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Sean Hannity Rules Dianne Feinstein's World

by: Robert Cruickshank

Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 08:00:00 AM PDT

Many progressive activists, myself included, have worked hard for many years to answer one of the most important questions in California politics: "How do you get Dianne Feinstein to take the action you want her to take?"

Apparently the answer was staring us in the face all the time and we just didn't know it because we've deleted Fox News from our channel lineups:

You have Sean Hannity do it.

In response to the growing temper tantrum being thrown by Westlands Water District and their astroturf allies, including Sean Hannity's demagoguing visit to the Valley, Senator Dianne Feinstein has decided that reason, caution, sensible water policy and the Endangered Species Act should all be tossed to the wind in order to deliver water to big agribusinesses on the arid west side of the San Joaquin Valley:

[Feinstein] also called for waiving the Endangered Species Act to speed water transfers from the delta to farmers. "Just get it done as fast as we can," she said.

DiFi did also explain plans to write "one of the biggest pieces of legislation she's ever attempted" to solve the Delta and the San Joaquin Valley water crisis. It's a laudable goal, but if she is being pushed around this easily by right-wing front groups and hissy fits, I'm not exactly confident about the outcome here.

The Obama Administration is, so far, resisting the cries to blow up 150 years of water rights and water legislation and take water from existing users and give it to big agribusinesses:

Salazar said the administration has put $400 million into California water projects, adding that it would be a "fundamental mistake for us to use this crisis to essentially create another crisis that will continue into the courts for decades to come without us getting to real solutions."

Salazar has it precisely correct. The Westlands Water District and the Central Valley Congressional delegation, spooked out of their wits by Sean Hannity, are demanding that we destroy the Pacific Coast salmon fishery, put fishermen out of work and devastate coastal communities, and steal the water coastal communities are already conserving in order to continue unsustainable and reckless uses of the soil. Kudos to Ken Salazar and the White House for refusing to cave into this nonsense.

What Feinstein and others are calling for would be the equivalent of demanding all Americans buy SUVs to prop up a failing car industry, or passing a law mandating all Americans purchase private health insurance to prop up an already-profitable insurance industry that fails to keep Americans healthy.

Oh, right.

The Valley's economic crisis is indeed dire. But there are ways to help the unemployed that don't involve putting someone else out of work, or shutting off someone else's tap. I'd hope that DiFi would embrace such a rational proposal, but I fear that will require us to convince Sean Hannity to do his show from the Monterey harbor, or the Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Ultimately this all comes down to the beneficiaries of 30 years of Republican economic policy raising holy hell that they are now being asked to give up their unsustainable and unjustifiable privileges to help the nation survive an economic and environmental crisis. DiFi isn't going to stand up to them. It looks like Obama will, but we're going to need to have his back on this to ensure that we actually fix the Delta instead of break it even further to enrich a few big companies on the Valley's west side.

Robert Cruickshank :: Sean Hannity Rules Dianne Feinstein's World
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DiFi (0.00 / 0)
I hope somebody is going to primary DiFi in 2012 though I understand she has a big war chest


Well... (0.00 / 0)
It's not clear she is going to run for reelection, given her age and some statements that she made in 2006. However, I'd peg it at 50-50 at this point.  She still loves playing the grand compromise game.

I think?

[ Parent ]
Conflict of interest charges from a few years back... (0.00 / 0)
Has there even been ANY real investigation into those contracts that her husband picked up while she was chair of a major committee? I recall a very in-depth piece done by a blogger up north that received one of the prizes from the CENSORED group that year. Don't have the link immediately available. Possibly someone should re-post that and give an update.

[ Parent ]
She needs to go (0.00 / 0)
I have been wishin for years that some progressive would come forward and challenge her.  We need better representation than she is capable of providing.

Diane Feinstein loved Richard Pombo (4.00 / 1)
I have been an observer of Diane Feinstein ever since I started a "Pombo Watch" blog in 2004 and supported Jerry McNerney against Pombo in that election.  I fact, since Jerry made it on the general election ballot by one vote, I hope that my local newspaper column supplied that one vote.

You might say that Feinstein is one of the reasons that I am a Green and not a Democrat. This was especially true as I saw Feinstein take photo-op after photo-op with Pombo.  A friend who met with her in Washington said that she acted  "surprised" that Pombo would be less than honest about truly solving the water problem.

The list of things that she has done to the environment of this state is criminal.  Her favorite water project, CAL-FED has been pronounced an abysmal failure by everyone who has looked at it.  The rhetoric was good, but both authority and  accountability were lacking.

Perhaps the most disgusting thing that she did was to broker the deal with Charles Hurwitz and Pacific Lumber to "save the headwaters forest."  You can read here release here.  She is not embarrassed enough yet to pull it down.  

Why would I suggest she should be embarrassed?  Because that deal, carrying the cachet of her office, was unexamined and allowed Hurwitz to perpetrate a fraud on the people of California and the Federal Government.  Thankfully, two whistleblowers brought a private suit and prevailed to the point where Hurwitz settled.  Pete McCloskey was one representing the whistleblowers.

Every deal that Feinstein touches needs to have someone crawl through it with a fine tooth comb to see who will benefit.  What the stories don't tell you is that Hurwitz was a long time friend and sometime business partner of Feinstein's husband.

