Full-page ad accuses new water bond of being watered down with 'pork'

Local experts say water bond is all about water

SAN DIEGO - A full-page newspaper advertisement in several of California's largest newspapers claims a new water bond is watered down with "pork."

Lifelong Californian and retired farmer Dean "Dino" Cortopassi wrote and paid for the ad, which appeared Thursday in the U-T San Diego newspaper with the headline "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!"

Cortopassi wrote that a $5.4 billion water bond measure approved by voters in 2006 was chalk full of "pork" -- a political term for items attached to bills that having nothing to do with the bill.

Cortopassi argued the bond included $7 million for things like the Habitat Journey exhibit at San Diego's Natural History Museum, $7 million for a space science center in Sacramento and $5 million for the Randall Museum in San Francisco.

He said a total of $93 million alone was spent on projects far from any water issue, and Cortopassi argued a new water bond appearing on this November's ballot, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown and both sides of the political aisle, will be also stuffed full of pork.

"I think that's unfair; it's apples and oranges," said political consultant John Dadian, who has never shied away from ripping politicians.

"There was a lot of what he [Cortopassi] called pork in the old bill," Dadian added. "And so he's insinuating that will be what happened in the new bill and he did it without looking at the new bill that was passed just this week."

"It's a day late and about $4 billion short," said San Diego County Water Authority Assistant General Manager Dennis Cushman.

Cushman said the new $7.5 billion water bond would help California's water woes in the future.

"And San Diego is very well positioned to be able to compete very well for water recycling investments, for conservation investments, for seawater desalination," he added. "It's open, it's competitive, and it's just right for California."

Dadian agreed, saying politicians actually put aside politics to fight the drought.

"It was a big compromise and I think that's good," Dadian said.

10News called and emailed Cortopassi to see where he saw any pork in the new bond measure, but he never responded.

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