A wealthy venture capitalist and major Obama donor is fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent others from accessing his private Northern California beach, according to Bloomberg News.
Vinod Khosla’s support for Obama has paid off in the form of millions in taxpayer subsidies for green energy companies in which he has invested.
A prominent environmentalist, Khosla nevertheless cherishes his control over a private beach alongside his 56-acre property near San Francisco—which he bought for $32.5 million—Bloomberg reported on Monday.
Khosla, who started his own venture capital firm a decade ago, is fighting a lawsuit brought in state court by the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation, which describes its mission as "the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network."
The group claims that by locking a gate on a beach access road about 33 miles (53 kilometers) south of San Francisco, Khosla is effectively engaged in beach development without the permit required by the California Coastal Act. Surfrider is seeking fines of as much as $15,000 a day since October 2010, or about $20 million to date. […]
"How do you force Mr. Khosla to comply with the law?" Joseph Cotchett, a lawyer for Surfrider, asked the judge. "Somehow, somewhere justice has to rain down on this individual, Mr. Khosla, and go to the Coastal Commission and unlock that gate," he said. Cotchett then invoked U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s plea to Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall. "Take off that lock, Mr. Khosla! If not, you’re going to pay a fine."