There's probably no relief for California taxpayers in what has become a one-party state run on the premise that the more of other people's money you spend, the faster you will achieve cosmic consciousness.
But Trump's Secretary of Transportation has put the brakes on the train wreck to nowhere. And Governor Moonbeam has gone from threatening to launch his own satellites to stop Global Warming to begging for cash.
Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Trump administration to reverse itself on a key decision to withhold a $647-million grant for a state passenger rail project, a request that comes two weeks after other California Democrats waded into the fray.
Chao’s decision in mid-February was sharply criticized by many of California’s Democrats, including Sen. Diane Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the Transportation Department was holding the project hostage in an effort to attack the bullet train. The Caltrain goes through her district.
Their protests appeared to have had no effect, and whether they were even heard is unclear.
In a handwritten note on the one-page letter that Brown sent this week, he wrote, “Can we discuss this on the phone?”
So much for launching our own satellites. And the White House has as much interest in listening to Pelosi as it does to a power saw. This is also part of the problem with becoming a one-party state while much of the rest of the country goes Republican. Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and a handful of concentrations of urban wealth and power can sneer at the rest of the country.
Until the money for their pet projects is no longer coming in. And then the plan becomes really sad.
Caltrain officials are scrambling to pull together a Plan B to make up for the $647 million in electrification money they may lose thanks to the change at the top in Washington.
So far, however, about the best they can come up with is to enlist tech bosses like those in the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to lobby the administration and Congress — and perhaps to turn to a red state for help.
Caltrain officials don’t want to say anything publicly, but their best ally appears to be Utah, where the factory that would build the rail line’s new electric cars is located — and which would gain 1,500 jobs in the deal.
Except Utah is not exactly in a great position in this administration either. And the #DeleteUber mess wiped out much of the influence of Silicon Valley too. The left can thank the left for that.
But at least there's Plan B. An online petition.
On Monday Caltrain’s Twitter account linked to its petition on the White House site urging the Trump administration to reverse course on last week’s decision by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to pull the brakes on a $647 million federal grant for the transit corridor's electrification plan.
As of Tuesday morning the Caltrain request (titled “Support 9,600 American Jobs”) has pulled in about 2,000 signatures and has 29 days to go.