John Perez has ended his recount bid that had brought out critics of both Perez for seeking the recount and California’s bizarre recount system, itself, in which a candidate can choose the county votes he or she wished to explore. Given the small margin of defeat, there has also been carping about the Perez campaign saying, essentially, as my old track coach would put it, you must run through the finish line. Given the money left over in the Perez campaign kitty, one wonders if an additional blitz with those funds might have helped the former assembly speaker find 500 votes that would have put him into the lead.
Now it’s on to November for Board of Equalization member Betty Yee. The Democratic Party has already rallied around Yee with the anticipation, as old friend and star analyst, Garry South, wrote on this site, Yee will win. We shall see. The controller’s fiscal responsibilities should give Republican Ashley Swearengin a platform to make her case for the job.
What now for Perez who falls from one of the three most powerful offices in the state government to a soon-to-be out of work former politician and union organizer? Rumor in Los Angeles is that the former speaker has his eye on a Los Angeles City Council seat following the well worn track of former state legislators, Gil Cedillo, Paul Kerkorian, Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz, Felipe Fuentes, Curren Price, and Herb Wesson, all currently sitting on the council.
Speaking of tracks, over the weekend Jessica Calefati in the Mercury News had a report that private investors are finally showing interest in California’s high-speed-rail project. The impetus seems to be the state budget’s on-going allocation of cap-and-trade funds for the project.
As stated here many times, a high-speed-rail project funded by private sources could be a desirable program for the state, especially if taxpayers were not the ace in the hole if things go sour. But the interest expressed by the private companies is not actual dollars, nor do they take the taxpayers off the hook. However, if private investors do get involved it increases the chances for the train.
As Governor Jerry Brown is fond of saying, Abraham Lincoln authorized an intercontinental railroad during the turbulent times of the Civil War. I have pointed out that private investors were involved with that venture, as well.
If private investors step up in California and the state legislature continues to bow to Brown’s budget wishes, the train will have a head of steam.
However, — and it’s a huge however — no investment plan is enough if the courts find that the high-speed-rail plan was falsely constructed against the promises spelled out in the Proposition1A ballot measure that authorized state bond money for the train.