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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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8/27/03, by Pat Ratliff, staff writer, The Tri-County Courier

A freshman legislator said Saturday he was supporting actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election and would soon visit his constituents in eastern Siskiyou County for the first time.

Speaking at the fourth annual Modoc County Republican Uprising in Likely, Ca,, Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa expressed strong support for the actor known for his roles in action films.

Dan Keppen, Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association, and Christopher Parilo, field representative for Congressman Richard Doolittle, joined LaMalfa as speakers at the event.

LaMalfa, a rice farmer from Butte County, said he believes Schwarzennegar is a firm supporter of Prop. 13, will lower taxes, and will create jobs.

"We’ll be hearing ‘I’ll be back’ a lot in California in the years to come," La Malfa said to a crowd of approximately seventy five people.

"Schwarzennegar is bringing an energy to Republicans that has never been seen. Mr. Swarzeneggar is our best shot, and a legitimate shot."

La Malfa was clear on why he felt there is a need for new leadership in California government.

"As a freshman legislator, I had to deal with the largest deficit, and the largest deficit of common sense from the Governors office, in the history of California," La Malfa said. "Democrats use the rule of "immaculate taxation,’ in that they take no responsibility for anything, yet they pass votes such as tripling the registration fees for cars. There are so many hooks and triple hooks in the new California budget, it looks like a skating competition. They are contorting themselves to find a way to call taxes ‘fees.’

"In California state government, the monster is on the loose," LaMalfa said. "Gov. Davis is like a dog chasing a car and then doesn’t know what to do with it when he gets it".

La Malfa stressed the need for Republicans to get out the vote.

"The Republican Party is a party of work and patriotism, why don’t we turn out 90 percent of our registered voters instead of 50 percent?" LaMalfa challenged. "We’re out of money in California. The highways and water are suffering. We need to get a handle on extreme environmentalism. We have allowed some of this to happen. Rural people don’t want to fight with the enviros, they want to stay at home and farm their land, but we must change for our own good."

Speaking of the importance of the Klamath Basin, La Malfa said that people look upon the Klamath Basin as an indicator of things to come.

"It is an atrocity without sense or sound science to back it up," LaMalfa said. "People in rural California are very in tune with it, and link it with very onerous legislation such as that being proposed for the Salton Sea."

La Malfa also announced a town hall meeting in Tulelake the evening of October 23, the time and place to be determined.

Dan Keppen spoke of water issues in the Klamath Basin and of President Bush’s recent trip to Oregon.

"Bush was ‘on fire’ for the issues while in Redmond," Keppen said. "We need to be working with the tribes to try to marginalize extreme elements."

Keppen quoted the President, saying, "Cooperation, not confrontation, is the way to go".

Keppen explained that the water users are "Trying to do the right thing by supporting the Bush Administration, supporting the water bank, even with many reservations, and always trying to take the high road."

Keppen also said that one of the main problems facing the communities in the Klamath Basin is "Can we keep our young farmers and ranchers in the basin?

"I look around me and see very few farmers younger than me. Too many parents have had to tell their children, ‘Maybe you need to look at something else besides agriculture.’"

Christopher Parilo, a field representative for Congressman Richard Doolittle, spoke of the uniqueness of Modoc County, saying "Modoc County is home to the fiercest defenders of their lifestyle and the values that their fathers and grandfathers taught them in the state of California".

Parilo went on to say that "People from all over California are dissatisfied with what their state government is doing.

"When talking about healthy forests or the Klamath situation, the state of California is probably enemy No.1, and hopefully Schwarzenegger can change that," Parilo said.





Page Updated: Saturday February 25, 2012 05:24 AM  Pacific

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