Feb 282012
 

Doug LaMalfa has taken $4.7 Million in Farm Subsidies – he helped found an organization that hired a Washington D.C. Lobbying firm to thwart Farm Welfare reform in 2007. Now, Doug LaMalfa is being quoted publicly advocating for Farm Welfare.

This debate is not about the merits of the Williamson Act – rather, it is about LaMalfa, an alleged budget-cutter and fiscal conservative arguing against modifying the Williamson Act in the proposed 2003 budget. The following was printed in the Redding Record-Searchlight:

Our legislators must do more for farmersBy:Doug LaMalfaPublished: June 7, 2003
In your recent editorial you encouraged farmers organizations and other interest groups to bring pressure to bear upon theLegislature in order to protect the critical Williamson Act. I happen to be a farmer and one of the legislators who opposed  Gov. Gray Davis’ ill-advised attempt to eliminate the act. The Williamson Act is vital to the future of farming in California and farmers can be assured that many legislators share this position.In early February, I along with 29 fellow legislators wrote a letter to Davis urging him to abandon his plan to eliminate the Williamson Act, which was contained in his January budget proposal. The letter, signed by both Republicans and Democrats alike, highlighted many of the concerns you raised in your editorial. But another point on the issue must beraised.The California farmer faces some of the highest taxes, pays the highest workers’ compensation rates and is subject to the nation’s most onerous environmental regulations. Preserving the Williamson Act is essential for the future of farming in this state and I’m confident that the Assembly will demonstrate its support.What I’m not so confident about is how genuine the Legislature and Davis really are when it comes to promoting and supporting California agriculture….

Rather than fight to deal with environmental laws, he fought to keep the subsidies when the state at the time when the State was $35 Billion in the hole.

Farmers’ tax breaks in dangerCounties oppose Davis’ plan to cut Williamson Act
By:Tim Hearden Record SearchlightPublished: March 22, 2003
Rural counties are mobilizing to protect a 38-year-old program that provides tax breaks for farmers who keep their land in agriculture.The Legislature is expected to soon begin debating Gov. Gray Davis’ proposal to stop reimbursing counties for its contractswith landowners under the 1965 Williamson Act.
The cuts would cost counties about $40 million annually. Shasta County would lose about $250,000 a year, while TehamaCounty would lose as much as $1 million a year, local officials said.Farming advocates fear the cuts could discourage counties from participating in the Williamson Act program and leave farmland vulnerable to urban development…..A budget subcommittee could send the matter to the Assembly floor for debate this week or next week, said David Reade,chief of staff for Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale.Davis proposed the cuts as part of a plan to balance a state deficit estimated at as much as $34 billion. LaMalfa, a ricefarmer, adamantly op-poses taking money out of the Williamson Act, Reade said….

Why should farmers get treated any differently than any other people when it comes to budget cuts? How does LaMalfa justify this? Where was/is the leadership in fighting the regulations that have emperiled the family farmer?

What’s worse is the dependence on Farm Welfare and the complicity in perpetuating it.

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