‘There will be a lawsuit, and I want to be the lead plaintiff…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Promises made, promises not kept.
That’s been the driving theme behind California’s bullet-train fiasco. It began with a climate-friendly voter referendum in 2008 and has since chugged along deeper and deeper into taxpayer-funded debt while failing to deliver on the most basic aspects of the proposal.
The “green” public-transit initiative was supposed to connect San Francisco to Anaheim along a 520-mile rail line at a cost of $33.6 billion. Twelve years later, only 119 miles of rail is expected to be built, and costs have swelled to more than $100 billion.
But the latest broken promise violates a portion of the original ballot measure that stated that future passenger service would not require “operating subsidies.”
State and federal taxpayers were to foot the bill for construction, but proceeds from paying customers were supposed to fund the costs of operating the train and any additional operating costs stemming from connecting rail lines.
Now, Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom is shamelessly back-tracking.
Newsom’s plan involves shifting operations to an entity other than the California High-Speed Rail Authority after a proposed electrified portion of the track is built. It’s a paper-shuffling maneuver that circumvents the intent of the initial referendum.
According to the Los Angeles Times, former California Gov. Jerry Brown and other progressive train supporters were adamant that the project would be so successful that it would turn a profit while combating climate change.
That never happened, and Newsom is facing legal push-back for trying to dump future operating expenses onto the same taxpayers whom California politicians have been ripping off for more than a decade.
“It defies the ballot measure approved by voters,” said Quentin Kopp, a former judge and state senator who was a key architect of the bullet train program and former chairman of the High-Speed Rail Board of Directors.
“Once you establish the concept, the sky is the limit. There will be a lawsuit, and I want to be the lead plaintiff,” she said.