Dan Morain (aka George Skelton Jr.) has bullet train ‘scoop’

Dan Morain (aka George Skelton Jr.) has bullet train ‘scoop’

train_wreckSo a Sacramento Superior Court judge agrees with Quentin Kopp, the father of California’s bullet train, that how the state is pursuing the project flouts state law. So the judge tells the state it has to have all the funds lined up for the initial 300-mile segment — all $31 billion — before it can begin construction. In other words, the state’s approach to the project has backfired so badly that it’s probably dead. It is, no pun intended, a train wreck.

And what does Sac Bee columnist Dan Morain think is news? What he sees as the backfiring of a petty, hypocritical attempt by Republican Congressman Jeff Denham to block high-speed rail by trying to make it subject to federal oversight:

“By sending the letter that led to the Surface Transportation Board’s involvement, Denham, who didn’t respond to my requests for an interview, managed to undermine his allies – or at least the enemies of his enemies – in the fight against the rail project.

“San Francisco Peninsula cities including Atherton and Palo Alto invoked the California Environmental Quality Act when they sued to block the train from running through their fancy towns. Now, the cities’ lawyers must convince the appellate court that the state law still applies.”

Apologist/attack dog for the Sacramento establishment

But does Morain put Denham’s by-any-means-necessary effort to block the bullet train in context? That going to extremes is justified when you are trying to block a boondoggle that was sold with lies in 2008, starting with the ballot language illegally written by the Legislature’s Democratic leaders?

Nah. You lecture  the Republican for hypocrisy.

And you only giving passing mention to the fact the state government has been kneecapped by a Sacramento judge for breaking the law on the same project.

It appears Dan Morain is positioning himself to succeed George Skelton as all-purpose apologist, attack dog and stenographer for the Sacramento political-media establishment.

Thank God for Dan Borenstein. Here’s the opening part of his sharp editorial for the Bay Area News Group:

Ignoring the week’s real news

“Finally, a judge officially recognizes what has been obvious for years: The bullet train empress has no clothes — or, in this case, money.

“Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny’s 16-page ruling issued Friday exposes the fraud perpetuated by the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“Voters set restrictions in 2008 when they supported linking major metropolitan areas of the state: Money must be secured and environmental reviews completed before the authority authorizes expenditures.

“Kenny concludes it failed to clear either hurdle. The authority ‘abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of the law.’

“For years now, Gov. Jerry Brown and his puppet leading the authority board, Dan Richard, have been perpetrating a bait-and-switch on Californians.”

Earth to Dan Morain: Isn’t this, yunno, news? Isn’t this the big development on the bullet-train front?

Duh. Of course it is. But Morain will get more attaboys from his media and political buddies for going after alleged GOP hypocrisy. If his goal is to be George Skelton Jr., he’s well on his way.

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