Thanks for participating in our “democratic election” Nor Cal. Now we’ll take the rest of your water!

  • Twelve counties opposed the bond, 10 of which roughly make up the state of Jefferson territory in far Northern California.

The other two? Calaveras and Inyo.

  • San Joaquin County voters were inclined to support the bond (59 percent), but were considerably less enthusiastic than other San Joaquin Valley regions (Fresno County weighed in with 76 percent support).
  • The strongest support in California? Kings County, at 76.5 percent.
  • Strongest opposition? Water-conscious Trinity County, at 70.4 percent.

Unfortunately for bond opponents, Trinity County accounts for just 3,456 votes, about .0006 percent of the more than 5 million votes cast on the bond.

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Billionaires, Corporate Interests Dumped Over $16.4 Million into Prop. 1 Campaign

The election results show how the power of millions of dollars of corporate money in the corrupt oligarchy of California were able to defeat a how a grassroots movement of fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and family farmers opposed to Prop. 1.

Prop. 1 proponents, including a rogue’s gallery of oil companies, corporate agribusiness tycoons, Big Tobacco, health insurance companies and greedy billionaires, dumped over $16.4 million into the campaign, while Prop. 1 opponents raised around $100,000 for the effort. In other words, the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign outmatched the No on Prop. 1 campaign by a factor of 164 to 1.

In a state and country where corporations have the same rights as people, the political game is rigged so that Goliath is usually able to defeat David. The state’s voters, responding to the avalanche of pro-Prop. 1 ads funded by corporate interests, approved the measure by a vote of 66.77 percent to 33.23 percent

Voters throughout the state fiercely debated the pros and cons of Proposition 1, Jerry Brown’s $7.5 billion water bond, before they went to the polls on November 4.

While the pros and cons are important, an even bigger issue in any environmental battle or process is the money behind the campaign. The big corporate money spent on the water bond largely determines who the bond will benefit – billionaires, agribusiness, oil companies and corporate “environmental” NGOs, not the fish, wildlife or people of California.

The passage of Proposition 1 was inevitable considering the millions of dollars dumped into the campaign by Governor Brown and his collaborators – and the deceptive campaign ads run by the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign cynically employing fear-mongering over the drought to scare Californians into voting for Prop. 1.

Some of “Big Green” are bad actors too!

Contributions to Brown’s Yes on Props 1 and 2 Committee totalled $13,880,528.43, according to the latest data posted on the California Secretary of State’s website. (

The contributions feature millions of dollars from billionaires, corporate agribusiness, Big Oil and the tobacco industry – corporate interests that all expect a big return for their “investment” in the corrupt “play to pay” politics that rules California today.

Contributions to the committee from the period from October 1 to October 18 alone amounted to $9,537,048.90.

Expenditures during the period from January 1 through October 18 were $10,728,645.50, with $10,149,477.92 just from the period of October 1 to October 18.

But this isn’t the only committee that funded the Yes on 1 campaign. When you consider the other committees backing Prop.1 listed on the Secretary of State’s website, the total amount of contributions jumps by another $2,541,257.91 to $16,421,785.91!

The “California Business Political Action Committee,” sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, raised $550,000 for Yes on 1 and 2 during the period from January 1 to October 18, 2014.

The “Wetlands Conservation Committee, Yes on Prop. 1,” sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California and the Nature Conservancy, raised $215,000 from January 1 through October 18.

Other committees backing Prop. 1 include:

  • The “Conservation Action Fund”: $818,623.78
  • The Sac Valley Water & Rice For Prop. 1: $44,499.00
  • Think Long Committee, sponsored by the Nicolas Berggruen Institute Trust, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $250,000
  • Western Plant Health Association, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2: $100,000
  • NRDC Action Fund Ballot Measures Committee – Yes on Prop. 1; $9,514.27
  • Environmental Coalition for Water and Wildlife Protection – Yes on Prop. 1: $102,000
  • The Southern California District County Laborers PAC: $58,219.02
  • The California Water Association Political Issues Committee – Yes on Prop. 1: $100,000
  • Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition Issues PAC – Yes on Props 1 and 2: $293,401.84

While the committees backing Prop. 1 raised over $16.4 million, the Vote No on Prop. 1 campaign raised over $97,999, a small fraction of the money raised by Prop. 1 proponents.

