Tal Cloud's latest radio target: Friant Water Users

The Fresno BeeApril 11, 2014 


Lincoln Club's Tal Cloud moderates the debate between Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan and her challenger, former Deputy Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp on April 10, 2014.


Local Republican businessman Tal Cloud's independent political committee is back stirring things up on the radio waves.

Cloud's committee, Common Sense Information, took out radio ads opposing Jeff Denham when he made his initial congressional run in 2010 and Fresno's Measure G residential trash privatization proposal last year. Both campaigns spawned controversy and complaints from the targets.

Now, it's time for water.

Cloud is running radio advertisements to pressure the Friant Water Users Authority and its representative districts to support water legislation introduced by Rep. David Valadao, a Hanford Republican, and supported by the rest of the Valley's congressional delegation.

Part of the bill -- which was touted as emergency drought legislation that would bring more water to the region -- would tweak a restoration agreement for the San Joaquin River that was negotiated to end a long-running lawsuit brought by environmentalists.

Cloud said his ultimate goal is to get all the central San Joaquin Valley water districts to support both Valadao's bill and another introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"Unless we support everything we can't get anything done," he said.

The ad starts with a flushing toilet and has Cloud say "that was the sound of over 600,000 acre feet of water being lost because the Friant Water Authority supported the San Joaquin settlement."

The ad -- which is running in Fresno on KMJ (AM 580) and Power Talk 96.7 FM, as well as on a Bakersfield station -- talks about what Cloud says are needed changes to the restoration agreement.

But Cloud isn't stopping there. He's also trying to run ads in the Los Angeles market targeting the Metropolitan Water District, which also supports the river settlement.

KABC, a Los Angeles radio station, should start running the ads Monday, Cloud said.

Radio station KFI, however, rejected the ads, which Cloud wanted to run in the late-night hours. So Cloud hired an attorney to try and help him force the issue with KFI.

In the meantime, Cloud is continuing to try and raise money to keep the pressure on -- and for legal costs.

Already, he said, the Lower Tule Irrigation District has changed its stance and now supports both the Valadao and Feinstein water bills.

"So (the ads) are having an effect," he said.

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