Next new post on Friday, July 9.
Jerry McNerney is an incumbent in a “throw the bums out” year. His district has zero registration advantage for him as a Democrat, and the NRCC has got him their his sights. But even against gales of hurricane born tar balls, he clings to hope.
Central Valley Callout has obtained the results of a mid-June, third party survey of CD 11 showing McNerney barely leading against David Harmer:
IF THE GENERAL ELECTION FOR CONGRESS WERE HELD TODAY, FOR WHOM WOULD YOU VOTE?
Republicans are not only in the fight, they’re on a path to victory. They are motivated and eager to send a vote for the Obama agenda out of office. The survey indicates the district is headed for big change:
IF YOUR CHOICES FOR GOVERNOR ARE MEG WHITMAN OR JERRY BROWN, FOR WHOM DO YOU INTEND TO VOTE?
Voters think they know Jerry Brown, and they’re already tired of him before he even begins campaigning in earnest. This is going to directly carry over to the Congressional race: no matter how much McNerney tries to stay out of the public eye, he’ll be tagged with both Brown and Obama.
The Democratic attack machine is going to have to do a lot better than their lame June 9 press release, David Harmer: A Shining Example of Bailout Hypocrisy. This grotesque distortion of Harmer’s work history reveals the disgusting, dishonorable depths to which the Democrats will descend in this election fight. Make no doubt about it, “lawyer” is a better ballot designation than “incumbent.”
District Republicans need to pull together and get McNerney out of office. And yes, it’s more than possible.
from News10 ABC.
The United Farm Workers’ Union has launched a campaign offering to train citizens and legal residents to, in effect, "Take our Jobs," as the campaign is called.
To that end, the union has set up a website where those interested can submit applications. The real reason behind the campaign, however, is to put a spotlight on problems with the nation’s immigration policies, as traditionally, farm labor jobs are not jobs American job seekers want.
In fact, said Bryan Little, the California Farm Bureau’s Director of Labor Affairs, attempts by farmers in the past to recruit the unemployed for agricultural work have not been successful.
"Very often," Little said, "those workers don’t have the right skill set, they’re not used to doing agricultural work, maybe they don’t even have transportation to get out to the farm and be able to do that sort of thing. So, as a result, typically, most of them don’t last very long."
Job seekers at the Employment Development Department on Broadway though said they would be quite willing to give it a try.
"Well, sure, I’d consider it for the simple fact a job is a job," said Keith Gales. "Standing here at the unemployment line, I’d gladly do it. I really would."
"Times are hard right now. We’re going through a recession. I myself have been out of work for a year and a half and if I’m able to make it back and forth to work each day, I wouldn’t mind doing farm work," said Brian Williams.
According to UFW President Arturo Rodriguez speaking in a teleconference call on Thursday, more than 50 percent of farm workers do not have legal authorization to be in the U.S.
"If we were to deport all undocumented farm workers, it would mean the collapse of the agriculture industry as we know it today," Rodriguez said.
Both the UFW and the California Farm Bureau are supporting an ag jobs bill now in the U.S. Senate. The campaign, said farm bureau officials, may help.
"Their approach is interesting because we think it helps make the point that we agree with: that we need to pass ag jobs (legislation) and we need to create a guest worker program that can get workers in and out of the country efficiently and legally," said Little.
(The suspend AB 32 initiative will be on the November ballot. Nothing is more important to the economic growth of the recession ravaged Central Valley than passage of this initiative.)
You’ve probably heard of cargo cults. Wikipedia has a good definition:
A cargo cult is a type of religious practice that may appear in traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults are focused on obtaining the material wealth (the “cargo”) of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices, believing that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors….
Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when large amounts of manpower and materials were brought in by the Japanese and American combatants, and this was observed by the residents of these regions. When the war ended, the military bases were closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behavior that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.
This explains the continued support by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a majority of state legislators for AB32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.” AB32 mandates cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by year 2020. The reason, as the title indicates, is to reduce man-made global warming.
