An orgy of insane liberal political correctness
- Moron Liberals want 30% of Bullet Train jobs filled by former foster children, single parents, the homeless and convicted criminals.
- Everyone from businesses to unions are furiously sucking on the teat of high speed rail.
The prospect of construction jobs in the recession-weary Central Valley has long been a selling point for proponents of California's $68 billion high-speed rail project.
A controversy has arisen, however, since officials pledged in December to reserve a portion of those jobs for certain disadvantaged people.
In addition to veterans, former foster children and single parents, the classification includes high school dropouts, the homeless and people who have been convicted of a crime.
"There's another chapter in the high-speed fail saga, and I almost can't do this one with a straight face," Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, said in a recent installment of "Are You Kidding Me?" a video series in which Jones vents political frustrations.
the Sacramento Bee..The rail policy, contained in a request for proposals issued to contractors, calls for at least 30 percent of project labor to be done by people who live in low-income areas, with at least 10 percent of that work going to disadvantaged workers.
Liberals lobbied rail officials for a "disadvantaged-worker" program for two years before its approval.
"The notion that this buffet of employment could go through this community, and we've got unemployed people who are starving …," said one activist, "I knew we'd get it right because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, for the workers."
Opposition to the rail authority's new hiring policy is partly ideological. Jones scoffed last week at "some of the liberals up here in Sacramento" and said that "when you're building a high-technology system like this … you should be hiring the people that are most qualified, not the most disadvantaged."
California bullet train insanity - John and Ken
Another criticism has nothing to do with the policy itself, but with its inclusion in a broader agreement that even rail officials acknowledge is a form of Project Labor Agreement negotiated with labor organizers.
Under the broader Community Benefits Agreement, non-union subcontractors could work on the project, but only if they agree to wage and working conditions typically afforded union workers.
Kevin Dayton, a former lobbyist for Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., which represents non-union contractors, said the Community Benefits Agreement is exclusionary and that the authority promoted its "disadvantaged worker" program only to divert attention from it.
"I believe that that particular policy was simply a front for what they really wanted to do, which was to require all of the contractors working on it to sign a Project Labor Agreement," said Dayton, who is now an independent consultant.
Rail officials are reviewing proposals from five consortiums seeking to build the first section of the rail line, a 30-mile stretch from Madera to Fresno costing as much as $1.8 billion.
But Nicole Goehring, government affairs director of the Associated Builders and Contractors' Northern California chapter, said many non-union contractors won't bid under restrictive conditions of the agreement.
"For your qualified, skilled workers who might be able to bid it but don't happen to be in the union," she said, "they now have to, their employers have to sign on to these union workforce rules in order to be able to have an opportunity to work on the job."
The rail authority's hiring policy is one of several policies designed to keep project money in California. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation last year requiring the rail authority to "make every effort" to buy trains and related equipment from manufacturers in California.
Such policies, Morales said, could lure engineering and manufacturing firms to California, creating "a rail industry similar to the way aerospace was such an important driver of the state's economy in the '50s and '60s."
The rail line is proposed to begin in June or July in the Central Valley and expand outward, connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco within 15 years. The authority still must acquire land for the project, and long-term financing remains uncertain.
Bullet Train Insanity
In the empty, agricultural Central Valley, the morons running the Bullet Train selected the most densely populated areas to build. Homes and businesses up and down the Valley would be torn out driving up already high costs.
About 40 Fresno business owners and employees rallied against California's proposed high-speed rail project at the former Klein's Truck Stop.
The Central Valley Tea Party organized the event, which drew dozens of other opponents, in advance of meetings the state High-Speed Rail Authority in Fresno.
Tea Party activist Steve Brandau said that 106 business owners along the path of the high-speed trains have signed and sent letters to the Fresno City Council and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors opposing the project.
"Our chief concern is that there's no viable funding stream for this project," Brandau said. The organization's message to Gov. Jerry Brown and the state's rail authority, he added, is "What part of 'We are broke' don't you understand?"
A large sign at the rally proclaimed, "100 Businesses against High Speed Rail," and declared that rail money would be better spent on water, roads and jails. (Fresno Bee)
|CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE - Local veterans advocate Charlie Waters speaks out against the High Speed Rail project during a Tea Party rally at Klein's truck stop in northwest Fresno.|