Anthony Foxx and Joe Biden Speak Up for California HSR

Feb 25th, 2014 | Posted by

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today reiterated federal support for the California high speed rail project:

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told the High Speed Rail Summit that the hundred million new U.S. residents expected by the year 2050 will overwhelm the nation’s transportation systems. And as long as we’re going to add rail capacity, he said, it may as well be the fastest practical technology — high speed rail.

Foxx said the Obama administration remains committed to California’s $68 billion high speed rail project, which would connect L.A. to San Francisco. He admitted there are “obviously some challenges,” but said Governor Jerry Brown has reaffirmed the commitment of the state to the project by promising “significant amounts of cap-and-trade dollars to the project.”

Those comments show the White House remains committed to HSR in California, despite efforts by Republicans to undermine the project. That’s great news.

Foxx’s comments also indicate the importance of using some of the state’s cap-and-trade revenues for high speed rail. With the White House citing those funds specifically, it will be harder for Sacramento Democrats to side with the Republicans and reject Governor Brown’s proposal.

Foxx wasn’t the only Obama Administration official to back the California HSR project. On the premiere episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden gave a shout-out to the California high speed rail project (toward the end of the clip):

He got a big cheer from the crowd for these words:

You know, we’re trying to get a high-speed train going from California into Las Vegas, where Jerry Brown is leading the country in having high-speed rail. I mean by high-speed rail, rail that can go 230-240 miles an hour. It’s environmentally more sound. It is economically more sound. It makes sense in every way, and it’s about time we get up and do it.

Some have mocked Biden for thinking of the wrong destination – the project Governor Brown is championing goes from LA to SF via the Central Valley, of course – but as we saw with Foxx’s comments, the actual decision-makers on this issue know exactly where the California HSR project is.

Biden is a great cheerleader for passenger rail and I wish he’d speak out about the California HSR project more often. But as long as officials like Foxx remain strong supporters, I’m happy.

  1. Ted Judah
    Feb 25th, 2014 at 16:52

    At least Biden didn’t borrow Pelosi’s “Grand Central Station” line….

    But it does raise the spector of linking tourism centers like Las Vegas and Orlando first which is problematic if you are trying to sell the concept for business travel.

    Hopefully Joe runs in 2016 just to keep Amtrak and trains in the mix, and because he is much better entertainment than Hillary Clinton.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Biden’s a lot less electable. If he runs, he may not be able to beat whoever the GOP throws at him, whereas Clinton is currently enjoying large leads in the polls against all challengers. It’s really sweet how the GOP’s field right now consists of assholes (Christie), people who are too conservative for the electorate (Cruz, Paul), and people who remind the voters of things they’d like to forget (Bush).

    Joe Reply:

    Thank you Canada!

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Is that what you always say when you don’t have a reply to the substance of the comment?

    joe Reply:

    It’s substantive. It might add Junior too since Biden’s been around a long time.

    “If he runs, he may not be able to beat whoever the GOP throws at him,”

    This is not at all true. The man’s vetted, successful, deeply experienced and capable of national level politics whereas the challengers are all candidates with less experience in the public eye and have not been vetted for a national ticket. Romney skipped over Christie for a reason. Ryan was dismantled by Biden.

    He’s probably not going to run in 2016 but will not say anything least he lose political clout as a lame duck Veep. Certainly he’ll wait to see if Clinton stumbles or falters in the meanwhile.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or Clinton has decided she and Bill will be spending more time with their family starting in late 2015 and is teasing the press so they Republicans can work themselves into a froth and make any other Democrat look good… .nah…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You should read the head-to-head matchup polls sometimes. He is fully vetted; so is Clinton. He consistently gets several percentage points vs. each Republican challengers less than Clinton does. Go to RealClearPolitics’ aggregator.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    But that is where your foreign roots are showing. Real Clear Politics is only an aggregator and polls won’t tell you much until the primary season. Right now, Clinton is headed for the same fate as John McCain in 2008. She is waiting to be knocked off by something hotter, fresher, and shinier.

    What’s really bizarre is that I don’t even think the Democrats realize they are copying what the GOP has done. 2004, the Democrats picked Kerry to run as Bob Dole too….

    Joe Reply:

    A candidate like Christe polls very well until their political and personal life is scrutinized. Christie was passed over by Romney for a reason.

    Paul Ryan, joe Biden and H Clinton gave all been vetted for scandle and tested at the national level with speeches and press appearances.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, and between the two equally vetted Democrats, Clinton polls better.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    She polled better in 2007 too.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The modern Republican Party is really reminding me of the pre-Civil-War Whigs. After they expelled everyone who opposed slavery.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Orlando and Las Vegas love conventions and trade shows – business travel – because they happen during the week when the all those empty hotel rooms are just sitting there without weekend travelers in them. Orlando and Las Vegas are among the top destinations when it comes to conventions.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Many industries that do trade shows in Las Vegas are based in LA, but the same can’t be said about Tampa and Orlando.

    joe Reply:

    Las Vegas does conventions and that’s business travel.

    Harry Reid’s pushing for HSR to LAS. CA is pushing SF-LA HSR via Palmdale.

    It’s painfully obvious that the CA system is being leveraged to get a second LAS project built with a loan to a private operator responsible for both construction and operations.

    It’s at this critical mass / stage that Richards thinks private investment would be attracted to the system.

  2. Paul Dyson
    Feb 25th, 2014 at 18:02

    Well with these two giants of transportation expertise throwing their weight behind it who can possibly have any arguments? Even if they are not quite sure where it’s going. Of course no one is quite sure where it’s going. After voting for a project 6 years ago assuming it had a decided upon route I have seen so many lines on the map between Palmdale and Burbank that it might easily make a U-turn and end up in Las Vegas. And every new line on the map you can be sure represents a gillion billable hours. Are we downhearted? With Generals like these we’ll break through at the Somme……..

    joe Reply:

    There is no mistake here with Biden.

