Garamendi assesses Jerry Brown’s twin tunnel project

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Our take


Tobacco stocks and the allure of the almighty buck: CalPERS invests in many stocks, as it should. The board has a duty to make a return. But CalPERS’ money ultimately is taxpayers’ money. And it should stay out of tobacco stocks.

The questions Rex Tillerson must answer to become secretary of state: Senators should ask Rex Tillerson some tough questions about Russia, climate change and more as they consider his nomination for secretary of state.


Robert K. Jackler: Could Big Tobacco take over pot like it did e-cigs?

Tim McRae: How energy-efficient computers can save money and help save the planet.

Bruce Blanning: California should be wary of private cash to solve our infrastructure crisis.

Marcos Breton: Until Mayor Darrell Steinberg has the one key perk denied Kevin Johnson, Sacramento loses.

Their take

Dallas Morning News: What we know of Rex Tillerson is encouraging: He’s a no-nonsense executive, and under his leadership, the Irving oil giant became one of the most profitable publicly traded companies ever. He negotiated a complicated deal with Russia where other oil companies failed. He halted Exxon’s history of denying that humans are accelerating climate change.

San Francisco Chronicle: President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department would be unsettling at any time.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Donald Trump’s tweet about the F-35 doesn’t confirm the program is on the chopping block, but it’s cause for worry given the aircraft’s significance to our nation’s defense and importance for the economy of North Texas.

Los Angeles Times: Donald Trump’s shameful incuriosity about Russian meddling.

The Charlotte Observer: Congress is right to probe Russian interference with U.S. elections.

National Review: Russia didn’t make Hillary Clinton lose. Nor is it Donald Trump’s friend.

The Orange County Register: California charter schools are fulfilling early promise.

Syndicates’ take

Ruben Navarrette: “Dreamers” don’t need pardons.

Kathleen Parker: Trump, the movie.


“The mentality that art and music are hobbies or a frivolous waste of time is like saying plumbers and carpenters just like to play with pipes and wood.” – Bill Adelman, Galt, known as singer-songwriter William Mylar

Garamendi’s take on the tunnels

Rep. John Garamendi dropped by our editorial board on Tuesday and offered his latest assessment of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 30-mile twin-tunnels plan to push water around the Delta:

“It’s time for a Plan B.”

Garamendi, never a fan of the $15 billion project, views it as too big, too costly, and too big a target for lawsuits.

But complicating the project, the Obama administration will have left office without having granted federal permits for the tunnels.

“Not even close,” Garamendi said of the federal permits. And no one has any read on how Donald Trump’s Interior Department might view the project.

Garamendi broke from most other Northern California Democrats last week by voting for the big water legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield.

Brown still has not offered an assessment of the bill. But Garamendi said the legislation would open the way for tunnel alternatives.