Central Valley Republicans Flip-Flop on HSR Funds

Mar 31st, 2011 | Posted by

Back in 2007, Republican Congressmen Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy spoke out in favor of the California high speed rail project. That was back when they still represented the Central Valley. Since then, McCarthy and Nunes represent other people now – specifically the oil companies and right-wing funders like the Koch Brothers. And that’s why, as the Fresno Bee reports, they are opposing California’s efforts to win Florida’s high speed rail money:

The partisan divide reopened when Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, approached Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, and Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, on the House floor Tuesday. He wanted to know whether they would join in a letter asking for an additional share of the federal high-speed rail money.

“I went to them all,” Cardoza said Thursday. “They declined.” The political disunity, Cardoza added, could undermine California’s bid for more money.

Instead Nunes and freshman Republican Jeff Denham – who voted for AB 3034 in the summer of 2008, placing the high speed rail bond on the ballot that November – have flip-flopped along with McCarthy. Rather than stand up for jobs, clean air, and economic growth for the Valley, they are reading from the same script that was given to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Florida Governor Rick Scott:

On Thursday, Nunes called the state’s high-speed rail program “a boondoggle. The more time we spend on this fairy tale, the longer people will be out of work.” Nunes said that while high-speed rail makes sense “conceptually,” he would rather see limited transportation dollars spent on upgrading Highway 99.

Denham considers it “irresponsible to continue to throw money at a project that does not have a concrete, disciplined plan that explains how the system will run and be paid for,” Denham’s spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said in an e-mail.

Nunes, Denham, and McCarthy are all aware that if they are to have a political future in today’s Republican Party, they have to appease people like the Koch Brothers, even if it comes at the expense of their actual constituents.

As the California High Speed Rail Authority pursues value engineering on the project, the already minimal risk of a “boondoggle” is receding even further. The real boondoggle would be spending that money on Highway 99 instead, pouring more money into the obsolete 20th century transportation systems that the rest of the world is moving beyond.

  1. MGimbel
    Mar 31st, 2011 at 22:21
    #1

    Does this really come as a surprise? High-speed rail has become a political divider between Republicans and Democrats, regardless of what’s good for the country. Obviously, McCarthy and Nunes are both too inept to realize that the money can’t be used for anything that doesn’t have to do with the HSR project. They’re basically repeating what both Governors Scott and Walker claimed they wanted to do with the money, throw it at roads and bridges.

    joe Reply:

    Bizzaro Superman political strategy – do the opposite, no matter how stupid, silly or destructive.

    VBobier Reply:

    LOL.

  2. Donk
    Mar 31st, 2011 at 22:43
    #2

    Again, I would love to see some sort of real link between the Koch brothers/oil companies and these Republicans. It is not that I am not convinced, it is just that it is not productive to claim this without any evidence to back it up. If a Republican read this blog and saw those comments, they would probably laugh and think it is liberal blather. The way you write about it on this blog makes it sound like a conspiracy theory rather than a fact, which undermines your credibility.

    lyqwyd Reply:

    here’s some info about the Koch brothers and their extensive campaign funding and lobbying.

    Ben Reply:

    The article in the New Yorker last year has the best coverage of the role of Koch Industries in funding the ‘grassroots’ teabaggers and other phony populists who fall over themselves to help the wealthiest billionaires once elected to Congress. This should be required reading for everyone.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

    Donk Reply:

    Ok yeah, so this is a really interesting article. But there is still no evidence that they punish the Republicans in CA for going against their wishes. I am not saying I don’t believe it. But in my line of work when you make a questionable statement, you need to back it up with a reputable reference.

    joe Reply:

    Since they flip-flopped, since they oppose what is popular in their districts, I’d like to see an alternative explanation. Pandering to external money and pressure would be more complementary then alternative explanations for switching including laziness, stupidity, incoherent thinking and not paying attention.

