Over the weekend, I made the trek to Anaheim to attend the Board meeting of the California Republican Assembly. I may find the time to blog on the particulars at a later date but this article is not about the meeting per se or the stupid comments posted by other bloggers that didn’t attend the meeting. No this blog is about water.
Over the last few years, many Republicans in elected office have adopted the mantra that the drought in California is manmade disaster. This claim was repeated at the Board meeting several times by Republican Legislators.
While government has mismanaged the usage of water and failed to build more storage since the time Governor Brown’s father was in office, this claim by Republicans is intellectual laziness.
Without rain, storage is only going to get your so far. Yes government could do more but to place all blame on Democrats is dishonest and lazy.
• When Republicans ran the California Legislature, did this issue get addressed and fixed? NO
• When Republicans occupied the Governor’s Office, did this issue get addressed and fixed? NO
• When Republicans have run Congress both House and/or Senate did this get fixed? NO
• When Republicans have occupied the White House did this get fixed? NO
• Is there a comprehensive Republican fix awaiting passage at the State or National level? NO
So the obvious rebuttal to this claim is: “Hey Republicans, what the hell are you waiting for?”
The truth is Republicans have done nothing in decades. For example, the last meaningful action taken on the Auburn Dam was by Assemblyman David Knowles in the 1990’s. Since then I don’t know of any efforts to move the issue. Clearly, Republicans would rather have the issue than see it solved.
Back when Dan Lungren was a big deal in Congress, I tried to talk with him about water; specifically, desalinization so that Southern California could be less dependent on water from the North. He shut me down and wouldn’t even engage me in a conversation. It was just the two of us in a Republican booth in Elk Grove and he wasn’t interested. As far as I can tell, Republicans still aren’t.
Clearly we need more storage but that is not enough. We need a “Manhattan Project” styled effort to make Southern California water self-sufficient. The largest body of water on the planet is on your doorstep, use it. If you want to save Mono Lake, Hetch Hetchy, little fishes and whatever else, then this is the logical way to do it.
Republican rhetoric is not going to solve anything. We need meaningful action. Unfortunately, none is forthcoming on either the State level or the national. Republican control of both the House and Senate has never resulted in a bill being passed.
Republicans are not serious about the issue. If they were, they would get it done and not worry about who got the credit. That is the Reagan way. Reagan had this plaque on his desk for a reason, “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”