SFGate reported billionaire Vinod Khosla claims he owns what was a public road and beach, as well as the tides:
“Martin’s beach is private property, including the sandy beach and the submerged tidelands seaward of the mean high tide,” argued lobbyists hired by Khosla in a letter to state lawmakers. “There are no existing ‘public’ lands to which access is needed.”
Private equity underwriters are happy to make money off the public. Khosla affiliate Gevo Energy happily sold the Air Force jet fuel for $59 a gallon. After enriching himself from citizen taxpayers, some of which live in California, Khosla asserted it's all his.
“It’s preposterous,” said Joe Cotchett, the lead attorney for Surfrider, which is awaiting a decision on a lawsuit claiming that Khosla needed a California Coastal Commission permit before he could close the road or make other improvements.
Gary Redenbacher, who argued the case before Judge Buchwald, said even under Mexican law beaches were public property below the highest tide line.
“The beach itself has always been public,” he wrote in an e-mail. ”Therefore, the claim by the lobbyists that it is a private beach has zero credibility in the law whether part of a Mexican Land Grant or not.”
“This,” Redenbacher said, ” is a blatant attempt by Khosla to abscond with public property.”
It won't be the first time a private equity underwriter (PEU) absconded with public property. It's integral to the PEU model.