But Schwarzenegger, Al Gore and others want to believe that humans — we little specs on the planet — supposedly caused a great calamity of “global warming,” and that adopting green economies and technologies will make everything better. This is the Cargo Cult aspect of the global warming religion. Schwarzenegger is shown in the picture at right signing AB32, the Cargo Cult Incantation Document.
These folks see that things are produced in by an advanced technological civilization, but think that the production comes from enacting multiple controlling laws on industry, instead of by hard work and free markets.
Just as the primitive tribes believed that, by constructing a wooden cargo plane, the cargo would magically appear, the modern Cargo Culters believe that by enacting even more laws — such as AB32 — the goods we enjoy in modern industrial society will continue to appear. Just listen to the incantatory wording of the text of AB32:
By exercising a global leadership role, California will also position its economy, technology centers, financial institutions, and businesses to benefit from national and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
They’re like Cargo Culters chanting for the straw planes they built to zoom up into the air and bring the bounties of civilization. But nothing ever comes.
Global warming is not only a cargo-cult superstition, but the biggest scientific hoax ever, making Piltdown Man look like the Pythagorean Theorem. Especially since the Climategate scandal broke last fall, showing that the “climate change” data had been rigged from the get go. Although at least Piltdown Man never cost millions of jobs.
This week, even one of the main global warming boosters has recanted:
Untold billions of pounds have been spent on turning the world green and also on financing the dubious trade in carbon credits.
Countless gallons of aviation fuel have been consumed carrying experts, lobbyists and politicians to apocalyptic conferences on global warming.
Every government on Earth has changed its policy, hundreds of academic institutions, entire school curricula and the priorities of broadcasters and newspapers all over the world have been altered – all to serve the new doctrine that man is overheating the planet and must undertake heroic and costly changes to save the world from drowning as the icecaps melt.
You might have thought that all this was based upon well-founded, highly competent research and that those involved had good reason for their blazing, hot-eyed certainty and their fierce intolerance of dissent.
But, thanks to the row over leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit, we now learn that this body’s director, Phil Jones, works in a disorganized fashion amid chaos and mess.
Interviewed by the highly sympathetic BBC, which still insists on describing the leaked emails as ‘stolen’, Professor Jones has conceded that he ‘did not do a thorough job’ of keeping track of his own records.
His colleagues recall that his office was ‘often surrounded by jumbled piles of papers’.
Even more strikingly, he also sounds much less ebullient about the basic theory, admitting that there is little difference between global warming rates in the Nineties and in two previous periods since 1860 and accepting that from 1995 to now there has been no statistically significant warming.
He also leaves open the possibility, long resisted by climate change activists, that the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ from 800 to 1300 AD, and thought by many experts to be warmer than the present period, could have encompassed the entire globe.
This is an amazing retreat, since if it was both global and warmer, the green movement’s argument that our current position is ‘unprecedented’ would collapse.
Medieval Warm period
Of course, any person with even a passing knowledge of high school history knows that Icelanders and Norwegians colonized Greenland about 1,000 years ago back when it was a lot warmer that it was today. That’s the “medieval Warm Period” mentioned in the article. Then it got colder and the colonists left.
This 59-second YouTube also shows how, over the past half million years, the earth has been much cooler than it has been in recent millennia, and that a new ice age is something almost certain to happen:
By JOHN SEILER at CalWatchDog, June 21, 2010
(The Central Valley is bearing the brunt of the current recession (over NOT), will Bay Area politicos Jerry or Meg really care if we move to round two?)
Here’s something Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown should be debating.
As the California budget is haggled over by the governor, Legislature and the powerful government unions, one thing everyone assumes is that the California economy will gradually improve. That it will keep lifting its head out from the mire of the 2007-09 recession. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Revise of his fiscal 2010-11 budget proposal observes that “there continue to be signs the economy is slowly improving.” And:
The national and California economies improved between the Governor’s [January] Budget and the May Revision. … In fact, the good signs are coming at an increasing rate, especially in the national economy….
Based on better than expected indicators that have been released since the Governor’s Budget forecast, most notably GDP growth in the final quarter of 2009 that was much stronger than anticipated, the outlook for the national and state economies is more positive, but remains cautious.
