High Speed Rail

Could California's Bullet Train Head Back to the Voters?

Another ballot initiative is filed in Sacramento


Maybe Brown's hoping to use it to speed away from the state's "wall of debt"?
California High-Speed Rail Authority

Gov. Jerry Brown shows no sign of coming to his senses on building a high-speed train running through California's heartland, now hoping to use cap-and-trade revenue to pay for a project that cannot find any money elsewhere beyond a relatively small federal (though still in billions) grant.

So a California assemblyman is having another go at trying to put the bullet train back on the ballot (an initiative in 2008 originally authorized it) to see if the voters will finally shut it down. The Sacramento Bee reports:

For the second time in less than two years, a California lawmaker has filed proposed ballot language to put the brakes on California's high-speed rail project.

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell submitted paperwork Friday to qualify the Stop the $100 Billion High Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act. The proposed November ballot measure is largely identical to the Stop the $100 Billion Bullet Train to Nowhere Act submitted by then-state Sen. Doug La Malfa and former Rep. George Radanovich in March 2012, which failed to qualify.

Gorell, though, is running for Congress this fall, the Bee notes, so he probably won't be able to lead the charge for this one. If somebody else takes the helm for this effort, they're going to have to get more than 500,000 signatures to get it back on the ballots.

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  1. Republicans are holding California and progress hostage!

  2. Could California’s Bullet Train Head Back to the Voters?

    If it physically derailed, I suppose it could be put that way…

  3. Stop the $100 Billion High Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act

    I’m really opposed to this stupid train, but given the title of this proposal, I’d vote no.

  4. Let’s call it the Ballot Train. That sounds less violent and more democratic.

    1. Hmmm. Is it a high-capacity bullet train?

      1. Reading material will be provided, but no more than 7 passengers to a magazine, please.

        1. Funny, but that’s NY. I think CA is 10.

  5. I’m not so sure. It’s been so much fun watching the train wreck that is Obamacare, it might just be worth whatever fraction of 100 billion dollars that ends up getting poured into the Central Valley before it finally dies not to do anything to stop the train wreck of an actual train.

    1. The Central Valley could use the money, but so far it’s all gone to LA, to a company co-owned by Dianne Feinstein’s husband (Tutor-Perini).

      1. Really? I guess this news would be 24/7 if Chris Cristie gave a big government contract job to his wife’s company.

        1. The awarding body even changed the bid rules after bids were submitted so that the award went to the right company. It was medium-big news in the CA construction industry (which is heavily Union, heavily Democrat), but didn’t get much circulation otherwise.

          1. I should add that the two competing companies were foreign (both Spanish, if I remember), so no one here really had a stake in making a stink about it.

          2. It was medium-big news in the CA construction industry (which is heavily Union, heavily Democrat), but didn’t get much circulation otherwise.

            There’s a reason for that and it begins with “T” and ends with “he media carries water for Team BLUE as matter of regular business.”

      2. I’m sure the CV *could* use the money – they’ll never see a dime of it even if the train is approved and built though.

        Of course, *I* could use the money to – and as its my money the CV would be taking, fuck them.

  6. When you import millions of third world peasants who aren’t going to pay any taxes, you shouldn’t act surprised when they vote for tax and spend policies.

    1. Over/under for the amount if time it takes for Merkin to get his ass tossed again?

    2. Are we a little Cranky about Sodor’s liberal immigration policies?

      1. Thomas is being cheeky.

    3. Doesn’t have anything to do with the third world peasant vote. It’s the Unions, who have always been against the third world peasants. These jobs won’t go to non-Union contractors, guaranteed, and will not benefit illegal labor in any way.

    4. Thomas, in the interest of creating an open dialogue, shut the fuck up.

  7. It’ll be the ‘Fizzle Train’. Don’t expect a voter rebellion against it. The bullet train will go the way of the 710 Freeway. That’s obtuse if you don’t live near LA. The 710 was supposed to connect the 110 and 210 near South Pasadena. With the best engineering plans in tow, ground hasn’t been broken for 30 years.

