The Politics of Pollution

Double Cross Chrisman

Mike ‘Double Cross’ Chrisman              Photo by Racano

EarthSourceMedia Reports for October 9th, 2009

The Politics of Pollution  by joey racano


‘Close your eyes and face the ocean. Feel the breeze. Curl your toes into the sand. Breathe in deep. Smell the salt, the history. Feel the wind bite your cheek. Hear the muted cries of the minions of the deep, the fish nations. The imperiled Whales, the leather-skinned sailors- all singing the song of the sea-siren’.

(View slideshow at:)

600  Miles

The ride to San Diego is always worth it, and last Tuesday was no exception. The golden hills of San Luis Obispo gave way to the windy passes of Gaviota, they in turn leading to the perpetual scent of burn in Santa Barbara, the coastal charm of Ventura, through to LAX Jets and the madness of L.A. At the refineries of Carson, a 5-story American flag commands us to introspect, as our soldiers die in far flung lands for the price of a gallon of gasoline and a hunger to be free.

Part of that freedom is the liberty to challenge, against all odds, the powerful, entrenched -and sometimes wildly popular and famous- who would see our precious Mother Ocean as a dump for rich industrial friends and the detritus of society.

The Camp

We arrived in Oceanside a day before the Coastal Commission meeting to find a good place to moor the biodiesel-powered RV, and came to rest ‘neath the waving arms of a California Pepper Tree. I wondered why a tree from Brazil was called Californian, and I also wondered why Governor Schwarzenegger was forcing the Coastal Commission to re-vote on the San Diego sewage waiver. After all, it had only been 54 days since the Commission voted a resounding ‘NO’ by an 8-1 margin. This was a new application by San Diego to keep dumping America’s dirtiest sewage into the ocean at Point Loma, but it was being heard without the 6 months wait required by law. Something just didn’t seem right.

The Meeting

When the meeting started, the con-man Mayor of San Diego sat in the hallway, nervously twiddling his fingers, and in through the door waltzed none other than California Secretary of Resources Mike Chrisman! This was big.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s #2 man and Chair of the Ocean Protection Council, this was indeed a powerful presence looming over a meeting to re-decide the fate of the San Diego sewage-dumping waiver- a waiver being used to flush 200 million gallons a day into the ocean with no secondary treatment. Chrisman shook hands with all the bad guys, and it dawned on me he was up to no good! He joined the Coastal Commission in the back room for a closed-session, and it became abundantly clear that Arnold had sent him to this meeting to tamper with the regulatory process of the State of California, putting our ocean in grave peril!

Getting Active

I started snapping photos of the bad guys left and right, and Secretary Chrisman had angry words as I snapped his photo coming out of the backroom. “What’s that for?” asked Commissioner and Schwarzenegger appointee Steve Kram (who I later photographed throwing a cigarette on the street). I answered, “It’s for my huge e mail list!” with a smile.

San Diego Coast Keeper Bruce ‘sugar ray’ Reznik twice threatened to hit me, catching himself in time to save his own neck. I kept snapping photos of him saying, “Yes, please hit me, please”. His lady Coast Keeper said, “I’ll hit you!”. They were quite shameful- there to support the waiver, and the money they get from the city to ‘study’ alternatives.

Surfrider Foundation Lawyer Marco Gonzales had a wose display- surrounded by cute lady-lawyers, he put two middle fingers arrogantly in the air, expressing his contempt for the health of those who must surf in that water.

The good guys

The poor good-guy Coastal Commissioners could only sit back with blank looks, being forced to ‘vote again’ on an issue they knew was wrong. It was so corrupt, I had to re-name the Resources Secretary ‘Double Cross’ Chrisman!

In the end, even the heroics of Heal the Bay, who sent in Mark Gold himself, couldn’t save the rueful day, and this time the waiver passed, 8-4. A vulgar display of manipulation, and the losers were the surfers, the fishers, and people like me, who believed in Arnold.

Pollution, Epilogue

Mike ‘Double Cross’ Chrisman should resign as Chair of the Ocean Protection Council immediately. As for Arnold Schwarzenegger -who has tried to open our coast to offshore oil drilling, clear cut our forests with a phony cap and trade ruse, and now has tampered with the regulatory system to allow 50 billion gallons of sewage a year to continue being poured into the sea by San Diego’s con-man Mayor Jerry Sanders, -his ‘clean water ocean legacy’ is disgraced.

As for our merry band of ocean activists still intent on stopping that last sewage waiver in California? We’ve just begun to fight!

Joey Racano, Director
Ocean Outfall Group

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Tags: arnold schwarzenegger, ocean protection council, san diego, sewage waiver, mike chrisman, coastal commission, epa, ocean outfall group, joey racano, surfrider foundation, coastkeeper, sierra club, ocean, mlpa, marine reserve, marine life protection act, environment, ecology, california, scripps

2 Responses to “The Politics of Pollution”

  1. Sean says:

    Sewage waivers are a travesty in this day and age. How can we be the moral standard for the rest of the world when we dump untreated raw sewage right into the ocean?
    Please keep on monitoring this situation and thank you for getting involved. To save some money while monitoring the ocean try visiting to save on marine gasoline.

  2. admin says:


    Thanx for your comments. One must be cautious not to call the San Diego sewage ‘raw’ or ‘untreated’. It has received some treatment- just not reaching the minimum required by Clean Water Act standards of thirty five years ago!! Still, the bad guys would have a field day pointing out little things like that- so, the correct way to say it is that the City of San Diego has the last 301h sewage waiver in the state, allowing them to discharge sewage that has received only primary treatment. In other words, only partially treated. Not raw, not untreated- but definitally polluting the sea and definitally getting surfers sick.


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