McNerney Receives Support of Key Local Advocates for the San Joaquin Delta, Gill campaign responds

Stockton, Calif. – Today, several key supporters of preserving the Delta and preventing any kind of tunnel or canal being built to divert the water from the Sacramento River to south-of-Delta communities spoke out ardently in support of Congressman Jerry McNerney’s strong track record on the issue.

From his first days in office, Congressman Jerry McNerney has been a champion of the Delta and has fought hard for the welfare of Delta residents. He has fought for policies that will reduce the export of water from the Delta. Congressman McNerney has repeatedly stated publicly that he opposes the canal, and his actions on the floor of Congress and in his work with federal government agencies support his public statements. In contrast, Ricky Gill has received $5000 in campaign contributions from the California Westside Farmers Pac, which represents growers in the Westlands Water District. These are growers, like Woolf Enterprises, who would benefit directly from the implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan – at the expense of Delta farmers,” said Barbara Barrigan-Panilla.

I have been adamant about my opposition to the construction of a peripheral canal from day one. In case anyone has missed that, let me say it again: I stand against a canal, supporting the farmers, families and small businesses that rely on a healthy Delta for their livelihoods,” said Congressman McNerney. “It was wonderful to receive such strong support today from the people I have worked with over the years to protect this vital resource.”

Others chimed in supporting Congressman McNerney’s strong record on the Delta and water issues.

I met Jerry McNerney in 2006, and after six years as my Congressman, I’m more impressed.  Today, I want to speak specifically on Congressman McNerney’s leadership role in opposing the greatest threat to the health, economy and quality of life of the Delta community – the peripheral tunnels.  From his first days in office, Jerry McNerney has been a steadfast friend of Delta residents.  He was the first representative of Congress to outright oppose the peripheral canal.  He has fought for policies that will reduce export of water from the Delta, championed projects to promote regional self-sufficiency and lessen dependence on Delta exports and repeatedly called into question the myriad flaws in the BDCP.” – Bill Jennings.

Jerry McNerney has stood against the peripheral canal and the water exporters from day one. I know this because as a local elected official representing Delta communities, we have worked together to protect our Delta. He has been a staunch and vocal advocate for our water rights and is making sure we have a seat at the table. Jerry is a champion of the Delta,” – Mary Piepho, Supervisor, District Three, Contra Costa County.

Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor, District Five, endorsed Supervisor Piepho’s statement related to Congressman McNerney’s record on water.

In response, the Ricky Gill campaign had this to say:

The peripheral tunnels are on the verge of becoming reality because Jerry McNerney has been asleep at the wheel for six years. He took no action to protect the Delta when he was in the Congressional majority. He wrote no letters to the California Department of Water Resources. He didn’t even mention the threat of a peripheral canal on the floor of Congress until he’d been in office for five years. In 2011, McNerney even wrote a book advocating the construction of more water canals in California,” stated Colin Hunter, Gill campaign spokesman.

As a family farmer and a native son of this district, Ricky knows firsthand the devastating effects that a peripheral conveyance would have on local farmers. That’s why he opposes any plan to divert water around the Delta,” he said. “Ricky’s commitment to protecting the Delta and its agricultural heritage has earned him the endorsement of both the Contra Costa County Farm Bureau and the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation.”

When it comes to the Delta, McNerney’s ‘advocacy’ is a matter of convenience, not conviction,” Hunter added.

In addition to today’s show of support, Congressman McNerney has been endorsed by a growing list of local public figures and elected officials.

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) was first elected to Congress in 2006. He is the Ranking Member of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. For more information visit


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