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DNC – McCain Watch: McCain Flounders in Southwest, West

2008-08-20 14:55:00

    McCain Suggests Renegotiating Colorado River Compact at Expense of

Western States

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /EMWNews/ -- The following was

released today by the Democratic National Committee:


    Today in Las Cruces, John McCain will face more questions about his

out-of-touch comments in favor of renegotiating the 1922 Colorado River

Compact, which set water-sharing guidelines among Arizona, California,

Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. McCain's comments are the

latest example of how out of touch he is -- and reflect a profound

disconnect with New Mexicans over the delicate nature of the compromise and

its vital importance to the millions of Americans whose lives and

livelihoods are affected by the compact.

    In Colorado, McCain's proposal to renegotiate the water compact

provoked heated opposition from Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) and both Senate

candidates, Republican Bob Schaffer and Democrat Mark Udall. Sen. Salazar's

response to McCain's comments, "Over my dead body," was topped only by

Schaffer's answer: "Over my cold, dead, political carcass." The Denver Post

called McCain's statements "politically suicidal ramblings."

    McCain won't find safer ground on economic issues in Las Cruces. McCain

claims Americans' economic struggle are "psychological," but the

Bush-McCain economy has taken a very real toll on New Mexico. Under

Bush-McCain economic policies, New Mexicans' incomes have decreased

slightly - even as consumer prices rise at rates not seen for decades. The

price of gas, which was $1.23 when Bush took office, has increased 206

percent since 2000.

    As McCain campaigns in New Mexico, he'll face an audience newly alerted

to yet another example of how McCain is out of touch on key issues and

offers more of the same old politics and failed policies.


    McCain Says 1922 Colorado River Compact Should Be Renegotiated. As

reported in the Pueblo Chieftan, during an interview, McCain said "The

water compact that Colorado and other upper basin states have with

California and Arizona should be renegotiated, U.S. Sen. John McCain said

Thursday. In a telephone interview with The Pueblo Chieftain, the

presumptive GOP candidate for president said the water sharing agreement

reached in 1922 between seven Western states doesn't take into account

increases in population and the changing water needs." [Pueblo Chieftan,


    Prominent Colorado Politicians Respond to McCain's Plan to Renegotiate

Colorado River Compact. "McCain's comments in an interview with Charles

Ashby of the Pueblo Chieftain united practically every political figure in

Colorado, regardless of party, to denounce the GOP presidential candidate's

proposal. 'Over my dead body,' snapped Colorado Democratic Sen. Ken

Salazar. 'Over my cold, dead, political carcass,' echoed Republican U.S.

Senate candidate Bob Schaffer. 'On this issue, [McCain] couldn't be more

wrong,' Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall said." [Denver Post,



    2008: McCain Called the Great Lakes A "National Treasure," But Would

Not Be Specific About Preservation Plans. Responding to questions from the

Wisconsin State Journal about environmentalists' efforts to "renew the

ailing Great Lakes," McCain said the lakes were a "national treasure and

should be treated accordingly" but did not commit to funding the efforts.

Obama and Clinton both promised to commit funding. [AP, 2/18/08]

    2007: McCain Strongly Opposed The Water Resources Development Act Of

2007. McCain said, "Mr. President, I would like to express my strong

opposition to the Conference Report on the Water Resources Development Act

of 2007." [Senator John McCain Press Release on the WRDA Conference Report,



    McCain Claimed Americans Were "Better Off Because We Have Had A Pretty

Good Prosperous Time." In the January 2008 Republican debate, McCain

commented, "I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off,

because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment

and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs

have been created." [CNN GOP Debate, 1/30/08,]

    McCain Said A Lot of Americans' Economic Problems Are "Psychological."

When discussing the gas tax holiday, McCain said, "I think, psychologically

- and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological -

confidence, trust, uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep

our own home." McCain said that his gas holiday will give people a

psychological boost and that solving the mortgage crisis would be a major

psychological step forward. [FOX News, "Your World With Neil Cavuto,"


    McCain's "Economic Plans Really Are An Extension of the Bush

Administration Policies." "McCain doesn't like to hear it, but his economic

plans really are an extension of Bush administration policies...When all

the economic mumbo-jumbo is removed, that fact remains." [Boston Globe,

Editorial, 7/9/08,]


    Income Down. Median household income in New Mexico has decreased from

$40,243 in 2000 to $40,126 in 2006, a decrease of $117 per household, or

.3%. [Joint Economic Committee Fact Sheet, 8/29/07, (Bureau of the Census,

U.S. Department of Commerce),]

    Gas Prices Up 206%. In January of 2001, a regular gallon of gas in New

Mexico averaged $1.23 including taxes. Currently the average is $3.77, an

increase of 206%. [Energy Information Administration,; U.S. Depart. of

Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, State Motor Fuel Tax Rates,; AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report,, accessed 8/19/08]

    Meanwhile, Consumer Prices Increased at Highest Rate in Decades in

2007. The Consumer Price Index rose 5 percent last year, the highest

increase "in two decades." The price of a gallon of milk rose 27% since

March of 2007 and the price of a dozen eggs has risen 38% in the same

period. "Meanwhile, everything from white bread to chicken to tomatoes is

more expensive than it was last year." [The Associated Press, 5/18/08]

    NAFTA Net Displacement Was One Million Workers and A Net Job Loss of

Over 5,000 in New Mexico. A 2006 Economic Policy Institute study found that

NAFTA had displaced just over 1 million jobs in this country, and net job

loss of 5,041 in Ohio. [Scott, Salas & Campbell, Revisiting NAFTA,


    Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

    This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's


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