Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and possiuble Republican presidential candidate, recently blasted “liberal environmentalists” who are “willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology” during California’s water crisis.” Fiorina’s campaign is specifically targeting Governor Jerry Brown’s difficult political choices in handling the drought–with a possible view to undermining his own potential presidential campaign.
“With different policies over the last 20 years, all of this could be avoided,” Fiorina said Monday on the Glenn Beck radio show. “Despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”
She added, “California is a classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology. It is a tragedy.”
Fiorina knows that Governor Brown’s not-so-stealth campaign for president is built on his reputation as a problem-solving governor who can navigate difficult issues. Brown wants to trumpet how he turned California’s multi-year budget deficits into a surplus, and why the state is showing some of the strongest job growth in the nation. But how Brown navigates the water shortage could be his political Achilles heel.
But last year’s Field Poll found for the first time that Californians, by a plurality of 49-44%, disagree with the statement: “The state should be allowed to bypass existing environmental regulations protecting fish and the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta region if residents or farmers face serious shortages during dry years.”
Fiorina knows that the Democratic Party primaries will be disproportionately dominated by extreme liberal environmentalists. Any move by Brown that appears to “bypass” environmental regulations protecting “fish”, the “Bay” and the “Delta” would lead to a very vocal political backlash on the primary trail. And anytime Brown appears willing to sacrifice “people’s lives and livelihoods” will cause an equal political uproar.
In the same Field Poll, Californians disagree, 54% to 30%, with the statement: “Agricultural users, who currently consume about three-quarters of the state’s fresh water supply, could reduce their water use by 10% without creating real hardships by changing crops and using water more efficiently.
Fiorina knows the first 2016 presidential primaries in January will be held in heavily agricultural Iowa and New Hampshire. Any statement, action or inaction by Governor Brown that is considered even remotely antagonistic to the interests of farmers and ranchers would cause an immediately uproar and short-circuit his campaign.
Brown announced a crackdown on residents and businesses last week in an effort to reduce overall water usage by 25 percent through 2015. But the order specifically exempted the agriculture industry, which now accounts for approximately 80 percent of all California human water use, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Fiorina’s alternative argument to Beck is: “Government has grown so huge, so powerful, so costly, so complex, it is literally crushing the life out of this country.” She added, “It is crushing small and family-owned businesses, which are the economic engine of our nation. It is crushing possibilities out of people’s lives by entangling them in a web of dependence from which they cannot escape. The weight, the cost and the power of government are literally crushing the potential of the nation.”
Fiorina is having an excellent week bashing what she calls career politician Jerry Brown’s inappropriate response to the drought as an example of how big government is out of control in America.
“And that is why I am seriously considering running for president, and will make a final decision over the next month or so. I have come to the point of view that too many politicians have been captured in this system for too long, and they no longer see what needs to be done,” Fiorina told Beck.