The lobbyist who called Watsonville City Council members about a water fluoridation contract before they even knew it was on the agenda for last Tuesday’s City Council meeting was former California Assemblyman Manny Diaz of San Jose, who once employed Mayor Luis Alejo as a legislative aide.

Diaz, who was listed near the top of Alejo’s endorsements listed on his campaign Web site while he was running for City Council, is a consultant for the American Chemistry Council, which represents more than 100 firms nationwide, many with an interest in water fluoridation. Among the ACC’s clients are Phillips Chemical Co. LLC , Eli Lilly and Co., Dow Corning Corp., DuPont and ExxonMobil Chemical Co. According to its Web site, issues the ACC addresses include those relating to the use, manufacture, transportation, health effects, environmental impacts and governmental regulation of hydrofluoric acid, a toxic pollutant that is a byproduct at aluminum plants. It is also one of the most common compounds used to fluoridate water. Diaz also lobbies for the California Dental Association.

Watsonville City Councilman Emilio Martinez said Friday that Diaz called him days before the Jan. 12 City Council meeting, about two weeks before fluoride was posted to the general public as an agenda item.

For the complete article see the 01-30-2010 issue.

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