    Why not listen to VP Biden and HSR’s Richard? Also take Harry Reid, senate majority leader, seriously. He’s s trying to get LA to LAS HSR a FRA loan.

    They all are talking about HSR and linking LA to Las Vegas with HSR.
    Richard emphasized the importance of getting to Palmdale – the center of the universe.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No, San Jose is the center of the Universe and navel of the Cosmo

    adirondacker12800 Reply: Elaine George and Jerry feel about that is a good question

    StevieB Reply:

    I have only seen one route between Burbank and Sylmar. What maps have you been looking at?

    Clem Reply:

    There are plans afoot (not very publicized thus far) to dig a long tunnel under the Angeles National Forest, essentially a straight shot from Palmdale to Burbank. Because the Sand Canyon / Santa Clarita opposition is running up the tunnel mileage to the point where that might make sense.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, although that has more to do with Disney and Richard Katz lobbying hard to leave the property it owns east of the 14 freeway alone and free of impacts. Villaraigosa’s departure also makes a Sylmar station less certain.

    Unfortunately, the longer tunnel is likely to found in PAMPA when BART/HSR comes to town.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Clem, what would then be the estimated total DogLeg tunnel mileage?

    This is Palmdale’s version of a base tunnel? Why stop there. Price clearly is no object.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Ted Judah

    A double deck tunnel thru PAMPA would be exorbitant. Besides all PAMPA-ites require is either Caltrain or BART. The only reason CHSRA was invited on board was for money and to fend off BART. So if BART is now deemed hotsy-totsy no need for hsr tracks as BART always has money the way Tony Soprano always has money.

    Besides the real agonizing question for SF officialdom is whether to stick with the TBT tunnel or chuck it and go with trying to grab all of the sizeable Caltrain property, which, developed, is worth way more on the tax rolls than the TBT. I vastly prefer Caltrain but I see BART more powerful and certainly more ruthless and connected.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Exactly. There will be very few stretches of deep tunnel on the HSR route or in PAMPA.

    What your analysis leaves out is the fact that SFO is real prize for BART and HSR. CalTrain is a placeholder until final build-out. United is far more willing to play ball now with all the consolidation in the airline business.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SFO easily and exquisitely reached by Dumbarton-Altamont hsr line.

    Clem Reply:

    Caltrain is on the cusp of overcoming its placeholder status, unless the electrification project is somehow politically sabotaged, and soon. Time will tell, and time is short–certainly shorter than will be needed for the BART snake to digest its latest meal.

    Plus I just don’t see it happening: the predatory expansionism of BART isn’t driven by BART itself, but by the very same transportation industrial complex that stands to benefit from blended infrastructure such as overtake tracks. That doesn’t leave as much of a motive for BARTifying the peninsula as there was in the 1990s.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I certainly hope you are right, Clem.

    So if CAHSR returned to Altamont Caltrain would be in excellent shape capacity wise south of Redwood City? And BART would be bottled up theoretically for eternity at the San Jose 49’ers venue.

    Reedman Reply:

    BART never comes near the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara.

    BART already directly runs to SFO, so HSR and Caltrain are out-of-the-running there.

    BART has a big tunnelling problem ahead that is unsolved and not becoming easier — getting from the forthcoming end-of-the-line at the Berryessa Flea Market to Diridon and Santa Clara Caltrain/SJC.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Never is a long, long time and the San Jose 49’ers pretty much get whatever they desire.

    BART tunnels are a breeze compared to the Detour.

    I figure BART is behind Gavin and is planning to lay hands on that ARRA money.

    Joe Reply:

    Fans are to use BART and transfer onto VTA Light Rail.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Electrification won’t save CalTrain. Just ask Henry Waxman.

    Clem Reply:

    That went over my head.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Waxman thought he had the subway to the sea beaten in LA after methane gas caused an explosion at a Ross Dress for Less in 1985. Then Yaroslavsky passed a measure to not use sales tax revenue to extend it. Then the MTA started Rapid buses on BRT to avoid the subway.

    And yet, the subway is almost certain now. And Waxman even repealed his federal funding ban before he left Congress.

    CalTrain is the Metro Rapid of the Bay Area, it will be sold as a way to avoid the inevitable. But the thing speaks for itself. Caltrain isn’t going to Oakland.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART is an ossified system that refuses to refine or advance its tech. It has become a museum op of sorts.

    So it is possible that its new Bombardier trainsets will be as noisy or even noisier than the existing equipment. I like plug doors but I have serious doubts about their use in such large numbers on a subway train. It is a typically vacuous cosmetic approach which reveals that BART has given up on noise abatement. So typically Brutalist – celebrate the noise.

    **** you BART. Replace your cylindrical wheel contours with tapered; replace your aluminum sandwich wheel with solid steel, and paint over your grubby, grimy, blue-meanie corroded gray aluminum beercans.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I think the Directors are well aware change is needed. But no matter what magic Heminger works at the MTC, more money is needed and elected officials know how unpopular raising taxes is.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Interestingly BART started out with tapered wheel contour but Bechtel changed it in short order to cylindrical.

    Reedman Reply:

    As a bit of coincidence, the two guys killed by the BART train that was being moved during the strike in October were two experts on rail wear and wheel noise, and they were out on the track in Walnut Creek doing investigative work on those topics. At the time of the accident, the two were said to “represent 70 percent of BART’s expertise in track engineering”.

    Joey Reply:

    I don’t know what’s more worrying about that – the possibility that BART just lost 70% of its expertise in track engineering or the possibility that BART had so little expertise in track engineering to begin with.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They probably wren’t 70 percent of BART’s expertise. Very likely 66 and 2/3rds percent.

    joe Reply:

    KQED Commentary

    I wonder why those tech companies never provided Caltrain passes and waiting shuttles at the Mountain View, Menlo Park, Sunnyvale and South San Francisco stations. As much as these ubiquitous buses lessen the numbers of cars on the roads, they are creating a parallel system that while being admittedly more convenient, benefits a select few. Ironically, passengers on the white buses are missing the bus on a rich opportunity to better know their neighbors outside of the campuses where they work. It’s as though these shuttle bus occupants have been given keys to the executive washroom, which may be exclusive, uncrowded and more luxurious, but is cut off from the diverse larger population, in this case, one that makes the Bay Area so vibrant and interesting.

