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Who's to Blame For California's Water Shortage? Look In A Mirror

by Steve Hunyar, published

We Californians are to blame when it comes to our water shortage -- but ultimately for reasons most of us never contemplate.

The problem is our willingness to cede to single-party control in our state. Regardless of which side of the aisle you purport to stand on, putting all our water through one filter is proving to be disastrous for a multitude of reasons.

We truly lose due to the simple fact that California is a 'blue' state and doesn't look to change its voting patterns nationally anytime in the foreseeable future. No doubt this lose scenario would also be true if the Republicans interminably controlled the state.

The problem, at water's edge, is the lack of competition. Our national leaders have no interest in subsiding any major multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects for our state if they know they have a lock on the electorate. Why should they? If a Democratic president knows he or she will get all of our electoral college votes, they don't need to make deals, commit to any major overhauls, or subsequently fund any water projects. Let them eat dust is their attitude.

On the other side, future Republican presidents won't similarly do anything for our state due to the fact that it is a blue state that didn't support him/her.

Essentially, our votes are taken for granted by both sides. As a result, our single-party state is destroying our ability to get any interstate water pipelines built, or any other major concessions toward water storage and EPA regulations. It's politically that simple.

And the blame lies squarely on us Californians. Our perpetual voting of a single party into control of our state, and repeated support of Democrats for the two Senate seats and the White House is destroying our ability to negotiate with this and future presidential administrations.

Until the good people of the Golden State compel our nationally-elected politicians into earning our electoral college votes, we will get little or nothing in return for our taxes -- except, of course, federal mandates and regulations.

The first step to return leverage to our 39 million populace is to amend our State Constitution to split our electoral college votes to the presidential candidates -- tied directly to the voting percentage. If the GOP candidate gets 45% of the vote, he or she gets 45% of the electoral college votes.

Maine and Nebraska currently split their electoral college votes, albeit slightly differently.

If the presidential nominees had to work for our votes, Californians would be in a better position to negotiate deals at the federal level, which could, for example, include building interstate waterways from the Columbia and Missouri rivers.

As it stands today, we have no leverage and no buying power. And there isn't a presidential candidate on the horizon who is interested in helping our state.

Moreover, since the leaders of the state Democrat Party want to maintain their control, they will never support such an electoral initiative at the constitutional level.

We need an electoral watershed moment. The best possible methodology would be through the proposition process. Only then could we put our state back into a position where we can demand our federal tax dollars be used to benefit our infrastructure. Only then would Washington D.C. listen.

Photo Credit: Rich Lonardo /

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