DiFi Quenches Billionaire's "Science" Thirst

Stewart Resnick gets a little help from his Aspen neighbor

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Dec 31, 2009  |  Updated 2:28 PM PDT
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DiFi Quenches Billionaire's "Science" Thirst

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It pays to pay a senator and her party, at least for a wealthy agribusiness billionaire.

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Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick wants more water for his beloved trees, but all of the Federally-commissioned science so far prefers it stays in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta rather than be pumped south to his 118,000 acres of San Joaquin Valley orchards.

So like any concerned citizen, he sent a letter to his representative in Washington, Senator Dianne Feinstein. Unlike most concerned citizens who send letters, his was then affixed to a request by Feinstein for the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of the Interior to have a private, third-party, third review of said science.

In the name of "due diligence," naturally.

How might Resnick have earned such willing service from California's senior senator? Might have something to do with the thousands in campaign donations and parties in Beverly Hills and Aspen he's thrown for Feinstein and friends like Arianna Huffington.

Resnick, who's made a mint on everything from home security devices to pomegranate juice, already sells water back to the state thanks to a public-private partnership that gave his agriculture business, Paramount Farms, a 48 percent stake in a water storage system in Kern County, where Paramount's operations are centered.

Fights over water in the state have heated up after a number of years of drought, with voters being asked to approve an $11 billion bond to update water-transport infrastructure and many Central Valley farms lying fallow leaving agriculture jobs scarce.

Jackson West imagines Resnick and Feinstein are sleepless with concern for the plight of unemployed migrant laborers and Hollywood starlets who might wither away, malnourished, without anti-oxidant rich bottled juices.

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