    Eric Reply:

    Um, shuttle bus riders chose to live in SF, among that diverse larger population. Would you prefer that they lived in Palo Alto and never meet that population? Because that’s what they’ll do if you eliminate their convenient commute to work.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Why not live in Sunnyvale or Santa Clara? They are a bit more diverse than Palo Alto and not too far.

    Joe Reply:

    I lived in SF and met my lovely wife riding Caltrain to Palo Alto.

    It’s not that easy to meet and date people in SF. If your busing to google and eating meals at google and putting in long hours at google….

    ….lots of luck.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Exactly, BART is just a mechanism for what the “complex” wants to achieve, and now HSR is the new shiny which works the same magic state-wide.

    When synonymouse finally penetrates the Pelosi Mind Ray headquarters, everyone will be talking about contracts and not a single person will have any idea what Indian Broad Gauge is.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    somebody in the room will have a smattering of Klingonese and be able to figure out that he’s talking about trains from “Beely teadoubleyou nos hoes un Embart dogleg like Queretaro!!!!” Someone else in the room, with bad hearing and a smattering of New Yorican, will think he’s talking about not serving Eastern European rolls with tea twice on the dock where Dangling Ike’s sweet 15 party is. ( Bialy tea double you no host Embarcerdo Dangling Ike Quinceañera )

  3. synonymouse
    Feb 25th, 2014 at 18:49

    With Marechal Philippe Petain we know what transpired later on.

    You have to give Biden for sheer chutzpah. Way beyond Freudian slip he let out their true intentions. Did they write Las Vegas into Prop 1a with invisible ink? Maybe a double secret codicil.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And if he had said the Northeast Corridor and California you would have had your knickers in a twist because the NEC isn’t high speed rail. Tell us, do you keep your mattress on concrete blocks so there can’t be any bogeymen under there?

    joe Reply:

    Yes, Veep Biden did reveal intentions to link LAS to LA.
    So did Richard when he called Palmdale the center of the universe.
    And Senator Harry Reid is pushing for FRA loans to build HSR to the CA high desert.

    One might see a pattern if one took them all seriously.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    That the people responsible for HSR are a bunch of fools?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    if you keep eating the Pete Wilson propaganda, you play into defeat’s hands. Big projects are always tough- but the politics have also been terrible. The Pacific Railway Acts couldn’t get through Congress until the South seceded from the Union.We aren’t at that point yet.

    Donk Reply:

    It is much more likely that Biden just doesn’t know what he is talking about and thought the CAHSR project was supposed to go from LA to Vegas. He doesn’t care about the details – he just wants to see more chop choos.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He commuted by train for decades, I’m sure he cares about some details. Whether or not he cares about AB3467 section 4, subsection 12 clause 129 and whether or not 1833 angels can dance on a pin stuck into it is another question.

    joe Reply:

    He knows the Senatorial and State lobbying – HSR for CA / HSR for LA to LAS.

    Does he memorize the project details? No.

    It’s a BFD he mentioned HSR on a entertainment TV show.

    Donk Reply:

    Yeah he has commuted from Delaware to DC for decades. That doesn’t make him an expert on HSR. I haven’t heard him say anything yet that has indicated that he actually knows anything substantial about HSR aside from the usual talking points.

    It may be a BFD that he mentioned HSR on an entertainment TV show. But it also may be a liability. Biden is a joke to most people in this country, if you take the opinions of all Republicans, most Independents, and many Democrats. Anything Biden says about HSR probably hurts its chances. I don’t know why Biden is even seriously talking about running – Dan Quayle would have had a better chance.

    All of this said, I do appreciate what Biden did to create the national HSR program. Unfortunately, he did not do anything to ensure that it was implemented well. Maybe in 2050 when CAHSR is complete, they can name the system after Biden – he deserves more credit than Obama. All Obama can do is propose a grand vision for HSR every year but he is too chickenshit to actually do anything about it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Detailed oriented enough and well organized enough to make the 6:05 and connected well enought to reality that even though he watches the sweep second hand on his watch and it almost never leaves before 6:06:22 they aren’t going to put that in the schedule.

    Donk Reply:

    Well this is timely:

    “Obama to push $300-billion transportation plan during Minnesota visit”,0,2745675.story#ixzz2uRYHhXvD

    Another grand proposal that is not going to go anywhere.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Cynicism is rampant here and, given the history to date of California’s HSR project (as well as President Obama’s infrastructure initiatives in general), is fully justified.

    It will take a lot of concrete action to dispel it.

    Joe Reply:

    Given the project went forward and was the only HSR plan ready during the stimulus funding round.
    Given the project has won over $3 billion in competitive federal funds.
    Given this is the only high-speed rail project in the United States.
    Given the project is currently executing on contracts for designing and then building.
    Given the project has the president the Senate majority leader the governor the vice president both state senators and the congressional delegation support.
    Given the opposition party has thrown everything they have at the project and still hasn’t been able to stop it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The cynicism began in way before Obama. Bush used National Highway Trust Fund monies for the national security after 9 11. Then in the mid 2000s, when it was clear the Trust Fund was insolvent, DC did nothing. Arnold’s solution in California was a big bond in 2006 and HSR in 2008. Arnold then used the bond money to patch the budget deficit in 2008 and in DC they continue to make no progress.

    Something may happen this year and Obama is clinging to his leverage on this one. Cynics have to realize the GOP already has raised taxes, so a fix might happen if it is unpalatable enough for Democrats.

