Anti-HSR Initiative Fails to Qualify for Ballot

Nov 1st, 2012 | Posted by

As expected, the latest effort to go back to the ballot to kill the California High Speed Rail project has failed. The California Secretary of State’s office recently announced the initiative, backed by Republican politicians Doug LaMalfa and George Radanovich, failed to gather enough signatures in the time required and will not appear on the ballot in 2014.

This is no surprise, since LaMalfa and Radanovich had no serious financial backing for their initiative, without which one simply cannot qualify an initiative for the ballot. Opponents of high speed rail trumpeted this initiative as a supposed sign of growing public hostility to the project, but the predictable failure to gather enough signatures suggests that they are completely misreading the public mood.

There’s still plenty of time for someone to gather the $2 to $3 million that would be needed just to get an initiative onto the 2014 ballot. But it seems pretty unlikely that will happen. Bids will be accepted for the first segments of the HSR project early next year, and by fall 2013 construction will be taking place near Fresno. By the fall of 2014 there will be more than enough construction going on to make it extremely unlikely that voters would be willing to pull the plug with things unfinished.

  1. joe
    Nov 1st, 2012 at 20:50

    2014 – they’d pull funding a sereis of rail upgrades including Caltrain electrification and extending ACE tracks to the new maintenance yard.

    Maybe Mlynarik can write the text for the 2014 proposition and firewall off all those horrible, horrible people who get in the way of transit perfection – you know – Those who know English as a first language.

    VBobier Reply:

    I think My older Niece could write better than Richard Mlynarik, She has a BA in English, but then She isn’t anti-HSR, as She has ridden on HSR in France, as has Her Sister and their Mother…

  2. John Nachtigall
    Nov 1st, 2012 at 22:23

    And so the blaming begins,0,5710614.story

    I would say I told you so…but that would be rubbing it in

    J. Wong Reply:

    Schnur is a Republican operative. No surprise there.

    joe Reply:

    The talking points that conservatives read John are being printed as opinion in the LATimes newspaper. That proves he’s right.

  3. missiondweller
    Nov 1st, 2012 at 23:14


    Getting On The Train – The Rail Resurrection Gets Underway

    Given emerging data in 2012, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the post-war automobile era in the United States is now in well-articulated decline. Accordingly, it makes sense to note the beginning of a long-term supertrend that is just getting started: the resurrection of America’s rail system.

    At Seattle’s historic King Street Station (a classic example of early 20th Century railroad architecture), a nasty looking dropped-tile ceiling – which hung above travellers for decades – was removed late last year to reveal ornate plasterwork as the building undergoes extensive renovation. These cosmetic (and structural) alterations are part of a wide-ranging upgrade to the entire Cascades passenger rail service that runs from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Eugene, Oregon.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    I wonder what the demographics of that site are–man, what a bunch of negative and ill-informed comments! The huge bulk of them are very anti-rail, the anti-railers think their fuel taxes cover the cost of roads, they think intercity trains are like the New York subway–sheesh!

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Another story linked from the above site that may be of interest:

  4. D. P. Lubic
    Nov 2nd, 2012 at 20:57

    Off topic but of interest, commentary from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association site on an article in Forbes on HSR in Italy:

    The Forbes article itself:

  5. joe
    Nov 2nd, 2012 at 22:06

    GOP registration dips below 30 percent in Calif.
    Democrats now hold every statewide office, from the governor to state insurance commissioner, and have sizable majorities in both houses of the Legislature and in California’s congressional delegation.

    Eventually, the shifting partisan landscape could help Democrats win supermajorities in the Senate and Assembly, where a two-thirds vote threshold is needed to pass tax increases.

  6. D. P. Lubic
    Nov 3rd, 2012 at 13:27

    Off topic but perhaps of interest (and with a special nod to Alon Levy)–HSR (?) proposal for Israel:

    And a nod to the past–the 1957 short film, “70414,” a tribute to the end of steam railroad operation in Israel:

    Original place where this turned up for me:

    Have fun.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    A little more fun–an Air France promotional film featuring service to Israel in 1951, with some neat Lockheed Constellation footage, too:

    And more Constellation action in a TWA promotional film for California from 1952:

    While on an apparent vintage airliner kick, we have a Stratocruiser promotional film from Pan American:

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