Responding to a silly Examiner editorial espousing neo-Hooverite claims about the high speed rail project, former CHSRA chairman Quentin Kopp has an op-ed today defending the HSR project against claims it is "pork":
The latest editorial suggests that federal stimulus dollars to the high-speed rail project are attributable to backroom, smoke-filled dealings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Such leaps of logic would be silly and worth a chuckle or two if not so dangerous in misinforming California residents. On the contrary, federal stimulus dollars will provide needed impetus to our dreary economy. Moreover, California is in the pole position for those critical dollars thanks to decades of vital work by the California High-Speed Rail Authority....
Don’t politicize high-speed rail and lambaste it in some overarching dissatisfaction with the U.S. stimulus bill. “Track to Nowhere” may be an easy, sophomoric chant, to which millions more will chant back, “Build, baby, build.” Construction of a high-speed train system constitutes the premiere opportunity for California to lift itself into the 21st century. I’ll put my faith in independent residents of California who understand the benefits of high-speed rail, not as a partisan policy position but as a nonpartisan solution for our state’s stressed transportation system.
Kopp is right to put his faith there, in the same voters who were bombarded with right-wing distortions and lies about HSR in 2008 and still voted to approve HSR and $10 billion in bonds. Voters understand very well the need for economic recovery, for sustainable transportation, for high speed trains. Republican, right-wing claims that this is "pork" have gained hardly any traction at all with the public. But kudos to Kopp for pushing back against the nonsense anyway.