Friday, February 26, 2010

Dust Bowl Democrats


As you will recall, on February 11th the Dust Bowl Democrats public relations machine touted a new water amendment that would mandate 40% of normal deliveries to our region. Despite the fact that nobody was allowed to read the proposal, valley newspapers, Democrats and farm groups naively rallied to support it.

I have been heavily criticized for suggesting valley residents read and understand the Democrats’ proposal prior to endorsing it— particularly since many of our region’s “leaders” did not do so themselves. For my part, I was not willing to jump onto the Dust Bowl bandwagon for the sake of political expedience, good press or some misguided notion of bi-partisanship.

According to the authors of the plan, we would see action as part of a new jobs package. However, when the Senate passed its jobs bill earlier this week, no California water language was included. Instead, a meeting was held between Obama officials and Congressional Democrats, which resulted in a “promise” of more water. Sound familiar?

This miraculous change of heart on the part of Obama Administration is an acknowledgement that there is water available for valley farmers—even under the draconian Delta smelt biological opinion. This concession is an indictment of the Administration’s 2009 actions that resulted in food lines and economic devastation in communities throughout the San Joaquin valley.

I have been asked, “What does this change mean in real terms?” My answer is that thanks to the hard work of Congressional leaders, the federal government is now poised to provide a 5% water allocation to the San Joaquin Valley. That’s right, 5%. “We have come a long way,” says Senator Feinstein, because Obama Administration officials have promised to search high and low for more water.

San Joaquin Valley residents are again being sold short by Dust Bowl Democrats. This year, we have over 120% of average snowpack and some dams are preparing to spill water that cannot be stored. With these facts, will the Dust Bowl Democrats continue to blame drought as the cause of our problem? Or will they acknowledge that the government, working on behalf of radical environmentalists, caused the crisis? It is time to end San Joaquin valley water shortages. The quickest way to do this is to pass the Turn on the Pumps Act, just like Congress did for New Mexico in 2003.

In closing, I want to point out that I am not alone in my skepticism of the latest Obama Administration promises. One valley Democrat’s reaction was the statement “trust but verify.” Just as Reagan could not accept Soviet arms reduction promises without independent verification of actual disarmament activity, we cannot accept Obama Administration promises that “help is on the way” without proof through their actions.