In addition, opponents of Prop. 1 revealed that the Nature Conservancy donated $500,000 to the campaign.

“Prop. 1’s big dam projects will make very little new water, and the water will mainly go to unsustainable huge agribusinesses,” said Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “Most disturbing is the $500,000 that the Nature Conservancy has contributed to the Prop 1 campaign. The Nature Conservancy has benefited from the gifting of public lands in the Delta by the Department of Water Resources.”

She emphasized, “The Nature Conservancy turned a blind eye to oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the ability to manage wetlands, and pumps oil on its own lands. In California, they are turning a blind eye to the issue of how water exports will be accelerated from the Bay-Delta estuary if Prop. 1 passes, and how this water will fill Governor Brown’s Delta tunnels. They are supporting water policies that will serve special corporate interests in exchange for the opportunity to manage more conservancy projects in the Delta and throughout California.”

Source, Dan Bacher


Governor Jerry Brown, known as “Big Oil Brown” for his subservience to the oil industry, is one of the worst governors for fish, water and the environment in California history. Governor Jerry Brown, known as “Big Oil Brown” for his subservience to the oil industry, is one of the worst governors for fish, water and the environment in California history.


4 thoughts on “Thanks for participating in our “democratic election” Nor Cal. Now we’ll take the rest of your water!

  1. Dan Bacher has written lots about these issues and is always a great go-to source on these issues. Follow him here for future articles and his past ones:

    He writes about the local northern california water issues focus and is excellent at detailing the tribe’s great efforts on these issues.

    I am especially burned at the environmental groups that supported this, however, that IS their ‘business’ model, to get most of their money by working with these development groups, the business interests.

    These type of enviro groups act as the go betweens, the negotiators, and the bag men between big business and the public’s laws. In some ways they are a necessary to make any attempt to balance ‘progress’ vs the environment….and it’s a very hard sell.
    I am surprised the NC did that so publicly, it will bite them in the ass with their public support. I’d like to see their defense of such an egregious act.

    I am very glad to see you putting his article here at TE, keep doing that please!

    The Twin Tunnel issue will also affect us up here, this was just a part of that wider plan, sucker the public in with small bites.


  2. This Big Oil money spent on the water issue goes right along with the huge amount of money to successfully defeat Proposition P in Santa Barbara County, ‘home of Earth Day’ that would have banned fracking in SB county.

    The fearmongering was intense down there with fake geologists and fake scientists and LEOs and firefighters all sternly warning people ‘oil would move out of the county’ if Prop P passed..and of course that was nonsense, but the Big Lie always works. And of course Big Oil doesn’t give a carp about anyone’s jobs, hire them and fire them, no sentiment about it, and they have been doing so in moving ‘oil out of the county’ for over 80 years or more.

    Big Oil pulled out all the stops on that one, and in winning didn’t have to go to the next level which would then be to arm twist, corrupt, and get the state to pass a law making local counties subservient to state law on the issue…as they have had to do, and still are trying to do in eastern states where local governments have banned fracking, the Big Oil just goes over their heads.

    Interestingly they spent this money after the science says that fracking the Monterrey Shale is not cost effective.

    The Santa Barbara Channel however has been fracked over 200 times..I think. The Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil field development near VAFB will surely go forward with the Reepubs in the senate and house now…people are really going to wish they had been able to accept the dirty deal proposed by the EDC back when that would have allowed some tradeoffs that would have allowed some new drilling….but now with a new oil developer, a very aggressive and nasty one at that, surely he will now be able to find a way.

    In this way, what goes on up here, and what goes on down there are very linked…especially by money, water, gas, oil, and california’s number one product, bullshit.

    Thanks for this TE.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And here in Humboldt, we keep worrying about the miniscule amount of water used by cannabis. If it was legalised, and everyone who wanted to could grow their own in their yard like tomatoes, that problem would go away. The water that falls on us here in the north should stay here. I voted no on prop 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Remember, for decades there’s been lots of $ available for new nuclear plants and none have been built.

    There will now be local responsibility for managing this county’s water resources with more veracity. Getting on those boards will have far broader impacts than just water.

    The dams can and should be protested and, at least, constructed/improved with far more environmental regulatory sensibility than in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

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