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Will the next $7.5B truly flow to where needed?


Table of Contents:

  • Sacramento's mismanagement of water bond money needs to be cured


When it comes to water and politics we’ve made things way too complicated, and it’s apparently costing California taxpayers billions of dollars.

Without patting him on the back or pouring cold water into his arguments, there’s a retired farmer from Central California who’s personally bankrolling an advertising campaign in several large California newspapers to ask a good question: Where has all the money gone that California voters approved over the years for water projects?

It’s a rather timely question given that legislators booted the $11.1 billion water bond measure they first approved for the 2009 ballot off the 2014 ballot in favor of a $7.5 billion version. That sentence reads as confusing as the issue is.

Credit California Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. for that move; he said he wouldn’t support anything over $6 billion while farmers were demanding no less than $10 billion.

Retired farmer Dino Cortopassi asserts that over half the $5.4 billion approved in a 2006 bond (Proposition 84) was wasted on “non-water pork.” The advertisements make many other assertions. Read them for yourselves then make up your own mind.

I hope someone honestly verifies Cortopassi’s claims, because some of them get really close to questions reporters started to ask earlier this year of key political leaders.

Earlier this year reporters apparently discovered that much of the money approved in Prop. 84 was still unspent – eight years later. At least that’s what one LA Times reporter said publicly while moderating a panel discussion on water politics in Sacramento in February.

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