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The 54950 Commission, an Imperial Valley watchdog group, charged today (May 15) that the Imperial Irrigation District, negotiating with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) outside public view, effectively surrendered $14 million of reoccurring revenue and got nothing in return as part of the controversial Sunrise Powerlink project planned to bring power from Imperial Valley to San Diego. As a result, SDGE was permitted to bypass the irrigation district balancing authority and power lines. SDGE was permitted to build its own transmission facilities. According to a report by San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre and investigator Kevin Christensen, the water district and the utility first began discussing the alleged giveaway in December of last year. The public never learned of the discussions until the district voted on it months later. This offense is labeled "adverse domination" in the report. This occurs when a public entity is dominated by power players outside the duly constituted board.

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Comments

Visduh May 15, 2012 @ 7:20 p.m.

Let's hope that Mike got it right this time and in a big way. Lately he hasn't been looking so good, and the reasons for that are not clear. It is a certainty that Sunrise was motivated by far more than an altruistic desire on the part of Sempra/SDGE to guarantee a reliable power supply to the local area. So, if the water authority gave all that up for nothing there must be a reason why. Bribes? Political favors? Jobs for family members in the county with the highest unemployment rate in the nation? There must be some explanation more than pure stupidity out in Imperial County.

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Don Bauder May 15, 2012 @ 10:16 p.m.

Oh yes, there must be more than pure stupidity. I hope that comes out. As to Mike Aguirre, I don't know what you mean that he has not been looking good recently. Explicate, please. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 15, 2012 @ 10:18 p.m.

Yes, SDGE would be one explanation for Visduh's observation. Best, Donn Bauder

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nationalpadres May 15, 2012 @ 9:48 p.m.

The opaque 59450 Commission is a small group of wealthy Republican farmers who have spent millions of dollars in legal fees fighting the local Imperial Irrigation District (IID) on water transfer issues. In the past they have used a nonprofit called COLAB and recently a PAC called Imperial First. MIke is being used as a "pitbull" by this wealthy elite group. The Sempra/SDGE is simply a "red herring" to detract from the real issue. In the past years they have spend millions of dollars in legal fees in filing frivilous lawsuits on water rights.. The real issue is owning the water and the public agency (IID) legally owns the water. Mike has sold his soul and all he is doing is litigating against poor, low-income residents of Imperial County who are paying the legal fees for (IID) with costly utility bills.

Don- you need to start digging on these past lawsuits by these wealthy farmers who own luxury houses in Del Mar and La Jolla. Interesting history with a disbarred attorney. Old Mark Twain quote " whisky is for drinking- water is for fighting:

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Don Bauder May 15, 2012 @ 10:21 p.m.

There clearly is much more than the matter addressed in this study. The whole question of whether San Diego is paying too much for Imperial County water is a major one. Best, Don Bauder

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