But the proposal does caution that, “Despite these positive developments, the recovery remains fragile.”
However, what if even these cautious statements are not cautious enough? When working on a budget, a prudent family or business takes into account the possibility of economic calamity. Such a family or business saves a decent amount of money in a “rainy day” fund. And even in modestly bad times, it sharply cuts expenditures well below income to insure that debt is not accrued that will severely damage, or even bankrupt, the family or business.
In recent decades, California has never taken such precautions. Even when times were good and the tax money was rolling in, as during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s or the real estate-boom of the mid-2000s, instead of saving some money for use during a recession, virtually all the surplus tax money collected was spent on increasing the budgets of state agencies and pension spiking. No “rainy day” fund ever was funded.
Because there will be no cushion should the second half of a “double dip” recession hit within the next year or too, it’s worth contemplating what will happen.
Recession Part Two in 2011?
Some of our best economists are warning that 2011 well could bring a renewed recession. Even if they are proved wrong – as everyone hopes will be the case – prudent budget crafting should take into account their warnings.
Because most of President Bush’s 2003 tax cuts expire in 2011, economist Arthur Laffer is forecasting a major recession. Laffer is the head of Laffer Associates. Formerly located in San Diego, it recently relocated to Nashville, Tenn., to escape California’s high taxes. In particular, the 10.55 top California income tax rate compares badly with Tennessee’s 0 percent. Laffer helped craft Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax cut measure in California, and President Reagan’s tax cuts – both of which formed the foundation of 30 years of California prosperity.
In the June 6 Wall Street Journal, Laffer wrote:
On or about Jan. 1, 2011, federal, state and local tax rates are scheduled to rise quite sharply. President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire on that date, meaning that the highest federal personal income tax rate will go 39.6% from 35%, the highest federal dividend tax rate pops up to 39.6% from 15%, the capital gains tax rate to 20% from 15%, and the estate tax rate to 55% from zero. Lots and lots of other changes will also occur as a result of the sunset provision in the Bush tax cuts.
But hasn’t the economy been growing since the middle of 2009, when the recession ended? Yes. But the reason is that taxpayers, anticipating getting hit with the 2011 tax increases, are squeezing as much economic growth and profit into the months before then.
Here’s the scary part. Laffer explained:
Now, if people know tax rates will be higher next year than they are this year, what will those people do this year? They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.
In a discussion with me, Laffer also used an analogy to a sale, which I’ll adopt for our purposes. Suppose a store offers a 25 percent-off sale for the July 4 weekend, which is coming up. Predictably, sales and profits will rise that weekend. But the day after the sale ends, sales and profits will be lower than usual.
For a government, lower income by businesses and citizens means a recession. And it means a lower tax base, leading to fewer taxes collected – and a bigger state budget deficit.
California tax cuts
It’s true that Gov. Schwarzenegger’s record $13 billion in tax increases of 2009 expires next year – assuming he and the Legislature don’t extend the tax increases another year to close this year’s $19 billion budget deficit.
But even assuming the tax reductions go into effect in California, they won’t be big enough to discourage people and businesses from leaving for tax havens such as Texas. Consider:
In 2011, the top federal income tax rate will zooms from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. For a Californian in the top tax bracket, that means tax rates of:
In 2010: 45.55 percent (35 percent federal plus 10.55 percent state) – current marginal tax rate.
In 2011: 49.9 percent (39.6 percent federal plus 10.3 percent state) – marginal tax rate next year, in 2011, a 4.45 percentage-point increase.
In 2011 – moving out of California: 39.6 percent (39.6 percent federal plus 0 percent state) – marginal tax rate if you move to Washington, Texas, or some other state with no state income tax. That’s a 5.95 percentage-point overall tax cut, even after the federal tax increase.
The meaning for California
In my call to Dr. Laffer, I asked him about how the federal tax increases directly would affect California. “California is a part of the United States, and will be affected directly as a consequence,” he told me. “The higher tax rates will make California more vulnerable than most other states – although not all of them.”
As I noted in a previous CalWatchDog.com piece, a study Laffer conducted with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) included California in the category “States That Do Everything Wrong.” Other states in that category were New York, Michigan and New Jersey. Since then, rookie New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been cutting budget waste and taxes. So perhaps it will drop out of that dismal group.