    Donk Reply:

    Hey don’t give Arnold credit for the 2006 and then 2008 Prop 1A. Both were put on the ballot in spite of Arnold. Of course that doesn’t keep Arnold from taking credit for HSR. There are a lot of people who deserve credit for HSR, but not Arnold.

    flowmotion Reply:

    At least give Schwarzenegger credit for supporting 1A and delivering whatever moderate constituency he supposedly represented.

    Also all of the early HSR planning assumptions were baked-in under his administration. There must have been at least one meeting in his cigar tent they discussed “VAT IZ THIS ABOUT PALMDALE? VHERE IZ IT?”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Knowing our luck, CAHSRA staff were recommending Tejon only to have Arnold demand Tehachapi to ensure Stewart Resnick’s ability to pump water into new housing units in Palmdale.

  4. StevieB
    Feb 25th, 2014 at 19:06

    California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and the design-build contractor, Tutor-Perini/Zachary/Parsons,awarded a contract to Blair Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers (BC&F) for utility relocation design work in the Central Valley.

    The $1.6-million contract is for utility relocation design work within the first construction package, which runs from Avenue 17 in Madera to East American Avenue in Fresno. Plans and specifications for the relocation of existing facilities will be prepared by BC&F for Madera Irrigation District, Fresno Irrigation District, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District and the city of Fresno. Typical utilities to be relocated will include irrigation facilities, storm drain lines and water and sewer mains.

  5. Donk
    Feb 25th, 2014 at 20:53

    Every time I see these quotes about Jerry Brown’s commitment to HSR, I can’t help but think how different things would be today if Meg was elected governor. And the 2010 FL and WI governor elections.

    Eric Reply:

    How different? Either way we’re ending up with nothing built.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Maybe, maybe not.

    It would have been interesting to see how Whitman would have handled all the litmus test issues like Medicaid and HSR. In some ways, her defeat made it easier for Scott Walker and Rick Scott to take a hard line and draw a contrast with the President. If she had been elected she wouldn’t have the luxury of running hard to the right.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Mega Meg has been winning victory after victory in PAMPA.

    joe Reply:
    H-P Affirms Higher-End Layoffs Figure
    Computer Maker Cites ‘Continued Market and Business Pressures’

    Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ +0.07% confirmed it has increased by 5,000 the number of layoffs it plans to implement under the restructuring plan it adopted in May 2012, bringing the expected number of job cuts to 34,000.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The stock market loves that kind of shit.

    joe Reply:

    She’s almost pushed HP shares back to the value when she took over. Maybe cut 5,000 more.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PC sales are in the toilet and there are, IMHO, too many players in the enterprise. I always thought an HP-Dell merger makes sense. But what do I know.

    IBM only does heavy iron hardware like mainframes on up, AFAIK, and I think still has its own fab at East Fishkill. Cutbacks in military and academic spending would hurt them.

    Even Intel is not doing that great. My guess is the Chinese don’t take on Intel because they make all that stuff and reverse engineer it in their own labs and find out where all the backdoors are located. They probably know more about it than the NSA. Why spend to develop stuff when you can use OPM?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They still do midrange and stuff that gets slotted into racks.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I think IBM dumped all its x86 servers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Servers don’t have to be x86. Lots and lots of them aren’t.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The x86 was the entry end. IBM has been narrowing its mission.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because there is no profit in the low end of the market anymore.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Consumer PC’s are commodity products as are the components that go into them, they were already that at more than ten, fifteen years ago. The money to be made is in tablets and other mobile devices.

    joe Reply:

    PC were commodity products when Michael Dell was a college kid and started assembling “PC Limited” computers in the mid 80’s.

    We’re at a point now that a computer with high definition screen, that multitasks, has fast networking, 64GB RAM and 64 bit address space is free with a cell phone contract. Power and heat matter now and Intel CPUs are to hot and power hungry. They can’t match ARM in power / performance.

    The money now is in the software. HP’s WebOS, acquired with Palm for 1.2B, is inconsequential.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Tablets and smartphones, unless they run iOS, are commodity products.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Drunks love it when someone else orders another round….

  6. Keith Saggers
    Feb 26th, 2014 at 14:25

    Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told the High Speed Rail Summit that the hundred million new U.S. residents expected by the year 2050 will overwhelm the nation’s transportation systems. And as long as we’re going to add rail capacity, he said, it may as well be the fastest practical technology — high speed rail.

    Thats a third more people, going to need a lot of trains.

    Derek Reply:

    Unfortunately, Obama wants to spend $300 billion from the general fund on roads and bridges instead of making the users pay. This will distort the market for transportation and reduce the viability of HSR.

    joe Reply:


    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Obama called in his speech for using revenue from closing tax loopholes to pay for new infrastructure projects. He pushed Congress to approve a new surface transportation funding bill by “this summer.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  7. Reality Check
    Feb 26th, 2014 at 16:10

    Viewpoints: We need another vote on high-speed rail project

    By Jeff Denham and Andy Vidak

    In 2008, the voters of California approved a $9.95 billion ballot measure known as Proposition 1A to help finance the construction of high-speed rail between Sacramento and San Diego. Voters were sold a $33 billion project that would receive equal parts financing from the state, federal government and private investors with a guarantee to taxpayers that it would be fiscally responsible and not need an ongoing subsidy.

    Since then the project has skyrocketed in cost, ballooning to $98 billion for the full 600 miles – later sliced to $68 billion by eliminating segments from San Francisco to Sacramento, and Los Angeles to San Diego – while the federal government has committed just south of $3.5 billion. Even the Democratic chair of the California Senate Transportation Committee admits the true costs of high-speed rail could really be $350 billion, and recently our Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would rather allocate high-speed rail dollars to “other, more pressing infrastructure needs.”


    It is evident that California taxpayers can no longer rely on Sacramento or Washington to faithfully execute this project. That is why we have introduced legislation at the state level, Senate Bill 901, to put high-speed rail back on the ballot and at the federal level, H.R. 3893, to prevent further endangerment of taxpayer funds.

    The law is clear that moving forward without securing state funding will put future federal funding at risk, including transportation, public safety and education dollars. It’s time that Brown put the brakes on this poorly executed project.

