Slater acknowledges that numerous environmental approvals still would be needed, though he contends that the process could be completed in a year after the project is formally proposed. Considering the opposition the last version generated from local activists and environmentalists, that sounds a teensy bit ambitious.
Arguably, the best thing the project has going for it is Brackpool's ability to attract political friends, as a flame attracts moths. Some say the secret is his British charm, but the record points more to money.
From 1999 through 2005, Brackpool and others associated with Cadiz donated $43,650 to Villaraigosa, who also worked for Cadiz as a "consultant" before becoming mayor. Over the years, Cadiz donated $345,000 to Davis' campaigns.
San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who is quoted in the Cadiz release predicting "an immediate infusion of economic stimulus" thanks to the water project, got a total of $10,000 in campaign contributions from Cadiz in 2007 and 2008. Also quoted admiringly in the release is Rep. Jim Costa (R-Fresno), who has been active on water issues and has received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions from Brackpool and Cadiz associates.