“People don’t work to pay taxes,” Laffer continued. “They work for what they take home after paying taxes. States with the highest tax rates will be the most disadvantaged. California is right at the top of that pile. States with the most debt will be especially burdened.”
For his ALEC study, Laffer came up with the “Moving Van Effect,” gauging how many people were moving out of one state to another state. California saw 1.4 million leaving the state between 1999 and 2008, second worst after New York’s 1.7 million leaving.
Laffer said he expects California to maintain a high Moving Van Effect. “California economy is not where anyone wants to be if they care about economics.”
Still a great place…
I got more perspective from David Zetland, Wantrup Fellow in Natural Resource Economics and Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley, and editor of the Aguanomics.com Web site on water policy. “As goes the nation, so goes California,” he told me of what would happen if the economy tanks in 2011. “Besides the obvious (lower tax revenues, higher unemployment), there will also be an Uh-oh effect – people will really dig in and cut back on spending, to make sure that they do not end up on the streets.”
As to whether a renewed recession would encourage more jobs to leave California, he replied, “Yes and no. Maybe the government will realize that reform is necessary. If there’s no change, then existing ‘hanging on’ businesses may call it quits or leave the state.”
As to how big the state budget deficit might get in another recession, he said it was difficult to speculate. But it could get “bigger, and maybe much bigger. Falling income taxes and rising expenses are an ugly pair. If you need a number, try $25 billion.”
He also doesn’t think a new recession would be a spur to more Californians leaving. The question, he said, is: “Will there be more jobs elsewhere, i.e., will other states
recover faster? If not, and housing prices drop again, then they will either be trapped in houses (underwater) or able to afford cheaper houses. Moving is financially and emotionally costly, so people will not leave unless things are obviously better elsewhere. And others will fill their places. California is still a great place, government aside.”
from the editorial board of the Orange County Register
Unemployment in California has remained stuck well above 12 percent all year, compared with the 9.7 percent national rate in May. The national and California economic recoveries are weak, with especially slow job growth, as shown by both the June 3 Chapman University and the June 15 UCLA economic forecasts.
So, what is the Legislature doing? Working, perhaps, on the fiscal 2010-11 budget that was due June 15? Nope. They’re crafting jobs-killer bills. As the saying has it, no rest for the wicked. Some of the worst bills.
Assembly Bill 482 by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Norwalk.
In its language, the "bill would prohibit an employer, with the exception of certain financial institutions, from obtaining a consumer credit report for employment purposes unless the information is substantially job-related," etc. Exceptions would be made for management, law enforcement and as required by law. The concern is that, especially with so many defaults during the recession and housing crash, worthy people with bad credit ratings could be kept from decent jobs. It passed in the Assembly and was scheduled to be heard June 29 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This is just more micromanagement of business, giving companies another reason to leave the state. And if the government still would be allowed to use credit checks for law enforcement, why not companies with mission-critical jobs? If, say, a company’s hot-shot computer programmer has a record of flaking out on mortgages and moving around the country, why shouldn’t that be a consideration on whether to hire him?
Senate Bill 810 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.
It imposes a huge new state bureaucracy, the California Healthcare System, which the bill says would be "a single-payer health care system that will provide coverage for which all 37 million Californians would be eligible." It passed the Senate and was scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on June 29.
The Obamacare legislation still is only a few months old and mostly won’t be implemented until 2014. It’s supposed to guarantee coverage for all Americans. At 2,400 pages, nobody knows what it actually will do or cost. Any major change by California, such as SB810, would only compound the confusion. We also oppose both so-called "reforms" because they set up vast new bureaucracies that, as critics say, will have the efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service and the bedside manner of the DMV.
AB 846 by Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Newark.
In the bill’s wording, it "requires" state agencies involved in enforcing "environmental, health, and workplace safety laws" on businesses yearly to increase fines to take inflation into account. It also requires that the fines be raised "at a minimum" to a level that "recovers any economic benefits derived by the violator." The agencies would determine what the "economic benefits" are. The bill was to be heard this week in the Senate’s committee on government organization.
