Can Gov. Brown pluck federal $ for bullet train?

Can Gov. Brown pluck federal $ for bullet train?


Jerry Brown 1943Successful politicians never accept defeat. So it’s not surprising — but still a little startling — that Gov. Jerry Brown is not dumping his high-speed rail project in the junk yard after the Nov. 4 victories of its Republican opponents.

He just said Republicans were “going to join the chorus” for the project. “Maybe even some of the Republican congressmen will have to see the wisdom of high-speed rail.”

No question it’s going to be a tough ride. As reported yesterday, the increased GOP majority in the House of Representatives and the party’s takeover of the Senate don’t bode well for federal funding of the train.

Yet Brown’s comment alluded to a future trade where farm Republicans would “join the chorus” to get water from his $7.5 billion water bond voters just passed as Proposition 1.

That’s because standing in the way of funding for any future water reservoir projects is the California Water Commission, a nine-member panel hand-picked by Brown. It is not a lock that any of the $2.7 billion in matching funds allocated for reservoir projects in the water bond will ever be built.

Central Valley Republican opposition

One of the most powerful opponents to federal funding for Brown’s bullet train is Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, who represents the agricultural kingdoms of Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties. Denham is one of the key GOP members addressing California’s drought. Denham also strategically chairs the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, which authorizes federal funding for rail projects.

To make matters worse for Brown, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, earlier this year became House majority leader and is strongly opposed to the rail project. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, is yet another Central California Republican congressman opposed to the project.

But Brown’s experience in California politics dates back, incredibly, to the 1943 — 71 years ago — when he campaigned with his father, Pat Brown, later himself a governor. At the top of this story is a picture from Jerry Brown’s 2014 campaign website.

Although difficult, Brown might try to get at least some federal money for high-speed rail by getting Democrat and Republican congressmen to work for federal funding for water. In political circles everywhere, it’s called “horse-trading.” And everybody knows horses need water.

Compromise Water Bill 

Republicans in the House passed an ambitious bill, H.R. 3984, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, by Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford. The bill would repeal a 1992 law that diverted more water to the Delta for fish, abolish wild-and-scenic river status from a stretch of the Merced River and authorize new water storage projects. The Democratic-controlled Senate has blocked the bill’s passage.

In the U.S. Senate, which the GOP will take over in January, California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, have been working with Republican congressmen for months on a compromise federal water bill, their Water in the 21st Century Act, which stressed water conservation more than adding to water supplies.

In September, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-El Dorado Hills, got the House Natural Resources Committee to pass three bills that would streamline the permitting and funding process for both federal and state water storage projects:

  • H.R. 3980, the Water Supply Permit Coordinating Act;
  • H.R. 3981, the Accelerated Revenue, Repayment and Surface Water Storage Enhancement Act;
  • H.R. 5412, the Bureau of Reclamation Surface Water Storage Streamlining Act.

These bills could now advance in the GOP-controlled Senate.

But even if the bills pass both houses of Congress, they still must be signed by President Obama, a Democrat who also is adept at horse trading, and who needs more than ever strong national allies such as Brown.

Congress is scheduled to reconvene on Nov. 12.

Federal funding for Brown’s bullet-train is still a long-shot. But use whatever cliche you want — “horse-trading,” “politics makes strange bedfellows,” “go along to get along,” “join the chorus” — it just might happen.


Write a comment
  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 14:28

    “He just said Republicans were “going to join the chorus” for the project. “Maybe even some of the Republican congressmen will have to see the wisdom of high-speed rail.”

    And what have I been telling you about the one-party system? Wise up. These scammers and schemers are about 5 moves ahead of you. lol.

    Oh, and McCarthy, Nunes, Denham and Valadao rolled over on immigration and all favor saturating the State with indigent illiterate illegal mexicans and central americans – then legalizing them – adding another 5% to our already record high poverty rate in Cali. So these traitors will roll over on the crazy train too. It’s got nothing to do with what’s best for you. It’s all about pleasing the ruling class.