    U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, represents the 10th Congressional District. State Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, represents the 16th Senate District.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They’re right, especially since Brown is oblivious of the pressing need for re-routing.

    trentbridge Reply:

    The Proposition to Repeal HSR was cleared for circulation – for collecting voter signatures today.

    “High-Speed Rail. Future Bond Sales. New Transportation Technologies. Initiative Statute. ”

    So, if you want to have a new vote, find six hundred thousand voters to sign your proposition initiative and put it on the ballot. Don’t keep posting here and saying that the voters deserve a second chance.. this is your opportunity. I’d say your chances are less than 1% but that’s because this isn’t a burning issue for 98% of the voters.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They might as well throw out the initiative process and be done with it with that high a bar to qualify.

    There’s nothing grassroots about 600,000 signatures. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars has Jerry received from the teachers union, the prison guards union, Amalgamated-TWU?

    Nathanael Reply:

    The population of California is large enough that 600,000 is a completely reasonable requirement for a ballet measure.

    Which does kind of go to show that California is too huge to govern by referendum. California’s got more population than France, and France would only use a referendum for rare things. Switzerland uses referenda for everything, but Switzerland is special (and lower-population than California).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Effectively it means only commercially backed schemes or union backed measures can qualify for the ballot using the signature collection process.

    And naturally the Uniparty patronage machine can simply have the puppet legislature put any initiative it wants on the ballot.

    joe Reply:

    Good. Let the Central Valley Congressional Delegation take a stand on the issue. They can make canceling the project and sending Billions back to DC a cornerstone of their Job Creation Plan.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ain’t no way those billions are going back to DC.

    Pelosi and MTC will divert them to BART.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’d love it. More money to spend on the train that takes them to New York and Philadelphia for fund raisers. … Announce 8 billion to be spread around and then have the yahoos turn it down and reallocate it to the NEC and California. If California doesn’t want it Amtrak could drop 2 billion of it in the twinkling of an eye. It depends on how fast the steel mills can run.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It is evident that California taxpayers can no longer rely on Sacramento or Washington to faithfully execute this project.

    Yet Washington and Sacramento do the bestest mostest greatest job when it comes to building roads and aqueducts…

    therealist Reply:


    Eric M Reply:

    THEY ALREADY DID!! Just because the ballot box wasn’t to your liking, doesn’t mean it needs to be voted on over and over.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Unfortunately for the Cheerleaders they are now in the minority category. Most voters support a re-vote.

    I don’t know what the Cheerleaders are so afraid of. Supposedly the electorate cannot get enough of TehaVegaSkyRail. I mean you could even re-write Prop 1a to explicitly supply Jerry with carte blanche and require a line to Las Vegas.

    Go for it – I am sure PB and Tutor have mucho millions to peddle it to the lumpen.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Jerry strikes me as more a Diners Club/American Express kinda guy.

    Alan Reply:

    There has been a revote, in 2012: The HSR-supporting incumbent governor vs. the HSR-killing wannabe. Jerry won. Case closed.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

  8. Reality Check
    Feb 26th, 2014 at 16:12

    Is Newsom on the wrong side of high-speed rail history?

    synonymouse Reply:

    No, he is on Willie Brown’s side of history, which has been pretty lucky thus far.

    therealist Reply:

    Joe Biden for Prez !

    synonymouse Reply:

    Queretaro is the wrong side of high-speed rail history.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The New World is the wrong side of high-speed rail history — the right side seems to be the Old World, so far. :-(

  9. Jeff Davis
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 07:56

    On the other hand, the President previewed his transportation reauthorization proposal yesterday. The White House is asking for an average of $4.8 billion per year for the next four years for the entire Federal Railroad Administration (including Amtrak). Last year, the White House was proposing an average of $8.1 billion per year for FRA. Words matter, but numbers matter more.

  10. StevieB
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 10:46

    Could Southwest Airlines operate California High Speed Rail? Ben Tripousis, Northern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, thinks they should be interested.

    Folks like Southwest have begun to figure out that rather than thinking about being an airline, they can start thinking about being a transportation company. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to them whether you’re on one of their planes or one of their trains; they just get your ticket money.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The unions would never allow that. They would go on strike and the Party bosses would support the unions.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Strike? Are you saying BART unions would strike because HSR might be non-union? You do know that is illegal, don’t you?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Amalgamated would not cross a picket line set up by a PB-CHSRA union trying to drive out a private operator.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Since BART is ensconced in blissful isolation where would they have to cross a picket line?

    synonymouse Reply:

    good point

    That would depend on what is built out. Possibly San Jose or SFO.

    But a walkout of PB-CHSRA would provoke all sorts of solidarity plays and the unions know the Party bosses have to back them up.

    jimsf Reply:

    southwest airlines has union employees

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There ya’ go citing facts again. When will you learn that facts don’t matter.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And Southwest is going to take over BART operations.

    PB-CHSRA is a government owned op. The unions will put the run on any franchisee straightaway and the machine bosses will support the unions all the way.

    Who slips more money to Pelosi – Amalgamated or Southwest?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s the free market for ya’. We get the Congress corporations pay for.

    jimsf Reply:

    What is your damage with unions? Listen to the news and they will go on and on about how few americans have union jobs and how little power they have anymore.

    Is that what you want? Americans working for crappy wages and no benefits, so what, so you can have cheaper crap? Or is it because you prefer more and more profit going to people who don’t need it?

    Do you realize that some companies actually prefer having a union contract because it makes sense to have everything spelled out specifically for both sides?

    You’re a certified kook.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Do you realize that unions did it to themselves,

    They ran the steel industry to the ground.
    They ran the textile industry to the ground
    They ran the auto industry to the ground
    They ran the mining industry into the ground
    They keep running the airline industry into the ground over and over
    Teachers unions prevent changes to education to make the system better
    I could go on and on

    Everything you need to know about unions is shown by the recent Hostess situation, They literally forced the company into bankruptcy rather than negotiate, So now there is no company an no union at all.