Anyone want to bet that Lady Di will be the Democratic Senator from California as long as she wants?  Maybe even challenge the longevity of Carl Hayden (AZ - Rep 1912/26 Sen 1927/69) or Robert Byrd (WV) The arguement will always be that of her seniority and experience needed and that will trump honesty and effectiveness.  

Changing CA, one open mind at a time.  

There must have been another factor at play here (0.00 / 0)
She couldn't have buckled under pressure.  After all, we know from the health care debate that pressure doesn't move her one whit.

Unless this is some crazy upside down world where Democrats respond to pressure from Republicans but not from fellow Democrats.

Yes We Kang

Not easy (0.00 / 0)
If those farmers actually sold off their water rights, there should be ads showing how two-faced those farmers are.

Cardoza and some other legislators around that area are going to be in trouble unless the situation does not get handled.

Also, we do need agriculture. How about helping to teach the farmers to utilize sustainable farming techniques to help maximize their efficiency in water and soil utilization.

If its not possible to keep farming in the central valley, then we should give 2-3 years wages to each farmer in the area, and education assistance to the young workers so they could transition out of farming.

We need to respect the environment and figure out the best way to make sure all the stakeholders maintain the water as best as possible.  

Incredulous (0.00 / 0)
I am incredulous that the political powers from Coastal California see the Central Valley as either a vast Red colored wasteland or too small to worry about and keep having to re-discover water every once in a while.

The entire story, with all of it's backroom political deals, has been known for a long time.  It began before Mulholland.   It just took Jon Stewart to put it on the front page again for progressives. What Stewart, and the rest, are not putting into the story is that this is going to be America's most important impact zone for climate change.

Considering the question of Ag and what to do:  Kari Hamerschlag of Environmental Working Group details 10 things that should be done for / by California Ag.  This is Calif's own plans that are found wanting.

Also, those who would like to understand the history of how these agricultural oligarchs have shaped the debate, you need to do a little reading in the Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood. Try this one:  Latino Water Coalition is registered to Ag Industry Lobbyist.

Documents on file with the secretary of state show that the Coalition was formed as a nonprofit and registered by influential Sacramento lobbyist George Soares, whose A-list of about three dozen agricultural clients include the California Rice Commission, the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Associations, the Friant Water Authority, the Nisei Farmers League and The Grape and Tree Fruit League, among others.
Or maybe you will find this one interesting. Headline is "Westside farmer sells water for $77 million."  

Changing CA, one open mind at a time.  

Since you're not a Democrat (0.00 / 0)
You won't know that this has been on the agenda for Democrats in California for months. Or that the party is making pretty substantial inroads in that vast red area. Or that many of us have known about the water sale you talk about for quite a while. Or even that we're just as concerned about the Delta farmers as those in the Central Valley--even though everybody else seems to have forgotten about them. And that we're working actively with the fishermen who, as you accurately observe, seem to have been forgotten.

Still, I hope you'll be glad to hear it's all true.

And I have to agree with everybody that DiFi is a mystery.

But an even bigger problem right now is a governor who thinks two-year-old-style tantrums are a way to govern. Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto 400 bills if he doesn't get his dams. Much as I'd like to spank him and send him to bed without supper, that doesn't seem a viable solution. Got any better ones?

DiFi Wants To Give Westlands and Westside Water Contractors a multi - Billion Empire (0.00 / 0)

I am so frustrated with Diane Feinstein right now.  DEMOCRATS DO NOT CHALLENGE BIOLOGICAL OPINIONS OR SEEK TO WAIVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, just because a powerful lobby - that contributes to organizations seeking to tear the Democratic Party apart -- wants her to.  

I am trying to track contributions to her previous campaigns by JG Boswell (google King of California), but I am told the old man knew her quite well.  If anyone can drag the info from Patrick Porgans, a secretive but well informed consultant that has reems of data underlying the water buffalo's war on the Delta, the time is now to make this information public!!!

Mr. Cruickshank is 100% spot on in saying that agricultural development in the San Joaquin Valley is unsustainable.  
==> For all the billions Californians and the US taxpayer has spent (Central Valley Project, State Water Project, and the billions in crop subsidies this region receives), what have we gotten as return on our investment?  I will tell you what, people:  The poorest region in the entire United States -- poorer than Appalachia!!!

It is time for progressives to jump into this fight and advocate for PROGRESSIVE WATER POLICY - not some green washed crap that would be endorsed by Westland's Water District or Resource Legacy.  And we have a wonderful blueprint to follow, called "California Water Solutions Now," August 2009, by the Environmental Water Caucus.  

In less than a decade we Californians can PRODUCE - with not a single concrete damn -- more water than has ever been exported from the Delta (over 6 million acre feet).  And as Peter Gleick at the Pacific Institute always points out, we can produce another, say 5-6 million acre feet just from wringing out more efficiencies in agriculture irrigation practices.  
Lets keep up the pressure, and keep exposing the truth underlying the astroturf campaign of deception.

Robert Johnson, Jr.
aka "Moprheus"

water (0.00 / 0)
Samuel Clemmons once said "whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over"  

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