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Extending a Hand

The people who have put years into the effort to put the Water Bond on the ballot are getting what they always get when they 'extend a hand': it gets chopped off.

Mar 26, 2012


Families Protecting The Valley Newsletter

MARCH 26 2012


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Board of Directors

Denis Prosperi
Chester Andrew
Bob Smittcamp
Russ Waymire
John "Dusty" Giacone
Joe Marchini
Mark Watte
Kole Upton
Piedad Ayala
Tom Barcellos
Jim Walls

Extending a Hand

Some in the California water wars still insist in reaching across the aisle, extending a hand, working with the other side, etc. At Families Protecting the Valley we are in favor of anything that gets results, but working with the other side hasn't really been a constructive exercise in our humble opinion. Others in the California water wars like Congressman Devin Nunes have decided not to work with the other side, but to beat them. The people who have put years into the effort to put the Water Bond on the ballot are getting what they always get when they 'extend a hand': it gets chopped off. This is no suprise to us. Some of us worked with the other side on the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement in 2009 against the wishes of Congressman Nunes only to find that he was right again and we got doublecrossed before the ink was dry on the deal.

By ‘the other side’, we mean those primarily in the environmental community who seem more interested in punishing beneficial users like farmers than helping the environment. When millions of acre-feet are being diverted supposedly for helping a particular species, and it does no good whatsoever, then the water should be made available to beneficial users such as communities, businesses, and farms.

In previous decades, there was a bipartisan effort with Democrats such as Governor Pat Brown and local Democratic Congressman B.F. Sisk who spearheaded responsible water projects that benefited all of society.

Now, it seems most Democrats and even East Coast Republicans simply kowtow to the most outrageous of environmental demands.
Water is a public resource and every user should be required to be responsible, even environmentalists.

Congressman Nunes has pushed H.R. 1837 through the House and says it will be sent to the Senate as many times as they can throughout the course of the year. There are a number of Democrat Senators who look to be in trouble in the upcoming election and might be pursuaded to join forces on this vote. We would hope that all in the farming community would support Mr. Nunes in his effort. Yet, some of the very same people who are in support of the Water Bond did not support H.R. 1837.

Nunes' legislation does not require the building of any dams or the approval of any environmentalists. He beats them with votes. Compromising with these guys is like an exercise in futility. We've learned our lesson. We hope the rest of the farm/water community learns theirs soon.

Senate Leader: Another Delay for Water Bond

San Francisco Chronicle

Don Thompson

State lawmakers are likely to delay voters' consideration of an $11 billion water bond from this November until 2014, the leader of the state Senate said Thursday.

It would be the second time the measure is pushed back. The bond was originally set for voters' consideration in 2010, but former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation delaying it until this year.

"In all likelihood the water bond will be put off `til 2014, that's what I think," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

He said the priority this fall is promoting Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise taxes to help state programs and cut the deficit.

Money from the bond sale would go to cleaning up contaminated groundwater, increasing conservation efforts, improving sewage systems, and researching construction of at least two dams.

However, Brown and Steinberg have worried about the timing and cost of the proposal as the state faces a multibillion deficit and a continued poor economy.

Negotiators still are considering reducing the amount of the bond but leaving it on the November ballot, Steinberg said, but reached no agreement. They also are conducting public opinion research in an attempt to predict if voters would agree to the borrowing.

"It's fluid," he joked.

He previously has said it would be difficult to recreate the 2009 bipartisan compromise crafted by Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and legislators of both political parties. Any deal would need a two-thirds vote in the Legislature, requiring some Republican support, and the two parties have recently found it nearly impossible to agree on major issues.

Republican legislative leaders and spokesmen for Brown and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, were not immediately commenting.

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