It is very discouraging that something so clear-cut like the High-Speed Rail Authority’s misspending practices are embraced by state Democrats.
Assembly Bill 1501, by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, California High Speed Rail Funding Accountability Act, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday, with the majority of Democrats voting in opposition.
The bill would have made the California High-Speed Rail Authority operate within the parameters of a 2008 proposition that allowed money to be borrowed under certain conditions.
Occasionally, Gov. Jerry Brown does something that isn’t financially reckless and is hailed by some as “fiscally moderate”. His obsession with taxpayer-funded high-speed rail undoes all of that, as far as I’m concerned. Let the private sector build a bullet train or let one not be built at all.
As with all egregiously expensive ripoffs of taxpayers, Big Labor is pulling the strings.
The State Building & Construction Trades Council of California appeared at the hearing in opposition to AB 1501. The labor union brags on its website, “We got it right. We elected the right governor and the right legislative leaders.”
“It is with that same sense of leadership and responsibility, that Governor Jerry Brown continues to move forward toward the construction of America’s first high speed rail system,” the labor union wrote in February. “Likewise, the State Building Trades’ advocacy in favor of the project remains as strong as ever.”
Project Vote Smart, supported by Follow the Money, reports transportation unions have made political contributions of $12,800 to the Assembly Transportation Committee Chairwoman, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. Lowenthal has received a total of $77,450 from labor unions.
Committee member Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, even received $14,799 from transportation unions, and $121,473 total from labor unions.
Committee member Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, did not have any transportation labor unions listed specifically, but received $26,200.00 from the transportation sector, and $217,600 in total from labor unions.
Committee member Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, received $203,400 from labor unions, and $16,500 from the transportation sector.
Committee Vice Chairman, Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, received no political contributions from transportation labor unions, and only $3,500 from the transportation sector.
Committee member Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, received $12,900 from the transportation sector.
Patterson received $2,500 from the transportation sector, and $21,450 from agriculture.