There have been many personal attacks raised over the DeMint Amendment that would have cut funding to the Interior Department. Much of the focus is placed on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's lack of support for this measure.
This focus is misplaced. Sen. Jim DeMint, D-S.C., hijacked this bill without giving Sen. Feinstein advance notice of his plans. While many agricultural organizations, including our own, signed on to the effort, this was done with the understanding that Sen. Feinstein was aware of this amendment.
What is frustrating about the attacks on Sen. Feinstein is that she is, and has long been, a champion of our farmers. The Nisei Farmers League has a long reputation of working with her on key issues important to our growers and communities.
Had our organization known that Sen. DeMint, and others, planned to use this amendment to drive a partisan wedge through the water issue, we would not have touched it. We need the support of both parties to solve this water crisis. What we don't need is one party lobbing grenades at the other and turning our water crisis into a blood feud like every other issue in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.
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Manuel Cunha Jr.
President, Nisei Farmers League