The Bullet Train in California isn’t much more than Jerry Brown’s wet dream, yet the state has already squandered $12.5 million on public relations on the train from and to nowhere over the past two years. As usual the politically connected anointed ones seem to be getting the big bucks tossed their way.
In one six-month window:
— Mike Villines, the former Republican assemblyman, billed a Central Valley rail contractor for $108,631.
— Denise LaPointe, a former chief of staff to ex-San Francisco state senator and former High-Speed Rail Authority board member Quentin Kopp, billed for $53,444. That was just part of the $350,288 paid to her firm since October 2009.
— Nicole Franklin, a former Oakland city planning commissioner, got $45,138 – including a portion of LaPointe’s work.
— Mike Lynch, the former chief of staff to onetime Assemblyman Gary Condit, billed for $31,748.
— Plus former Kern County Supervisor Gene Tackett ($70,652), and Sara Katz, a staffer to former Gov. Pete Wilson and onetime San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, whose monthly billings for the first half of the year totaled $43,505.
Just the above adds up to $604,824. Meanwhile, those of us who labor to provide the correct public relations for the bullet train, which is that it’s an overpriced boondoggle that will require additional subsidies for about eternity, continue to labor for free. No Koch brothers or big oil sending any money my way. All I want is to not be TAXED into ETERNITY to pay for a greentard wet dream.
Source: SFGate/Matier & Ross