Recap and Lament
Well, the elections are over and it is time for damage assessment – and
there is plenty to assess. To see where we are headed with the new
troika (Andersen, King, Smiley) we have for the most part only campaign
statements, or lack thereof, for two of the candidates. The third does
have a track record, about which more later.
particular interest in this regard are the “Candidate’s Statements” by
candidates for the BWD published in the “County of San Diego Sample Ballot
and Voter Information Pamphlet” distributed before the election.
statement is completely vacuous, shows no understanding whatsoever of
the issues involved in the groundwater crisis we are facing in the
Valley, and offers no ideas for solutions.
Kathy King states
that “Water district issues are at the top of many persons concerns.
…they have also been an ongoing concern to me.” The latter is
certainly not evident by her participation in the many meetings and
fora about the overdraft – which until now
has been nonexistent. Ironically, she also claims that, “If elected, I
will be a full participating member [of the BWD board], not just an
occasional drop-in.” Apparently, however, being elected to the BWD
Board and paid to attend meetings is a necessary precondition to her
participation in the effort to staunch the overdraft.
Steven Smiley states
“groundwater resources have long been an integral part of my
livelihood,” which, by itself, should raise
suspicions about conflicts of interest. He urges “a sustainable,
long-term solution which respects the rights and interests of all water
users in the valley;” but he gives no indication of how he thinks he can
accomplish these two mutually contradictory goals and carefully avoids
even talking about who will pay for them. Rest assured it will not
be corporate agriculture with him on the board.
the Chamber of Commerce Candidate’s Forum on 7 October 2006:
literally had nothing to say and, thankfully, didn’t say it.
Kathy King likewise
had nothing to say; but nonetheless took her full five minutes to say
Steve Smiley did
have something to say; but since he has his ethical and economic wires
crossed, he simply cannot be believed. His actions over the past 6
or 7 years give the lie to his words.
That only a paltry few Borregans took advantage of this opportunity to see
the choices they were being offered in this election may, at least in small
part, explain the election results, but neither speaks nor bodes well for
for actual track records, except for Smiley, there is precious little.
Kathy King actually
showed up at the Groundwater Management Committee meeting on 11 Oct.
This was the first and only BWD meeting of any kind that she has
attended. She did not participate in any of the lengthy
discussions, but did stay through the whole ordeal. She must have
found the experience to not her liking, however, because she was not
present at the BWD Board meeting on 25 October.
Rita Andersen did
not show up at the Groundwater Management Committee meeting, but did
manage to make her quadrennial cameo appearance at the last BWD Board
meeting before the election. Like King, she did not participate in
the meeting, but did stick it out until the end.
attended both meetings, as he does religiously, to shill for corporate
agriculture in the valley.
Judging by all the high-priced ads in the last issue of the Borrego Sun
before the election, and the slick, expensive brochures touting Roger
Anderson and Steve Smiley that came in the mail, it appears there was a lot
of money backing candidates that somebody thinks they can control.
Don't believe for a minute that the candidates featured in these expensive
ads and mailings put up that kind of money. You can bet it came from
some combination of corporate agriculture, golf course owners and developers
who are trying to elect proxies to do their bidding and stop any meaningful
efforts to manage groundwater and correct the overdraft. There is a
lot of truth in the old saying that “If you see a turtle on top of a fence
post, you can be sure somebody put him up there.”
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the election just passed is what it
says about the majority of Borregans; i.e., that they are possessed of a
lemming-like instinct for mindless self-destruction and are hell-bent on
destroying this enchanted valley for everyone.
there you have it. Not a pretty picture. It’s going to be a
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Notes from Underground