Friday, April 03, 2015

Harris, Newsom oppose high-speed rail



The eagle-eyed folks at CalWatchdog.com (Rising CA Democratic stars want no part of bullet trainand the San Diego Union-Tribune (Why Kamala Harris avoids Brown’s train wrecknoticed Kamala Harris's reservations about Governor Brown's dumb high-speed rail project at the very end of a recent NY Times interview with Harris.

Harris is quoted:

Ms. Harris said she did not have an opinion on whether the high-speed train that Mr. Brown has made a centerpiece of his administration — and which has drawn strong opposition from Republicans — should proceed. “I haven’t looked closely enough at it as an issue where I’ve formed an opinion,” she said. “I’m a career prosecutor,” she said. “I have been trained, and my experience over decades, is to make decisions after a review of the evidence and the facts. And not to jump up with grand gestures before I’ve done that. Some might interpret that as being cautious. I would tell you that’s just responsible.”

That's just flab-gab to avoid embarrassing Governor Brown. It's safe to assume that Harris has already looked at the evidence, which is why she's distancing herself from this poorly-conceived, "grand gesture" of a project. 

The Union-Tribune discusses the legal realities that Attorney General Harris has already had to face:

So when Harris declines to endorse the project, maybe it’s not because she is ignorant of its details. Maybe it’s because the state’s top law-enforcement official understands that the taxpayer safeguards contained in Proposition 1A are real, not decorative. And she realizes that at some point, these safeguards will trump the glib spin of Gov. Jerry Brown and all the other bullet-train enthusiasts who choose to forget the binding promises that were made in 2008.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has been less coy about his opposition to the boondoggle, which was reported back in 2013.

CalWatchdog.com quotes an LA Times 2014 interview with Newsom:

Says Newsom: “You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger champion of high-speed rail than me when the bond went to voters. I believed in it. But my current problem with it is the financing. I can’t in good conscience square what I was supporting then with what we’re doing today.” He says Brown is confident the project eventually will attract private investment. “If so, that changes the game.”

“But absent something significant---and I mean, really significant---I can’t see supporting something that would come at such a high cost to other infrastructure. I don’t see how we could go forward. There’s got to be a different financing plan. Without it, the math doesn’t add up.”

As a not-so-young local star in the Democratic Party, Mayor Lee supports the project

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