McClintock: The adult in the room

Sept. 25, 2012

By Katy Grimes

I’ve written much recently about the end of the two-year legislative session in the California Legislature — none of it flattering. This Democrat-dominated Legislature operates as if it has the collective maturity level of a teenage girl.

Fortunately, following the the bill-passing frenzy, I was able to speak to an adult familiar with California politics and policies, as well as the madness that ensues at the end of a modern-day legislative session.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-El Dorado Hills, was a 22-year California state legislator, and now is a member of Congress. I spoke recently with him about the legislative process in California and its descent into a last-minute frenzy of gut-and-amend bills, secret deals and special interest laws. But we didn’t stop there.

No more Solyndras

On one of the days we spoke, McClintock had just come from voting on the “No More Solyndras Act.” He gave a floor speech which I hoped some in the California Legislature were listening to.

Solyndra, of course, is the California solar-panel manufacturer that went bankrupt last year after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration.

“The title ‘No More Solyndras’ should be ’50 more Solyndras, then we’ll stop wasting your money — Really, We Promise — Act,'” McClintock said. The bill does not immediately end the loan guarantee program, allowing the approval of applications submitted by Dec. 31, 2011. But it blocks the Department of Energy from approving more loan guarantee applications submitted in 2012 and afgter.

McClintock was not happy with the approvals of existing loan applications, but voted for the bill anyway. It passed in the House, 245-161. It’s expected to have tough going in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

McClintock argued that the bill should have killed the program outright. “This measure would still put taxpayers on the hook to loan out billions of dollars more to at least 50 additional shady alternative energy schemes that were submitted before January 1,”  he said.

California green energy and water wars

The Solyndra scandal is significant and far too familiar in California, which is obsessed with the clean energy myth.

McClintock said that the human cost of over-regulation is bleeding California businesses and middle-class families.

Gov. Jerry Brown talks of job creation, but only government jobs. Brown talks about building roads, bridges and High-Speed Rail, but his policies cannot possibly create jobs. Instead, they will kill jobs.

In California, there is a perceived water war between the North and South parts of the state. But it’s a government-created problem because, as McClintock said, if California didn’t allow billions of gallons of fresh water to spill into the Pacific Ocean every year, we wouldn’t have a water shortage.

“The water war is no longer between North and South, it is between radical environmentalists and the people,” McClintock explained.

“People think that the Colorado River is the largest river, but the Sacramento River is 60 percent larger,” McClintock said. The problem is that, while officials store 70 million acre feet of water from the Colorado River, only 10 million acre feet of water is stored from the Sacramento River. The rest is lost into the Pacific Ocean.

“And now we are tearing down perfectly good hydroelectric dams at the behest of radical environmentalists,” McClintock said.

The U.S. Department of Interior has been actively planning to destroy four dams on the Klamath River in Northern California, ostensibly so that salmon can swim another 185 miles up the river. The Klamath River flows from southern Oregon through the Cascade and Coast mountain ranges to the California Pacific Coast.

These dams not only provide water and flood protection to thousands of family farmers and ranchers who live along the river, but clean energy from the hydroelectric dams supplies electricity to 70,000 residents in the area. However, the battle has pitted ranchers and farmers against environmentalists and tribes over salmon fishing.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence that dam removal will help the fish, or any legitimate study on the human impact of dam removal, the Department of Interior is moving forward to have the dams destroyed, and the Klamath basin “restored.”

McClintock said the phony science being used to support the Klamath restoration project rests entirely on the Coho Salmon population, which environmentalists claim is endangered. However, many say that the Coho Salmon isn’t even indigenous to the area.

McClintock said that, every year, 17,000 Coho Salmon return to the river. But these salmon can’t be counted, according to the DOI, because they are hatchery fish. “It’s like saying a baby born at home is more of a baby than one born in a hospital,” McClintock said, noting the idiocy of the DOI argument. “Clean, cheap, reliable hydropower is the backbone of many rural communities that not only rely on the affordable electricity, but water deliveries for irrigation and drinking.”

This brought us to the other water crisis — California’s Central Valley, once known as the salad bowl of the world.

In 2009, federal regulations were passed to protect the tiny Delta smelt fish, another fish not indigenous to the area. This led to the deliberate diversion of over 300 billion gallons of water away from Central Valley and San Joaquin Valley farmers. It cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, leaving many areas of the Central Valley with 40 percent unemployment.

McClintock said that, in many communities, hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland were fallowed. During 2009 and 2010, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress stood by and did nothing while farmers in the Central Valley were deprived of water and left without any work.

McClintock said that House Republicans took action to correct this nightmare and hopefully end future man-made droughts in California.

In February, the House passed H.R. 1837, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, with a bipartisan vote of 246-175, to restore the Central Valley water.

But the measure died in the Senate, McClintock said.

“This reminds me of something Leo Tolstoy wrote about the Czar’s despotic rule,” McClintock said at a recent hearing. “He wrote, ‘I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and all the while I assure him and anyone who will listen that I am very sympathetic to his plight and willing to do everything I can to help — except by getting off his back.’”

