Menu

ARCHIVE

The Valley Hope Forgot: California Farmers at Obama's Mercy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And ladies and gentlemen, you are looking live at the thousands of people who have shown up here in the Central Valley of California. They want their farms back, they want their jobs back, and they want the water turned back on.

Now, tonight, you are going to hear from some of the politicians who are fighting on behalf of the citizens in this region. We will also talk to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we will even hear from an environmentalist who is actually defending the government's decision that are responsible for drying up this once fertile area.

But first.

(BOOS)

HANNITY: First we're joined by two people who have gone to great links to shine the light on this crisis. Comedian, activist, Paul Rodriguez. Radio talk show host from KMJ, KERN, Inga Barks.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

Thanks for being here.

PAUL RODRIGUEZ, CALIFORNIA LATINO WATER COALITION: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: They told me seven miles back they can't even get.

(INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: Well, first of all, you, Paul, you've been in this now, in this fight, this battle that has been going on for far too long. There has been a natural drought. But they have all this water that they are sending to the ocean rather to the farms because of this little delta smelt. Can you explain what's going on?

RODRIGUEZ: Sean, I'm glad you're here because less than half a mile away from us right here there's a canal that's full to the brim of water. Come here and see that. Right next to it you see fields that are dry that should be fertile right now.

You know, I know in my heart that when the American farmer realize in Iowa and the other parts of America, they realize that we need help, they'll come to our aid simply because whenever our enemies get into trouble, if North Korea right now were to have an earthquake, I know that the first plane would be an American plane with aid there that would allow us to land, right?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

If we would have that kind of generosity towards our enemies, what would we do for ourselves?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: And by the way I think — wait. And I think — you are the farmers that have sustained the entire country for decades. We have generations of farmers here, Inga. And they are losing their farms. We have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of acres. We literally have — I met people earlier that now are on food lines because their farms have been shut down.

INGA BARKS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST FOR KERN: No, that, to me, is the part that is most immoral thing about all of this. We really are in the bread basket of the world. We feed the world. Our food goes to third world countries and helps people. We are their main staples, we feed everybody here. And yet we have our own standing in food lines?

HANNITY: Yes.

BARKS: And the food is coming in creates — crates that say products of China?

HANNITY: Yes.

BARKS: I mean.

(CHEERS AND BOOS)

BARKS: It's stunning. It's stunning.

RODRIGUEZ: It's a bad comedy. It's a bad joke. You know, there is no need for. We're not asking the government for a rebate. We're not asking for a handout. We don't want to turn in our trucks, because our old trucks work just fine.

HANNITY: Yes.

RODRIGUEZ: We want to farm.

BARKS: That's right.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: There is a political side to this, Paul. And by the way, we won't hold it against Paul, but you supported Barack Obama.

RODRIGUEZ: You have to bring that up.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right, but listen, I would like to put aside politics because if Barack Obama allows — tells his environmental extremists in his administration to stand down and turn the water on, he will get the first credit from me, OK? So.

RODRIGUEZ: Likewise.

HANNITY: Have you reached out to the president and.

RODRIGUEZ: We have, Sean, right behind you we have a letter that we wrote to the current administration saying we realize you came in at a time when you didn't have it all. You know we understand you came in handicapped. We're giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I still have respect for the office of the president. But behind me is a signed by every single mayor of every community here in the San Joaquin Valley. I think that should get some kind of attention.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, but he just appointed this guy that — Sunstein that is such an environmental extremist that he wants to ban hunting and he says that animals ought to have human representation in court.

(BOOS)

RODRIGUEZ: You know, you couldn't write this.

BARKS: No, you can't. You can't.

RODRIGUEZ: This is why I know that people who look more into the issue – say they are making that up.

Ladies and gentlemen, we're not making this up. I'm so glad you're here because the very person — you know, Senator Feinstein came here.

HANNITY: Yes.

RODRIGUEZ: And had David Hayes, the undersecretary of.

BARKS: Interior.

RODRIGUEZ: Of the Interior.

HANNITY: The Interior — Salazar came out here.

BARKS: Salazar came.

RODRIGUEZ: Right. Came on here. And said.

HANNITY: Nothing happened.

RODRIGUEZ: Nothing happened. Look at our fields.

BARKS: And let me add, Sean, I'm sorry, President Obama never visited here when he was running and he never visited here since. He knows what's happening here. He sends his people out. He makes his promises.

HANNITY: The big issue here is...

(CROSSTALK)

BARKS: Would he have not have gone to Katrina the day after?

HANNITY: But this really comes down to — and I don't know if we have explained this well enough but in the course of this program we're going to get into the specifics of this. Literally, the environmentalists and the Interior Department, they have all made a decision that, for example, the water can be pumped here.

BARKS: Yes.

RODRIGUEZ: Through here.

HANNITY: To defend this little two inch delta smelt fish. They have decided that the farmers come second and the delta smelt comes first.

RODRIGUEZ: I, in my heart, I can't find all the reasons. In my heart I believe that maybe the president hasn't seen this. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

BARKS: You're kind.

HANNITY: How long does he get the benefit of the doubt?

BARKS: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

RODRIGUEZ: We don't have much time. But I still hold hope that at least he would look at a document. You know? I mean, but if that doesn't happen, we have no other choice but to scream loud.

HANNITY: We've got — literally, we've got —we have the evidence of farmers now that have been providing food in some cases for generations, passed on from generation to generations.

BARKS: Yes.

HANNITY: They're waiting for food. How much longer do we have to wait before they turn the water on?

BARKS: In fact, ironically, environmentalists who hate development and growth, guess what farmers do with their land and they can't farm on it anymore. They sell it to people to build houses on. And it's — this is what we're doing to these people, putting them out of business, and the only way they can make money is selling their land.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, this is where you want to live, with no water. I can't wait to buy a house.

(LAUGHTER)

This is the San Joaquin Valley. Without a doubt, the most fertile, this is the Canaan. This is the land of Canaan. This is the most fertile valley on the planet. This valley would feed the world.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

RODRIGUEZ: All we want is water.

BARKS: That's all we want.

HANNITY: I have some numbers. You guys grow more — if you look at the option.

RODRIGUEZ: We're the capital of everything. The capital of cantaloupes is here.

HANNITY: Almonds, cantaloupes, artichokes, olives.

RODRIGUEZ: Keep talking!

HANNITY: Grapes, strawberries.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

RODRIGUEZ: That is now the only thing that grows here is despair. We have a good crop of that.

HANNITY: All right, I want you to call — you voted for Barack Obama. Maybe.

RODRIGUEZ: You are not going to let this go away!

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I want you to look into the camera right there. And you talk to the president you voted for, the guy that's promised hope and change. What do you say to him?

RODRIGUEZ: Mr. President, with all due respect, we pray that you will read our letter and look at our dilemma. We don't want you to give us a loan. We didn't do anything wrong. We did everything right. We grew more food than anybody else with less water. And for that, our reward was you cut the water off. Come on, what's up?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

BARKS: Thank you, Sean. Thank you for doing this.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.