    Companies most certainly don’t prefer union contracts because they prevent flexibility by definition. The was a time in the US when unions were desperately needed because of worker safety, company towns, and generally despicable corporate behavior. That time is long past which is why unions can’t even get certified when the company supports is (recent VW vote). Goodbye and good riddance

    joe Reply:

    Workers don’t run corporations things – managers do.

    “They literally forced the company into bankruptcy rather than negotiate, So now there is no company an no union at all.”

    To steer it through its bankruptcy reorganization, Hostess hired restructuring expert Greg Rayburn as its CEO. But Rayburn ultimately failed to reach a contract agreement with its second largest union. In November, he blamed striking workers for crippling the company’s ability to maintain normal production and announced that Hostess would liquidate.

    Cutting wages in a endless loop didn’t work so the company went bankrupt – the owners sold the company.

    the new owners did something different.

    Hostess will also now deliver to warehouses that supply retailers, rather than delivering directly to stores, said Rich Seban, the president of Hostess who previously served as chief operating officer. That will greatly expand its reach, letting it deliver to dollar stores and nearly all convenience stores in the U.S.

    Previously, he said Hostess was only able to reach about a third of the country’s 150,000 convenience stores.

    The previous owners and CEO couldn’t think of anything nobut cvel ut wages.

    New owners and CEO figured a way to grow the distribution three ties the size of the bankrupt company.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The previous owners suggested that, but the UNION would not let them even consolidate deliveries to one person. They had 2 different union workers delivering stuff to the same store base don’t he product and legacy company it was bought from.

    The new owners have the flexibility because they don’t have a UNION. Thanks for proving my point

    joe Reply:

    The previous owners suggested another round of wages cuts.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they lost 350+ million dollars. They were in bankruptcy. They suggested wage cuts, changes to work rules, everything under the sun to try and save the company.

    What is better cuts…or no jobs at all.

    The “new owners” you love so much, they run a union free shop.

    That is the great thing about unions, they will eliminate themselves given enough time and space. So while Hostess lives on, the unions are gone. Nice strategy

    joe Reply:

    They now pay bakers 11 / hr. which is below a liveable wage. In and out in Gilroy starts at 10.50.

    There is no loss when a job is on fast food level wages and employee pensions are taken and applied to the company and not employees.

    I don’t love a 11/hr union free shop – I simply point out there were other options then cutting bakery wages.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    nope, there were only 2 options. accept the 3rd round of cuts by the old owners or force them into bankruptcy and take their chances on the new owners. They made their choice, now they get to live with it. But not the union bosses, just the little guy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought bankruptcy ended the contract with the union. They were free to hire any one on any terms at that point.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not the fault of the valiant managers of the steel industry that they didn’t modernize, it’s all the fault of the dastardly mill workers that stopped them from upgrading plants.
    The textile industry was notorious for being non unionized. The clothing industry on the other hand was. It’s the fault of the workers that they weren’t willing to work for pennies an hour. Thought the garment industry is notorious for paying by the piece except for the quality control inspectors.
    The US auto industry produces as many cars as it did in it’s heydey. With a quarter of the workers it formerly had. It competes effectively with other worldwide manufacturers.
    The miners should have worked harder smarter and faster. It’s there fault that people switched from coal to easy to use oil or gas. Ya ever have to keep the house warm with a coal fired boiler or furnace when it’s ten degrees out? It’s so much fun shoveling it into the firebox and hauling the ashes to the curb. Only thing I miss about coal heat is that the cinders were good for putting on icy sidewalks. Killed the grass but they were very good on ice.
    Cut throat price competition has nothing at all to do with the way airlines go bankrupt get reorganized and go bankrupt and get reorganized and go bankrupt. How many times has United gone bankrupt?
    They’ve been reforming education since Sputnik scared us into the missile gap reforms. Those teachers are all dead. Dead people don’t pay union dues.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And the smell of sulfur was so bracing on winter mornings! and the sunsets were spectacular. When the smog didn’t blot them out.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You make my point. The world changed, but the companies could not because unions and their contracts were fixed. There are no $30 an hour manufacturing jobs anymore in the reality of globalization. But don’t tell unions that. There is no mores room for paying 2 years of severance or paying workers to sit in a room and do nothing, but don’t tell unions that.

    The auto industry now competes because contracts were changed in bankruptcy. The steel industry now competes (what is left) because contracts and pensions were dumped in bankruptcy. The same is true for the others.

    The US economy is better off without unions. I can only hope the future holds the end of unions in the public sector

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    yep it was all those unwashed workers fault that management was incompetent…. it takes two parties to sign a contract btw.

    joe Reply:

    Tripling convenience store access. Who could have known!

    The CEO that tired to cut wages to solve corporate problems failed. People have a right to object to a wage cut. They have a right to demand management to try something else.

    Only after management and owners failed 100% before they’d try something new.

    The new owners changed how they delivered product to convenience store market and now have 3x the market.

    Damn unions.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why do you keep ignoring the fact that the old owners COULD NOT change the way the product was delivered BECAUSE the UNIONS would not let them. Do you think it is cooincidence that once the unions are gone, the company is profitable again? The previous owners lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the bankruptcy, do you think they wanted to lose that money?

    Presence of Unions = 2 bankruptcies and loss of 18000 jobs
    Absence of unions = 3X market share increase

    But even if it was all managements fault, how did killing the company help the union workers. They still lost their jobs, the company was still sold, the union is gone. So they have their rights, but no job or union now.

    joe Reply:

    “Why do you keep ignoring the fact that the old owners COULD NOT change the way the product was delivered BECAUSE the UNIONS would not let them”

    When you caps lock – COULD NOT – what do you mean?

    Management can negotiate whatever they wish with whomever they wish.
    Management choose to negotiate and cut wages on bakery employees and they did. Again and again they took concessions. Then management spend their employee’s pension payments on the company, not on employee pensions.