The bill would give state agencies vast new bureaucratic controls over businesses. Even minor violations of the state’s labyrinthine business regulations could lead to massive fines to "recover any economic benefits," etc. This bill is so onerous it should include plane tickets to Texas, which is where the businesses will locate.
AB 2492 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco
This is a direct assault on the Proposition 13, which currently limits property taxes to 1 percent of full cash value at the time of purchase, plus increases of no more than 2 percent per year. When a company owns property, if the company is taken over or merges, currently that is not considered a sale of property. This bill would change that to create a "change-of-ownership" reassessment of the property if, within three years, 100 percent of the property interest changes from "among other things, a merger, acquisition, private-equity buyout, or transfer of partnership shares in a business." The bill was pending before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Prop. 13 is the most popular initiative in California history because it gives predictability to property taxes evaluations. It also gives equal valuations, and tax levies, on residential and business property, thus not favoring one over the other. If businesses are taxed more, zoning laws will favor them to get government the higher tax revenue, thus squeezing out new housing and making the state housing shortage even worse. Finally, cracking part of Prop. 13 could lead to an eventual assault on the whole measure, threatening residential owners. And higher taxes would mean businesses would have less money to create jobs.
We urge the Legislature to oppose all these jobs-killer bills. If it passes any of them – and there are many more than we can list – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should veto them. High unemployment should not be made higher.
Laurel Brubaker Calkins & Margaret Cronin Fisk at Bloomberg.com
Jun 22, 2010
A New Orleans federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Drilling services shares jumped on the news.
Obama temporarily halted all drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on May 27 to give a presidential commission time to study improvements in the safety of offshore operations. More than a dozen Louisiana offshore service and supply companies sued U.S. regulators to lift the ban. The U.S. said it will appeal the decision.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman today granted a preliminary injunction, halting the moratorium. He also “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the ban. Government lawyers told Feldman the ban was based on findings in a U.S. report following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April.
“The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium,” Feldman said in his 22-page decision. “The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.”
“The court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must ‘cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in a given manner,’” Feldman said, citing a previous ruling. “It has not done so.”
Feldman in a separate order today “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the drilling moratorium, finding the offshore companies would otherwise incur “irreparable harm.”
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that “continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened does not make any sense.”
The U.S. will ask Feldman to stay his ruling pending an appeal, Justice Department attorney Michael Thorp said today at a court hearing in a separate lawsuit challenging the ban. The government didn’t indicate how soon it will request a stay.
If Feldman denies the request to halt enforcement of his order, the U.S. could file an emergency application to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to stay enforcement, said Anthony Sabino, a law professor at St. John’s University.
The appeals court isn’t likely to reinstate the moratorium, said Sabino, an expert in complex federal litigation.
The U.S. argued that the moratorium was necessary to assure public safety.
“We need to make sure deepwater drilling is as safe as we thought it was the day before this incident,” Brian Collins, a lawyer for the government, told Feldman in a court hearing June 21. “It is crucial to take the time because to fail to do so would be to gamble with the long-term future of this region.”
“An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in the country,” Feldman said.
Realistically, not a lot has changed, said Jud Bailey, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Houston.
“It’s a small victory for the industry, but clearly the administration has dug in its heels and is going to try to keep this moratorium, come hell or high water,” Bailey said today in a telephone interview. “Investors, as it relates to the drillers, are for the most part staying away. There’s too much uncertainty, too much headline risk.”
Bailey said he doesn’t think many operators would run out and immediately try to resume operations. “You run the risk of this getting overturned by the appellate court,” he said.
Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2010
Late spring storms smothered the Sierra in snow. The state’s biggest reservoir is nearly full. Precipitation across much of California has been above average. By standard measures, California’s three-year drought is over.
Sierra snowpack 143 percent of normal, June, 2010
"From a hydrologic standpoint, for most of California, it is gone," said state hydrologist Maury Roos, who has monitored the ups and downs of the state’s water for 50 years.
