Restore the Delta Calls Out Phony Astroturf Group

Posted on 30 November 2009

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By Barbara Barrigan-Parilla
Restore the Delta

Restore the Delta (RTD) has called on "Friends of the Delta" a disingenuous Astroturf group (an organization without any real members) based out of a public relations firm in Newport Beach, CA to stop using Restore the Delta materials in information packets it distributes. 
Residents and advocates of the Delta region have a right to know when they're being hoodwinked. The use of RTD material to further a cause that is completely counter to our mission is repugnant and must stop now. With 'Friends of the Delta' like these, who needs enemies?
The so-called "Friends of the Delta" has inserted materials from Restore the Delta in a briefing packet it is distributing in what may be an effort to deceive readers into believing they share a common goal with Restore the Delta and other Delta advocates.
Based on initial investigation, the phony "Friends of the Delta" appears to be headquartered in the offices of the Sheldon Group, a public relations firm representing Southern California water interests and developers interested in seeing a peripheral canal built to divert water from Northern to Southern and Central California.
Fake coalitions are nothing new in water politics. Earlier this year, news accounts exposed the Latino Water Coalition as another "Astroturf" group "formed as a nonprofit and registered by influential Sacramento lobbyist George Soares, whose A-list of about three dozen agricultural clients include the California Rice Commission, the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Associations, the Friant Water Authority, the Nisei Farmers League and The Grape and Tree Fruit League, among others. The group has been billed as the protector of the jobs of Latino farm workers, although labor leader Dolores Huerta and others have denounced it as a front group." 
Restore the Delta is calling on the counterfeit "Friends of the Delta" to cease and desist using RTD material in its propaganda. In addition, RTD calls upon this front-group to reveal their true patrons in the "About Us" section of their website and all collateral material. 
Barbara Barrigan-Parilla is Campaign Director of Restore the Delta, a grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California.