The congresswoman who betrayed her Central Valley hometown

June 14, 2013

By Chris Reed

matsuiA Democratic congresswoman from California wants you to know she cares about some poor people — the ones who use food stamps. This is from the Bee:

“Doris Matsui of Sacramento on Wednesday pledged to spend only $13.50 on food the next three days, joining nearly 30 of her fellow House Democrats in protest of cuts to the federal food stamp program.

“The Senate on Monday approved a 10-year, $955 billion farm bill that includes a $400 million a year cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. A House proposal would cut the program by $2 billion a year.

“Matsui said via Facebook and Twitter that 200,000 residents of Sacramento County rely on food assistance and that she would take part in the ‘SNAP Challenge’ and live off the average benefit of $4.50 a day.

“‘Feeding a family on SNAP is already challenging, and these cuts would make it even harder,’ Matsui wrote on her Facebook page. ‘That is why I am taking the SNAP Challenge to raise awareness of hunger in our nation and to highlight the importance of SNAP.'”

Help Central Valley farmers? Nah. Let them use food stamps to buy cake.

But does Matsui care about the  poor people who don’t want to rely on food stamps? The poor people who need not welfare but jobs — giving them regular paychecks so they can avoid being on the dole? Of course not. She’s a Democrat from Sacramento, after all — and one who turned her back on her hometown at an absolutely crucial moment.

This is what I wrote about her in June 2009 on the late lamented America’s Finest Blog:

“A Central Valley lawmaker’s crusade to move farmers ahead of fish in California’s water pecking order now has the backing of 37 House Democrats … . But when it came time for a crucial House Rules Committee vote Wednesday night on whether to allow Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, to try to attach farmer-relief language to a $32 billion Interior Department funding bill, the panel voted 8-4 to block the attempt. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, was the only Democrat to side with Nunes, the Bee reported.

“Which prompted me to look up the 13 members of the House Rules Committee. Which led me to this fact. If Cardoza was the only rules panel Dem to back Nunes, that means Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, either voted against Nunes, abstained or missed the vote.

Mayor of Matsui’s impoverished hometown stunned at her callousness


“Given the importance of agriculture to California, this is bad already. But here’s the kicker from Matsui’s official bio. She grew up … on a farm in California’s Central Valley. Further research shows specifically she lived in Dinuba, a town in Nunes’ district, 30 miles southeast of Fresno. Where the families-in-poverty rate in 2007 was 22 percent, well more than double the national average, and is almost certainly much higher now between the recession and the environmentalist-led assault on Central Valley farming.

“Betrayals of the people you grew up among don’t get much more complete than this. Doris Matsui must not believe in karma.

“I called up Dinuba Mayor Mark Wallace. … Wallace said Nunes’ efforts to change Central Valley water policy were absolutely crucial. ‘I can’t believe that anyone would vote against this no matter who they were, especially in these tough times.’

“Wallace said he didn’t know Matsui or of her background. But he said that he ‘absolutely could not’ believe that someone from Dinuba could treat it and the Central Valley so poorly.”

Matsui did vote no on the relief. She wants farmworkers to have access to water and shade. She just doesn’t care if they actually have work on farms.

No, things haven’t gotten better in Dinuba since 2009. The most recent reports show the town has a 26.4 percent poverty rate, which is even worse than the state’s rate, which is the highest in the nation. But the congresswoman from Dinuba probably thinks that’s no big deal — at least if the impoverished people she betrayed have access to food stamps.



Write a comment
  1. loufca
    loufca 14 June, 2013, 07:31

    But those same people keep voting in those who betray them. So who is to blame? The voters or those “politicians” that make very bad choices for their constituents and the state in general?

    Reply this comment
  2. Hondo
    Hondo 14 June, 2013, 07:38

    The greatest social program ever invented was a JOB.

    Reply this comment
  3. SgtWD
    SgtWD 14 June, 2013, 07:40

    Democrats Goal is to be Liberal. Liberals Goal is to be Progressive. Progressives Goal is to be Socialists. Socialisms Goal is to be Communist. Communisms Goal is to Destroy Family, Church, Values, Morals, and America.

    Those who would take away the Rights of others presume to be their Masters.

    Those who would give away their Rights or have them taken away are Destined to be Slaves.

    Reply this comment
  4. Tax Target
    Tax Target 14 June, 2013, 08:48

    “But those same people keep voting in those who betray them.”….

    Hmmmmm… none of this has to do with the VERY SUCCESSFUL gerrymandering done by the democraps in Kalifornsky over the last 30 years could it. I wonder how many coastal libtards keep voting Matsui in?

    Reply this comment
  5. K Loomis
    K Loomis 14 June, 2013, 11:11

    The fault in your and the farmers’ logic is that the land should be farmed. This is traditional farmland that has lost its water table and is now unfarmable without importing water. That’s nuts. The same thing has been happening in Ethiopia, I believe, where people have been starving to death because they would not leave their formerly farmable, but now desert, homelands. It is painful, but those farmers need to face the truth that they no longer own FARMland. And we non-farmers (and maybe some farmers), yes, don’t want to damage the rest of northern California by constantly, annually, reconstituting the farmability of that land.

    Reply this comment
  6. double l
    double l 14 June, 2013, 15:18

    Two quotes from the Central Valley: 1) Food grows where water flows. & 2) Don’t complain about farmers with your mouth full of food.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 June, 2013, 08:17

    Who do you trust? Drones, cameras, computers, sensors, neighbors, government workers,…….politicians……

    Doomers dig those bunkers now…..demagnetize the perimeter. Employ Tremor Worm sensors….hug your guns and cling to your religion per your beloved leader. Sleep cammy clothed and sitting up with your jack boots on! Bug Out Kits by the emergency secret exit.

    This stuff is……so John Wayne!

    Reply this comment
  8. Jannie Dresser
    Jannie Dresser 5 November, 2013, 14:20

    What Matsui has done is to join in a demonstration to show what living on food-stamps is really like and the hardship imposed by these draconian cuts. What this article fails to point out is that many of those who survive on foodstamps are farmworkers who are only employed seasonally and do not earn enough to survive a full year. It’s kind of like farmers getting subsidies to survive when their crops fail. Why is it that those who are harvesting our crops are living in poverty, anyway? I honor Matsui for trying to make a point: I’d like to see any of the Republicans voting for this farm bill to try the same experiment–but no, they live in one of the richest cities in the nation: Washington D.C. and thrive on their endive and chardonnay.

    Reply this comment

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