Capitol Alert

Carly Fiorina doubles down on Delta smelt

BURLINGAME – Picking up on Sen. Ted Cruz’s criticism of environmental protections for fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Carly Fiorina, Cruz’s newly-announced running mate, moved Saturday to reinforce his presidential campaign’s appeal to conservatives and farm interests in the Central Valley.

Returning to California, where she lost her bid for U.S. Senate in 2010, Fiorina told delegates at the state Republican Party convention here that protections for the threatened Delta smelt were a product of the “tyranny of the left, the tyranny of environmentalists.”

Her remarks echoed those of Cruz, who told delegates earlier in the day that “three-inch fish go great with cheese and crackers.”

The appeal reflected the significance to Cruz’s campaign of voters in the more conservative, inland reaches of the state.

According to a Field Poll last year, half of California voters – and 61 percent of voters in the Central Valley – said the state should be allowed to bypass environmental regulations protecting fish and the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region when facing serious water shortages.

Frustration with environmental regulations among Republicans traditionally runs even higher.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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