 How is this lunacy possible?

“A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,” McClintock said. “Prior to the 2006 passage of AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s unemployment rate began a steady upward convergence with the national unemployment rates.” After passage of AB 32, California’s unemployment shot up much more dramatically than the national unemployment rate, he said. “California politicians can’t blame the national economy for that.”

Everything touched by AB 32 has been hurt. “Agriculture, cargo, passenger and transportation travel, construction, the wine industry, cement making — all are impacted negatively by AB 32,” said McClintock. “Entire sectors of the state’s economy have been hurt.”

As for the wind and solar scam, McClintock said there is nothing new. “In the 170 years since wind power was invented, technical advancements have not yet been able to figure out more a more expensive way to produce energy,” said McClintock. “Wind is more expensive than oil and gas.”

“The biggest problem with wind and solar is that we must have and maintain an equal amount of natural gas energy in order to back up the entire energy grid on a moment’s notice. We are paying not only for the most expensive forms of energy now; we are paying to back it up when it fails.”

Solar and wind also take up massive amounts of real estate, McClintock said. “Long transmission lines are needed from the power source to the energy grid. But because the solar output is so low, we can’t use the existing transmission lines — we need a whole new system to transmit solar power.”

California residents are paying three times as much for energy as is needed because of AB 32 and the Renewable Portfolio Standard that was passed in 2012. The standard requires that 33 percent of our electricity come from renewable energy sources.

The real culprit

Of California’s diminished ranking from the fifth largest economy in the world to the ninth and the state’s other problems, McClintock summed it up: “Those who blame the recession for California’s budget crisis profoundly misunderstand the nature of that crisis. Even before California’s revenue began to shrink, the state government was running a chronic $10 billion deficit and piling up unprecedented debt. The recession is merely the catalyst; the underlying cause is rampant mismanagement of the state’s resources.”

Part One of the Rep. Tom McClintock interview is here: “California burns as politicians fiddle.”

23 comments

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  1. Richard deSousa
    Richard deSousa 25 September, 2012, 09:49

    What kind of stupid response is this? “McClintock was not happy with the approvals of existing loan applications, but voted for the bill anyway.” It looks like McClintock is part of the problem with Washington!

    Reply this comment
  2. Dave
    Dave 25 September, 2012, 09:53

    In 2009, federal regulations were passed to protect the tiny Delta smelt fish, another fish not indigenous to the area. This led to the deliberate diversion of over 300 billion gallons of water away from Central Valley and San Joaquin Valley farmers. It cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, leaving many areas of the Central Valley with 40 percent unemployment.
    I would like to know where you got this bogus information. Maybe when you talk to someone you might understand the problems. Maybe you have know idea what the over pumping of the delta did to the salmon population. Or do you really care as long as you have your water for your pool?

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 25 September, 2012, 09:59

    It’s called horse trading Richard, and that is how politics works, you get some, but not all, of what you want.

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondoq
    Hondoq 25 September, 2012, 10:06

    I agree with Mr. deSousa. That bill is going to be killed by Harry Reid anyways. Might as well take a stand.
    By the way, as a republican I find Reid to be the most effective senator I’ve ever seen. That mealy mouthed sob has been bitch slapping the republicans all over the country. He hasn’t put forth a budget in almost 4 years and the republicans who control the house are allowing him to continue those trillion dollar deficits.
    I met Sen Reid in 92 and was stunned by his mealy mouthed low stature. But the man has the balls of a elephant.
    Or is the complete lack of which that describe the republicans. Who is the real elephant here anyways?
    Hondo……..

    Reply this comment
  5. Hondo
    Hondo 25 September, 2012, 10:08

    Sorry, I misspelled my nam.
    Hondo….

    Reply this comment
  6. John Jorsett
    John Jorsett 25 September, 2012, 10:08

    “What kind of stupid response is this? “McClintock was not happy with the approvals of existing loan applications, but voted for the bill anyway.” It looks like McClintock is part of the problem with Washington!”

    Are you suggesting that McClintock should have held out for the ideal until it was attainable, no matter how long that took? There’s one thing to be learned from the left: take what you can get today and then demand more tomorrow. Continue that until you’ve gotten everything you wanted in the first place. We didn’t get here in one jump, we hit boiling temperature one tiny degree at a time. If we have to, let’s dial it down the same way.

    Reply this comment
  7. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 25 September, 2012, 13:18

    Well played Ricardo— Looks like old Tick Toc McClintock remains a HUGE part of the problem—- read—— same ol deal!

    post now trolls!

    Reply this comment
  8. Bob
    Bob 25 September, 2012, 13:32

    You boyz see this? Comcast is moving around 1,000 jobs outta Caulifornia (as Ahnode calls it). Thanks, DemoNcrats!

