Local opinion columnists

State plan a train to nowhere fast

By From page A8 | July 14, 2014

This is the latest of a series of columns titled “The Right Stuff” to promote thought and ensure accuracy within political campaigns and issues. Our objective is to promote interest among voters to separate fact from opinion or fiction.

The House of Representatives recently passed House Resolution 4745, which would prevent spending any additional federal funds (tax money) on high-speed rail in California. Our congressman, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, who voted no, has been promoting this project since writing the original California state Senate proposal (Senate Bill 1307) 25 years ago.

Let’s consider why the House passed the funding restriction.

  1. California voters were promised the total cost would be $45 billion to be shared by state, federal, and private investment. The train would allegedly travel 220 mph and transit Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2.5 hours.
  2. Cost estimates thereafter increased to $95 billion. They were then reduced to $68 billion by using some existing rail systems that are not capable of high-speed traffic. Ergo, no bullet train time.
  3. The train would remove 3,500 acres of farm production at an annual cost of $35 million in lost farm revenue and also losses and revenue in associated industries.
  4. Amtrak has concluded its equipment is incompatible with the high-speed system.
  5. Union Pacific and several environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the plan.
  6. Polls of California voters say 52 percent would now vote no and 70 percent want a new vote.

As Garamendi joins other House members in voting to spend our tax dollars, we must be concerned that more than one half of every tax dollar “invested” (spent) is actually borrowed money, adding to the debt burden of our grandchildren.

  1. The House recently approved HR 3964 that would override an Obama administration decision to limit water to homes, farms and businesses in California’s Central Valley. Garamendi voted against HR 3964 and consequently our food supply. California has water shortages, not for lack of rainfall, but for not building storage facilities to collect that rain. Have our representatives supported that simple solution?
  2. He voted no on a bill that would require the attorney general to explain any department policy that failed to enforce federal law. Article II of the U.S. Constitution clearly states the requirement to enforce federal law without exception.
  3. He joined 400 members of Congress in voting to increase the Veterans Affairs budget to $58.7 billion without determining the basic cause of the VA problem. Sadly, Congress often fails to analyze problems while assuming money will cure anything. The millions in annual bonuses awarded for marginal job performance at all levels of VA employees indicate significant management problems.
  4. He criticized the Supreme Court decision allowing states to implement voter identification. He stated that this makes voting difficult for people of color, people of less means, and students, which suggests he is ignorant of or ignoring facts, e.g., minority voting in Georgia has increased since its voter ID became effective and states that require voter ID provide appropriate ID cards without cost.
  5. He voted no against holding IRS officer Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify. Does he not want the truth exposed?

We must not continue to elect people who are so out of touch with reality that they want to spend tax dollars we don’t have on projects that are not essential or two decades away.

Spend on bridges, levees and roads that put our people to work. Reduce spending and encourage private investment.

We in the 3rd Congressional District have a choice in November. We need proven responsible leadership. The 3rd District has not received that leadership in recent years.

Jim McCully is a Vacaville resident and member of The Right Stuff Committee, a committee of the Solano County Republican Party. Reach him at [email protected]

Jim Mccully


Discussion | 27 comments

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  • larryJuly 14, 2014 - 5:07 am

    I wish the congressman was intervidwed to hear his side of the issues. Article is just another cowardly attempt to promote its own political agenda.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 5:48 am

    John Garamendi votes with Democrats. What a shock. His November opponent will have to do better than this to win in this district.

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  • Teach5thJuly 14, 2014 - 8:12 am

    So, RLW - Do you think he is correct in not holding Lerner in contempt? Do you think he's right in supporting the high-speed rail even though the costs are already far in excess of what they were originally projected to be? Do you believe as Garamendi does that voter i.d. laws aren't necessary because they make it hard for some folks to vote? (If those same folks wanted to buy alcohol or cigarettes, they'd find i.d.'s.). What's missing in this Democrat's votes is common sense. That's what Californians should be looking for when they send someone to Congress.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 14, 2014 - 8:31 am

    Teach5th citing common sense. That's a hoot!

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  • Teach5thJuly 14, 2014 - 9:09 am

    CD - Not getting in a p*s*ing match with you about common sense. It's obvious you have none!

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  • CD BrooksJuly 14, 2014 - 9:20 am

    Teach5th HA! HA! You lose on both counts! :) But have a nice day anyway.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 11:14 am

    T5: Yes, yes, and yes, changing the "because" in the last question to "if."

