographers from covering "work sessions" of the process.

The Blue Ribbon Task Forces that designate a series of so-called "marine protected areas" off the California coast are infested with oil industry, real estate, marina development and other corporate interests. These "marine guardians" have completely taken water pollution, oil drilling, habitat destruction and other human activities other than fishing off the table in their twisted concept of "marine protection."

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy was established as part of the water policy/water bond package signed by the Governor in 2009. As established in the law, this new conservancy is the "primary state agency for implementing ecosystem restoration and promoting economic vitality in the Delta," according to the Governor's Office.

How can Eaton, who is executive director of a corporation that presides over a process as corrupt and controversial as the MLPA, be possibly trusted to implement "ecosystem restoration" and promote "economic vitality" in the Delta by serving on the Delta Conservancy?

Saracino, 51, of Sacramento, has been director of the California Water Program at the Nature Conservancy, a group that wholeheartedly supports Schwarzenegger's peripheral canal, since 2005. Previously, he was director of Schlumberger Water Service from 2001 to 2005.

The Nature Conservancy has been enmeshed in corporate greenwashing and real estate schemes throughout the United States and across the globe - and is reviled by grassroots environmentalists for its top-down, corporate approach to "conservation."

The other appointees to the Water Commission are Andrew Ball of San Mateo, president and chief executive officer of Webcor Builders; Joseph Byrne of Los Angeles, a partner in the law office of Burke, Williams and Sorensen; Senator Dave Cogdill of Modesto, the author of Schwarzenegger-backed water policy/water bond legislation; Daniel Curtin of Sacramento, director for the California Conference of Carpenters; Kimberley Delfino, of Sacramento, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife; Luther Hintz of Brownsville, former executive director and general manager of Reclamation District Number 108; and Paul Kelley of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County supervisor and director of the Sonoma County Water Agency since 1995.

The prevalence of big business, water agency and agribusiness interests among Schwarzenegger's Water Commission and Delta Conservancy appointees is typical of those who have been appointed to environmental posts in the Schwarzenegger regime. Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in California history, has made sure that the proverbial fox is guarding the hen house in the vast majority of his environmental appointments.

One of the most egregious examples of this is Schwarzenegger's appointment of Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, to chair the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, and well as sit on the panels for the North Coast and North Central Coast. This curious "marine guardian" has called for new oil drilling off the California coast, in spite of the catastrophic BP Oil Spill that is now ravaging the Gulf of Mexico.

Also on May 14, Schwarzenegger announced his allocation of $1.1 billion from the 2010 Water Bond*, still pending voter approval, in his May revision of the state budget.

“The Governor is attempting to force the voters’ hand, telling them that if they don’t approve the current bond measure their communities won’t see a dime for these water projects, and that’s just ridiculous," said Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis). "There are 4 billion dollars in approved bond funds just waiting to be spent on these projects. This is a gimmick that stages a false choice for voters between water and even more bond debt. It’s political blackmail.”

* Bottom of Page 17, http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/SummaryofSignificantChangesbyMajorProgramAreas.pdf


Here is the press release from the Governor's Office about today's appointments:


Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces Appointments to Water Commission, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the following appointments to the California Water Commission:

Andrew Ball, 56, of San Mateo, has been president and chief executive officer of Webcor Builders since 1994. He is chair of the Industry Advisory Board for the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley and founding member and advisory board member for the Business Council on Climate Change in association with the United Nations Global Compact. Ball is chair of the San Francisco Mayor's Task Force on Green Buildings and the American Society of Concrete Contractors Sustainability Committee. He is a member of the San Francisco Building Code Advisory Committee including the Code Advisory Green Building Subcommittee. Ball is a Republican.

Joseph Byrne, 39, of Los Angeles, has been a partner in the law office of Burke, Williams and Sorensen since 2008, as a member of the Public Law and Environmental Law/Sustainability Practice groups. Previously, he was executive director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Region 1 from 2006 to 2008 and an attorney for Mayer Brown from 2002 to 2005. Prior to that, Byrne worked in the office of Speaker Robert M. Hertzberg, for the California State Assembly as counsel from 2000 to 2002 and a legislative consultant from 1998 to 2000. He was an attorney for Bonne, Bridges, Mueller, O'Keefe and Nichols from 1997 to 1998. Byrne is a member of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association Board of Directors and the League of California Cities Environmental Quality Policy Committee. Byrne is a Democrat.

