Again with the billboards?!
Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau is at it again, bringing a populist pro-water message to Valley roadsides with a handful of new billboards paid for by the Taxpayers Association of Central California.
The billboards show a portrait of President Donald Trump and the message: “Mr. President, we need: 1. Water 2. Dams 3. Fish” – except that “fish” is prominently crossed out, a dig at federal environmental rules that limit pumping at the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to protect endangered aquatic species. The billboards also feature Brandau’s signature as a Fresno city councilman.
The billboards have gone up in the Fresno-Clovis area, including along Highway 99 south of Herndon Avenue, visible to southbound drivers near the old Klein’s Truck Stop, and on busy Blackstone Avenue a few blocks north of Herndon, where drivers heading north toward the River Park and Villagio shopping centers can see it.
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Another, curiously enough, is along Highway 99 in Turlock, some 70 miles or so from Brandau’s northwest Fresno council district.
This is just a Taxpayers Association thing.
Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau, about new pro-water, pro-dam billboards in the San Joaquin Valley
One of those billboards implored Brown to “put our water before your train,” while another declared, “Governor, it’s about priorities,” preaching a similar dams-before-train message. Both signs shared one instantly recognizable feature – big hands giving a thumbs up to a dam and thumbs down to a train.
Braudau told The Fresno Bee this week that the new billboards are aimed at promoting a message about the importance of water and water-storage infrastructure to the Valley, and have nothing to do with his potential aspirations to run as a Republican in two years to replace termed out state Sen. Tom Berryhill in California’s 8th Senate District.
It’s a sprawling district that includes a “yuge” (in Trumpian parlance) portion of eastern Central California, including all of Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Tuolumne, Inyo and Mono counties, and chunks of Sacramento, Madera, Fresno and Tulare counties. Coincidentally – or not – the district also covers part of Stanislaus County including (surprise!) Turlock.
“This is just a Taxpayers Association thing,” Brandau said.
Still, having his name on a billboard with Trump’s image along heavily traveled Highway 99 can’t help but burnish Brandau’s conservative, tea party bona fides in the northern San Joaquin Valley.
As a city councilman, he certainly is a known quantity in the Fresno media market, but like any potential senate candidate who hails from Fresno – like Brandau’s council colleague Clint Olivier, who already has declared his candidacy, or Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas – likely lacks widespread name recognition north of Madera County.