Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brent Plater's New Friend: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

By now you've probably heard about the report by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) criticizing what they feel was wasteful spending of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:


(there is a link to the full report on the blog)

Scroll down to page 8 of the report, where #5 is titled "Water Pipeline to a Money-Losing Golf Course" ($2.2 million)

"The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently received a recommendation from its parks director to keep the golf course open, but then delayed a vote on the matter after public outcry. Adding to the uncertainty of Sharp Park‘s future is its status as a money-loser for the city; the golf course lost $42,784 in fiscal year 2008-2009. Despite these concerns, the Department of the Interior awarded the North Coast County Water District a $2.2 million grant for the creation of a recycled water pumping station, which will primarily serve the Sharp Park Golf Course."

Interestingly enough, the source of most of this information was compiled from allegations that have proven to be false; information provided by none other than Brent Plater at the CBD/Wild Equity Institute.

So what does Plater do?  He turns around and cites the McCain/Coburn report (which cites his false information!) to claim:

“Sharp Park is not too big to fail, and we all deserve better than a multimillion-dollar bailout of a money-losing, endangered-species-killing golf course."

And of course our pal John Maybury is more than happy to give Plater a forum for his circular nonsense on Pacifica Riptide (John also failed to publish the PROSAC report that refuted all of Plater's factually challenged claims):

Riptide Article Shilling for Plater

So let's see if we can follow the logic here . . . Brent Plater the environmentalist floats some lies that 2 Republican Senators cite to accuse the Obama Administration of wasting the taxpayer money, which Plater is more than happy to cite in his endless campaign to destroy the golf course.

Brent Plater the environmentalist . . . we like the sound of that.  And his new buddy Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) who is . . . an environmentalist?  Not quite.  Here's Coburn's voting record on important environmental issues (source: )

Voted YES on restricting UN funding for population control policies. (Mar 2009)
Voted YES on requiring full Senate debate and vote on cap-and-trade. (Apr 2009)
Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (Jun 2008)
Voted NO on addressing CO2 emissions without considering India & China. (May 2008)
Voted NO on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
Voted NO on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
Voted NO on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
Voted NO on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
Voted NO on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program. (Aug 2009)
Voted YES on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land. (Dec 2007)
Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005)
Allow critical feeding on Conservation Reserves. (Jul 2008)

and just for kicks, some of his other votes we're sure Plater supports:

Voted NO on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court. (Aug 2009)
Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Oct 2007)
Voted NO on $52M for "21st century community learning centers". (Oct 2005)
Voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005)
Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)

Politics does make strange bedfellows, but we think Plater maybe catching his own disease this time around.


Steve Sinai said...

On the other hand, spending many more millions to turn Sharp Park into a frog and snake sanctuary is just fine and dandy.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY, it's a bamboozle of the first magnitude!

Anonymous said...

Smells like our pal Plater stepped into a pile of s__t. Now we have a picture of the two faced beast. He is just a whore who will hop in the sack with anyone to achieve his self promoting agenda.

Anonymous said...

That's just futher proof that Maybury is a flat-out douche bag.

Steve Sinai said...

Can we cool it with the personal insults, please? Or at least try to make them witty.

Butch Larroche said...

My post to Riptide. Will it get posted?

Wow, politics truly makes strange bedfellows. Now Plater is in bed with Coburn & McCain??? Who saw that coming? This whole statement proves once again the Plater will say and do anything to make his case, even if what he says he not accurate.

One would think that Plater would be in favor of using reclaimed water to irrigate any park. I would like to know where he gets his figure of 400,000 gallons of water a day used at Sharp Park. I play there regualarly and rarely see the sprinklers on. This is not to say they never water there but as Sharps is a seaside, links style course, it does not require much water.

Thankfully our climate here in Pacifica is the best source of irrigation for the course with the fog we get most days during the summer turning to wetness and dew on the ground.

And Plater, stop the rallying cry of Sharp Park losing money. Even the Rec Dept is now saying that is not true. Sharp will be in the black for FY 2009 to the tune of over $99,000.

The CBD and PLater's group of the month, Wild Equity are hanging on for dear life here. Heck, even the head snake habitat restoration person in charge, Karen Swaim at Mori Point says Sharp Park should remain a golf course. "According to Swaim, new habitats in that area would become an "attractive nuisance" for the species, drawing colonization away from the GGNRA's ongoing San Francisco Garter Snake restoration project at Mori Point and thusly creating an unsustainable habitat."

And by the way, Mayor Newsome on KNBR this morning stated that Sharp Park will remain a golf course.

Jeffrey W Simons said...


did you read (and would you care to respond to) Ian Butler's column this week? Seems like there is little scientific fact and LOTS of wishful speculation in that article . . .

Anonymous said...

Butch, nice comment.. especially about the fog drizzle in Pacifica being a good irrigation source for the golf course. also, I can't imagine why the other side keeps harping on the National Park idea? Not only is it expensive for tax payers but can you imagine families coming to Pacifica in the peak of vacation season only to be confronted with the 50 degree, wind & fog drizzle weather. Lovely for a picnic,
not to mention the possible disruption and damage to the habitat! Plater must be despirate to draw from McCain's & Coburn's spending report, given their past voting record re environemental issues. I'm sure that the many golf associations will especially want to discuss this issue with Sen. McCain given the hundreds of golf courses in the mostly dry state of Arizona.

