The governor’s spokesman speaks

Posted on | August 27, 2009 | 3 Comments

Soaring Cadiz share prices after the governor's endorsement

UPDATED AUGUST 28TH, 11.59AM and again at 4.35pm: In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s insistence that he will not sign a water bill to solve California’s quagmire in the Bay-Delta “if it fails to include a water infrastructure bond that expands our water storage capacity – both surface storage and groundwater” this question was put to the governor’s press office on Tuesday August 25th:

Q: “Does he have any specific groundwater storage sites in mind? While underground storage has much to be said for it in preventing evaporative loss, one private groundwater ‘storage’ company is already advertising the governor’s endorsement. On June 5, the private water speculator Cadiz, Inc released an otherwise untraceable endorsement from him for a controversial groundwater project in the Mojave.  This also includes mining the native groundwater.

(See graphic for the stock market bump in Cadiz shares caused by the endorsement)

On August 26, Jeff Macedo, the governor’s Deputy Press Secretary,  responded:

A: The Governor supports this project as one of many new sources of water that should be explored. We’re in our third year of drought and need to do things now to help provide a reliable source of water for Southern California, including increasing our groundwater, surface storage and conservation and reducing our dependency on the Delta. He also supports the Carlsbad desalination project, and here’s what he has said about that: “Desalination must be part of a diverse approach to improving water supply, especially as California confronts what may be the worst drought in our state’s modern history. The same goes for the Cadiz project. This statement is about promoting the kinds of ideas that get us to a comprehensive water solution, which the Governor has been advocating for many years for.”

To which I responded, also on August 26th:

Q: Thanks Jeff. Quick follow up: will the Governor demand a provision requiring California to support development of the Cadiz project as part of any water bill that he will sign? Also, was there a public source for his June 5 endorsement of Cadiz? If not, how did Cadiz get it and release it? Why not the Governor’s office? Thanks for clarifying this.

To which the governor’s spokesman responded on August 28th at 11.59am:

A: Cadiz doesn’t need to be part of that. The Governor says he supports their project. It doesn’t need to be part of the plan [an upcoming water bill designed to fix the Bay-Delta]. A lot of endorsements are turned out. It’s just not something that’s turned out as a press release.”

To which Emily Green added on August 28th:

Macedo went on to liken it to the Governor’s endorsement of an electric car, the Tesla Roadster. This probably isn’t a great example, because the governor’s office did produce a transcript of his remarks at the LA Auto show while the endorsement that sent Cadiz stock prices soaring remains untraceable, but point taken. The upshot: the governor likes it, but isn’t demanding it. Thanks Jeff!

4.35pm: Having thought about the Tesla vs Cadiz, Emily Green e-mailed the governor’s Deputy Press Secretary to ask more about the origin of the governor’s Cadiz endorsement.

The text: Hi Jeff — Thanks for the call. The post has been updated. On reflection, and after checking the electric car endorsement (which did have a press release link), I think the Governor has a problem with this endorsement being given directly to Cadiz, because Cadiz fed it to the business wires and, armed with its exclusive, had a big day on the market, I think it was the 4th highest traded stock on NasDaq. Several directors had taken large share options shortly beforehand and were positioned to make huge amounts of money. This looks all the worse because of Susan Kennedy’s previous employment by Cadiz. I accept that the Governor likes the idea and that it was a statement of his belief  (I would like to see him with more facts about it)  but my real worry is that his office has been besmirched by the Cadiz use of his endorsement and what looks like it could have been insider trading. Please could you look for the source of that endorsement so we could clear this up?

Note to readers: Susan Kennedy is the governor’s Chief of Staff.

For background on the Governor and Cadiz, click here and for previous correspondence with the governor, click here.


Comments

3 Responses to “The governor’s spokesman speaks”

  1. David Zetland
    August 28th, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

    Good job nailing down the prerequisite for laws. I wonder about these “private” endorsements. So it’s his opinion as a private citizen with ZERO policy implications?

    Weird…

    (When the governor endorses exercise, does Crunch Gym put out an PR saying “Gov endorses Crunch”? No — something fishy here…)

  2. frankpatton
    September 3rd, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    That water has been aged assessed as about 1,000 years old, so one might conclude if it were to be taken, it would take another 1,000 years to refill the glass. Meanwhile what is the ecosystem going to do, I suppose just vanish.

  3. Brackpool in the horse race | Chance of Rain
    September 24th, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

    […] governor is overseeing draft legislation for billions of dollars of California water projects and a spokesman for the governor confirms that he “likes” the Cadiz […]

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