    Ben Reply:

    Donk–

    It is pretty easy to see the influence of Koch Industries. Go to the Federal Election Commission and search for 2010. Koch Industries gave Kevin McCarthy $2500 on 3/23/2010 and another $2500 on 6/8/2010. Occidental Petroleum gave $2500 on 3/17/2010, $1000 on 6/15/2009 and 12/22/2009 and another $1500 on 6/30/2009. Occidental Petroleum gave another $3000 in Sept. 2010. The California Independent Petroleum Corporation gave $2500 on 8/31/2009. Tesoro Petroleum, which funded the initiative to try to overturn CA’s greenhouse gas law last year, also gave this GO(B)P member of Congress $2000 on October 11, 2010.

    http://fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/HSRefreshContributorList.do?election_yr=2010&cand_id=H6CA22125&detailType=cand&contComeFrom=candDetail&contCategory=PAC&category=searchCand&searchKeyword=MCCARTHY

    We can also do the same analysis for the RepuB(P)lican Jeff Denham.

    Ben Reply:

    Sure enough, Koch Industries gave Jeff Denham $1000 on 9/20/2010.

    http://fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/HSRefreshContributorList.do?election_yr=2010&cand_id=H0CA19173&detailType=cand&contComeFrom=candDetail&contCategory=PAC&category=searchCand&searchKeyword=DENHAM

    As someone said last year, we’re going to be addicted to oil as long as our members of Congress remain addicted to oil industry contributions.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    They also have their “think tanks” flooding the media with misinformation about lightrail/amtrak/HSR..anything that does not use enough oil…there even on the board of Reason…how is that not unbiased??!!

    Ben Reply:

    This was just a quick look at FEC data. I didn’t bother looking at individual contributions but there were plenty of people from the DC region who work for various law/lobbying firms representing oil-industry firms that gave substantial contributions.

    To the credit of Reps. Denham and McCarthy, at least they didn’t hire a Koch Industries lobbyist for his Chief of Staff like Rep. Mike Pompeo (RepuB(P)lican-KS) did.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/todays_paper/A%20Section/2011-03-21/A/3/14.0.1880975396_epaper.html

    datacruncher Reply:

    In McCarthy’s case (and I’m just pointing this out not taking sides) Occidental, Chevron, Halliburton and others in the oil industry are among the largest employers in McCarthy’s district in Kern County. They show up on the region’s largest employers lists.

    Also his 2010 reelection was basically unopposed, he faced no Dem candidate just a non-partisan opponent. McCarthy was reelected with 98.8% of the votes in his district.

  3. JJJ
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 00:18
    #3

    “The more time we spend on this fairy tale, the longer people will be out of work.” Nunes said”

    That made my head explode. In what universe does that make sense?

    It really is amazing to see the difference between a republican that doesn’t have to follow the national script (like Fresno’s mayor, and other local politicians) and republicans that must put the party before their constituents.

    It’s like that recent thing about republicans being branded as traitors if they allowed people the right to vote. Can’t stand by your people, there’s a party line that must always be followed!

    I hope Obama comes out and demands a new reservoir/dam for the valley. They republican party line will automatically be “no”, leaving Nunes and friends in a hilarious position.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Fresno overall sits closer to the middle of the political spectrum then many realize.

    In terms of voter registration, Fresno County had more registered Democrats than Republicans until October 2000 when the Reps took the lead. But that Rep lead never stayed large.

    As of February 2011 the Republican registration in Fresno County was only 359 more registered voters than the Democrats. It was Republicans – 160,392 registered voters and Democrats – 160,033.

  4. Matt Korner
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 00:52
    #4

    It’s funny. Republican politicians never seem to call government expenditures that benefit oil companies and defense contractors “boondoggles”. I wonder if there is a connection.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    I knew someone that worked for a defense contractor in advance desgins..he said money was no object.

  5. Travis D
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 02:25
    #5

    I wasn’t aware they were planning on awarding all the construction contracts to foreign workers. Or is there some other way they could build it without generating any jobs?

  6. Dan S.
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 05:13
    #6

    Sorry, this is going to be really O/T. I’d just like to say “hi” to the California High Speed Rail Blog from on-board Nozomi 399 somewhere between Yokohama and Nagoya. This is the first time I’ve figured out how to access the wi-fi service on the Shinkansen. I know there are several companies from which you can buy access and many different rate plans. Perhaps the simplest is NTT’s HOTSPOT service where you can buy a 1-day pass for 500 yen at Family Mart. A bit pricey, but hey, it works! Could be faster too. (The wi-fi, that is.)

    All right, now let’s get back to building one of these things back in CA!

    Brandon from San Diego Reply:

    I have been posting from my light-rail train ride into work or back a couple-few times a week. In Los Angeles.

    joe Reply:

    And me posting from my car, in gridlocked traffic. (joking).

