If Republicans do nothing …

… on immigration reform, farmers nationwide will lose $30 to $60 billion in agricultural output, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

The cost of groceries will go up 6 percent. 

But Tea Party Republicans are focused on … deportation, this story says.

The split in the National Republic party over immigration reform is mirrored in our back yard. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who represents part lof San Joaquin County, supports it, while his fellow Republican congressman, Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay) opposes it, though he represents the district right next door.

This story explains. “McClintock represents a predominately Republican district, which overwhelmingly voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. His district is 78% white and wealthy, with residents earning a median income of more than $61,000 per year.

“James Lai, Santa Clara University associate professor of ethnic studies, describes McClintock’s district as the “white flight” district, meaning that wealthier, older, white residents move to the Sacramento suburbs or Lake Tahoe to retire or get away from congested urban areas.

“There aren’t that many districts like that in California,” Lai said of the profile of McClintock’s district, which allows him to have a conservative, anti-immigration position.

“Denham’s district, which is adjacent to McClintock’s, is so close in proximity yet so far in ideology. Denham represents “the nation’s salad bowl,” an agriculture mecca that supplies much of the country’s produce. Forty percent of the residents are Latino and only 47% voted for Romney.

McClintock and Denham “reflect the complex topography of California, but at the same time, their positions are reflected in their constituents,” Lai said.”

The story adds, “While McClintock coasted to victory, Denham had a tough re-election bid 2012 and could have another tough race against a Democrat in 2014, a threat that could be compounded if Republicans fail to act.”

Ask McClintock if he cares. Purity over pragmatism. But that’s the spirit of the Tea Party wing, is it not?

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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