Why Cardoza represents Westlands Water District

We were curious why Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced, was working so hard for the Westlands Water District in the recent attempt by Sen. Dianne Feinstein to put an amendment on a Senate jobs bill to suspend the Endangered Species Act on the Delta. The amendment was designed specifically to provide more water to Westlands. Cardoza seems to be representing a water district south of his congressional district and possibly to the detriment to the west side district he actually does represent, the Central California Irrigation Districts, also known as the exchange contractors, headquartered in Los Banos.
Part of the explanation may be in a donation to his 2010 campaign of $6,800 by Roll International and $5,000 from California Westside Farmers Inc.
Roll International is a holding company owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick. Roll International controls Bakersfield-based Paramount Farms and POM Wonderful, the largest citrus, nut and pomegranate operations in the nation. The Resnicks, campaign contributors to Feinstein (in larger amounts than to Cardoza), were widely reported to have persuaded Feinstein to convene a scientific panel to review the two federal resource-agency biological opinions that restrict pumping from the Delta to the west side. They were also reported to have been behind Feinstein's unfortunate proposed amendment, which was not included in the jobs bill.
Open Secrets reports that the treasurer of California Westside Farmers Inc, a political action committee, is Sarah Wolff, spokewoman for Westlands Water District. Many members of the PAC get their water from Westlands, according to Wolff.
It will be interesting to see how much more, if any, money Cardoza gets, from Roll International and the west side PAC as the campaign year rolls on because, at least what has been reported so far about the allocation estimate for federal water to Westlands doesn't look like a victory for either Feinstein, Cardoza or Westlands. To the contrary, it looks as if they were unsuccessful in their attempt to muscle the Department of Interior, which announced a 5-percent delivery estimate that could go to 30 percent if the spring is wet. This, it seems to us, is just about what Westlands, Resnick, Feinstein would have gotten without all the backroom aggression.
Cardoza's other reason is that he hates the ESA and in his brief career in Congress has introduced three bills to weaken it, back when he was working for developers in his district. But that was before the three county seats in his district began trading the top slot on the national foreclosure-rate chart and surveys of America's least liveable cities.