Repurposing hutzpah as a tool for government, the California High-Speed Rail Authority as managed by the obviously deaf Dan Richard (who’s got some ‘splainin’ to do) has been authorized by an obscure State Board to “start the process of seizing its first piece of property through eminent domain for a $68 billion bullet train” per the AP and the SF Examiner. In part,
The State Public Works Board voted 3-0 to approve a request from the authority to try to seize a 2.5-acre parcel in Fresno that is needed to build an underground trench for the project. The authority has declared an impasse with the owner of property. Fresno County records value the property at $2.4 million. It includes a 20,000 square-foot commercial building that is leased to the state Department of Corrections.
Wendell Cox, a transportation finance expert from the Heartland Institute has also published a pertinent opinion: High-Speed Rail Decision Is Victory for Rule of Law. His lead:
California Judge Michael Kenny has barred state bond funding for the California high-speed rail system, finding “the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority failed to follow voter-approved requirements designed to prevent reckless spending.” These protections had been important in securing voter approval of a $10 billion bond issue in 2008. Judge Kenny’s decision means California government officials cannot ignore the state’s laws, even when its leadership finds them politically inexpedient. The ruling forbids the state from arbitrarily casting aside legally binding promises.