  7. TomW
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:52
    #7

    Why can’t all the billionaire Democrats give large amounts of money to bribe “support” congressmen in the same way the Koch brothers do?

    TomW Reply:

    (bribe was meant to be struck out)

    Dan Reply:

    They do … and so do the unions, we just don’t complain about it on this blog. I’m sure the more right-leaning blogs whine about it endlessly.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    They do…the Kochs are aggressive about it and being so rich it makes it even more concering as they seem to have an 1880s barron type mindset

    joe Reply:

    Let’s see some examples of Dems contradicting their constituency’s wishes because they were paid off and took an unpopular liberal stance.

    We can name HSR for the Repubs, now what about the Dems.

    Dan Reply:

    CA has a major problem with union retirement benefits that the Dem’s are unwilling to face, probably due to their support from public unions. Dem’s opposed tort reform as part of the health-care package likely due to their support from trial lawyers. I’m not anti-democrat or pro-republican (I typically vote a split-ticket) … but let’s be real: They’re all politicians and their job is to get re-elected.

    VBobier Reply:

    Well the Governor did Open up a can of Whoopass on Pensions, Sure there will be some howls, But It’s better than what the Repubs wanted to put up from what little I’ve read and It takes a lot of the wind out of the Repubs sails. Too bad, for the Repubs, They now have no issue, But that’s that. Next.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    A couple of Democrats in conservative districts voted for universal health care against constituent wishes. That’s why it won by such a small margin – Pelosi didn’t want to force more people to vote for it than necessary to pass the bill.

    JJJ Reply:

    It’s not fair to compare a union (thousands of working people) to two billionaire brothers.

    Dan Reply:

    That’s certainly true …. but if 60% of the “thousands of working people” agree with a particular political donation and 40% don’t, the few leaders who decide wield considerable power similar to the two billionaire brothers.

    I’m not trying to defend the Koch brothers (I don’t agree at all with their politics), but politics on all sides is a *very* dirty game. To pretend differently is to misunderstand the forces at play.

    //dan.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Note that the unions are not trying to eliminate the aristocracy of inherited wealth in this country, while the Koch Bro’s are quite definitely trying to eliminate the right of people to organize unions.

    And indeed, while unions are the only non right wing sources of political campaign funding out of the top ten outside group spenders … post Citizens United, they were only three out of ten, and the very largest were all right wing radical groups.

    Emma Reply:

    Because there are not that many billionaire Democrats. Most billionaires are either Libertarian, conservative or not political.

    JJJ Reply:

    I wonder why. The funny thing about being a libertarian, is that it’s very easy once you already have yours.

    “I can send all my kids to private school, why do we need to fund socialized public school systems? I ride a helicopter to work, why should we fund communist-style mass transit systems?”

    Ken Reply:

    IT billionaires are usually liberals and vote Democrat.

    Emma Reply:

    Okay. Name me one or two liberal IT billionaires.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bill Gates

    Bobierto Reply:

    Assuming that giving much more money to Democrats than Republicans suggests that you lean liberal, have a look at this list:

    http://www.newsmeat.com/billionaire_political_donations/

    Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs. Bill Gates gives a lot to both parties, but given what he does with his foundation, I’d propose that he’s liberal. Conservatives don’t seem to worry about AIDS and malaria and polio unless it’s killing billionaires.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Bill Gates gave a lot of money to the Republicans in 2000, but that was because of the trial over his monopoly practices.

    Ken Reply:

    Also, while not an IT billionaire, the world’s 3rd richest man, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is also a registered Democrat.

    Ken Reply:

    Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin also lean liberal; both contributed $140,000 to support same sex marriage in CA and Google itself is known to be one of the biggest employers of liberal employees.

    Mark Zuckerberg, world’s youngest billionaire and founder of Facebook has his own FB page whose affiliation list himself as a “liberal Jew” and donated 1/2 billion to Bill Gates’ foundation.

    synonymouse Reply:

    AS has been oft-observed politix makes for strange bedfellows. New Gingrich is being bankrolled by none other than LV tycoon and your Desert Xpress homie Sheldon Adelson:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42377799/ns/politics-decision_2012/

    The affluent have no problem with spending your money on toys, just not theirs.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They do. George Soros is funding Media Matters.

    Matt Korner Reply:

    Thank goodness there’s at least one billionaire on the other side.

