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Vague political promises promote pork programs

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  • Promoting vague and convoluted legislation tends to always help the politician, not the public
     

 

When I came across what retired California farmer Dino Cortopassi was doing with his paid ads to raise attention on how California purportedly funds water infrastructure, I mentioned it for your consideration.

Sometimes questions are asked to spark critical thinking skills with the hope that people will use them for good.

Below is a summary of Proposition 1, the 2014 water bond in California that was lifted from Ballotpedia.

  • $520 million to improve water quality for “beneficial use,” for reducing and preventing drinking water contaminants, disadvantaged communities, and the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Small Community Grant Fund.
  • $1.495 billion for competitive grants for multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects.
  • $810 million for expenditures on, and competitive grants and loans to, integrated regional water management plan projects.
  • $2.7 billion for water storage projects, dams and reservoirs.
  • $725 million for water recycling and advanced water treatment technology projects.
  • $900 million for competitive grants, and loans for, projects to prevent or clean up the contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water.
  • $395 million for statewide flood management projects and activities.

The vague language here is little different from other bond measures.

Let’s ask some questions.

Who gets to define “beneficial use” when we talk about spending $520 million on water quality? Haven’t we spent millions, if not billions, here already? Why are some residents told to not drink from their own wells or municipal water sources when previous bonds were supposed to address this?

What does the phrase “multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects” mean? Could we be a little more specific with the $1.495 billion in this category? It is taxpayer dollars, after all. When you buy a new car do you ask the salesman for a “piece of transportation?”

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