A great article in the SF Chronicle today
By: Elanor Starmer | August 06 2010 at 03:48 PM
Here’s an excerpt:
“Supporters of the water bond, which would cost California taxpayers $22 billion over 30 years, hope that in two years voters will forget how bad it is. That will also give bond supporters time to gather the millions of dollars needed to push their message out statewide. We shouldn’t be fooled: a vote to postpone this bad bill is a vote to keep it on life support.
“While pulling the plug on the water bond now and starting anew is the best thing for California, the second best option is to let Prop 18 go to the ballot in November. If our Bay Area legislators want to do right by the public, they will vote against A.B. 1265, the bill to postpone the water bond to 2012.
“The battle over the bond has been framed in many circles as a battle between farmers and fishermen, or between Northern and Southern California. But a report released by Food & Water Watch yesterday suggests that the real battle is between private and public interests, with private interests across the state set to gain measurably if the bond is passed. Peter Gleick’s post on Tuesday highlighted what Proposition 18 actually says and does. Now with this report, we know who stands to benefit most from the bloated bond and it’s not the general water-drinking public. That will continue to be the case two years from now.
“That puts the bond’s cheery title, the “Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Act of 2010 (or 2012)” in a whole new, and suspect, light. And it makes the fact that the bond would be paid for out of the same pot that funds essential public services like education, public safety, and health care seem positively reprehensible.
“It shouldn’t be surprising that over half of the contributions to pro-bond PAC have come from the construction industry, agribusiness, and developers. An additional 20 percent came from Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Dream Team (e.g. $35,000 from billionaire Steward Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms).
“[With] interest, the bond would shoulder California taxpayers with an additional $22 billion in debt, to be paid off over 30 years at a cost of some $800 million per year. That’s enough to pay for 13,000 teachers’ salaries or four years of the Healthy Families program, which insures 900,000 children in the state.
“The findings of this new report are clear. The bond is a continuation of failed policies that have funneled California’s public water to private interests that overuse, pollute, and profit from it.
“Check out the video No on AB-1265 and share it with your neighbors. ”
Read the entire SF Chronical article here: click here