Dianne Feinstein was quick to respond in September when a big corporate farmer sought her help in challenging limits on the export of water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Unfortunately, she's rarely shown that level of interest in representing the concerns of commercial salmon fishermen.
They are arguably far more vulnerable to how those flows are regulated. An article by the investigative group California Watch, which appeared in last Monday's Bee, revealed some of Feinstein's priorities.
The article reports that Beverly Hills entrepreneur Stewart Resnick sought Feinstein's help in getting more water for Paramount Farms, the immense Central Valley agricultural operation he owns.
Resnick wrote a letter to Feinstein that contends that federal efforts to restore the Delta's endangered salmon and smelt were "exacerbating the state's severe drought" because they reduced the water that could be used for crops.
Feinstein forwarded the letter to two U.S. Cabinet secretaries, calling on the administration to spend $750,000 on a reappraisal of Delta environmental policy. Shortly afterward, the Obama administration OK'd the review.
According to the California Watch article, Resnick's letter had more behind it than the power of its arguments. As with many politicians, Feinstein's approach on some policies is heavily influenced by relationships.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.