Skip to comments.CA: Invoices of Senator's Son Draw Scrutiny (D - Soto, LA)
Posted on 09/21/2003 7:52:40 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO The son of a state senator billed water agencies and cities thousands of dollars last year for work that included writing speeches, organizing Senate hearings and arranging "photo opportunities" for his lawmaker mother.
Tom Soto, president of the Santa Monica public relations firm PS Enterprises and son of state Sen. Nell Soto (D-Pomona), was hired by two San Bernardino County cities and two water districts in June 2002 after Sen. Soto established a task force to deal with groundwater contamination by the industrial solvent perchlorate. Since 1997, such contamination has forced the closure of 20 drinking water wells in the area.
PS Enterprises was to help the agencies recoup cleanup costs from the companies that spilled perchlorate.
It gets better.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
No pic,, He gets around.
Mr. Soto's participation in the creation of the National Clean Air Act led to some of the world's most innovative regulatory standards-such as the Title V control measure and the Acid Rain provision. He also helped to develop the California Clean Air Act which resulted in strict and effective regional attainment plans for areas like the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).
Tom Soto guided the collaborative process that led to the decision by the nation's largest transit agency-the Los Angeles MTA-to decide to remove diesel-fueled buses from it procurement policy. As a consequence of this decision, a substantial quantity of NOx tonnage has been reduced from L.A.'s air.
Mr. Soto helped to develop legislation supporting the country's first zero and low emission vehicle mandate, and organized support for this legislation from the business, labor, and environmental communities. This gave California its electric and natural gas vehicle programs. The Barlow Foundation conferred its Community Leadership Award on Mr. Soto in 1992 for his work in improving air quality around the country.
He has also become a key player at the corporate level advising executive leaders throughout the water and energy arena. As head of PSE, Mr. Soto led an aggressive effort to develop the Enron Capital and Trade offices in California, helping to initiate and negotiate long-term energy contracts with some of the largest wholesale customers and cities in the state of California. In addition, he has advised a number of water and energy start-up organizations that are seeking innovative approaches to meet the demands of new energy and water policies in the state, and throughout the country.
The son of two of the state's most respected contemporary Mexican-American political leaders, Phil and Nell Soto, Tom Soto has worked to ensure that urban communities are protected from both the ravages of a degraded environment and the economic consequences of insensitive regulatory programs. Toward that end, he has led collaborative processes for low-income areas and communities of color to help them better understand the health benefits of air quality regulations as well as the positive intentions of regulatory agencies; and to receive and convey their concerns and suggestions to the respective agencies. This has increased the support for environmental policies from these populations.
In 1989, Mr. Soto founded PS Enterprises (named for his father, the late Phil Soto), which rapidly grew to become the premier environmental public relations firm in Los Angeles County. PSE worked with the SCAQMD to create more effective outreach programs so as to gain greater community support for local air quality rules. In 1993, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the Clean Air Attainment Plan developed specifically for the City by PS Enterprises.
An effective facilitator and crisis communications manager, Tom Soto is known throughout the country for his ability to build consensus on complex environmental and economic policy issues. In 1994, he and his company led one of the state's most difficult hearing processes for the Comparative Health Risk Assessment Plan. This involved organizing and hosting a series of meetings around the state to receive suggestions from diverse interests on the optimal approach for California to adopt on this issue.
Mr. Soto served on the board of directors of the Coalition for Clean Air for ten years and was the organization's president for nearly half that time. He is also a member of the California EPA Regulatory Review Task Force and worked with California's EPA Secretary to develop more economically sensitive regulatory policies for California-based industries.
In addition, Mr. Soto is a Presidential appointee to the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission/NAFTA, which oversees environmental and economic policies in the free-trade zone between Mexico and the United States. He is Governor Gray Davis' appointee to the State Board of Corrections and the California Coastal Commission. Mr. Soto has extensive experience in media and press relations and has worked on many local and national campaigns as well as with private corporations and public agencies. His broad background and unique perspective make him a popular guest on local and national news programs. He is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times Opinion section.
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