Rep. John Garamendi, a mainstay of California politics since the 1970s, has earned another term in Congress, given his experience, expertise in water and interest in national defense.
Garamendi, 69, is a Walnut Grove rancher who represents Congressional District 3, which includes Travis and Beale Air Force bases, UC Davis, and some or all of Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Lake, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn and Colusa counties.
Garamendi entered public life by winning an Assembly seat in 1974. He has been insurance commissioner and lieutenant governor, and worked in President Bill Clinton’s Interior Department, where he focused on water issues.
In Congress, he has challenged President Barack Obama’s authority to wage war without specific congressional authorization, an important point that too easily is overlooked.
He is a lifelong Democrat, but he has formed alliances with his neighboring congressman, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, to introduce legislation supporting construction of Sites Reservoir.
Whether the reservoir ever will get built is a question. Whether it should get built is open to debate. But Garamendi and LaMalfa are to be commended for bipartisanship in the hopelessly partisan Congress. Garamendi and LaMalfa also worked to secure funding for levee repairs in the Glenn County town of Hamilton City on the Sacramento River.
Garamendi’s opponent, Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, is an affable and capable politician who has found ways to build a record of accomplishments even though the Legislature is controlled by Democrats.
Logue, 64, has worked to combat illegal marijuana farms, and supports funding of the care for mentally ill people. But he also led the charge in favor of Proposition 23, the 2010 initiative funded by oil and coal interests that sought to unravel California’s landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Garamendi has strong environmental credentials and understands there is no question that the nation must confront climate change. He deserves to be returned to Congress for another two years.