But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t lifting his drought declaration. Los Angeles isn’t ending its watering restrictions and Southern California’s major water wholesaler isn’t reversing delivery cuts. Despite months of rain and snow and rising levels in the state’s major reservoirs, water managers aren’t ready to celebrate or make the drought’s end official. Caution, politics and a changing water landscape are all at play.
"The concern is, if we return to a dry year next year we’re in trouble" said Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), one of the Legislature’s water policy experts. "But you also have to wonder if the drought isn’t also a convenient political tool sometimes — especially in an election year."
The Colorado River Basin, a significant water source for the Southland, remains stuck in a long-term drought. Environmental restrictions on pumping water from Northern California will continue to reduce exports to the south. Both are cause for caution.
On the political side, an expensive water bond made its way onto the November ballot with the help of images of shrinking reservoirs and parched fields in the Central Valley.
Data from the state Department of Water Resources paint a vastly improved water picture. As of May 31, statewide precipitation was at 115% of average, reservoir storage was at 95% and runoff at 80%.
Lake Oroville, the biggest reservoir in the State Water Project system, has risen 14 feet this month and water levels are still climbing. Shasta Lake, the giant of California reservoirs, is nearly full. Roos expects June runoff to be above average, boosted by snowmelt from storms that kept fattening the Sierra snowpack well into spring.
Lake Oroville, March 2009
All in all, Roos said, this is turning out to be the best water year since 2006, before the drought began. "It looks pretty good to me," he said.
But not everything is back to normal. While most farmers in the Central Valley will get their full federal water allotment this year, the hard-hit west side of the San Joaquin Valley is still facing cuts, as are irrigation districts in the state’s northeast corner.
The state project that sends water to the Southland has ramped up deliveries from initial projections, but they will remain well below normal. State officials say that is due to strict pumping curbs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to protect salmon and smelt populations, and because Oroville has been slower to refill than some other reservoirs.
Water managers warn that even if the drought is over, the days of carefree water use in California are gone forever.
"We’re trying to prepare the consumer for the fact that this isn’t just a short-term thing — if it’s wet or dry. This may be every year," said Debra Man, assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which sells imported water to Los Angeles and other Southland cities. "We’re facing more than just weather."
After jumping for much of the past decade, the MWD’s imports of Northern California water fell in recent years, not only because of the drought, but because fish protections are restricting pumping from the delta.
The Colorado River Basin, MWD’s other big supplier, is in the grip of a stubborn, long-term drought. And a complicated legal agreement struck earlier this decade calls for California to limit its use of the river to the state’s historic allotment, an amount that has been exceeded regularly in the past.
All that has diminished MWD’s supplies, draining its regional water reserves by half — too much, Man said, for the agency to end the rationing it imposed last year.
In the Bay Area, however, several districts dropped their drought restrictions as conditions improved. Los Angeles is not ready to do the same, even though the city will get slightly more water than usual from the Eastern Sierra this year.
"Things have improved. I’m happy that they have," said James McDaniel, a senior assistant general manager in the L.A. Department of Water and Power. But "we’re still quite concerned about another dry year coming up. We could be in a real bad situation."
Citing the same supply pressures as Man, McDaniel said he has stopped talking about drought and instead refers to "a chronic water-supply shortage. … I don’t know that it will ever be the same as it was before."
From the start, the drought took on political dimensions. When Schwarzenegger announced his June 2008 drought proclamation, he included a plug for a massive bond to fund new water infrastructure.
When lawmakers last year approved the $11-billion bond package and placed it on this November’s ballot, they invoked the drought.
When farm interests staged angry rallies protesting irrigation cutbacks last summer, they stood next to withered fields. When Central Valley politicians attacked the Endangered Species Act, they complained that the act’s pumping limits and the drought were wrecking the valley’s economy and causing massive job losses (a claim that was not supported by farm labor statistics).
"This was a real drought. There’s no doubt about that," said Huffman, the Assemblyman. "It caused real impacts. At the same time, I would agree the politics were extreme, especially last year and especially in the San Joaquin Valley. I think some folks saw an opportunity."
Deputy Press Secretary Jeff Macedo said the governor has no plans to declare the drought over. "We haven’t gotten to that point yet."
