Farm Press Blog

How are all those political contributions working out?


Table of Contents:

  • Has anyone run the ROI on political contributions from agriculture?


How’s that working for you?

A story on lobbying efforts spent to prime the political pumps in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere suggests that maybe – no, not maybe – California agriculture isn’t getting a good return in its political expenditure investment portfolio.

Years of drought conditions culminated this year in zero water for California growers, yet a story from Southern California Public Radio reports that agricultural interests in California kept political coffers flowing soundly even when canals in California were running dry.

Maybe the money helped fund the Great Drought Tour of 2014 by Republican lawmakers such as House Speaker John Boehner and Representatives Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and David Valadao, who dropped in on Bakersfield earlier this year for a photo opportunity in a drought-parched field.

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Or maybe it greased the skids enough for Air Force One to drop President Obama off in Fresno so he could get a birds-eye view from Marine One of fallowed farmland in one of the richest agricultural regions in the world.

Read the story and their linked reports for a more complete picture of just how much the folks with Westlands Water District and the Stewart Resnick family (Paramount Farms) spent on political efforts. What do they have to show for it?

Right or wrong, I realize the pay-to-play state of American politics is the system we have, but for folks who know how to crunch numbers and find margins where there aren’t any, the fact that California agriculture can spend so much and get virtually nothing in return is disturbing to say the least.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 15, 2014

Unfortunately, Voting for too many is visceral, not cerebral. "Westlands" is a prime example. Also look at the "Farm Bill" visceral voting (for teapublicans) got the Majority of Ag - not so much as a hardy handshake. More a kick in the pants.

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