Governor Schwarzenegger addressed the Bohemian Grove oligarchs at the end of July in a keynote speech on an “undisclosed” topic. If you’ve never heard about this shadowy institution of America’s elite movers and shakers, click here read Dan Bacher’s recent editorial on the subject.
As Bacher points out, this is the kind of secrecy we’ve come to expect from the Governor who pays lips service to transparency while promoting processes like Delta Vision, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.
Any transparency in these processes is the nose-against-the-window variety. We can see what’s going on, but we can’t influence it in any meaningful way.
Too often, we can’t even see what’s going on.
We couldn’t see what was going on in 1994, when Kern County water brokers and state water project contractors got together in secret and produced the Monterey Amendments.
These amendments changed the balance of urban and agricultural water allocations, ensuring a regular water supply for big agriculture, allowing SWP contractors to trade in nonexistent “paper water”, and turning the Kern Water Bank – developed at public expense – over to water profiteers.
(Google “Water Heist” to find a PDF of Public Citizen’s December 2003 report on “How Corporations are Cashing In on California’s Water.” This document explains the connection between the Monterey Amendments and the Kern Water Bank.)
We couldn’t see what was going on last October when legislative leadership and a small group of institutionalized environmental organizations met to reach compromises that resulted in the “historic” 2009 Comprehensive Water Package. One result was Delta governance by a group that includes people who needed six months of orientation to the Delta.