Prop 18 Champion Received Funds From Benefiting Organization

Chad Outler | August 19, 2010

An article published by the LA Times on Wednesday sheds some light on the controversial $11.1 million water bond measure known as Proposition 18. “Something’s not right about this California water deal,” describes a lawsuit filed by environmental groups over the transfer of a state water storage facility to the Kern Water Bank Authority (KWBA.)

According to research done by Bob Williams in a piece for the Redding Record Searchlight, the Westside Mutual Water Company, which owns controlling interests in the KWBA is owned by Paramount Farming Company. The Paramount Farming Company is owned by Roll International. Roll International is owned by Los Angeles billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick.

On June 15, 2009 California State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg collected $15,600 in campaign contributions from Roll International. Lynda Resnick donated $7,800. Her husband Stewart Resnick, donated an additional $7,800 to the senator. Roll International is Steinberg’s 9th largest contributor from Mar 18, 2006 - Mar 17, 2010. (Total contributions from political parties and from other candidates are not included in's top 10 lists.)

Proposition 18 would have allowed for private ownership of dams built with money from the bond. Although sponsored by Senator Dave Cogdill, the bill to authorize the ballot measure (SBX7 2) was championed by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg throughout 2009, as detailed in an article from the Sacramento Bee posted on his Senate website. In August 2010, the California legislature voted to postpone the measure until 2012.

For further research, see contributions from employees of Roll International to U.S. lawmakers.

Read the details about our data sources and methodology. Contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.