High-speed rail push leading to Nov slaughter?

July 5, 2012

By Katy Grimes


This week could mark the last big, well-orchestrated push for high-speed rail. Think of it as a drug being mainlined directly into the state’s largest vein. High-speed rail is not about the train, or California transportation needs–it’s about the money and the dirty deals with labor unions… which would explain why Gov. Jerry Brown has been such a cheerleader for it.

Legislators are scheduled to vote Friday on the plan to start building the high-speed rail project. But, in one of California’s backroom deals, done in the dark of night away from the public or Republicans, the money used to fund the train will now be inextricably linked to save the Caltrain commuter service.

Despite the lack of support from Congress and the federal government, California politicians have stubbornly pursued their childish dream of a California bullet train, led by the noses of union leaders.

All federal money was pulled off of the table for California’s dream train, except the original $3.3 billion of matching funds. And that’s been the hitch–California must match the $3.3 billion.

Meanwhile, Brown’s budget cuts have slaughtered Health and Human Services, California’s University funding, and even the take-home pay of state employees… all for a stupid train?

The vote

Brown and Democrats are pushing the Legislature this week to authorize the sale of $2.7 billion in state bonds, which would actually cost taxpayers nearly $180 million annually for 30 years in borrowing.

The reason behind the push, and the irresponsible financial deal, is that this would finally allow the feds to release the of $3.3 billion of matching funds, in order to build the first stage of track in the Central Valley. But that’s it folks – there won’t be any more federal funds, and Brown knows it. The rest will be build on the backs of California taxpayers and school kids.

Voters want a re-do on the High-speed rail vote, and would probably vote it down this time, knowing they were duped. A  USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll done in May found that 55 percent of voters wanted the bullet train back on the ballot–59 percent said they’d vote against it.

Meanwhile again, Brown is pushing his “Tax-the-rich” ballot initiative, which is looking less likely to pass, particularly as he and Democrats have redefined “the rich” to include those making $250,000 annually. Don’t forget Brown’s arrogant recent statement that those making $250,000 four years in a row will be millionaires. Brilliant.

As he continues to promote bad policy in California like high-speed rail, and carbon emission schemes, voters are leery of allowing the state to control any more of their tax money.

What would happen if it all of this is passed by this Democratically-controlled Legislature? I would expect to see another slaughter soon, and this one will occur in the November election.

Related Articles

PUC board dissident has dubious history with PG&E

A member of the California Public Utilities Commission board who has attempted to establish himself as a critic of the

High-speed rail: Where’s the money?

This is Part 3 of a three-part series on the new Draft 2014 Business Plan of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

State Senate Democrats Crack Down on Fracking

Jan. 18, 2013 By Dave Roberts Despite the more than three-decade safety record of hydraulic fracturing in California, Democrats served