Dave Cogdill, 59, of Modesto, was elected to the California State Senate in 2006, where he represents the 14th District. He serves as chair of the Select Committee on Surplus Property, and vice-chair of the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Water, Banking, Finance and Insurance and Public Safety. Cogdill is also a sitting member on the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee; Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation; Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs; and, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Additionally, Cogdill served as the Senate Republican Leader from April 2008 to February 2009 and Senate Minority Whip from 2007 to 2008. Prior to that, he represented the 25th District in the State Assembly from 2000 to 2006, where he was vice-chair of the Committee on Rules, during which, he sat on the Budget Committee, Agriculture Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Cogdill was Assembly Minority Floor leader from 2002 to 2006. From 1981 to 2007, he owned and was an appraiser for Cogdill and Giomi. Cogdill is a Republican. This appointment will be effective December 6, 2010.

Daniel Curtin, 62, of Sacramento, has served as director for the California Conference of Carpenters since 2001 and previously held the same position from 1992 to 1999. From 1999 to 2001, he served as chief deputy director for the Department of Industrial Relations. Prior to that, Curtin was a legislative advocate for the California Conference of Carpenters from 1987 to 1992. He serves on the State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors and previously served on the Economic Development Commission and the Industrial Welfare Commission. Curtin is a Democrat.

Joe Del Bosque, 61, of Los Banos, has been president and chief executive officer of Empresas Del Bosque, a diversified farm in the San Joaquin Valley, since 1985. He is a member of AgSafe, California Farm Bureau, California Latino Water Coalition and Western Growers Association. Del Bosque is a Republican.

Kimberley Delfino, 42, of Sacramento, has been California program director for Defenders of Wildlife since 2000. Previously, she was legislative director for the California Public Interest Research Group in 2000. From 1997 to 2000, Delfino was staff attorney for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and, from 1994 to 1997, was associate attorney for Meyer and Glitzenstein. She is a member of the Sustainable Conservation Board of Directors. Delfino is registered decline-to-state.

Luther Hintz, 72, of Brownsville, worked for Reclamation District Number 108 as executive director from 2005 to 2006 and general manager from 1993 to 2005. Prior to that, he worked for Bookman-Edmonston Engineering as manager and principal engineer from 1979 to 1993, supervising engineer from 1969 to 1979, senior engineer from 1962 to 1969 and associate engineer from 1960 to 1962. Hintz was a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage until 2008. Hintz is a Republican.

Paul Kelley, 46, of Santa Rosa, has served as Sonoma County supervisor representing the Fourth District and director of the Sonoma County Water Agency since 1995. Previously, he was a teacher at Santa Rosa Christian School from 1993 to 1994. From 1992 to 1993, Kelley was lead programmer for KLH Consulting and, from 1990 to 1992, was a systems manager for Standard Structures. He is president of the Association of California Water Agencies. Kelley is a Republican. This appointment will be effective January 1, 2011.

Anthony Saracino, 51, of Sacramento, has been director of the California Water Program at The Nature Conservancy since 2005. Previously, he was director of Schlumberger Water Service from 2001 to 2005. Saracino was principal of Saracino, Kirby, Snow from 1995 to 2001 and was director of geologic and environmental services for Wallace Kuhl and Associates from 1984 to 1995. Saracino is a Democrat.

These positions require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.

The California Water Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Director of the Department of Water Resources and was originally established to build and review operations of the State Water Project. The Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010, approved by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 2009, vests the commission with responsibility over $3 billion in funding for statewide water system operational improvement. The commission is composed of nine members, two of which must be representatives from the environmental community.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today also announced the following appointments to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy:

Charlton "Chuck" Bonham, 41, of Albany, has worked for Trout Unlimited as California director and senior attorney since 2004 and, previously, was director of the organization's California Water Project and staff attorney from 2000 to 2004. From 1994 to 1997, he was an instructor for Nantahala Outdoor Center and, from 1991 to 1993, was a small business development agent in Senegal, West Africa for the U.S. Peace Corps. Bonham is a member of the Pacific Forest Legacy Stewardship Council Board and the Foundation for Youth Investment. Bonham is a Democrat.

Michael Eaton, 58, of Sacramento, has been executive director of the Resources Legacy Fund since 2007. From 1995 to 2007, he was senior project director at The Nature Conservancy and, from 1983 to 1995, was an independent environmental consultant. Prior to that, Eaton served as assistant secretary at the Resources Agency from 1981 to 1983 and as energy advisor in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research from 1980 to 1981. From 1975 to 1980, he was legislative assistant for the Sierra Club. Eaton is chair of the Soil Born Farms Board of Directors and advisor to the California Institute for Public Affairs. Eaton is registered decline-to-state.

These positions require Senate confirmation and there is no salary.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy was established as part of the comprehensive water package signed by the Governor in 2009. As established in the law, this new conservancy is the primary state agency for implementing ecosystem restoration and promoting economic vitality in the Delta.

In addition to the Governor's appointees, the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly also make appointments to the conservancy. Additional members include representatives from Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo counties, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and the Director of Finance.

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