Lobbying the coast

The Coastal Commission's firing of its executive director means it's time for some serious changes

The true reason for Dr. Charles Lester’s dismissal in December 2015 (not Feb. 10, 2016, more later) as executive director of the California Coastal Commission is that he performed his duties too conscientiously. His job entailed preservation of the coast and he performed it superbly. However, this is not what mega-buck developers and their sympathizers on the commission wanted; he had to be eliminated.

Pedro Nava, a past member of the Coastal Commission stated, “I think what has developed over time is a culture of cozy”—lobbyists representing some of the richest people and corporations are too close to some commissioners. Sara Wan, also a former commissioner, put it this way, “By and large the commissioners are working with and listening to people who are professionals [lobbyists] and are paid to travel up and down the state [to attend commission meetings], and the public is at a huge disadvantage.”