Assembly Republican Leader Sam Blakeslee pitched a tantrum last week, and it nearly killed a water package his colleagues have toiled over for years.
Blakeslee claimed that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, was backpedaling on previous promises for how a water bond should be structured.
"In Sacramento, whether you're on the right or the left or the center, people need to know that when you shake their hand, you can rely upon their word," an exasperated Blakeslee told The Bee.
It's hard to know if Blakeslee's beef was legitimate. Yet even if it was, his outburst wasn't the most strategic of moves. As soon as Democrats learned that the GOP was going public with its bargaining points, they put pressure on the governor to make concessions to their liking.
Cooler heads must prevail if legislators are to put aside partisan politics and north-south blood feuds and make progress on the water front. Failure to do so could doom the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and increase the state's vulnerability to drought and onerous legal rulings.
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