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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

California’s Delta Tunnels: An Unnecessary $15 billion, 15-Year Jobs Program

Last weekend as my husband and I were enjoying vin rouge and fromage at one of our favorite Delta wineries in Clarksburg, CA, we discussed Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta Tunnels project, and how it would destroy the historical, rich agricultural region. Some of our favorite wineries, and all of the Delta agriculture could end up under water and/or the land rendered useless if Gov. Jerry Brown’s unnecessary Delta Tunnels project is actually built.

The tunnels project proponents claim it is needed to deliver significantly more, better quality water to Southern California cities and Central Valley farms, and deliver water more reliably – at an original cost estimate of more than $26 billion. When it became evident that… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Character

Legend has it that upon being informed that the citizens of France had no bread to eat, Marie Antoinette, Queen-consort of Louis XVI of France, exclaimed “let them eat cake.”

California Governor Jerry Brown recently had his own “let them eat cake” moment: At a press conference last week announcing the need for a 25 percent cut in water consumption, Brownsaid, “People should realize we are in a new era. The idea of your nice little green lawngetting watered every day, those days are past.”

Brown showed his “let them eat cake” character once again.

Brown-the-elite

Jerry Brown enjoys an upper-crust Bay Area lifestyle, and is dependent on the very water projects he loathes and has shut down. Brown was the original push behind canceling crucial water infrastructure projects in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and has been supportive of diverting desperately needed reservoir water for fish, rather than food production in the Central Valley.

There is no doubt California is in a drought; we’ve been in one for several years. And California has had many droughts in its history, including when Brown was… Read More

Katy Grimes

We’re From the UFW and We’re Here To Help

The political left always talks about the importance of counting every vote, right up until they don’t want the result of that vote, as in the case of the workers at Gerawan Farming, Inc.

Despite chilly, foggy temperatures, Gerawan Farming workers traveled from California’s Central Valley, to the state Capitol last Thursday to hold yet another rally and meet with lawmakers. But it wasn’t your average worker rally – these farm workers want the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to count the workers’ votes from the November 2013 election to decertify the United Farm Workers union.

UFW founder Cesar Chavez must be rolling over in his grave.

The UFW is working with the ALRB to force the farm workers into a collective bargaining agreement that the thousands of workers don’t want. The United Farm Workers narrowly won an election to represent Gerawan Farming’s workers 24 years ago. But after only one bargaining session, and no contract in place, the union disappeared and wasn’t heard from for more than two… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s High Speed ‘Browndoggle’ Breaks Ground

Desperate to get any part of California’s High Speed Rail built, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed the groundbreaking for the rail system upto Tuesday, just as the new Republican Congress is getting settled.

The motive? Democrats want to get their hands on $3.5 billion in federal stimulus money. And, there’s no time like the present… following a recent Third District Court of Appeal ruling which overturned a Sacramento Superior Court decision which contended that the funding plan for the high-speed rail project violated the ballot measure voters approved in 2008.

Dan Richard, chairman of the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said they would move “aggressively” to build “a modern high-speed rail system that connects the state, creates jobs and complies with the law.”

There’s no time to waste lest another legal decision derail their plans.“Jobs, jobs, jobs” was the campaign rally cry for Jerry Brown during his 2010 run for governor, when he vowed his support for high-speed rail. He supported it so much it’s earned the nickname the “Browndoggle.”

In January 2013, Brown held carefully staged signing… Read More

Katy Grimes

Democrats To Farm Workers: Shut Up and Vote (for us)

Inone of the most significant labor relations fights in the country,California farm workers have made history again. But this fight is about trying to get their votes from a November election counted, in order to boot the farm labor union out of their place of business.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board has steadfastly refused to count the ballots from the Nov. decertification vote.

Ironically, this same group of people – Hispanic farm laborers – are the very demographic the Democratic Party is so eager to register to vote in local,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Vidak warns: Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

The California Department of Water Resources announced this week that the Central Valley may only get five percent of the water it needs next year.

The Central Valley, the heart of California,is the state’s top agricultural producing region, often called “the nation’s salad bowl” for the great array of fruits and vegetables grown in its rich soil.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of theRime of the Ancient Mariner, wasn’t thinking about California’s Central Valley when he wrote:

Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

However, if the water resources department gets its way, the Central Valley may as well get used to this poem.

I talked withRead More