Sat Jan 30, 2010: Is the Water Crisis over? & Three Victories by The Man over the Taxpayer–Grrrr


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Fred Starrh, operates a family farm in the southern part of the Central Valley, in Kern County.  He sits on the Kern County Water Agency and he will give us an update on the Water Crisis in the Central Valley.

On Monday, January 25th, Republican Members of Congress hosted a Water Forum in Fresno, CA, addressing the San Joaquin Valley water crisis. Secretary Salazar turned down an invitation to participate in this forum or to send a representative from the Department of the Interior.

Hundreds of farmers and residents from throughout the Central Valley also attended a rare congressional hearing on water, in Los Angeles, also held on Jan 25th.  Secretary Salazar skipped that hearing too but the next day Salazar announced additional steps to assist The Central Valley Project water users. “To assist farmers in the short term, Secretary Salazar announced that 350,000 to 400,000 acre-feet of water will be made available for West Side farmers by March 1, the beginning of the contract water year.”

Only problem is that the “additional water allocation” is not a real additional water allocation, but is in fact a carryover of water, farmers paid for and never received, last year. The spin flies. Many in the State of CA and throughout the nation think the problem is solved, but the truth is far from it. The truth is dire for the people in the Central Valley where unemployment is upward of 16%. Families have lost their homes, jobs, and businesses. Their way of life is drying up.

Fred was on the Jan 25th water panel in Fresno, along with Congressman Tom McClintock. The key point in his presentation: There was legislation introduced in Congress last year, to lift the restrictions put in place by the Endangered Species Act. Both Senators Boxer and Feinstein, voted against it, even though they voted for a similar legislation in New Mexico. The most eye opening statement Fred made was that his family paid over $1.6 million dollars for water last year, for water that they did not receive.

When farms and cities in Kern County have to pay $100 million dollars for water they do not receive, it robs the county of probably $500 million in economic activity including lost jobs, property taxes, and sales taxes.  Some projections now are that farmers, despite the rainfall this year are being told they will get little more than 10 percent of their normal allocations.

On Dec. 15, the Kern County Water Agency’s water resource managers stated that if 2010 is a normal water year in the state and all the existing restrictions remain in place, we could receive as little as a 20 percent water allocation. If the restrictions are removed, we could see as much as a 70 percent water allocation.

Richard Rider, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Taxpayer Hero of the Year for 2009, joins me to talk about these three setbacks for taxpayers this week, including a victory by the Public Employee Unions over the taxpayers in Oregon. The WSJ called it a “Taxpayer Ambush in Oregon.” The public employee unions in CA see this as a game changing strategy that will work to convince voters in CA to say yes to raising taxes, and support their power, spending, unsustainable pensions, and benefits.

Is Schwarzenegger back to reigning in the public employee unions and the unsustainable spending they push and cause in CA? Will this new old Arnold help or hurt The Citizen Power Campaign?

Obama has given CA the rope it needs to hang itself. Jon Coupal says “Obama’s decision to give California’s controversial High Speed Rail project a $2.25 billion boost could also be called Cash For Clunkers, Part Deux.”

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