Jerry Brown in an impromptu conversation with Restore the Delta supporters just about a year ago, admits he’s somehow building on a family legacy (which is going to turn much of the delta into a dessert i.e. skyrocketing salinity levels) and from the point the video should begin, he’s getting into ‘dick measuring competition’ by comparing the wealth of his campaign supporters with environmentalists.
Two of the “big” supporters of Jerry Brown are Stewart and Lynda Resnick. Dan Bacher writes
“Resnick, a billionaire agriculture tycoon who controls vast amounts of California water, is pushing the controversial tunnels in an attempt to secure more water for Central Valley corporate agriculture interests and dupe Californians into paying for massive tunnels that won’t secure new water for Angelenos,” said Brenna Norton of Food and Water Watch, who spoke at the protest. “Food & Water Watch estimates the average household could be charged as much as $5000 to pay for the project.”
Stewart Resnick’s corporation has been financing advertisements in support of the project, recently renamed the “California Water Fix” by the Brown and Obama administrations.
As the Brown administration mandated that urban users slash their water use, Stewart Resnick in March revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond, and walnut acreage during a record drought at this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms.
During the event covered by the Western Farm Press, Resnick bragged about the increase in his nut acreage over the past ten years, including an 118 percent increase for pistachios, 47 percent increase for almonds, and 30 percent increase for walnuts. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/…)
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, exposed the enormous influence of the Resnicks and the Westlands Water District on the water and fish policies of Governor Jerry Brown and his predecessors in an April 2014 op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle. The Resnicks made $270,000 in contributions to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, $350,000 to support Gov. Gray Davis, and $102,000 to Gov. Jerry Brown, according to Barrigan-Parrilla. (http://www.sfgate.com/…)
“As a result of the political influence of billionaires who receive taxpayer-subsidized water, the state Department of Water Resources functions almost as a subsidiary of the water exporters,” she said.
The Resnicks also contributed $150,000 to Proposition 1 last fall. They joined a who’s who of corporate interests in California, including other corporate agribusiness interests, timber barons, Big Oil, Big Tobacco, the health insurance industry and other Big Money interests, that contributed over $21.8 million to the successful campaign to pass Governor Brown’s water bond. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/…)
However, while serving on the board of Conservation International, Resnick become notorious for buying subsidized Delta water and then selling it back to the public for a big profit as Delta fish and Central Valley salmon populations crashed.
“As the West Coast’s largest estuary plunged to the brink of collapse from 2000 to 2007, state water officials pumped unprecedented amounts of water out of the Delta only to effectively buy some of it back at taxpayer expense for a failed environmental protection plan, a MediaNews investigation has found,” according an article by the late investigative reporter Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times on May 23, 2009. (http://www.revivethesanjoaquin.org/…)
Taugher said the environmental water account set up in 2000 to “improve” the Delta ecosystem spent nearly $200 million mostly to benefit water users while also creating a “cash stream” for private landowners and water agencies in the Bakersfield area.
“No one appears to have benefited more than companies owned or controlled by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire, philanthropist and major political donor whose companies, including Paramount Farms, own more than 115,000 acres in Kern County,” Taugher stated. “Resnick’s water and farm companies collected about 20 cents of every dollar spent by the program.”