  8. Ken
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 11:33
    #8

    This is why we need our own multi-billion dollar pro-HSR lobby to fight back against the anti-HSR lobby backed by oil companies.

    If oil cos are Republican backed, why not bring in electric cos to our side? They’re going to be the ones supplying the juice to run the HSR trains, so it’ll be good business for them. Recent Supreme Court ruling said that foreign companies are now able to lobby Congress. This was meant for Republicans so guys like BP can lobby for more offshore drilling in our coasts. This same ruling can then be used against them by having foreign HSR companies to start lobbying in Congress too.

    Michael Mahoney Reply:

    The anti-HSR lobby backed by oil companies? I thought it was just me and three other guys. And I don’t know about the others, but the oil companies aren’t paying me anything.

    If this thing ever gets built, it will be a bonanza for the oil companies, because the Central Valley will be covered with sprawl. Even if the commuter rides the train, he will need a car to get to and from his cardboard house. Population density in Sprawl City too low for public transit.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Go to Sourcewatch and see who bankrolls Reason and Cato.

  9. synonymouse
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 11:41
    #9

    The underlying issue is clear – there is a spreading skepticism that the CHSRA scheme suffers from juiced ridership projections, will be a high cost government-union operation, and will incur substantial operating deficits. Concern about government waste and over-spending is shared by many voters. It is not just a tea party thing. This is beyond the Koch Bros.

    Proceeding from the realistic assumption that passenger rail will require subsidy, the obvious course is to select those areas with the greatest need and the greatest ridership potential for funding. That would be the LA-San Diego region. It doesn’t matter that that is the most expensive area to upgrade; PB cannot be dethroned for political reasons and it has demonstrated time and time again its commitment to wasting the most money possible. Waste it on something with the greatest utility.

    As regards statewide passenger rail, Bakersfield to Sylmar of course trumps Borden to Corcoran. If it turns out that the remote San Joaquin Valley section is all that is constructed, it will become the Koch Bros – Reason Foundation poster boy of liberal stupidity and frivolity. You have to wonder if PB-Van Ark isn’t forcing the issue here.

    And what ever happened to the investment grade independent review? Is Richard Branson genuinely to step into this piece of dreck sight unseen? Unlikely particularly since taxpayer funded loan guarantees just aren’t going to fly in the current climate. I doubt even Jerry would go for this as it has enormous scandal potential.

    Ken Reply:

    So what’s the alternative? Suck up and deal with paying for $5-$6/gal gas? Suck up and deal with the TSA gropings just to get between LA and San Francisco?

    If you have a better idea I’m all ears.

    Spokker Reply:

    There will be TSA gropings on high speed rail (it’s already happening randomly on Amtrak) and high speed rail will be expensive anyway.

    Emma Reply:

    What a ridiculous lie. Look, nobody forces you to use HSR. Just keep using car and plane while we fly through the landscape while eating salmon and surfing the web.

    Spokker Reply:

    What the hell are you talking about?

    Anybody that can’t afford to drive or fly today won’t be able to use HSR.

    $5-$6 a gallon gas isn’t going to really hurt people whose commutes are ten minutes long, a commute that HSR wouldn’t help them with anyway. I would cancel CAHSR in a second if it meant I could take a rapid bus to school.

    To deal with high gas prices, people are either going to take existing transit or move closer to work. “lol heop u like high gas prices and TSA” don’t meant shit to HSR, since it will have intrusive security, illogical station designs and “secure” areas, and will be expensive as hell, both to the rider and to taxpayers.

    If we were designing a system more like Germany’s ICE, complete with open, inviting station designs that are simple to navigate and deal with, then maybe I could buy into the hype. But HSR in California is going to be a completely expensive clusterfuck where people will be waiting in line to board a motherfucking train, just as they do on Amtrak today, where enforceable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t wait in line to get on the train that I’ve experienced. Mill about like an angry mob throwing threatening glances at the assistant conductor sent up to unlock the gate but they don’t wait in line. Apparently Amtrak indulged the TSA at Penn Station until the TSA gave up – there was something going on that was quietly removed.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “People who’s commutes are …” is a red herring. Its intercity transport. Its the impact of $6 and, when our economy has adapted enough to $6/gallon gas that it doesn’t knock us back into recession, $8/gallon gas on the cost of the drive from Fresno to LA or the shuttle flight from LA to SF that relates to CA HSR.

