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Ex-assemblyman warns of Peripheral Canal bonds

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 2:49 pm in State politics.

State senate candidate and former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg has just sent out an e-mail bulletin to the 1,000 people who signed up at his web site, www.StopTheCanal.Org warning of closed-door Sacramento negotiations over a water bond that could fund a Peripheral Canal.

“As a former state assemblyman, and former chairman of the (Assembly) Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, I have witnessed how public policy gets made, in the late night, out of public sight and scrutiny,” Canciamilla said in his message. “I am concerned that this might happen with the water bond.”

Canciamilla is running for Senate District 7 against Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, who took the seat after Canciamilla termed out. The incumbent senator, Tom Torlakson, will term out in 2008.

Here’s a portion of his email: (all emphasis added by Canciamilla)

“It has been called to my attention TODAY that last minute, CLOSED-DOOR negotiations are now underway at the State Capitol to approve a new $5 billion water bond to be placed on the ballot sometime next year. One version advanced by Senator Don Perata, President pro Tem of the Senate, would prohibit a Delta bypass or a canal. The other version, advanced by the Governor’s administration, contains NO PROHIBITION on Delta transfers, a Delta conveyance, or a peripheral canal.

“IF THE ADMINISTRATION’S VERSION OF THE WATER BOND IS APPROVED IN LATE NIGHT SESSIONS OF THE LEGISLATURE, IT WILL MEAN THAT A MEASURE GOES TO THE BALLOT ALLOWING OUR TAX DOLLARS TO GO TOWARD BUILDING A NEW PERIPHERAL CANAL WHICH WILL LIKELY SEND OUR WATER SOUTH.”

Canciamilla asks residents to email their legislators and voice opposition to the canal.

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