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LA Times: On water issue, Democrats try to give up some power

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

by George Skelton, Los Angeles Times

To get around Sacramento gridlock, legislators attempt to create an independent body to decide how to restore and upgrade the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. [...]

Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), author of a bill to create a powerful Delta Stewardship Council, blames California’s “reform tradition” for much of Sacramento’s gridlock.

“In response to big-city machine politics on the East Coast, California created lots of checks and balances so nothing bad can happen,” Simitian says. “The flip side is nothing good gets done. At some point, you have to let go and let somebody make the hard decisions.

“Those decisions would be better made in a less political environment by people who know what the hell they’re talking about. The lesson of the last 25 years is that political institutions are not very well equipped to make plumbing decisions. We need to provide for independence and expertise.”

Read the full article on the LA Times website