    As far as security theatre, Millenium Starport train stations and all the rest ~ that depends on whether those who do not wish to see that are willing to be effective advocates for better alternatives. Making declarations on a blog about “how things will be” may be emotionally satisfying to some, but is also a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Spokker Reply:

    And urban transport is more important than intercity transport. When $6 gallon gas hits, people will return to the cities to find that there’s no transit left

    Risenmessiah Reply:

    Not necessarily. Without intercity transport for freight, there’s no real need for urban transport.

    Spokker Reply:

    “Making declarations on a blog about “how things will be” may be emotionally satisfying to some, but is also a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

    I do not believe that anything said in the comments section of a blog, much less the blog itself, impacts real life in any way. I have sent my public comments in as everybody else has done.

    Alex M. Reply:

    If our HSR project has any more security than current Amtrak, I will seriously cry myself to sleep. I might just leave the country.

    Risenmessiah Reply:

    Yeah, yeah, we know. CAHSR is going to be the second coming of BART. It’s going to destroy lives, ruin California’s virtues….

    Hey dumb question, do you think people in the Bay Area or (DC), given the chance to vote on it, would vote to eliminate BART or WMATA if they got to have lower taxes? I mean, sure we can debate implementation here all day and all night and it’s fine. But, as I see it, to oppose this project when you have an electorate and a President both highly supportive of it means you don’t want it…EVER.

    Not “done right”, not “gradually”, NEVER. Even when both California and the Feds had budget surpluses in the 90s, this was off the radar. PB, like many a defense contractor, was emboldened by the Cold War and rising revenues in DC. No more, the beast is being tamed. CAHSR is it’s own animal, it’s own destiny. If you make it pay for BART’s or the Red Car’s sins, we will go nowhere.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I cannot imagine anyone saying that BART is not useful or important. Rather that it could have been better had they listened to the chorus of dissent that asked them to heed a hundred years of railroad experience and hold the broad gauge, just as now dissenters are encouraging them to look at the BART to SFO debacle and hold the Tehachapi detour.

    Risenmessiah Reply:

    The problem with your analogy is that broad gauge is a design “flaw”. Tehachapi isn’t in that same class of “defects”. You could build another alignment if it indeed became problematic.

    Now it’s true that Tehachapi is advantageous to Southern California power brokers. But, the alternatives are downright zany. Sure, you could carve out a route along I-5…but that would generate less revenue than an alignment through the CV that had both express and local service. You could just tunnel through Tejon….but that would make the Big Dig look like the Brooklyn Bridge.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Quantm study calls for no tunnels longer than 6 miles and from my reading it appears to be 2 tunnels over Tejon.

    http://www.tillier.net/stuff/hsr/Quantm_Report_Summary010702.pdf

    You can still loop back to Palmdale if that is deemed a political necessity. An eventual bypass of Palmdale is also conceivable.

    At the north end of Tejon you can either follow I-5 or 99. Nice feature of Tejon is that it supports both routings and in shorter. Still wonder if some other interests or modes are eyeing this alignment and that is complicating matters. Rail deserves priority.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Can’t on one hand argue that there won’t be enough riders, something you frequently do and then on the other hand suggest that there will be enough passengers to support two routes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A bypass of Palmdale would be relatively short. The I-5 alignment is the one that should take precedence in that it serves the real market: express LA to SF.

    Spokker Reply:

    They put all seasons of Ally McBeal on Netflix so screw HSR I’m going to be busy for the next few weeks!!!

  10. morris brown
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 16:51
    #10

    Having attended the PCC meeting this AM (4-01-2011), I learned that AB-105 has been become law.

    This law has an interesting section(s) dealing with HSR.

    Last year, vanArk agreed to furnish certain reports by Feb. 2011 or lose some funding. Although he agreed to the restrictions, he later went to Schwarzenegger and got those restrictions removed, but not the funding. (Simitian later got a ruling from the AG, that what Schwarzenegger had done was illegal)

    To say that Lowenthal and Simitian were not pleased is an under statement.

    Well AB-105 passed two weeks ago and signed by Brown, has these restrictions on this funding with a new deadline of Oct 14, 2011. So this time, either the Authority is going to deliver the report or go without the funding.

