Following his recent Tour around California rather than giving a dismal State of the State address, Gov. Newsom announced three words as the crux for 2023: Return, restore, and rebuild.
He should have taken High Speed Rail around the state – except it isn’t built yet, under “construction” since 2008 when voters were convinced to approve Proposition 1A, a $9 billion bond to build a high speed rail system. However, high-speed rail has become nothing more than a pipeline project for grabbing big (taxpayer) money and is a big deceit on voters and taxpayers. I’ve been covering this for many years. State lawmakers and CHRSA officials have treated the largest public works project in the state’s history as if it’s a design-as-you-go bathroom remodel.
And really, why would voters invest in technology that’s been around for over a 100 years?
Prop. 1A states, “The high-speed train system shall be planned and constructed in a manner that minimizes urban sprawl and impacts on the natural environment.” It also stated “The California High-Speed Rail Authority must have all of the the funding ahead of time, before any construction starts on a new segment.”
Outlining what he plans to do in California in the next year, Gov. Newsom first stopped in Sacramento to announce the delivery of 1,200 small homes to Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose, and Sacramento — “free of charge and ready for occupancy.”
As the Globe pointed out last week, California has more than 170,000 homeless transients living on the streets, and the governor and Mayors are all excited about 1,200 tiny homes. Sacramento has more than 11,000 homeless, and the Capitol City will be getting 350 tiny homes “for free.” Woot! Woot!
Free of charge? Really? Aren’t taxpayers the permanent cash register for Newsom’s give-away programs?
The Governor next traveled to San Quentin State Prison – where he announced it would be converted soon to become “San Quentin Rehabilitation Center,” rather than the maximum-security prison which has been home to the largest “death row” in the United States. This is because Newsom is emptying out California’s prisons so he can close them.
In May 2021 during the Covid pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would let another 76,000 prisoners out of state prisons – on his own authority through Executive Order – as violent crime was spiking in California’s cities.
As then-Senator Jim Nielsen said, “Violent felons are receiving good time credit for simply breathing, in lieu of demonstrated good behavior and rehabilitation.”
Thanks to Gov. Newsom’s executive order, the CDCR has been expanding “good time credits” without criteria to justify early release of dangerous inmates.
Gov. Newsom then traveled to Downey, CA where he announced California will make $30 insulin available. However, critics noted many drug makers have already been capping max prices per month for insulin. As the Globe reported, according to Sage Thompson, a prescription drug supplier liaison, “The California CIVICA deal isn’t groundbreaking like Newsom is trying to claim. It’s just the latest company severely reducing costs. You know, costs were super high for many, people spoke out, federal agencies stepped in, and costs went way down while also not screwing over the companies. In a nutshell, that’s what has happened. California isn’t really special here, although Newsom is making it sound like he is the white knight in all of this.”
“The Governor concluded his tour at a hospital in San Diego, where he proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness,” Newsom’s press statement announced.
Announced on Thursday, Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) and California Legislative Republicans, pushed for and just got approved by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, an audit on the $20+ billions of dollars the Newsom administration (and Gov. Jerry Brown before him) has spent on the homeless crisis.
Another ballot initiative with the accountability of High Speed Rail is just another slush fund for California’s Homeless Industrial Complex. And Gov. Newsom knows this.
Whether it’s the $30 billion in voter-approved water bonds which have not led to two approved reservoirs being built, or even more water storage, or it’s the several hundred billion dollar High Speed Rail slush fund, which 15 years later, still has no train running on tracks with passengers, or Newsom’s mental health ballot initiative “will lead to $1 billion every year for housing, treating substance abuse disorders, behavioral health housing and other community-based residential solutions to provide an ongoing source of funding for new settings,” the goal of “providing an ongoing source of funding for new settings” is open ended language for a never-ending stream of funding paid for by California taxpayers.
As Dan Walters said in his Sunday column, “Newsom displays penchant for shiny new things on California tour,” rather than tackling head-on, the actual serious problems in California.
California is running an historically large budget deficit, yet Newsom proposed more programs, more billions in spending, more flash and glam and “shiny new things,” while showing voters he is incapable of doing the hard work once he rolls up his sleeves for camera ops.