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High speed rail top vote getter at state Democratic convention

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  • 5/2 SF Bay Guardian
    Published Wednesday, May 2, 2007, by the San Francisco Bay Guardian Support for high-speed rail By Steven T. Jones High-speed rail got a timely and significant
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2 1:33 PM
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      Published Wednesday, May 2, 2007, by the San Francisco Bay Guardian

      Support for high-speed rail

      By Steven T. Jones

      High-speed rail got a timely and significant vote of support from
      the California Democratic Party on April 29 when delegates at the
      state convention approved a resolution pushing the project. The
      measure was the top vote getter, tied at 24 with a resolution urging
      accountability for the errors and deception that led to the Iraq War.

      Yet a last-minute move weakening part of the measure raises questions
      about whether the Democrats are truly willing to fight Gov. Arnold
      Schwarzenegger, who has called for an indefinite delay in next year's
      high-speed rail bond measure and proposed a budget that guts the
      California High-Speed Rail Authority (see "The Silver Bullet Train,"
      4/18/07).

      The resolution praises the project as "a significant weapon against
      air pollution and global warming as it uses much less energy per
      passenger than cars and airplanes -- and HSR will be even more
      essential if, as expected, petroleum supplies diminish in the future.

      But state party leaders deleted language from the version that was
      submitted by San Francisco delegate Jane Morrison asking "that all
      California elected officials support the requested $103 million
      for HSR in the current state budget -- and retain and support the
      $10 billion bond issue now scheduled for High Speed Rail in the
      2008 election." Assemblymember Fiona Ma has emerged as the main
      legislative champion for the embattled project and helped push the
      resolution to the top of the legislative priority list. But she
      faces a big test in trying to get the money the project now needs.

      Morrison told us, "We have to work to convince the legislature that
      we can afford it. That's the hard part, so we're not done yet."

      A recent report from the Legislative Analyst's Office criticized
      Schwarzenegger's holding pattern as wasteful and concluded that the
      legislature should fully fund the project or vote to kill it. The
      report was titled "Time to Bite the Bullet for the Bullet Train."


      [BATN: See also:

      Blog: Schwarzenegger's dishonest stand on high-speed rail
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34840

      Time running out for CO2-reducing California high-speed rail
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34828

      Letter: Double-talking Schwarzenegger vs. high-speed rail
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34787

      Why isn't Schwarzenegger supporting high-speed rail?
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34734

      Comment: Why California needs high-speed rail
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34688

      CA Assemblywoman Fiona Ma makes high-speed rail top priority
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34500

      After record-breaking TGV ride, Ma is sold on high-speed rail
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34485 ]
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