California Conservatives Are Still Idiots

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California conservatives are idiots. Check this out:

The state’s powerful agriculture industry and its political allies are gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative that would grab bond money earmarked for California’s bullet train and use it instead for new water projects.

You all know how I feel about the LA-San Francisco bullet train. I don’t know how I feel about a bunch of new water projects, but there’s a decent chance I’d vote for an initiative like this just to kill the train boondoggle once and for all. Except for this:

In addition, the measure would make substantial changes to state water law via a constitutional amendment, setting domestic water use and irrigation as the first- and second- highest priorities — ahead of environmental conservation.

….Jim Earp, a member of the California Transportation Commission who led the rail bonds campaign, said the water measure could have a difficult time because its backers were greedy. “They have basically a deeply flawed measure,” Earp said. “They couldn’t resist overreaching. They couldn’t resist the temptation to rewrite water laws to benefit corporate farmers who are going to underwrite the campaign.”

The eminent domain folks made the same mistake a few years ago, and they made it twice. Instead of trying to pass a simple measure that would have barred eminent domain for private projects—which I would have voted for—they couldn’t resist larding up their measures with a bunch of wish-list provisions from libertarians and property developers. So they lost.

I predict the same thing here. The bullet train isn’t popular these days and water is a big concern. That’s a handy confluence of events for the ag industry. But they couldn’t stay content with just raiding a bit of money for water projects. They’re so furious about their water supply being restricted by a bunch of starry-eyed greens that they had to toss in a provision directly targeted at environmental concerns. But like it or not, Californians care about the environment, and they’re not likely to approve this nonsense. So the initiative will go down. Idiots.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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