By Tim Hunt
Mark Twain drinking wine?Uploaded: May 26, 2015
Politicians and pundits alike love to bring Mark Twain's name into the debates about water here in California.
Speaking to water managers earlier this month in Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown offered his spin.
"Water is something I asked everyone?I guess it was Mark Twain who said, "Wine is for drinking and water is for fighting,"
The governor's quote used the more popular wine instead of the much more often used "whiskey."
He can be forgiven because wine has replaced whiskey at most social and business gatherings over the past 20 years although cocktails are making a comeback among the younger crowd.
The governor went onto say, "I can remember my father (the late Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown) when he was attorney general telling me all about the Arizona versus California case?the Supreme Court argument that was taking place there in the 50s, so I've been hearing about water most of my life. I've had the opportunity to deal with it as governor these many years, and these things, it's kind of déjà vu all over again, because we have the same kind of issues and debates."
Newly elected state Senator Steve Glazer attracted lots of commuter support and union antipathy with his very public stand against BART strikes.
He easily won the special election last week by a 10-point margin over union-backed Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.
The campaign totaled about $10 million in spending with the vast bulk of it coming from outside individuals and political action groups without a direct connection to either campaign.
Glazer will take office to finish out the final 18 months of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier's campaign. He will have lots of homework to do because the presidential election in 2016 will certainly draw a higher turnout than the 23 percent that voted this time around.
Glazer has his work cut out as does Assemblywoman Catharine Baker who won a hard-fought race in 2014 to replace the termed-out Joan Buchanan in the 16th District. Baker backed Glazer for Senate taking office in the Assembly.
The two share the view that BART strikes should be banned or prevented.
Earlier this year, Baker introduced AB 528 to allow the labor agreement, which already has a no-strike clause, to continue after the expiration date until a new contract is signed.
Baker struck a deal with a committee chair Rob Bonta (18th District in the East Bay with nine BART stations) to make the legislation a two-year bill. She said that avoiding an up-or-down vote will allow her to continue to educate both her colleagues and have conversations with the unions as well.
A hearing was held May 6 and no vote was taken. The rest of this year will be devoted to education with formal action delayed until 2016.