Tag Archives: Rep. Dan Lungren

Garamendi for the 3rd CD?

OK, I’ll admit, I haven’t heard anything about Lt. Gov. John Garamendi actually considering running for the 3rd, (although there have been rumors that he’s considering the recently-vacated 10th, in addition to the 2010 gubernatorial race), but I caught wind of a facebook group urging him to consider the 3rd recently, and I think it’s a great idea for a couple reasons.

First, the 3rd has been growing more and more Democratic over the past decade (current #s: D-38%, R-40%, DTS-18%), and Lungren’s 5.5% victory over underfunded, undersupported Dem candidate Bill Durston looks a lot weaker when you figure that the Peace and Freedom candidate pulled 4% in the same race. Given the foreclosures devastating the 3rd, and the long term secular shift in the greater Sacramento area towards a left of center Democrat+Decline to State majority, a big name candidate with strong support from the party might be able to beat Lungren.

Second, Garamendi’s actually from the area, unlike SoCal carpetbagger Lungren (who, to his credit, does represent a significant demographic of SoCal transplant McMansion types in the district). He knows the area and the issues pretty well, having represented it at the state level for some time. Having a congressional advocate for the delta who understands water issues would help a lot too.

Third, the sad fact of the Gubernatorial race is that the money race looms over everything, and Garamendi’s said too many reasonable things of late to rake in those fundraising dollars. In the 3rd, he’d be a bigger fish in a smaller pool.

Fourth, there are already a ton of Democrats running for the 10th, and to date noone is making so much as noises for the 3rd. It would be a better allocation of candidates to force the GOP to play defense everywhere than to focus everybody on one safe seat.

Finally, from a strictly selfish perspective, Garamendi taking Lungren out in the 3rd would significantly reduce the likelihood in the post-2010 redistricting that Yolo County has to put up with some Sacramento Valley wingnut for a congressman. The 3rd has often been a sort of south Sac Valley district, and having Garamendi in that seat when the State Legislature draws up the new map in 2011 (Prop. 11 only affects redistricting at the state level, not congressional) makes it more likely that they’ll draw the 3rd so that it’s at least a lean Dem district.

So, John, how about it? I’d love ya for governor, but if it’s looking hopeless, please think about the 3rd CD.

originally at surf putah

Central Valley Water News Roundup + Fabian Nuñez haiku

(originally at surf putah – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

One of the upsides to the unusually dry winter and spring that we’ve had this past year in California is that it gives us a bit of much-needed breathing room to try and figure out how we’re going to avoid becoming Katrina West the next time the floodwaters get high enough. My fears back in the fall about the levees not being repaired by the time the rain started falling in earnest thankfully proved wrong. That being said, water control is always an issue in this state, and the scale and complexity of the problems we face pretty much guarantee that it’s always on the table for discussion, somewhere or another. In recent water-related news:

West Sacramento’s levees have seepage problems of the same sort that threaten the houses sitting behind the Natomas levees, and thus might not be as stable as previously assumed. The good news is that those problems were discovered when the city proactively started taking core samples from its levees. Far better to find out in advance than just keep building houses behind them and find out when the levee blows in the middle of the night in some winter storm.

On the west side of Yolo County, I agree with County Supe Matt Rexroad that having a flood control expert on hand is a good thing for Yolo County and the city of Woodland, even if we might not necessarily agree on the best means to solve the problem. Woodland got pretty close to flooding last year, it’s a good idea to have a full-time expert working on it.

Moving south towards the delta,  the Chronicle reported a couple of days ago that Judge Frank Roesch has ordered that the pumps in Tracy that send water to East Bay and SoCal communities and farms either find a way to operate them without killing endangered species or shut down. This is on top of the ongoing discussions of how to come up with a framework to deal with the gordian knot of delta levees, water exports and floodplain development that Cal Fed hasn’t been able to solve.

Going east towards the foothills, Bayne of Blog recently blogged about Sacramento Congressman Dan Lungren moving towards calling for to be drained and restored. Usually a cause of environmentalist groups going back to ur-naturalist John Muir himself, the conservative Republican congressman seems to honestly be interested in the possibility of restoring the scenic valley in his district. While San Francisco officials oppose the move, UCD science blog Egghead reports that a recent Masters Thesis by UCD Geology grad student Sarah Null argues that the same water flow could be maintained without the dam.

While it’s not actually Central Valley levees under discussion, meterology blogger Jeff Masters over at Weather Underground has a couple of posts up (1, 2)reviewing what went wrong with New Orleans’ levee system that are worth a read. The Army Corps of Engineers do not come out looking very good, to say the least. Always worth a read.

Finally (ok, this last bit’s a bit of a stretch, but the rice is grown with irrigation, so it kind of relates), Hank Shaw from the Stockton Record has coverage of the pre-match trash-haiku’ing between Mike Villines and Fabian Nuñez about the upcoming Great Sushi Roll-off. Nuñez’s haiku?

Sushi challenge on
The public very happy
We aren’t naked chefs

Land-locked Clovis man
Makes worst Republican Rice
Since Condoleeza

Núñez sushi wins
Feral cats at Capitol
Reject Villines’ swill

Who knew Fabian was a poet?