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Central Basin President Apodaca, Directors Vasquez and Roybal Hiring Lobbying Firm Tied to the Calderon Family


 

Central Basin Directors Leticia Vasquez, James Roybal and President Bob Apodaca are hiring a lobbying firm with ties to the Calderon family.

(l-r) Central Basin Directors Leticia Vasquez, James Roybal and President Bob Apodaca are hiring a lobbying firm with ties to the Calderon family.

 

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has exclusively learned that Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) President Bob Apodaca and Directors Leticia Vasquez and James Roybal, at its upcoming April 7 Communications Committee meeting, will authorize CB General Manager Kevin Hunt to hire Nossaman, LLP a lobbying firm with connections to the Calderon family.

Apodaca is the Chair of the committee, Vasquez is a member, with Roybal named as alternate member.

The April 7 committee agenda stated, “that the Board authorizes the Interim General Manager to negotiate and enter into a contract with Nossaman LLP for State Legislative Advocacy Services in the amount of $120,000, plus 10% for district- approved expenses, for a total not-to-exceed amount of $132,000 for a one-year term that will begin on July 1, 2015 and end on June 30, 2016.

Nossaman LLP is a national law firm with 160 attorneys and policy advisors located in seven offices throughout the United States.

Sources have told HMG-CN that the committee did look at two other consulting firms but “for whatever reason chose Nossaman.”

The two other firms making the cut were Townsend Public Affairs in Irvine and Akin Gump “in association with (Keith) Dunn Consulting.”

Akin Gump is presumably Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP based out of Los Angeles. The company is not a registered lobbyist with the California Secretary of State.

Dunn Consulting was recently approved as a registered lobbyist January 1, 2015 after passing the ethics course in November 2014.

The action calendar portion of the committee agenda stated, “after review of the proposals and interviews with the three firms, the panel recommends Nossaman LLP to serve as the District’s state legislative advocates. In their proposal and interview, Nossaman LLP was able to effectively communicate the successes they have had in advocating for their clients.”

Apparently Apodaca, Vasquez and Roybal did not do their homework on Nossaman.


 


 

A simple Google search of Nossaman and Calderon showed several results including a statement on Nossaman’s own website.

 Click here to see page.

The page states, “Nossaman’s California public policy advisors have a strong track record of successfully advocating for clients in the areas of transportation, healthcare, water, environment, and energy….Nossaman advisors are well respected in Sacramento, reflecting the strong legacy of former Senators Dick Ackerman, John Foran, and Charles Calderon, former Assembly Members Jack Knox and Bill Bagley, and California’s longest serving Legislative Counsel, Bion Gregory.

In 2014, KPCC reported that Dick Ackerman, who is a senior member of Nossaman, had been on several MWD rate payer financed trips  with his wife Linda, who is an MWD Board member, and one with Larry Dick, another MWD board member who represented the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC).

Ackerman and his PAC donated to Dick’s water district campaign, and Ackerman and his Nossaman law firm received a contract from the MWDOC.

Current interim CB GM Kevin Hunt was general manager at the Municipal Water District of Orange County from 2004-2013.

HMG-CN contacted CB Director Phil Hawkins who said, “the three (Apodaca, Vasquez, and Roybal) did not tell me anything about the interview, how the three firms were rated, or even how they were picked. Here we go again, for some reason the three are ignoring the lessons from the last time CB dealt with the Calderons.”

CB Director Art Chacon was equally perplexed. “Phil and I did not know about a lobbying contract going out to bid, no one told us. At least the three could have given us the courtesy of knowing and then participating in the process. One firm (Akin Gump) is not even a registered lobbyist, apparently they have an agreement with Dunn Consulting, who just became a registered lobbyist in January of 2015. This contract has already been approved and looks to me like it was set-up from the very beginning.”

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Central Basin President Apodaca, Directors Vasquez and Roybal Hiring Lobbying Firm Tied to the Calderon Family

  1. FLFF

    April 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    If the Caldrons are involved, I smell graft, corruption, and much much more all coming down the road. Buckle up taxpayers I feel more fleecing is in order for the dumb sheep (AKA..naive
    taxpayers). When does the criminal activities stop in that department? Only I guess when ADULTS ( you know conservatives) are FORCIBLY put in place to reform a very bad system.

  2. ScumBusters

    April 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    The Calderon scum has never been fully removed from Central Basin. Isn’t it clear to everyone that this contract was recommended by Joseph Legaspi, Central Basin’s Government Affairs Manager who is also a former chief Calderon flunky. Huh, those Calderon’s are like cockroaches, you just can’t kill them all off.

    Apodaca, Roybal and Vasquez owe the Calderon’s for all their political success. Every dime these guys have raised came from Claderon-controlled sources. And the circus never ends………

  3. JJ

    April 12, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I’m laughing at the fact that with the drought all of a sudden a lot of people are going to start paying attention to water districts throughout the state.

    And if you start turning over these rocks and shining a light, we all know what you will find.

    Central Basin has been a disgrace for years though, and it seems like no one really cares.