  8. Bullet, head, voters. Why was I not surprised the Democrats were involved?

    1. Anyone who is anyone in California is a Democrat, but they still disagree with each other.

  9. Sounds like a plan to me d ude.


  10. Something will be built. Something must be built. The government would lose way to much face to admit to being wrong after all this time and press. So it’s time to do the time warp back to 1935, and pretend that instead of people not wanting to ride trains, they just want to ride faster trains.

    1. What mystifies me is that we have yet to build a regular-old train that goes all the way from Northern to Southern CA. Why start with a bullet train?

      I can only assume that all the decision makers involved do not understand trains, transportation, geography, or basic principles of engineering. Or law. Or economics . . .

      1. There is one. It’s called the Coast Starlight, and it takes 11 hours and 15 minutes to get from LA to Oakland. Or you can fly Southwest and get there in an hour.

        1. Interesting – I’ve lived in the East Bay for 20 years, 15 of those in Oakland, and I had no idea. To me it was always the San Joaquin with the bus at Bakersfield to get you over the Grapevine. Don’t know how long it takes because I never saw the point, but I have to imagine it’s upwards of 9-10 hours vs. 6 in a car.

          1. When I went to Berkeley, I could make the drive home to LA in 4:45 if I left at the right time of night.

            Back then, LAXOAK tickets were $40, though…

            1. Alas, those days are gone – I can’t seem to find an hour of night dead enough to get it under 5:30.

              1. just got round trip Oakland-Orange County for $54 each way on Southwest. I think the total is less than they plan on the bullet train tickets costing.

        2. “Yeah, trains are great. The cost almost twice as much and take 8 times as long!”

        3. Whoah whoah whoah there. It takes 11 hours and 15 minutes to get from LA to Oakland…if there aren’t any delays. It might end up taking, say, 15 hours and 43 minutes if you have to pull over and wait for some freight train or 3 to go by and the train breaks down for a bit on the way.

    2. In 1935, the passenger trains were all privately owned and operated and mostly ran on much faster schedules than Amtrak does today. Some were extra fare trains that were voluntary additions to the standard fare ones that the ICC required railroad companies to operate. Some actually made a profit even after subsidized highways were being built along the same routes, Chicago to Denver being a possible example.

  11. BREAKING NEWS: Orange County jury acquits Fullerton cops of all charges in Kelly Thomas beating.

    1. may their children be curbstomped.

      1. Don’t forget the hero police chief who suddenly took a medical retirement in the middle of the scandal.

    2. Fuck. I haven’t been following. Was the prosecution as incompetent as in the OJ trial?

      1. Apparently the defense attorney did a good job impeaching a key prosecution expert witness about what counts as excessive force.

        I’m not sure how to evaluate the performance of the DA.

        1. Phase 2: The officers sue for re-instatement and back pay.

    3. A third officer, Joseph Wolfe, was indicted in September 2012 on one count each of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force. He faces a separate trial.


      Did he snitch?

    4. What. The. Fuck. Got a link?

        1. What. The. Fuck. Got a Valium?

      1. Damn You!!!

    5. The wife an I were looking for a home in Fullerton last year. Fullerton has some very nice homes for that area in SoCal: large Craftsman’s with surrounding trees. I told her it was bad idea to buy a home there because we’d be dinged with astronomical taxes to pay for lawsuits that followed the Kelly Thomas verdict.

      I refuse, against her will, to make an offer any home there.

      My wife, a Chinese gal, thought I was talking nonsense. Who’s the alpha in the widget household tonight?

      We’re OK, it’s not about me this time. That just sucks.

      1. There are some good deals there. Nice schools too. I have 3 friends from college who settled there.

  12. Stop the $100 Billion High Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act

    Can we pass a law requiring that all bills brought before Congress are as transparently named as this? Maybe call it the Clear Language Articulated Reasonably to Inspire Trust in Yourgovernment act. Or the Last Acronymic Bill Ever Legislated.

  13. For your edification and enjoyment.

    Nelson Mandela Is Dead.

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