    Read sections 37 and 38 of AB-105 (now law)

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0101-0150/ab_105_bill_20110324_chaptered.pdf

    I must say the last sentence of Robert rant here:

    “The real boondoggle would be spending that money on Highway 99 instead, pouring more money into the obsolete 20th century transportation systems that the rest of the world is moving beyond.”

    is completely off the wall. Like it or not Robert, rail is not going to replace highways and autos.

    Other countries may well be building HSR systems, but they are also building highways.

    The other item you should at some time be willing to address is what the latest census is telling us. There is simply no way that California is going to reach the previously forecast population growth.

    Quite frnakly why should anyone be surprised that some Republicans in California have flipped on previous support of High Speed Rail.

    We were told the system would cost $32 billion in 2008; now we know this has at least doubled to $65 billion. More than enough reason by itself to realize what a disaster this project represents.

    No Fortunate Son Reply:

    Didn’t they receive a almost a 1000 requests from private companies looking to invest?

    It always amuses me that the armchair glibertarians, who espouse the virtues of the free market, think they know more than actual CEOs, which is usually predicated on the belief that they themselves will not ride it.

    HSR is coming. I strongly suggest learning to deal with that.

    morris brown Reply:

    Didn’t they receive a almost a 1000 requests from private companies looking to invest?

    No they indeed they did not. They got there 1000 requests to get into a queue for many reasons, almost all to try and get funds for selling the Authority something or another.

    Private investment has yet to come forward, although the Authority has promised it for several years. Even Director Crane doesn’t see that happening, and certainly not without government guarantees that any equity invested, along with interest etc. will be repaid. That would be a subsidy and is illegal under Prop 1A.

    Jack Reply:

    Keep dreaming. We have the CHSRA saying there was interest from over 1000 private entities, and we have you saying there wrong.

    I think you can see who I would believe.

    Don’t worry I’ll still buy you a beer on our first trip together.

    Paulus Magnus Reply:

    Morris is mostly right on this one. The companies were looking to do business, although Virgin Rail’s does seem to indicate a willingness to invest.

    Joe Reply:

    There was no call/requirement for cost sharing Or investing.

    So all the responders did not meet Morris’ made up requirement.

    Joe Reply:

    Prop 1a clearly requires bonds will be paid out of the general fund so it would be illegal to have HSR use receipts or ticket revenue to pay back bond investors.

    Again Morris’ made up requirements/conditions are bogus.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    The original anti-high-speed rail whiner… about this time next year we get bids for like 20 and $30 billion to build the system is when we will shut these whiners up

    John Burrows Reply:

    Check out the bar graph on page 29 of the 2010 addendum to the 2009 business plan “scenario for possible funding sources”. Notice that the first private funding does not appear on the graph until fiscal year 2015. Also notice that due in part to the efforts of the governors of Wisconsin and Ohio, Federal funding to date compares favorably to what is shown on the graph. And if we get a big chunk of the funds returned by Florida, we will really be looking good.

    Just before the 2010 election you were predicting that Governor Whitman would have put high speed rail into hibernation by now. But actual events took a real twist. Meg Whitman was put into hibernation—High speed rail is doing just fine. And thanks to the Three Idealogues, California could end up with a $2 billion windfall. The future is really hard to predict—right Morris.

  11. D. P. Lubic
    Apr 1st, 2011 at 20:48
    #11

    Off topic, but lots of interesting news in NARP’s “Hotline News” this week, including applications by states for HSR money, an Amtrak fleet strategy link, an argument by a noted (and real) conservative on why his crowd should support rail, two Chinese air carriers cutting out because of the new HSR lines there, and a new factor in the rise of oil prices:

    http://www.narprail.org/cms/index.php/hotline/more/hotline_700/

    Spokker Reply:

    In an era of transit cutbacks, Metrolink is adding 12 new trains May 9th.

    Four will be express trains and four will be either afternoon or evening trains to fill out the schedule on the Antelope Valley and San Bernardino Lines. One train will even provide an 11PM departure from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, which is the busiest line in the system.

    Not only that, but Metrolink has started both Dodger and Angels trains which leave shortly after last out. Both deals feature ticket deals, I believe, where you receive a ticket voucher with your train ticket. Even without buying the game ticket, round-trip fares on the Angels train has been discounted.

    I think professional sports is a giant waste of time, money and public resources, but if it gets these fans to ride trains and not drive, I’m all for it.

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