Every now and then it seems a leftist politician accidentally does something that makes sense. Since his election, Gavin Newsom has followed the California Democrat mantra down the line, but in this case, seems to have made an exception.
More from MarketWatch:
‘Let’s be real,’ Democrat Gavin Newsom says. ‘The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.’
Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Monday news conference in Sacramento, Calif.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he’s abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a project with an estimated cost that has ballooned to $77 billion.
“Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”
The idea long championed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.
Newsom, though, said he wants to finish construction that’s already under way on a segment of the high-speed train through California’s Central Valley, arguing it will revitalize the economically depressed region. He’s also replacing Brown’s head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.
Newsom also said the state faces “hard decisions that are coming due” on clean water, housing and homelessness. He rebuked President Donald Trump once again on border security, highlighting his decision to withdraw most of the state’s National Guard troops from the Southern border.
“Last week, we heard [Trump] stand up at the State of the Union and offer a vision of an America fundamentally at odds with California values,” he said. “He described a country where inequality didn’t seem to be a problem, where climate change didn’t exist, and where the greatest threat we face comes from families seeking asylum at the border.”
Brown had agreed to deploy troops at the Trump administration’s request last year, although he said they couldn’t participate in immigration enforcement.
Newsom, though, said there’s been a “gray area” in the troops’ duties that may have allowed some to inadvertently participate in immigration activities, although a Guard official said the state’s troops have not helped detain anyone.
Newsom disputed Trump’s claim there is a crisis on the border and any need for National Guard troops was eliminated when Trump chose earlier this month to add 3,750 more U.S. troops at the border.
But Newsom’s speech went beyond immigration and other disagreements with the White House to his own ambitious policy goals for the state.
Newsom has laid out his vision for California twice already, in his inaugural address and through his first crack at the state budget. He spent his first month in office traveling to different parts of the state promoting his ideas on housing, juvenile justice and the environment.
One thing we must keep in mind. Gavin Newsom is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew (by marriage), and I have virtually no doubt that he got where he is via insider influence. His policies are so far to the left he almost makes Pelosi look conservative by comparison. However, in this case, he did make a correct assessment of a wasteful project, and I have to agree with his choice to abandon it. It would have been best had the project never got out of the paper stage because of the amount of taxpayer money that has already been wasted.
My book is here! And I personally handed a copy to our President at the White House!!! I hope you enjoy it
Follow David on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Patreon and YouTube @DavidJHarrisJr