The new Republican candidate for Senate, Carly Fiorina, answered Senator Boxer’s call for debates as follows:
“Barbara, I’ll debate you anytime anywhere. As far as I’m concerned, we can debate once a week.”
The Republican, however, made one debate demand, that they schedule one meeting in Mendota in the Central Valley,”where unemployment is skyrocketing because the federal government has decided that families don’t need water.”
Aw man. The very first thing out of her mouth on the very first day? Brace yourself, water people. This is going to be a theme, and we’re going to be hearing this crap all the way through November. If I were a conscientious blogger, I’d do a nice round-up post specifically addressing that meme. Prof. Michael, you are going to be busy for the next few months. You might want to compose a stock answer for journalists that you can send out rapidly.
Here, mainstream journalists that Ms. Fiorina is dragging into the debate over water. Some posts on the persistent Republican memes in the debate last year.
On food scarcity and Communist carrots:
This one arose out of one picture of a food line in Mendota with a can of carrots labeled “from China”. It has no relation to our actual carrot (or food) production. Real reporters, there is accurate data about the acreages of food crops in California; it is in a nicely searchable online database maintained by the USDA. Search here for California data and do not write false stories about the threat to our food security. If Ms. Fiorina tries to make this part of her campaign, point out that she is wrong. If she says it again after that, point out that she is lying about easily verifiable facts.
(If you find yourself swayed because hundreds of thousands of acres sounds like a lot, read this. CA agriculture is so big that hundreds of thousands of acres aren’t very much.)
Thousands of families out of work:
Can I just say? All this interest in poverty on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley is great. I am so glad our senators and potential senators have decided this is a major focus. But those towns have been feudal fiefdoms for the past hundred years. Read The King of California for a description, or Goldschmidt’s 1944 study comparing towns on the east and west sides of the Valley. Feinstein and Fiorina all of a sudden care about farm laborers on the west side now? The only thing that has changed is that wealthy farming operations and their hired public relations firms have decided to co-opt the image of farm laborers to achieve their political goals of securing water by gutting the ESA.
Mostly I’m bummed because we’re going to have to hear this for months, after hearing it all last year. Did the spring rains bring us no relief ?