Suggestions About Him Inaccurate, Dutton Says

Ted Dutton this week told the Sentinel that recent press reports relating to him with regard to his current involvement with the Cadiz Land Company and as a past contributor to his son’s political campaigns were inaccurate.
Last week, the Sentinel reported that the Needles City Council had declined to endorse the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project, which is a proposal by Cadiz Inc., also known as the Cadiz Land Company, to pump an average of 50,000 acre feet of water out of the aquifer in the east Mojave Desert per year and sell it to five water purveyors serving consumers in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.  Cadiz, Inc. has recruited the Santa Margarita Water District in Orange County to act as the lead agency for the environmental certification of the project and was hoping to get from the city of Needles a letter of support for the project to help offset the opposition raised by local residents and environmentalists to the project.
Dutton said he is no longer involved with Cadiz, Inc. and that it was not true that he was the owner or prime mover in the company.
“I was a stockholder and an employee but was far from being the majority owner,” he said. “I was the vice president of Cadiz, but I am not the VP now. I haven’t had stock in the company for at least thirteen years. I sold my stock when I left there.”
When he was vice president of the company in the 1990s, Dutton had taken a lead role in opposing a proposal by the Santa Fe Railroad and Waste Management, Inc. to locate a massive waste dump at Bolo Station near Cadiz. The Cadiz Land Company had opposed the project because of its potential to contaminate the water source upon which the Cadiz Land Company’s 500-acre citrus, melon, tomato and grape farm relied for irrigation. Dutton said, “I opposed the trash-by-rail plan because both as a citizen and a Cadiz employee, I thought it was wrong.” With regard to the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project, Dutton said, “I think they have a viable project. Unfortunately, the way it is being looked at by others is making it difficult. But I am not personally involved.”
Dutton said he became less active in the company when he began spending more time in Sacramento during his stints as a member of the state’s Fish and Game Commission, a member of the State’s Employment Training Panel, executive offer with the State Allocation Board and the State Office of School Construction.
Dutton also took issue with another report in the March 16 edition of the Sentinel relating to developments in the ongoing political campaign for the GOP nomination in the newly redrawn 31st Congressional District. Ted Dutton’s son, Bob Dutton, currently a state Senator, is vying against incumbent congressman Gary Miller in that race.
The Sentinel article stated that in the past Ted Dutton had “bankrolled much of his son’s political career.” Ted Dutton insisted that was an overstatement.
“If you fully consider the situation, I could not legally give him any more money than anyone else could,” he said. “If you check with the Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces the law that controls how much an individual can contribute to any single politician, you will see that I did not contribute any more to him than I provided to several other politicians or any more than others contributed to him. Yes, I donated to his campaign, just like you would donate to your son if he was running, or any candidate I believed would do a good job. But I did not contribute any more than the maximum allowable amount provided by law. I would have been fined or sanctioned if I had.  I think that while he has been in office, Bob has studied the issues and has done the right thing. I think he is honest. I taught him to be. I think he would be a good congressman. As far as his political situation goes, if you want to write something political, write something about his opponent. How people in San Bernardino County would want a Congressman under FBI investigation, I don’t know.”

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