December 07, 2009

Barbara Boxer Fails to Protect Central Valley

SACRAMENTO, CA – Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications Julie Soderlund issued the following statement about Senator Barbara Boxer’s failure to take the pragmatic steps necessary to protect Central Valley residents and deliver much-needed water to our state’s farmlands and homes.

“Barbara Boxer is obviously far more interested in protecting a small fish than she is in protecting the people of California,” said Soderlund. “Already, more than 40,000 Central Valley residents have lost their jobs as a result of the region’s lack of water, and job losses will only continue to increase because Boxer refuses to lift a finger to help get water flowing again.

“Ironically, Boxer was willing to take action to protect the people of New Mexico when they faced a similar situation in 2003 – making this example of her failed leadership and hypocrisy all the more stunning. Clearly, protecting California’s farmers, farm workers and communities is not one of Barbara Boxer’s priorities.”

BOXER’S HYPOCRISY

In 2003, Barbara Boxer Voted To Allow New Mexico An Exemption From The Endangered Species Act For Water Use. “Pending federal legislation to exempt water imported into New Mexico from being used to satisfy the federal Endangered Species Act would set a bad precedent, environmentalists in Washington, D.C., and New Mexico say. Both the U.S. Senate and House have passed language that would exempt water from the federal San Juan-Chama diversion project from the Endangered Species Act.” (Ben Neary, “Species Exemption ‘Bad Precedent,’” Santa Fe New Mexican, 10/1/03)

On September 16, 2003, Barbara Boxer Voted For An Appropriations Bill That Allowed New Mexico An Exemption From The Endangered Species Act. (H.R. 2754, Recorded Vote #350, 9/16/03)

The CRS Bill Summary Clearly Outlined The ESA Exemption. “(Sec. 205) Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from obligating funds or using discretion to reduce or reallocate water to be delivered pursuant to San Juan-Chama Project contracts, including execution of said contracts facilitated by the Middle Rio Grande Project, to meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, unless such water is acquired or otherwise made available from a willing seller or lessor and the use is in compliance with the laws of the State of New Mexico, including, but not limited to, permitting requirements.” (CRS Bill Summary, 9/16/03)

A WATER PROBLEM FOR BOXER

Boxer Forced To Play Catch Up On Water And “Must Now Show She Feels The Valley’s Pain And Is Doing Something About It.” “Incumbents, too, face a political challenge. Boxer, for one, is a longtime environmental champion who must now show she feels the Valley’s pain and is doing something about it.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

Fiorina Pounced After The Announcement Of A 5 Percent Water Allocation From State Officials. “Fiorina named Nunes as one of her four top water advisers. Their aggressive rhetoric is certainly aligned. When state irrigation officials announced Tuesday a 5 percent water allocation, both Fiorina and Nunes blamed Boxer for, as Fiorina put it, placing ‘a small fish ahead of the livelihood of California’s farmers and farm workers.’ Boxer responded that she is ‘deeply concerned about the initial water allocations, which show the seriousness of this water crisis,’ and she stressed her support for projects that would help deliver more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

Boxer’s Fellow California Democrats Also Slammed The 5 Percent Allocation. “The Valley’s conventional wisdom is generally harshly put, as when Cardoza called the 5 percent allocation ‘an abomination,’ Costa called it ‘unacceptable’ and both suggested environmental rules should be loosened. ‘The state’s water shortages are being exacerbated by the regulatory drought,’ Cardoza declared.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

Boxer’s Political Answer: “It’s Very Important That These [Environmental] Laws Be Administered Fairly To Make Sure They Work Effectively.” “‘Republicans and Democrats alike have enacted environmental laws to protect our air, our water and our environmental legacy,’ Boxer said. ‘It’s very important that these laws be administered fairly to make sure they work effectively.’” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

CENTRAL VALLEY NOT BOXER COUNTRY

Boxer Has Traditionally Struggled With Central Valley Voters And Water Presents Another Political Problem. “Now chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer thinks her long-standing support for improving California’s water infrastructure has been frequently underestimated. This may be one reason why the former Marin County resident has traditionally struggled in the Valley. Running against former Fresno-area legislator Bill Jones in 2004, Boxer won Merced, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties but lost Fresno, Kings, Madera, Stanislaus and Tulare counties.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

Boxer Has Received 10 Times More In Campaign Contributions From Residents Of Beverly Hills Than From Residents Of Modesto. “In a more recent sign of where her political strength resides, Boxer has received 10 times more in campaign contributions from residents of Beverly Hills than from residents of Modesto, a compilation from CQ Moneyline shows.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

Other, Less Senior California Democrats Have “Historically Closer Ties” To The Central Valley Than Boxer. “Other incumbents with historically closer ties to Valley farmers, like Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, and Jim Costa, D-Fresno, are even more aggressive in touting their work on farmers’ behalf.” (McClatchy, 12/4/09)

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