Scrap outdated and racist water-rights system, says Gov. Newsom's former water manager
California water rights are 'based on white colonial settlers stealing from and killing native people for land, water, and gold' says Max Gomberg
Max Gomberg served as a conservation manager for the California State Water Resources Control Board for ten years under Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. Working there, he faced challenges from two historic droughts, climate change, and the pandemic.
Gomberg accuses Gov. Newsom of blocking policies that would promote the reasonable use of water and environmental justice by reallocating “resources to programs that actually increase public health and safety.”
This is the second of two parts from my recent interview with Gomberg. Part 1, “Gavin Newsom’s ‘culture of distrust’” was posted last week.
SoCal Water Wars: What do you think explains Gov. Newsom’s management approach? Is it a personality issue? Is he too close to special interests?
Max Gomberg: Here's what we know about Newsom. Newsom comes out of the San Francisco political dynasty of people like Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Willie Brown. And the San Francisco political dynasty has lots of ties to agriculture, has sort of always been on the payroll, as it were. Newsom’s first business was a wine business.
My guess is that he heard from a lot of people that agriculture is under attack from the environmentalists. And a lot of his big campaign contributions come from people like the Resnicks. Is it that he’s a drinker of the Kool-Aide or that he just knows where the money comes from and believes if he’s appeasing Big-Ag it will help him if he runs for president? It’s all speculation, really.