The Skinny: Water works

The fight over water policy is not just dividing agricultural and urban interests. It’s bigger than North vs. South. It has also set off a turf war within the Latino caucus. On Aug. 28, caucus vice-chairman Tony Mendoza sent out a release on official Latino Caucus letterhead, quoting members of the group including Alberto Torrico and Manuel Perez. To an outsider, the release seemed innocuous enough, reporting on a meeting of the caucus over the water issue, attended by Rep. George Miller, comedian Paul Rodriguez and others. But after Mendoza’s Friday release, a follow-up email was sentfrom a staffer who works for the caucus chairman, Gil Cedillo. “The press release you received was not approved by the Chair’s office, nor was the use of Latino Caucus letterhead.  Some of you may not have received the press release because it was not distributed on the official Latino Caucus distribution list,” the e-mail stated. “A number of folks have called and stopped by the office very confused on how this press release was approved, and why certain members that were quoted were not asked for their permission.” Well, that e-mail earned a hand-written response from Mendoza to caucus members blasting the Cedillo staffer. For the record, Mendoza’s poison pen letter was also written on official Latino Caucus stationery…

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