Californians Getting Railroaded

Katy Grimes: Regardless of cost, the Obama Administration is behind California’s plan to build a High-Speed Rail system, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Despite a series of a cautionary reports by outside agencies and groups, the Obama administration is reaffirming its commitment to California’s $98.5-billion bullet train project,” the Los Angeles Times reported on LaHood’s visit to California this week. “Over the past week, I have traveled all over the Golden State and have found a strong base of support for the California High-Speed Rail project, from workers who will build it, manufacturers that will supply the trains to run on it and businesses that will benefit from using it,” LaHood said.

Despite being to stop “wasting” federal high-speed rail money on California by members of Congress in December, LaHood stands firm on his blind support of the project. Members told LaHood about California’s high-speed rail’s skyrocketing costs, delayed construction issues, and flawed passenger estimates.

Of course the union employees who will build a High-Speed Rail system, and the manufacturers that will supply the trains support it. Duh.

As is typical with government officials in this era of big government, they are deaf to taxpayer concerns and interests, as well as the “series of cautionary reports” warning that the $98.6 billion cost will bankrupt the state, and the HSR business plan is bogus.

Instead, a beefed-up radio campaign has hit the airways, paid for by the California Alliance for Jobs, which claims to be a non-profit organization “that promotes responsible investment in public infrastructure to help build a secure future for all Californians.” Take a look at their IRS 990 forms. They admit that they exist for the “enhancement and development of unionized construction work in the Northern California area.”

This non-profit group employs a lobbyist or two, a lobbying firm, spent $525,000 on lobbying in 2009, and contributes to political campaigns.

Comedian Will Durst narrates the radio ads. The ads are obnoxious and offensive. “There will always be skeptics,” Durst states in the ad, referring to High-Speed Rail “naysayers.” “Heck, some people would vote against sunshine and hugs.” Read the transcript of the ad.

“It’s time to do the right thing. Put people to work now and build something momentous for our future,” Durst says.

If High-Speed rail had merit, was needed, or supported by voters, we could accomplish this with non-union labor, and save a tremendous amount of money in the meantime. But it has no merit, is not needed, and voters would shut it down if a vote was taken today, a Field Poll reported.

As I constantly remind people, there are still more non-union voters in California.

FEB. 10, 2012

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  1. Eric in SR
    Eric in SR 10 February, 2012, 12:33

    Aside from this absolutely excellent, spot-on article, the photo of the duckies going around on the toy train track depicts this sorry high-speed rail boondoggle situation *perfectly*!! Love it!

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