    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/25/4853820/comcast-call-centers.html

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 25 September, 2012, 14:06

    I find Reid to be the most effective senator I’ve ever seen. That mealy mouthed sob has been bitch slapping the republicans all over the country.</b

    How ironic that Reid does to the repugs what I do to Teddy Steals and his gimmick accounts here on CWD 🙂

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 25 September, 2012, 14:07

    I find Reid to be the most effective senator I’ve ever seen. That mealy mouthed sob has been bitch slapping the republicans all over the country.

    How ironic that Reid does to the repugs what I do to Teddy Steals and his gimmick accounts here on CWD 🙂

    Reply this comment
  11. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 25 September, 2012, 14:52

    Edward Spiel, Chief Regurgitator said “post now trolls!”

    That’s pretty ridiculous coming from someone who lives under a bridge and scares little children for fun:-) It’s also exactly the same line that your sock puppet Queeg used a few days ago. Are you suffering from multiple personality disorder Eddy or just ripping off Queegs lame one liners?

    At the risk of stating the obvious, Tom McClintock is smarter and better informed than the entire brain dead Kalifornia Democratic Congressional Caucus. The mans fingernail clippings have a higher IQ than Barbara Boxer. He’s so good at his job that I am actually willing to overlook the unfortunate fact that he’s a Repulsivecan. In fact, he’s way to good for Kalifornia. He should move to sane state where people are capable of electing sentient beings to represent them.

    Reply this comment
  12. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 25 September, 2012, 15:24

    Dysrythmic…..Kooky Kalifornia Kreations notwithstanding, you are a caution! I truly feel that old retread tic tock McClintock is the greatest single living AmeriKan.

    Sock Puppets, why yes, everyone out here except you, is….well….ah…..wait for it…….:me.

    Reply this comment
  13. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 25 September, 2012, 15:35

    So that’s the best you can do Eddy? Time to take yourself out of the game and send in Queeg. I need another tackling dummy for my next workout 🙂

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 25 September, 2012, 15:47

    Tell teddy to send in “Uhaul”……

    Reply this comment
  15. BobA
    BobA 25 September, 2012, 16:57

    That’s telling Dyspeptic!! Eddy done burnt his last good brain cell trying to take you out and he failed -miserably. Time for him to go on the IR list for a while and send in that perennial bench warmer Queeg for his spanking.

    Reply this comment
  16. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 25 September, 2012, 17:31

    This overview of Tom McClintock’s politics reads like a scene out of Robert Musil’s 1930’s novel “A Man Without Qualities” about the slow death of the Austrian Empire. Only in this case McClintock is “The Man With Political Character.” Thank you Ms. Grimes for reminding us that there still is a rational politician in California.

    Reply this comment
  17. Eddy Baby Steele, Associate Prof.
    Eddy Baby Steele, Associate Prof. 25 September, 2012, 19:27

    LOL— That’s it?? LOL

    So…it’s tick tock McClintock worship out here now? LOL– First he was laughing at the tea bag party– then he done up and joined em! Then he co sponsors HR3 with good old (please don’t mention his name even Rovey baby hates him!) —- Women fear the Republicans! And the sad part is that you all have zero insight as to why! Oh my!

    Reply this comment
  18. Eddy Baby Steele, Associate Prof.
    Eddy Baby Steele, Associate Prof. 25 September, 2012, 19:31

    Oh the humanity! Please explain to me how this horrid, women hating, REPUBLICAN bill, that McClintock so quickly signed up for, differs from China’s “one-child” policy of having government decide who gets to carry pregnancies to term, and who gets to have children terminated, with neighbors snooping on neighbors, government employees (given immunity!)snooping on all medical procedures, and turning them into the government for “investigations” unless they are bribed.

    This is a disgrace that McClintock, who tries to pass himself off as “Libertarian,” agrees with this.

    Tick Tock is a legend!

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted Steele, Associate Prof.
    Ted Steele, Associate Prof. 25 September, 2012, 21:27

    McClintock worship? really? Without any other opinions presented? Oh— Ok Wayne.

    Reply this comment
  20. Ted Steele, Associate Prof.
    Ted Steele, Associate Prof. 25 September, 2012, 21:30

    and you guys wonder why you have a huge woman deficit…..first he was aghast at the tea party– then he joined them….then with his pal Akins co wrote HR3—–yikes! Spooky.

    Reply this comment
  21. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 26 September, 2012, 06:51

    and you guys wonder why you are getting crushed in the female demographic! LOL sa

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 26 September, 2012, 12:15

    Wow, talk about a Teddy MELTDOWN 😉

    Take some stress tabs buddy!

    Reply this comment
  23. OneCitizenSpeaking
    OneCitizenSpeaking 26 September, 2012, 17:21

    Just because Tom McClintock is knowlegable and articulate, does not mean that he is not a “professional politician.” I was greatly disillusioned to find out that his “official” residence for my district was his parent’s home and that it appeared that he was feeding at the trough of Indian gaming interests — something which I discovered accidently when it appeared he voted against strict tax audit guidelines for gaming establishments. He makes sense — but shows little or no leadership. Let us assess what he has actually done rather than what he claims is wrong.

    Reply this comment

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