Jeffrey W Simons said...


doesn't look like you made the Mayburrito Cut.

Butch Larroche said...

Hey Jeff, I have sent it through Riptide twice. I guess I made too much sense. I am sending to his direct email. I have not read Butlers column yet but I will try to this weekend and send in a LTE.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Thanks Butch. I'm especially interested to hear your take on:

Bob Battalio's assertions that levees increase flood risks and the hazards of artificial pumping;

this excerpt from Peter Baye: "He demonstrated how "all of these lagoons alternate between low levels of salinity and no levels of salinity" and explained why the red-legged frogs typically inhabit the inland shore of the lagoon. Looking at old maps, he showed where they likely were before the golf course. 'Keep that in mind when you read the discussions about what created the habitat there or whether it was a salt pond to begin with.'"

and this gem from Plater: "There have been nine assessments of Sharp Park by nine institutions... all of them concluded that Sharp Park costs more money for the city to operate than it brings in. In fact, the existing general manager, Phil Ginsburg, is predicting for fiscal year 2010 a net loss of $240,000."

mw said...

Ahem. This is a little uncomfortable, but I need to clear my conscience. I think I may be responsible for the Sharp Park irrigation project being on Coburn's list.

Last July, I wrote about this specific issue, and e-mailed every relevant public official I could think of to put a spotlight on it. Among them was Senator Coburn's office, who had just published his first wasteful stimulus project list. The original post here, my Mea Culpa here.

This is real simple and binary. If the SF Supervisors decide to keep the course, there is no waste. Whatever you think of the Obama's stimulus in general, this project is a perfect example of what every stimulus project should be. It creates jobs. It is a shovel ready project to make a sorely needed infrastructure improvements. It saves Hetch Hetchi drinking water. It is a win - win - win project for the community, the economy, and the environment.

But... If the Supes vote to kill the course, it is indeed a complete waste and a "pipeline to nowhere" as Coburn reports.

It is up to the Supes whether it belongs on this list.

Anonymous said...

Hey, MW (Dividist) don't worry. Politics is a bizzare game of half truths & outright lies. Your intentions were good. As the saying goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", only in this instance, this road took an 180 degree turn headed for heaven. When Plater's "news release" was posted on Riptide, it clearly unmasked him for the self promoting, egotistical opportunist that he is. Hopefully, his followers will take a closer look at Mr. Plater, instead of blindly following his every whim. He is a very good orator and can twist anything to sound so believable. As you can see by the many comments on fix Pacifica, Riptide and others, this may be just the event friends of the golf course as well as people concerned with the Sharp Park habitat needed. So, not unlike golfing, when you sometimes make a horrible looking shot and winds up close to the pin and you say to yourself, "boy, this was a good miss". As far as Mr. Plater, I don't see any way for him to spin himself out of this one. Besides, it looks like the course will remain open and the snakes & frogs will get to do their thing and multiply. All good!

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Hopefully, this will definitively destroy any shred of credibility Plater and his supporters have. How long will it take Ian Butler, Carlos Davidson, Ross Mirkarimi, Ken Restivo, et al to distance themselves from the ticking time bomb that is Plater's narcissism?

Rocky said...

Jeffrey Simons said:
"How long will it take Ian Butler, Carlos Davidson, Ross Mirkarimi, Ken Restivo, et al to distance themselves from the ticking time bomb that is Plater's narcissism?


It will take 'til eternity. In my experience the list of individuals you mentioned are extreme environmental ideologues. With them, the end always justifies the means. Therefore, anything, including junk science and mistruths, are acceptable as long as they are utilized to achieve their ultimate objective - "saving the planet". Plater's snakes, frogs, birds, plants, etc. trump humans dogma is what they DO care about and they believe it with every essence of their being. Somehow, these individuals have been indoctrinated into thinking that by inverting the food chain they will achieve their fait accompli. Of course, their entire premise is based upon the very controversial school of thought that mankind is in fact "destroying the planet". (note: this might be an appropriate time to review the George Carlin video posted previously on this site).

I realize that my comments will not sit well with those of you who take comfort in self guilt. But please don't let me stop you from turning any property you own into a habitat for whatever if it makes you feel better.

Jeffrey W Simons said...


Funny how they always ask OTHERS to give away THEIR property for this agenda, but they themselves either own no property or refuse to set an example by donating their own.

mw said...

I see your comment finally made the cut at Riptide. Interesting that no one seems to be flocking to Plater's defense on that post. No positive comments. None, as in zero, nada, zippo. He'll probably read this thread, since his name is in the title. That should stimulate some sock puppet sophistry on that post.

As an aside, when I was crafting that post last July, I tried to get the story into the comments on Riptide several times. I figured if anyone was interested in the pipeline/course conflict, it would be a Pacifica blog - your water - your park (well - not really) lets just say - your back yard.

None of my comments made the cut. I'm sure Maybury was just being protective. I guess he figured you guys just can't handle the truth. Better to hear about it from McCain, Coburn, and Plater six months later.