Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed to the state Horse Racing Board a politically connected businessman who once employed the governor's chief of staff.
The company run by Keith Brackpool, 52, of Los Angeles paid Schwarzenegger Chief of Staff Susan Kennedy $120,000 as a consultant in 2005. She advised the firm, Cadiz Inc., on a project to store water from an underground aquifer in the Mojave Desert for use during droughts.
Schwarzenegger, who is negotiating with lawmakers on a water deal that could fund billions of dollars in new projects, endorsed Cadiz's proposal earlier this year, though he has not committed to making it part of an agreement to bolster the state's water supply.
A spokesman for the governor, Aaron McLear, said Brackpool is qualified for the racing board as a longtime thoroughbred owner who was recommended by people in the racing industry. Kennedy approved his appointment, McLear said. The part-time job pays $100 a day for occasional meetings.
-- Michael Rothfeld