Thursday, June 17, 2004
FOLLOW THE MONEY… Guess who wants to flush the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District? No, Squid’s not talking about State Senator Bruce McPherson, the author of SB 1529, a plan to dissolve the special district. Squid’s wondering who has put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and ponied up.
And actually, Squid doesn’t need to guess. According to the Secretary of State’s lobbying activity Web page, a group called Water Solutions Now! has paid Sacramento-based lobbying firm Capitol Advocacy $25,576.87 to date, to lobby for McPherson’s SB 1529, and its predecessor, SB 149. The report lists disgruntled ex-water board member Ron Chessire and bigwig attorney Jeffery Gilles as the project coordinators, and a whole lotta contributors who are in the market for a whole lotta water. Payments received include $3,000 from The Don Chapin Company , $2,000 from Scheid Vineyards, $3,000 from Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, $2,000 from Granite Construction, $2,000 from September Ranch Properties, another $1,000 from Rancho Canada Golf Club …and the list goes on.
Squid knows money talks. Squid’s hoping State Assemblymember John Laird —who helped McPherson’s SB 149 find its way down the drain last year—will start talkin’ now, too, and turning up the heat.
IT GROWS ON TREES… Squid needs to find one of them money trees and plant it in Squid’s back yard. Maybe the Monterey County Board of Supervisors has an extra one. They must, considering last week’s decision to declare a paid holiday and close all “non-essential” county offices on Friday, June 11, in memory of former US President Ronald Reagan. Not to disrespect the ex-Prez—because Squid’s nothing if not a respectful sea creature—but doesn’t the timing here seem a bit odd? On June 8, the Supes vote to scrap nearly $5 million on the third incarnation of the General Plan Update, and spend an additional $1 million to create GPU 4. And on June 14, the county’s budget hearings began. Is it just Squid or does anybody else smell the irony? To quote one of Squid’s favorite fellow cephalopods: “We’re broke, we’re broke! ARGH! Some people might be out of a job! ARGH! Oh, but everyone take Friday off with pay…”
IT BUYS FLAGS… Speaking of money, maybe someone will donate a few bucks to the Peace Coalition of Monterey County. Or just buy the group a few new flags. According to co-chair Richard Bailey, at a recent Sunday demonstration at Window On The Bay, during which the coalition displayed American flags upside down, “an athletic young man snatched up some of our flags that were on poles in the ground, and fled,” Bailey writes, via e-mail. “Sometimes persons in cars hurl bottles or shoot air rifles at us, but flag snatching is going too far. We are trying to alert people to the dangerous behavior of our leaders. Our use of the flag as an SOS call is not unpatriotic.” Bailey says he’s hoping for the flags’ safe return. Squid says, “Hello—hurling bottles and shooting air rifles is going too far.”
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