From Ms. Fiorina’s water issues page:
As chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer has the power to help turn the situation around. Yet, despite her willingness to help the people of New Mexico when they faced a similar situation in 2003, Barbara Boxer has repeatedly refused to take the pragmatic steps necessary to get water flowing again. She voted against a water amendment that would have temporarily allowed water to flow to California’s farmland and homes, and she continues to prioritize a small fish ahead of the livelihoods of California’s farmers and farm workers.
I have no doubt that talk like that gives Republicans in the San Joaquin Valley hard-ons, but notice that Ms. Fiorina only talks about what Sen. Boxer hasn’t done. Notice that Ms. Fiorina isn’t talking about what she will do if she is elected. That is because she can’t. To “turn the pumps back on” (an inaccurate phrase), Ms. Fiorina would have to get a modification of the Endangered Species Act past the Senate, the House, and Pres. Obama. Despite what Republicans want to hear, that isn’t going to happen. House Representatives from the Valley have been trying to do that for years, with zero success. They’ve made themselves into jokes trying to get that done. Just three months ago, Diane Feinstein found out what fury she can stir up by trying to short circuit parts of the Endangered Species Act.
Further, Ms. Fiorina is running for a state office and there’s much more to the state than Westlands. The only reason she thinks a California senator can deliver more water to “the farms” is that she has no idea what she’s talking about. She’s ignorant of everything water but Republican polling that shows big results from mentioning “farm water”. So she doesn’t know that if she starts pulling levers and blundering about, she’ll inevitably piss off vocal Delta interests, or farmers in the Sac Valley, or heaven forbid, Metropolitan Water District and ACWA.
If she’s elected, she’ll be a Senator. She won’t be God, so she can’t make it rain more. She can’t turn back climate change or restore a wet hydrology. She can try to throw a bomb at the Endangered Species Act, but she’ll find out that Californians love it after all. She’d also find out that when they aren’t hiding behind farmworkers, the growers in Westlands are thought of as unsympathetic agribusiness corporations, a la Reisner. All she could do is go along with the painfully slow processes that Reclamation is developing, and support all the different Delta restoration processes.
I’d love to hear some genuine water policies from Ms. Fiorina. But she doesn’t have them, because this is a tangled field and the knots are drawn tight. If she does offer something substantive, we’ll talk about it here. I don’t suppose I want to go look at Ms. Whitman’s water page, do I? These three posts will probably cover it equally well.