Looks like the High Speed Rail scam, though spending hundreds of millions, signing billions in contracts has been exposed. First a judge ruled that the Authority did not obey the terms of Prop.1A—they failed to provide a finance plan on how the $200 billion boondoggle will be paid for by them. Then, it was noticed that the route in the ballot measure was not followed—they illegally created a new one.
Now they are signing billions in contracts without the ability to pay and stealing Fresno businesses by force of eminent domain. All around these is a sleazy operation—which started with Arnold lying about the costs and rider ship.
“All year, the state billed the summer of 2013 as the season when California’s biggest-ever public works project — a $69 billion high-speed rail line — would finally leave the station with a groundbreaking that has been decades in the making.
But with autumn arriving this weekend and no bulldozers in sight, rail officials for the first time have acknowledged it will be another “few months” before construction, which has already been delayed a year, begins.”
By Mike Rosenberg, San Jose Mercury News, 9/17/13
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The state still needs to buy more land and equipment, finish designs and hire workers, while a pair of lawsuits set to be decided in the coming months could even force more delays.
A date still hasn’t been set for the formal ceremony marking the first shovel in the ground — the moment when the project should finally seem more real for many dubious Californians, as billions of tax dollars begin flowing and steel starts going up.
Bullet train officials maintain they’re meeting their schedule. They now say the start of construction they had promised was actually “shorthand” for initial prep work such as testing soil, surveying land and finishing designs. Those jobs began a month ago without fanfare.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority says it has the needed permits and bought enough land to start building on part of the initial 29-mile section in the Central Valley, from Madera to Fresno. But the contractor working on the first $1 billion package wants to wait until it can proceed full-speed ahead on several miles of the route all at once.
Still, critics say Californians won’t see hammer-wielding workers in the field unless the state wins two civil cases — one to be heard next week, the other in November.
“The future of this plan is in doubt,” said former longtime project Chairman Quentin Kopp, a former state legislator and judge who now opposes the bullet train. “I don’t know how (the state) could even mention starting construction with pending litigation. It’s irresponsible.”