This is the sound of one more bully's self pity, the whine of a big shot who rode a political escalator, powered by big money, arrogance and greed, to the top of the cliff. You could hear him bragging all the way up. He cut a fat hog. Then, the power went out and the tiny bully found himself falling in the immense darkness and he hasn't reached the bottom yet. As he falls and falls, he bellows his bitter pieties, but they don't have the magic to turn on the lights and stop the fall, for him or anyone. People are falling without a snivel all around him, but all we can hear is this man sobbing, "Why me?" as he hurtles downward like everyone else. Yet every hair on his head is still in place. His landing will be no more spectacular than ours. Some will be more graceful. Many others will be harder. All they will say, if they remember him at all, is that this one was lacking.
DEVIN NUNES: Water issues require accountability...Devin Nunes
In recent weeks, I have suggested that registered Democrats of the San Joaquin Valley change their party affiliation. My intent isn't a plea to grow Republican registration and it is not a partisan attack. It is simply a message to Valley residents -- you and your family are under siege and the Democratic Party is leading the attack.
Don't get me wrong, Democrats have, in the past, contributed to the greatness of our state, as well as the San Joaquin Valley's rich agricultural heritage. For example, President John F. Kennedy and other Democrats from his generation helped build significant portions of California's massive water infrastructure on which the world's most diverse and productive farming region depends.
However, these aren't the Democrats who control the party today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her radical liberal Democrats have taken their place. Many of these liberals have been in Congress for the past 30 years and have ushered in far-reaching environmental laws -- some of which were crammed into must-pass legislation in the dead of the night. These laws have whittled away our ability to deliver water to families in the San Joaquin Valley.
It has become increasingly clear that radical greenies now control the agenda in Washington. Indeed, numerous news accounts have detailed the interwoven connection between environmental radicals and the Democratic Party. This relationship results in aggressive campaigns to unseat Republicans and install liberal Democrats who are willing to do their dirty work.
Republicans have tried to make changes that would allow California's water system to accommodate both human and environmental needs. But any attempt to take a balanced approach is met with stiff resistance.
In fact, after his effort to reform the Endangered Species Act, former Republican Rep. Richard Pombo, found himself buried in negative advertising by environmental groups -- to the tune of millions.
In the end, Pombo was ousted by the environmental movement in favor of a liberal Democrat from the Bay Area. This new liberal joined his friends in Congress who have spent their entire careers systematically destroying our economy in the San Joaquin Valley.
Clearly their work is not complete. In an effort to appease their environmentalist patrons, the Democrats just enacted the San Joaquin River settlement, which will virtually block construction of a new reservoir at Temperance Flat -- one of our last hopes for new water storage in the San Joaquin Valley.
Many lawmakers try to have it both ways. Dancing the Potomac two-step, they insist they support Temperance Flat while at the same time enacting a new law which has made construction nearly impossible. The ability of such lawmakers to have it both ways, to pay lip service to our crisis while marching to the tune of environmental radicals, is the core of our problem.
This brings me to our present crisis: the man-made drought.
Time and again, I have told my colleagues in Congress that we are experiencing a man-made drought, not simply an act of God. In point of fact, cyclical low rainfall is a characteristic of life in the San Joaquin Valley and our region has survived much worse droughts with far less economic impact.
The difference in this situation is that, through legal and legislative action, our water has systematically been diverted away from families in the valley and subsequently dumped into the ocean.
Residents of the San Joaquin Valley need to hold their leaders accountable. While there have been many meetings, public hearings and rallies, they are meaningless if our elected leaders are permitted to make promises to us in front of the camera, then do nothing behind their office doors.
Sound bites and slogans should not be substituted for action. I have spelled out three simple initiatives to elected leaders in Washington and Sacramento -- initiatives that would bring water to our region.
The San Joaquin River settlement must be replaced with a reasonable restoration plan that permits the construction of Temperance Flat. This would provide more water for communities on the east side of the Valley.
The Endangered Species Act must be temporarily waived to ensure water deliveries from the Delta arrive to the Valley's west-side communities immediately.
The federal and state government should approve the construction of a canal that bypasses the delta. This peripheral canal will be paid for by those who use it.
Now is the time to tell your elected leaders to drop the hot air and pick up a shovel. If they fail to do so, Valley families should take action: use your votes to win your water. Because water, not words, will feed our families.