Corporate Agribusiness Dumps $850,000 into Prop. 1

By Dan Bacher | October 12, 2014 | Special to Elk Grove News Opponents of Proposition 1, the controversial State Water Bond, blaste...

By Dan Bacher | October 12, 2014 |
Special to Elk Grove News

Opponents of Proposition 1, the controversial State Water Bond, blasted Governor Jerry Brown and the backers of Prop. 1 for taking $850,000 in contributions from big agribusiness donors to pass public funding for water transfers to enrich them - and to enable the biggest dam-building program in California history.

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire “farmer” who has made millions off of reselling environmental water to the public, has donated $150,000 to the Yes on Prop 1 campaign. Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels. (

Adam Scow from Food and Water Watch noted, “Corporate agribusiness giants, including Stewart Resnick, are spending big to pass Proposition 1, a bloated $7.5 billion bond measure that would funnel more water to big agribusinesses at taxpayer expense. Prop 1 is a measure to quench their greed—it will not solve California’s water problems."

The Western Growers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and the California Cotton Alliance have contributed a total of $700,000 to the Prop. 1 campaign to ensure the construction of Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat dam.  

“Proposition 1 burdens taxpayers with debt to build projects for billion-dollar farming conglomerates that make up groups like Western Growers and the California Cotton Alliance," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, who is the No on Prop 1 field director. "It includes the largest appropriation for new dams in California’s history that will benefit these corporate farmers who refuse to fund the dam projects themselves. Prop 1 will drive California and its taxpayers even further into debt for illusory and largely bogus ‘environmental benefits’. Prop. 1 shifts the financial burden from those who directly benefit from building new dams to the taxpayers.”

These groups are making large contributions as an investment to make sure that their pet projects are passed through the California Water Commission, according to Prop. 1 opponents.

“Prop 1 will not ‘save water’ as Gov. Brown claims in ads paid for by these special interests.  It’s a boondoggle to enrich his big ag contributors,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. 

Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 1 and 2 campaign has raised $6,621,946 and has spent $817,276 as of October 6, 2014, according to Ballotpedia:

The following are the donors who contributed $150,000 or more to the Yes on Prop.  and 2 campaign as of October 6, 2014:  
Sean Parker  $1,000,000
California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee  $500,000
Health Net  $445,600
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition PAC  $400,000
California American Council of Engineering Companies  $250,000
California Farm Bureau Federation  $250,000
California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems  $250,000
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC  $250,000
Reed Hastings  $250,000
SW Regional Council Of Carpenters  $250,000
Western Growers Service Corporation  $250,000
Doris F. Fisher  $245,000
John J. Fisher  $245,000
Robert J. Fisher  $245,000
William S. Fisher  $245,000
California Cotton Alliance  $200,000
Northern California District Council Of Laborers Issues PAC  $200,000
Stewart A. Resnick  $150,000
The State Building And Construction Trades Council of CA   $150,000   

For more information on Proposition 1, go to

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