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Monday, November 23, 2009

Astoturf Groups and water "reform"...

Politics of Water Splits Environmental Organizations


If you want to know more about what we should really be doing regarding water in California, you need to read Mato Ska here. here, here, or here. I want to talk about the politics. That is beginning to splinter over more than North / South, Valley / Coast or even the widening gap between Democrats and Republicans.

Let me call your attention to two things that happened today. One is the fact that the California League of Conservation Voters sent a floor alert to the members of the California Assembly giving strong support to the Steinberg proposal. In this, they join three other environmental organizations that have already taken this position: Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense and the Nature Conservancy. Each of the latter has strong ties to corporate funding and seem to be taking the corporate position. There is strong evidence that staff for Natural Resources Defense Council have been meeting behind closed doors with the water districts who have the most to gain were the the Steinberg legislation legislation enacted.

Dan Bacher, Ed. Fishsniffer magazine, has harsh words for the CLCV. NRDC, Environmental Defense, the Nature Conservancy and now the California League of Conservation Voters are giving "green" cover to policies that will lead to the death of the Delta and the extinction of Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations. We must expose these corporate greenwashers for the frauds that they are!

On the other side of this issue are the Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League, Environmental Justice,Clean Water Action, Green LA, Heal the Bay, Restore the Delta and others. Together, they have fashioned the basis of a new plan, one that is both equitable and sustainable, but it is not what the legislature is delivering....

for rest of story:

Friends of the Delta:Astroturfing Group Launches In-Delta Media Campaign

Restore the Delta staff have been busy working on many field projects presently requiring us to be away from our computers. During this time, numerous articles and opinion pieces regarding the inadequate water legislation and pork barrel water bond recently passed by the state legislature have been published by smart water thinkers including Dr. Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute), Steve Evans (Friends of the River), and Jonas Minton(Planning and Conservation League), while wonderful quotes have been attributed to Bill Jennings (California Sportfishing Protection Alliance), and Jim Metropulos (Sierra Club California) Thus, Restore the Delta has little to add and is thankful to those who have been able to speak with sensitivity and intelligence as to what is truly not happening for the Delta as a result of this poor legislative package.

But today, we had to return from the Delta fields to our computers when we saw the four-page ad placed by Families Protecting the Valley in the Stockton Record. The ad refers to The Great Delta Toilet Bowl. First, before we work our way through the content, let's make it clear who are the groups sponsoring and paying for the ad.

The ad was paid for by Friends of the Delta out of Newport Beach, California. When we called their office, the phone was answered by the Sheldon Group, a public relations firm, representing Southern California water interests and developers. In other words, Friends of the Delta is an astroturfing group, much like the Latino Water Coalition - an organization without any real members, but rather a website with a pr firm who may on occasion pay people to attend events. They do not have staff like Restore the Delta staff, who take numerous calls from supporters with ideas and concerns about the Delta, or who hold public events, rallies, etc....

for rest of story:

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