Jul 12, 2017
Photo Ops with Kamala Harris do AG more harm than good. Wayne explains.
By Wayne Western Jr.
"Is it going to be about the building of dams or is it about looking at other options also, looking at other sources of renewable and sustainable and reliable sources of water?" -Kamala Harris.
This is what Kamala Harris had to say after visiting with a few farmers in the Valley last week. Hopefully, a few that invited and met with her are reading this, and if you have a problem with what I am about to say, feel free to contact me either publicly or privately. It is important that someone try to explain and fix the damage you just caused to the rest of the growers in the Central Valley.
It goes without saying that you obviously wasted your time and money. Admittedly, it is complete speculation, but I think it is safe to assume she didn’t visit for free. First off, you invited and courted one of the very people who seek to destroy agriculture in California. Even worse, you gave her an opportunity to appear in a cooperative role to our industry knowing full well that cooperation will never come. And finally, you gave her supporters, who know probably close to nothing about agriculture, an excuse to set aside any issue having to do with agriculture.
To her supporters, she’s got us covered. And some of her decisions in the future can and probably will be devastating to at least some of your neighbors, other fellow farmers, the businesses who rely on farming, and the employees who work in agriculture. For her, the photo-op satisfies an imaginary concern for an area of the state in which she is a United States Senator. For you, the photo-op affords you a picture on your office wall with a United States Senator. These are the results of her visit, nothing more.
I know your argument. You think it is important to have a seat at the table. You think she listened and heard your concerns, mainly about water and immigration. Maybe she told you she hears you and understands the issues? Maybe she said she will work hard to achieve results that benefit everyone? Maybe she said these things because they are the very same things our other United States Senator has told us for twenty-five years?
Diane Feinstein has been allowing five-minute visits for years-as long as she is handed a check. She says all these things as well, and as Kamala Harris will soon learn, knows how to divert blame to other agencies or even the state. No need to mention water here. Conversations with Feinstein have been the same for years. We still have water problems which will continue after her visit.
Speaking of after her visit…she issued a press release which failed to mention the water crisis even once. And immigration? There is a huge difference between having a concern for employees of agriculture, and having no concern about the security of this country. Learn the difference. Self-serving above all else is not a good look, and no check you ever write will replace their agenda.
Kamala Harris may have listened, but she quickly brushed aside your concern and ideas after your visit. More water to her means many things but it does not mean new dams. It takes absolutely zero critical thinking after this winter to realize the fact that we need more storage. Unless of course, you have no intention of supporting such a thing. Obviously, Kamala Harris has no intention and you can see that in her response.
This week Congressman Valadao’s water bill, H.R. 23, The Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017, which restores water reliability to California communities, will be considered on the House floor. It is expected to pass. Yesterday, both Senators Feinstein and Harris came out against the bill.
Actions do speak louder than words, do they not?