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'Please, No More Fiascoes'

October 22, 1987

Reference is made to your Oct. 4 editorial, "Please, No More Fiascoes." Needless to say, your editorial staff and I disagree. Let me explain why.

Words like consensus and compromise have a calming effect. They create the impression that all sides can sit down and resolve an issue--on the surface, a very plausible approach. With regard to water transfer, it is almost an impossible task. Take it from someone who has been there.

One should not give one's opponents everything they want at one's own expense and wait with baited breath for some great expectation at some future date.

So there is no misunderstanding among your newspaper, the Deukmejian Administration, or me, regardless of the dialogue among the parties, two events must occur before my endorsement is obtained.

First, the Administration must file for and secure a full operating permit at the Tracy pumping plant in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Increasing capacity does not increase the right to divert.

Second, the Administration must select and build its choice for a delta transfer facility. Without both activities being a reality, all proposals south of Tracy are highly questionable economically, and the southern half of our state will lose a portion of the existing water supply.

I agree with you fiascoes are bad. Yet if negotiating for the betterment of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, with equity for all, is a fiasco, then I welcome such terminology. I do not believe in giving something for nothing. Never have. Never will.


Chairman of Agriculture and Water Resources Committee


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