    The lie is management CAN – they can.

    Now they pay 11/hour which is less than a liveable wage. Oh let’s all sign up for that lovely work and get food stamps.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    in a non union shop there is no negotiation necessary. Which is why the existing owners can make all the changes they wish. BTW, the distribution you like so much…3rd party. WSJ article you probably cant get past the paywall. i will post the relevant section.


    In February, before the $410 million sale to Metropoulos and Apollo was finalized, the president of the bakers union expressed confidence that his thousands of out-of-work members would find opportunity at the Hostess facilities once they were reopened by their new owners. President David Durkee said the strike had left the union in “a position of strength,” and he expressed confidence its workers would get a better deal from the new owners than Hostess offered during the bankruptcy case, its second in recent years.

    He added that the only way for the brands to have a “seamless restart” would be to hire back unionized bakers. “Only our members know how to get that equipment running,” Mr. Durkee said. “A work force off the street will not be able to accomplish that.”

    But Mr. Metropoulos and his son, Daren, the co-CEO of Pabst Brewing Co. who is also heading up the reborn Hostess’s marketing strategy, expressed confidence they would be able to find skilled, nonunion workers near the four plants, which are in areas with high unemployment.

    “We’re trying to find the most qualified people in these local markets to come work for the company,” Daren Metropoulos said.

    The new Hostess is firing up plants in Columbus, Ga.; Emporia, Kan.; Schiller Park, Ill.; and Indianapolis, Ind. It’s also considering whether to reopen a fifth plant it purchased, in Los Angeles. Previously, the Hostess products that Metropoulos and Apollo bought were made at 11 plants, but the elder Mr. Metropoulos said those plants were running at less than 50% capacity under the old model. The new Hostess plants will run at 85% to 90% capacity, making the business “as efficient as possible,” he said. The new company expects total capacity to be back to where it was before Hostess’s shutdown by September.

    The elder Mr. Metropoulos said he wasn’t sure how many employees it used to take to produce the classic Hostess snack cakes now under the control of Metropoulos and Apollo. The new Hostess plans to use third-party drivers and an outside sales organization. It will also switch distribution models, delivering Hostess Twinkies and Cup Cakes directly to supermarket warehouses instead of individual locations.


    Oh No…You mean anyone can run an automated baking machine, not just a union stooge. And I bet the switch to outside 3rd party delivery would have gone over really well in the previous union shop.

    When I caps lock COULD NOT what I mean is that no matter what management said, the union was not going to agree. The union would rather see the company die and the jobs lost than give in. Hence the reason unions in the US are dying.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought bankruptcies voided the contracts with the union and the new management could do whatever it wanted. They couldn’t negotiate a new contract. They were free to go out and hire scabs. They didn’t. They gave themselves a bunch of really nice bonuses and let the company go bankrupt.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    the 1st bankruptcy owners tried to make it work with the unions…the 2nd owners didn’t make that mistake again.

    joe Reply:

    Cutting wages and taking pension money is “working with the Unions.”

    Let’s work together.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Compared to throwing them out completely…yes…that is working with them.

    You like the no union alternative? Me too. So don’t work with them, don’t accept the cuts. Hostess is still around, the union is dead

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Hostess is being liqudated. The Teamsters, last time I checked are still around and so is the BCTGM.

    ya better stop buying those See’s Candies because they are made by those awful BCTGM workers. Trade down to Hershey’s. Opps so are they. How ’bout Nestle’s. Them too. Give up chocolate. How ’bout some nice Jelly Bellys. Oh dang. I suppose you can go to the dollar store and see what they have. Besides Hershey’s and Nestle’s. Give up on that too and instead get something middle market from the supermarket bakery depart. Cross off Albertson’s, Safeway and Von’s. Lots of others too. And convince the dog he doesn’t really like Milk Bones. and lose the urge to eat the name brand English Muffins…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Hostess is back, those chapters of the unions are gone. While the larger union remains…it’s only a matter of time.

    You like to talk about how the GOP is dying out, the actual organizations following that long slow decline model are unions. Each time a chapter dies nothing replaces it. It just keeps dropping

    Joe Reply:

    11 an hour. No union.

    If they only would have accepted 11 an hour they’d still have their union and an 11 an hour job.

    Lesson learned.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Public unions are the only thing saving California’s middle class. Destroy them, and you can kiss political stability goodbye.

    1992 was not that long ago. 1994 was not that long ago. Heck, 1876 and 1894 was not that long ago. The GOP playbook is straight out of the 19th century these days and putting us a near certain course for three things: financial panics, inequality in wealth, and resegregation. Buckle up, John, it is going to be a wild ride.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The US economy is better off without managers too — managers sucking down salary, bonus, and stock options for destroying companies — but I haven’t yet seen anyone suggest how to operate without managers.

    Unions are necessary because of (bad) managers. Solve the underlying problem, John.

    jimsf Reply:

    and when I say kook, trust me, 35 years in general public customer service, and a lifetime on public transit, I can spot kook blindfolded.

    There’s a spot and a sandwich board waiting for you at Powell and Market.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The type would be too tiny. Ambart dogleg Queretaro Pacific Electric Southern Pacific Indian Broad Gauge aluminum beer cans dead Chandlers Van Ark conspiracy SNCF racetrack doodlebugs wouldn’t fit in lettering big enough to see. Anyway standing on a box exhorting the masses with ecstatic word salad would be much more entertaining.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    dont forget PB-Tutor TehaVegaSkyRail

    jonathan Reply:

    You forgot Crones and Drone. and DeTour.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If the Southwest Chief deal falls thru I’ll replace Queretaro with Raton.

    I’ll trade dropping TehaVegaSky Rail for the Cheerleaders’ dropping GlobalWarming.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Raton deal even features a tale of 2 “p’s” – Pueblo standing in for Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Palmdale is bigger than Pueblo. Palmdale is almost bigger than metro Pueblo. But then Lancaster is bigger than Palmdale and even closer to being bigger than metro Pueblo. Remind us again why it’s so important to go to Pueblo.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Pueblo is my hometown. Now adirondacker will not want to go there’re for sure


    synonymouse Reply:

    Apparently Colorado is dictating a detour to Pueblo as necessary to any funding of the Raton route.

