Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is retiring after 24 years in the U.S. Senate — and many in California’s Central Valley are glad to see her go. The liberal Democrat had a rocky relationship with the region over water issues, especially in the last few years.
“I, like most of the Valley farmers, [am] glad to see Boxer retire,” John Harris, CEO of Harris Ranch, told the Fresno Bee. “She won’t be missed.” Some in the farming sector said they had a good working relationship with Boxer, and recalled that she had defended portions of the state’s agricultural economy, such as citrus and poultry farms. However, memories of her help in specific fights were overshadowed by her opposition to increasing the water allocation to drought-stricken farmers.
In her four elections, Boxer was never able to win Fresno County, or to exceed 45.4% of the local vote, the Bee reports.
Boxer had faced off against the Central Valley — and, oddly, against fellow liberal Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — over the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bipartisan effort that had been hammered out by California legislators in both houses. The bill provides over half a billion dollars for desalination and water storage, and includes an amendment that would allow federal and state water managers to pump additional water to farmers, beyond current environmental limits, during storms.
Boxer had threatened to filibuster the bill, but eventually yielded before the Senate adjourned for the year, and the bill passed. President Barack Obama signed it before leaving Washington, D.C. for vacation.
According to the Bee, Central Valley farmers do not yet know what to make of incoming Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General who won the race to replace Boxer last month.
There is “a visible nervousness” in the Central Valley, the Bee reports.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.