Sacramento is broken. If you don’t believe that I have a $64 billion California bullet train project to sell you with another increase in costs of $1.7 billion and a seven-year delay in the Central Valley segment alone.
In a recent request for an emergency audit by Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) to the chair of the joint audit committee, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) denied the request on Monday stating that Patterson brings a regular request for audit when the committee holds hearings in January. This would seem like a reasonable request since we are about to enter the December holiday season and not much will be done.
But here is the real reason why Patterson requested an emergency request. When an emergency request is made, the chair and co-chair of the committee can authorize an audit by themselves. When the request is made in the regular joint audit committee hearings, the committee has to approve the audit. Muratsuchi knows this, and in a political move to deflect responsibility to bring the California bullet train project up for review and discussion in public, he will allow the request to die in committee as it did in 2016, when an audit was denied.
In 2016, Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) which made the request for an audit and was denied his request said, according to the LA Times, “the party’s leadership was afraid that potentially negative findings would jeopardize the project.” Thus it is no surprise that “The state auditor last reported on the bullet train five years ago, raising a wide range of concerns about its financial condition, ridership estimate, and oversight.”
First, I must make a full disclosure that I am the only candidate running for California State Controller against the incumbent Democrat Controller. As the State Controller and the chief financial officer of California, my responsibilities would include accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resource, as well as, the ability to audit government agencies that spend state funds independently and without Legislative approval. If elected, I will initiate a full independent audit of this project.
The reason I will do this isn’t that it is political gamesmanship because almost all Republicans are against this project and only a few Democrats are against it. There are special interest groups that align more with the Republican party over the Democratic party that are in favor of the bullet train project. The reason is there are billions of dollars of taxpayer money on the table, and everyone wants to get rich off of this boondoggle. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
I get that some are in favor of the bullet train concept, but as noble as this is if you are worried that the facts of corruption and mismanagement of billions of dollars of taxpayer monies will jeopardize this project then you are stating that taxpayers be damned. We don’t care that we are bleeding you dry in sky-high taxes. We have special interest groups that need your money. We need our donors happy. So California taxpayers, be good peasants and get back to work as we continue to steal your money and waste in on another government boondoggle. We in Sacramento know what’s best for you.