Lest you think from my prior post that all Democrats and environmental organizations are now opposing the California water bond, rest assured that’s not the case. Several prominent Democrats have come out in support of the water bond recently, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa. Well-respected environmental organizations such as the Natural Heritage Institute, Audubon California and The Nature Conservancy also have publicly supported the effort. The official website for the water bond, Clean, Reliable Water for California, includes a long list of supporters, including public water agencies, business, agricultural and labor organizations, and government officials at the federal, state, regional and local levels.
It’s not surprising, but a group of Democratic politicians and environmental organizations has come out against the California water bond scheduled for the ballot this November. The group has formed an organization simply titled “No on the Water Bond” and started a website and public relations campaign. It is interesting to see the differences of opinion that water causes even within political groups, and how they shift over time, since the bond package was approved by both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature last November. Last week, No on the Water Bond issued an open letter to the California Democratic Party Convention listing some of their reasons for opposing the bond measure.
In an earlier post, I discussed the errors contained in certain criticisms of the proposed California water bond to be voted on in November 2010. Those criticisms were centered on the provision that allowed investor-owned public water utilities to receive bond funding for projects to benefit their customers, who make up 20 percent of all Californians. Critics asserted (incorrectly) that the provision could lead to “privatization” of California’s water.