Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Delta Force

Just a few more updates on the delta questions. Did anyone see the news tonight with Schwarzenegger and Feinstein and their associates flying around in a helicopter? Well, Arnold and Diane got to speak on camera. Pombo stood in the background looking concerned.

I will give credit to KGO TV (ABC Channel 7 from San Francisco) and Mark Matthews for their coverage. Mostly, they allowed Feinstein to mention the fact that a significant number of new homes have been built in the Delta. Then, they showed a segment where Dr. Mount (UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences) talked about that problem. Of course, Dr. Mount was fired from the Board of Reclamation by Arnold and his replacements said that the local governments needed the tax revenue from the new construction to pay for the levee upgrades to protect the existing people. Huh???

Finally, I want to reference Dan Bacher at the Fish Sniffer for his fine comments about the plans for delta water use. First, read this: Anglers Rise Up Against Delta Exports At Stockton SDIP Hearing. I mentioned before the effect that the fishing public might have on this situation, and the election. I think I am right though not very original. George Miller had the same thought. I understand that Dan plans to attend Pombo's hearing in Stockton next Monday. Even the California Delta Chambers and Visitor's Bureau has an announcement of this hearing on their Web Site.

Actually, having seen the witness list, the right people are there. If Pombo plays it straight, does not try to use it as a platform to push any pre-defined agenda, he might come out all right. However, that has not been the history of the manner in which the Resources Commitee runs their hearings.


Anonymous Rick said...

The main problem facing any type of political discussion of CALFED (fishing or otherwise) is the complexity of the issue. Simply put, CALFED doesn't lend itself to pithy one-sentence statements. The closest I've seen to this was Dianne Feinstein’s assertion (this was in 2002) that (paraphrasing) "if you thought the energy crisis was bad, just wait until you see what happens with water." She then went on to state her support for CALFED, but notably avoided even a cursory mention of the issues involved.

From a political standpoint, the obvious issue is that Pombo has delivered a half-baked warmed-over concept that is about to come apart at the seems and complicate the problems of every constituency with a stake in this matter. The Farm Bureau, outdoorsmen, enviros, etc. all have beef with CALFED, and some have successfully sued the environmental documentation for various parts the program. In other words, a lot of folks don't trust it or any elected official who supports it.

Yet the reality is that the vast majority of voters have no idea what CALFED is, and won't base their decision on it. So, in a nutshell, this is a very nebulous and opaque issue.

10:45 PM, February 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much pot are you smoking?
Have you seen the reports from the Levee tour? below is a exerpt of the AP pool report. Pombo was a rock star. not only did he speak at the press confrence, but when questions of substance came up, they were directed to him. Better get back to the personal attacks. you dont understand this guy at all. hell kick your ass on policy!

Good luck MoFo!

The plane that carried the press included Feinstein, who sat across from Schwarzenegger, and Pombo. Also on board were Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources; General Joseph Schroedel, commander and division engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division; John Decker, Schwarzenegger’s photographer; and members of the press.
The choppers followed the American River to the southern edge of Natomas and downtown Sacramento.
Feinstein was chatty over her headset, asking many questions and making many remarks about flood risks and the beautiful scenery.
“You can have all of that area inundated by water?” Feinstein said as Snow pointed out the Natomas area and described its vulnerabilities.
Schwarzenegger, who wore earplugs rather than a headset, did not take part in the airborne conversations.
The choppers headed south along the Sacramento river and took in farmlands, vineyards and islands in the Delta before turning northward and following the Sacramento back to the Pocket area. Pombo made an excellent tour guide, explaining different types of levees and weirs, and pointing out grapes, pears, alfalfa and many other agricultural and geographic aspects to the landscape. Snow and the general also provided ongoing commentary.
When they flew over the Pocket at the journey’s end, Feinstein was taken by both the beauty and the dangers of the area.
“Wow this is quite a community,” she said, admiring the attractive homes pressed up against the levees.
“It’s beautiful,” Pombo agreed.
“It really is,” Feinstein said. “I like all the Spanish style roofs.”
“There is a lot of liability there if you look at what could happen if a levee goes,” Pombo said.
Snow elaborated: “During flood stage, where were are right now, we’d be 10 to 15 feet below water level.”
There was a pause as the craft landed in Garcia Bend Park.
“Very dramatic,” Feinstein said.
As they got off the helicopter, Feinstein and Pombo continued the thread of a conversation they had been having on board (it was hard to talk and hear up there). They agreed they would attempt to get an added $36 million for levee work into a 2006 emergency supplemental appropriations bill. It would cover work already planned and ready to go, including about $17 million in levee work in the Pocket to bring that area up to a 100-year level of protection.
Pombo and Feinstein stressed it would be difficult in the current tight-budget climate in Washington to get such funding but they would try.
The senator also urged Pombo and Schwarzenegger to talk to President Bush about the grave needs in the Sacramento area as the group made its way to the news conference on a levee of the Sacramento River.
They gathered for the news conference with those who rode on the other chopper.

11:59 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

I guess that I watched the coverage on Television, where most get their news. It was the Arnold and Diane show.

As of Pombo on policy, have you read the Bob Irvin OpEd in yesterday's SacBee? He makes a clear case that the way you know Pombo is lying is the fact that his lips are moving. Read Irvin's OpEd. Read the legislation (bottom of p. 62 if you download the PDF from the Resources Commitee site. Either Pombo is deliberately lying or he does not know what is in his own favorite legislation. When it comes to policy, Pombo is the public relations mouthpiece for the Property Rights Movement and after that he flounders.

8:10 AM, February 23, 2006  
Anonymous rick said...

Pombo was a rock star

Only a congressional staffer would post something that sycophantic. For your sake, it's best to keep the felatio on the QT.

Regardless, the point still stands that a). CALFED is a boondoggle, and b). most voters have no idea what it is.

6:04 PM, February 23, 2006  

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