    Developing story.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The temerity of Coloradans demanding that they get something for their money! It’s terrible.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Quite a bit off the route 66 alignment. My guess is that this is too much railroad for the states to bite off and it will end up on the Transcon. Some of the trackage necessary for the shift is already rated to 79mph.

    swing hanger Reply:

    The Pueblo dogleg can be dubbed the “cantaloupe route”. Southern Coloradans will get it.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cantaloupe is more Canyon City.

    The proper term should be the Chile Route. Pueblo is more known for the Chile.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Rocky Ford, next town on Route 50 on the the way to Pueblo, also on the ATSF route to Pueblo and once the route of a connecting train that went up to Denver. Do miss good green chile and menudo you could get in Pueblo though, often went to a place near Mesa Junction.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i know the place well. I personally prefer passkey sandwiches and sloppers, but my Dad is a green chile fan

    Did you know that Rocky Ford Cantaloupes are almost gone now. Most of the farmers have sold their water rights to Colorado Springs and the suburbs south of Denver. As a result they just dont have enough irrigation to fill the ditches anymore for the ones that are left. Almost gone now.

    I am a fan of progress, and I support that the farmers can sell their property (water rights) as they see fit, but it is a little sad to see it go. In another 30 years I think Rocky Ford and maybe even Canyon City will dry up and die.

    synonymouse Reply:

    no need to show up or call in – the union has got your back.

  11. Derek
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 12:52

    Jerry Brown announces he’ll seek fourth term — on Twitter
    By Carla Marinucci, 2014-02-27, San Francisco Chronicle

    Brown also posted a formal announcement on his campaign site…. “California is now formally committed to obtaining at least one third of its electricity from renewable sources. We are also building the nation’s only high speed rail system and linking it closely with improved local and regional rails systems. Finally, California is strongly encouraging electric and other low emission vehicles, along with better land use to get people and jobs closer together. In all these endeavors, my goal is to decrease the use of fossil fuels while fostering vibrant communities and a sustainable environment…”

  12. joe
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 19:20

    Five teams OK’d to bid for second high-speed rail contract in Valley

    The exact route for the construction package has yet to be finalized, awaiting approval of an environmental impact report for the state’s Fresno-Bakersfield rail section. But the segment is anticipated to start at American Avenue, at the south end of Fresno, and run southward through Kings and Tulare counties. The line generally follows the Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight rail line, with bypasses around the communities of Hanford, Corcoran and Allensworth.

  13. joe
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 19:28

    Bright star Gaivn Newsom has an ally. Brian Maienschein, GOP State Assembly member.

    How long until someone calls B.S. on awesome plans for re-purposing Prop1a funds for roads? Surely Tos or some-other concerned citizens from PAMPA would object to this illegal use of funds.

    I will continue to work to improve our state’s infrastructure and redirect the billions of dollars being wasted on the Bakersfield-to-Fresno high-speed rail project to provide funding for projects that benefit my community.

    That is why I have co-authored a “California Jobs First” proposal to fund vital transportation needs in communities throughout the state. This plan would ask voters like you to decide whether we should reallocate funds from high-speed rail to more pressing needs. If approved, the plan would result in $11 billion in one-time funds and $2.4 billion annually for infrastructure.

    Brian Maienschein, State Assemblymember, R-San Diego, represents the 77th Assembly District, which includes Poway, Rancho Bernardo and 4S Ranch.

    Plans are not bills. Magical plan to re-purpose Prop1a and ARRA money for roads appears again in a news column.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    But joe, I thought the legislature had absolute authority to spend prop1a funds now that the funding plan has been delivered. I am sure you also made the point that the legislature has unfettered authority that even judicial review could not impede.

    So what is the issue? I asked you this exact question and you refused to answer because You said it was a ridiculous assertion. If the legislature chooses to spend the money on roads per your previous arguments they not only have the authority but the decision would be beyond the review of the courts.

    Now personally, I think it is well outside the legal requirements of prop1a and therefore illegal, but given your previous statement and assertions you should have no problem with it

    joe Reply:

    You would rather make up shit and argue over whether I agree, do not agree, and ask that I respond to your rigged, hypothetical arguments. Not interested.

    “Judicial review is the power of a court to review the constitutionality of a statute or treaty, or to review an administrative regulation for consistency with either a statute, a treaty, or the Constitution itself.”

    I think Prop1a is constitutional. Why do you suggest judicial review is necessary? I think you means something else but don’t know.

    Brian Maienschein, GOP State Assembly member isn’t proposing legislation. He specifically avoids any mention of a Bill. This isn’t a legislative proposal – it’s a dude with a plan.

    When will all the Prop1a adherents object?

    As to what this plan means well… it isn’t a proposed bill so it’s not Legislative action.

    The Gov would not ask in his budget to spend HSR funds on roads, the authority would not spend money on roads and peer review group would object to spending HSR on roads and report that objection to the Legislature.

    What do I have to prove ?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Its actually a ballot proposal, he specifically says “this plan would ask voters to decide” and for the record, I object. Prop1a specifically states the 9 billion is for HSR and he should not re-route those funds for roads, he should pass a different law if he wants to spend money on roads.

    As for judicial review, its not just for constitutionality As the definition you posted says

    or to review an administrative regulation for consistency with either a statute

    In this case judicial review is necessary because the HSR authority is not following both the letter and intent of the law. As Judge Kenny has already ruled with regards to the funding plan and EIRs and will soon rule with regards to the design and time requirements.

    and finally, you dont have to prove anything (and neither do I). The plaintiffs and defendants in the lawsuits, however, do. So go ahead and keep talking about standing, no judicial review, and the like, I will just wait for the ruling from the only people who count, the courts.

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