    Bend over and smile. You’re about to get it again!!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 15:09

    A former Obola boy and Chicagoite thug, Rahm Emanuel, once said “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”.
    So you can just imagine how Jerry Clown, et. al., are frothing at the mouth over the drought crisis. Here we are, almost mid-November, and hardly a bit of rain. And no rain in the forecast either! So imagine the political horse trading going on behind closed doors! It’s like entering a house of ill repute. You know what product you’re there for and how it gets delivered. It comes down to bickering over price. And the more desperate you are the more you’re willing to spend. This holds true across the board. Trains and water are no different. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted
    Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 November, 2014, 17:47

    I hope The Gov can get the funds for our state– my bet is that he can– he’s one smooth hombre and he has turned Calif around!

    Hey Constipado– Are you still using the junior high racial rhetoric as a hilrious and clever word play to attempt in your own limited way to disrespect our nations first African American President?

    LOL– “like a child” ™ !

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 18:53

      “I hope The Gov can get the funds for our state– my bet is that he can– he’s one smooth hombre and he has turned Calif around!”

      He’s not smooth. He about as crusty and rough around the edges that a politician can get! LOL! The only thing that saved his butt was the QE that has temporarily pumped up the economic bubble. In the next 4 years that bubble will pop and then let’s see how “smooth” Jerry Clown is!!! LOL!!! He’ll be as smooth as a porcupine! The stress will probably do the old bugger in!!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted
        Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 November, 2014, 21:13

        LOL– Oh yeah I forgot how much you like to say QE !! LMAO— on of your four phrases!!! You’re a genius!

        So I guess smart monetary policy by the fed gov is a fluke!!!! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 12 November, 2014, 00:07

    I’m not a huge fan of Ron Paul’s but I agree wholeheartedly with his opinion about the significance of the GOP’ers making great election gains in Congress a few days ago:
    ” …….the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.”

    I understand that young naive conservatives might consider this election a huge victory. Your youth is a plausible excuse. But anyone over 50 has seen enough election cycles and should really know better. I have no idea why that crowd keeps buying the BS. It confuses the hell out of me.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted
    Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted 12 November, 2014, 06:25

    “It confuses the hell out of me.”

    I am sure it does Collapso— no doubt you have little insight as to why you have such reactionary fringe and angry views.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 12 November, 2014, 10:25

    The Clipped-o cannot help himself. His destiny to wear a tight little white coat and consistently going off his meds!

    Reply this comment
  7. LGMike
    LGMike 12 November, 2014, 15:04

    This sure sounds like a threat by Gov. Brown to members of Congress to do what he wants or he will take away the little amount of water to the farmers here in California. But then again, Brown is acting like the President and only doing what he wants.
    Water is life and business for thousands of persons, feeds not only the US but many other countries. A High Speed Rail is only a politicians dream and legacy, not a necessity.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 12 November, 2014, 21:34

      If Clown keeps this up the Feds will step on him like an ant. Do you know how much Federal grant money that California depends upon for survival? Wait until the big one hits LA or SF and our outdated infrastructure crumbles. Clown will call DC for help and the east coast long ball hitters will tell him to take a flying leap. Those folks in DC have long memories. Back there grudges don’t die with time. Jerry doesn’t have much respect on Capital Hill. They still perceive him to be a non-conformist hippie.

      Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Few donors, big support for Prop. 47

With California’s Proposition 47, advocates of criminal justice reform have created a potent test case for national policy. But financial support for

Controller 2014: Why the cost of a recount favors Betty Yee

The too-close-to-call race for state controller remained unchanged Friday morning — as Lake County has yet to count its 6,053

Card Check Blazing Through Assembly

APRIL 7, 2011 By KATY GRIMES With a sucker punch from the Assembly Speaker’s office, the public notice rule for