"After three years of drought, these communities in the Central Valley have been affected greatly. They still are feeling those effects," he added. "This isn’t a political issue. This is part of the governor reacting to a natural disaster."
Eric Hogue at Hogue News
June 17 2010
Sacramento City Council has drawn the ire of a wide majority of residence in the Capitol City and many of them are preparing for some extreme action against council members.
I’ve been inundated with Sacramento citizens wanting action surrounding city council’s decision to sanction the State of Arizona over their recently passed immigration legislation.
As a local talk host who cannot vote for city council, I believe it is my duty to provide a conduit of action for the citizens, taxpayers and business owners who are asking for voice.
So I have personally paid for and commissioned the creation of Recall Sacramento.
Recall Sacramento is a constant website site that continually collects speech – with the possibility of immediate consequence – for district residents to carry out the will of the voters of Sacramento against each elected leader.
Individual citizens can visit the site, offer their specific (council district) citizen information to be securely stored within Recall Sacramento for an immediate action of the ‘intent to recall’ any member, or all membership, of Sacramento’s City Council.
When council members know that 5,000 or more qualified signatures are already on file in the event of a sincere citizen’s desire to hold each member accountable, the citizens will have the leverage they have needed for quite some time. No more seeding the city council gallery for resolutions.
With the possibility of a legitimate measure of recall accountability continually at the ready, many believe the members’ behavior will be prodded for responsible performance.
Economically boycotting Arizona over an issue of legislative jurisprudence is a violation of state’s rights, interstate commerce and citizenry loyalty.
It’s always America first; our courts will determine Arizona’s efforts, and our elected Federal Government must deliver legal, strict Constitutional immigration reform … not individual city councils across California.
Targeting business is just wrong-headed thinking, plain and simple. As a conservative talk show host protecting future private sector jobs in Sacramento from rogue ideology, burdensome government regulations and sophomoric, self-serving political gamesmanship is a key principle.
To the workers, families and residents of the Capitol City – this is your website, your political equalizer.
City council members will now think twice before considering ridiculous legislation, ignorant resolutions and myopic political agendas from behind the dais, knowing there are thousands of registered, legal and easily approved signatures prepared to go to the ballot at a moment’s notice.
To our political leaders; take care of business, stay within your office’s responsibility and represent the voters who have elected you for the job … if you waver … Recall Sacramento affords citizens the opportunity to chart a new course immediately.
Please pass Recall Sacramento’s address and encourage Sacramento residence to add their names inside of their appropriate council districts today. And prepare for a few of these council members to face an immediate recall over their decision to punish the business based private sector for their personal political grandstanding.
David Harmer won the opportunity to face Democrat Jerry McNerney in November. It’s going to be a rough and tumble contest. Neither party has a registration advantage, both at 30%, the rest are third party, decline to state, or independents.
Cook report lists the district at R+1, Lean D. Certainly not a cake walk for an incumbent Democrat, but not a perfect set up for a candidate as flawed a Harmer (his ballot designation as LAWYER reeks). Republicans are going to have to really work to get Harmer over the line.
So far, none of the main candidates in the recent bruising primary campaign have endorsed Harmer. Conversely, Harmer has made no effort to reach out to the losers. This is really dangerous!
McNerney is going to go down and dirty at the first chance, and Republicans had better be ready with a unified front. As it stands now, Harmer’s only solid majority are Republicans in the Western part of the district: the rest is up for grabs, especially when you think of his standing with Hispanic voters.
We Republicans need to remember that winning the general election is a very, very different animal than winning the primary. Harmer made sure he was the darling of most of the Tea Party movement, but the recent primary showed the weakness os Tea Party California.
Harmer moved sharply left in his try in the 10th facing Garamendi, but couldn’t win against a significant registration deficit. He won’t have to move quite so far in CD 11, but he’ll still have to find a path that keeps the Republican faithful in the fold, and reaches out to disgruntled Democrat, independent, and DTS voters. This will be a real hat trick if we can pull it off.
Someone had better step up and make peace in the District. Disunity is a sure path to failure. We can only hope.