by Chris Reed | January 25, 2014 5:00 am
On Friday night, the Sacramento Bee reported a bullet-train development that looks off the wall if you follow the MSM coverage that accepts surfaces narratives from rail officials. But the development looks somewhat predictable if you’ve been reading Cal Watchdog’s reporting on the fiasco and the strange events of October, when the attorney general of the state of California agreed that the project had an illegal business plan. Here’s the top of the Bee’s report:
“The Brown administration, which previously downplayed the significance of court rulings against California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project, asked the California Supreme Court to intervene on Friday, saying the rulings ‘imperil’ the project, threatening state and federal funding.
“The request to the California Supreme Court comes after a Sacramento Superior Court judge in November ordered the state to rescind its original funding plan for the project. The lower court ruled the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the initiative in which voters approved initial funding for the project in 2008.
“The administration said in a request for expedited review that ‘the trial court’s approach to these issues cripples government’s ability to function’ and could have implications for other infrastructure projects.
“The state argues the normal appeals process could take years to resolve and is ‘not a real choice.’
“‘Since the project’s inception, opponents of high-speed rail have tried to block its construction,’ the filing said. ‘Now, two rulings of the Sacramento Superior Court — which are otherwise unreviewable as a practical matter — imperil the project by erecting obstacles found nowhere in the voter-approved bond act.'”
But as CWD readers know, that’s not what California Attorney General Kamala Harris thought. In her office’s “remedies” brief in October responding to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny’s Aug. 16 ruling that the bullet train had an illegal business plan and inadequate environmental reviews, there was no challenge to Kenny’s findings. There was just the assertion that work on the project could continue using federal funds.
Who pointed out how strange it was that an official “remedies” brief from the state government offered no remedies? It wasn’t the Bee or the L.A. Times. It was my newspaper, the U-T San Diego, and Cal Watchdog. This is from an October CWD post:
“It seems awfully problematic for the state to concede its plans break the law yet still want to proceed with a $68 billion project. But that appears to be what has happened. One way or the other, this seems good news for those who want this nightmare to finally recede.”
Now I would argue that the good news has come in, albeit indirectly. For five months after Judge Kenny’s ruling, the Brown administration didn’t question its legal reasoning one bit. Now the administration accuses the judge of “erecting obstacles found nowhere in the voter-approved bond act” of 2008 that provided $9.95 billion in bond seed money for the project. Huh? How can the governor and attorney general make this argument now when they didn’t before?
Maybe because they know how ludicrous it will look to sober observers, and they like that it looks ludicrous.
Look at the bigger picture. Two plus two equals four, people.
By asking the California Supreme Court to weigh in quickly, and by using an obviously flawed legal argument in doing so, Jerry is angling for a prompt resolution to the bullet-train saga — before more money is spent and before eminent domain is used to seize perfectly sound homes, farms and businesses in the Central Valley.
That sounds like the pragmatic Gov. Brown of media accounts — not like the loon who actually chanted “I think I can, I think I can” when talking about the project’s prospects to the Legislature one year.
How long before the Sacramento dolts covering this project figure out it’s a ploy to quickly kill the project, not keep it alive? My guess is never.
If a “remedies” brief that offered no remedies didn’t seem crazy to them, why would they grasp what’s going on now?
This legal about-face is not something a serious person would do if he really wanted to keep the bullet train alive by any means necessary. This is Edmund G. Brown Jr. saying to the justices of the California Supreme Court, “Hey, guys, help me out here and kill this ASAP. It’s a pain in the ass, it’s not popular any more, and pulling the plug would help me and California.”
Thanks, Jerry. It’s about darn time!
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2014/01/25/brown-pleads-to-state-supremes-please-kill-bullet-train/
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