Is Lands Commission Negotiating With Ahab Over Martins Beach?

The Lands Commission met behind closed doors to discuss litigation to take back Martins Beach from billionaire Vinod Khosla and emerged with a mix message.  We're moving aggresively towards invoking eminent domain, Lieutenant Gov Gavin Newsom stated, if further negotiations don't work.
 
The problem is Vinod Khosla is about as repentant over Martins Beach as Donald Trump is over the election. Khosla has refused to give an inch since he closed down public access to the beach.  Absent a deadline for action on eminent domain, a vote at the next meeting, negotiating with Kholsa is like negotiating with Captain Ahab to stop whaling.
 
Khosla's attorney was even overhead, off the record, telling a reporter that his boss would take the commission to court if negotiations didn't work out.
 
Still, there was cautious optimism from Pete McCloskey (pictured with Surfriders and State Senator Jerry Hill at today's Lands Commission hearing in Sacramento).  McCloskey, an octogenarian former Congressman and purple heart winner, who returned recently from Standing Rock, said, "Because this is the first time to condemn, they want to be very, very careful about the steps leading to condemnation.  I take hope there is incredible public pressure and that they have become part of the national issue of billionaires vs the people." 
 
Surfriders at today's meeting spotted California Strategies partner Rusty Areias, who represents Khosla, staring down Newsom, whose consultant Jason Kinney is a partner with Areias.   Ironically, Areias means "Sand" in Portugese.
 
Consumer Watchdog had mentioned the California Strategies connection in a letter to the Lands Commission last week. Newsom availed himself as well today as a cautious politician facing both a reelection and a billionaire could.  
 
Time will tell but the state did not throw the towel in at Martins Beach today, nor was the showdown at high noon set. That's what needs to come next if Khosla doesn't blink.  The clock is running.  The Commission needs to load its gun. We'll see if the gun control advocate in the Lieutenant Governor can pull the trigger if it becomes necessary.

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