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John Garamendi

Brown's water quest taps forebears' inspiration, if not their flexibility

Brown's water quest taps forebears' inspiration, if not their flexibility

Gov. Jerry Brown increasingly seems to be drawing from the past, inspired by his pioneering forebears and comparing their struggles with his own. They had much tougher lives, he tells audiences. Surely if they could cross the Plains in covered wagons, tame the land and fight mosquitoes, he can dig two big water tunnels and erect a bullet train. And remember that President Lincoln, Brown sometimes adds, boldly authorized construction of the transcontinental railroad while waging the Civil War. Never mind that Abe and the railroaders stole much of the Western right-of-way from Indians. These days, it's not that easy. Many farmers around Bakersfield are refusing to sell out for...

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