For a Congressional candidate who likes to claim he is for Delta area farmers and is a supporter of the Delta, Ricky Gill’s actions speak volumes as he accepted money from those who are determined to build the Peripheral Canal.
The claim via way of a Press Release accuses Ricky Gill of accepting $5,000 from the California Westside Farmers PAC on June 27th. The PAC acts on behalf of farmers who in the Westlands Water District who are in need of Delta water to farm—which Governor Browns Conservation Plan would benefit.
I wanted to bring attention to Mr. Gill’s actions because I’ve talked to him on several occasions (Oakley Cityhood Celebration and Brentwood CornFest) where he has stated his unwavering support of the Delta. Now, word comes out he took money from those who may ultimately destroy the Delta.
I sent an email to Ricky Gill’s spokesmen Colin Hunter after I received the email alert who did not issue a reply, but he did offer one to the Contra Costa Times where he trashed McNerney while claiming the new Delta plan is “the culmination of Jerry McNerney’s failed tenure in Congress. He’s been sitting on the sidelines for five years and effectively allowed this to happen.”
Of course, Hunter never did deny the donation nor did he denounce it given how sensitive the Delta issue is to the area. Instead, he accuses McNerney’s failure as reason why Governor Brown moved forward with a canal which is silly considering Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor during most of McNerney’s term.
But let’s go back a few months because on February 17, 2012, the Ricky Gill camp sent out a Press Release slamming McNerney’s record on water. Fast forward to today and now Mr. Gill has proven for the second time within a week just who the hypocrite is.
For the record, where has Mr. Gill been since the Governors decision on the canal? I don’t recall seeing his name in the paper objecting to the Governor’s plan, but I have seen McNerney’s name all over the place with some strong rhetoric opposing the Governor’s plan while offering support for the Delta.
Mr. Gill can claim he is for the Delta all he wants, but when he is accepting money and working with the PAC that supports the canal, his actions are a lot stronger than his words. Shame on him for saying one thing and doing another.
Here is the Press Release that went out today and you can judge for yourself.
For Immediate Release
July 31, 2012
RICKY GILL TAKES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM BIGGEST PERIPHERAL CANAL SUPPORTERS
Contribution Comes Right Before Harmful Announcement for San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties
Stockton, Calif. – Just weeks before one of the most economically and environmentally damaging announcements imaginable for San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties, Ricky Gill, a 25-year-old student candidate for Congress has shown us once again who he really stands with. Gill took thousands of dollars from the wealthy water interests that are determined to build a disastrous canal system that would ship water resources away from our area to benefit other parts of California. More commonly known as the peripheral canal or tunnel, the plan was officially announced last week and was crafted behind closed doors by Westlands Water District.
On June 27, 2012, Ricky Gill took $5,000 from the California Westside Farmers Federal Political Action Committee (PAC). Sarah Woolf, a member of the Westlands Water District Board of Directors, is the treasurer of that PAC. Westlands Water District has been leading and bankrolling the charge to build a massive canal underneath the San Joaquin Delta in order to ship the region’s clean water to southern California. Representatives of Westlands have been in closed-door meetings with state and federal officials and reportedly paid millions of dollars attempting to exert their influence over a plan for the canal system.
“Ricky Gill has claimed time and again to side with the people of San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties. But his willingness to cozy up to the people intent on robbing us of our water, ultimately causing economic ruin for our area farmers and small business owners is deeply disturbing. Once again, Ricky Gill shown that he just doesn’t get it,” said Lauren Smith, spokeswoman for the McNerney campaign. “It’s clear that peripheral canal supporters believe they have an ally and advocate in Ricky Gill and a staunch and vocal opponent in Jerry McNerney.
This is just the latest in a string of questionable associations for Ricky Gill. Earlier this year, it was reported that Gill had a long-standing relationship and took campaign contributions from disgraced lobbyist Harvey Whittemore, with the Contra Costa Times reporting that “Gill has a big Whittemore problem.” [Contra Costa Times, 4/16/12] Whittemore is under federal indictment for grossly violating campaign finance laws, illegally funneling money to various campaigns around the country.
Just last week, it was revealed that Gill is intimately associated with another family under scrutiny, the Davies family. According to reports, Gill scrambled at the last minute to cancel a fundraiser to be hosted by the Davies family, one of whom is under federal indictment for illegally growing marijuana. As it was reported, “…Gill’s association with anyone under federal investigation or indictment is damning, especially given that this is the second instance.” [Contra Costa Times, 7/20/12]
Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) was first inspired to run for office by his son, Michael, who volunteered in the armed services after 9/11. He has served the area for nearly six years, getting to know the people and issues of the region. He is the Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, a post he has used to champion veterans’ issues, bringing back a brand new veterans’ medical facility that is creating 900 local jobs. He authored the bill to help veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and has fought tirelessly to create local jobs, prevent American jobs from being sent overseas, and to restore fiscal responsibility to our government while protecting Medicare and Social Security.