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  • Teach5thJuly 14, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    RLW - You think Lois Lerner's hard drive crashing along with 6 others who were also the subject of the investigation was just something that happened? If so, that says a lot about either your gullibility or naïveté. Lerner says she did nothing wrong and then smugly takes the 5th and won't answer questions about that statement, and you and CD would let her get away with that. As to the voters' rights issues ... It's a citizen's right to vote in this country. But, how do you prove someone is a citizen if they have no way to prove it? But, then again . . . Maybe that's how folks like Garamendi and Obama keep being elected. You get a bunch of folks who know nothing about candidates except that that's who others have told them to vote for, they then vote, and our country goes to pot. My 5th graders understood/understand this concept. Scary that you don't.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    T5: If you're teaching 5th graders that there is a problem of non-citizens voting in the United States, you should be fired.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    T5: Define "just something that happened" in your context.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 14, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    T5: A person cannot be held in contempt for invoking her 5th Amendment right against being compelled to testify against herself. It doesn't matter what she testifies to before that. Everyone in congress knows that. Fifth Grade teachers should know that too. Garamendi chose to vote that way. No one should hold that against him.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 14, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    T5: The problem with the most recent spate of voter ID laws is they are designed in Republican-controlled states to disenfranchise Democrats. We have a Voting Rights Act as well as a constitution against that sort of thing. They will certainly also make in more difficult if not virtually impossible for a non-citizen to vote, but that problem is so small as to be fictional. Courts will balance the impact on voters with the magnitude of the problem solved. Because there is virtually no problem in the first place, the impact on the voters has to be negligible. That DOES leave some room for voter ID laws, but not much. I haven't seen one yet out of the recent laws that will pass the test. Not even close. The voter ID laws are a sign of partisan Republican desperation. They are embarrassingly un-American. There must be some Republicans out there whose nonpartisan side will let them speak out. How about Mr. Logue?

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  • CD BrooksJuly 14, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    Teach5th, really you should have better sense. You cannot be reasoned with on political matters.

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  • Vaca LadyJuly 14, 2014 - 6:31 am

    This looks like a snap-shot of Garamendis voting record, What can he say if interviewed " Sorry I thought you wanted your Tax Dollars thrown away". I think its time we here in Solano woke up.

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  • Tax PayerJuly 14, 2014 - 6:36 am

    Jim, great comments. Totally agreed but the citizens of this state have their heads up their xxx.

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  • SavetheRepublicJuly 14, 2014 - 7:26 am

    Very well written, totally agree with this.... Excellent Mr. McCully

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  • Solano VetJuly 14, 2014 - 8:04 am

    John Garamendi has fleeced us long enough, I would vote for a Turnip befor I cast a vote for him.

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  • SweeperJuly 14, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Well I agree with the intent of this post but we are in trouble in this country and its now or never. I sure hope voters use their heads this election.

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  • JagJuly 14, 2014 - 11:08 am

    They won`t they will follow like drones,,

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 11:25 am

    As we can seem to agree this is a free election-year hit piece against Garamendi courtesy of the DR, let's talk about politics. The race is between two guys. The other guy will also get votes from drones, and lemmings too, but that won't be enough. He will have to show the voters who aren't drones something to indicate he's better than Garamendi. It will be tough in this district. Bashing Garamendi won't do.

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  • Sheep still abound....July 14, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    There's no doubt Garamendi will be re-elected again. The voters in this district just fill in the bubbles and call it good. Even at town hall meetings he tells you how he will vote, regardless of what you say.

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  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 3:06 pm

    Like in a lot of districts, the real choice is in the primary. People don't just fill in bubbles then. But once it becomes a race between two people, unless it's two Democrats, it's a done deal here.

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  • JagJuly 14, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    There is no race in Cal anymore you have a democrat and a Rino and you get pretty much the same thing, If you are a right wing republican my only advice is to move to a state where our views are more accepted.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 14, 2014 - 4:08 pm

    I would never say that, even if I thought it. Republicans can still win here, but they have to find a message. I've suggested one: Advocate immigration reform begin with removing birthright citizenship from the Constitution and put it into statute instead. That allows congress and the president to change the rules from time to time and not be frozen out by what the country thought we needed to do for the freed slaves in 1868.

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  • book suggestionJuly 14, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    Strategic Relocation--North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition by Joel M. Skousen, Andrew Skousen, Audrey Butler and Elizabeth Lindsey (Mar 1, 2011)

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  • CD BrooksJuly 14, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    Jag, I hear AZ, KS, Texas and other jerkwater states are looking for folks just like that...if you're a white heterose*ual god-fearing male you'll be welcomed with open arms.

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  • JagJuly 14, 2014 - 6:50 pm

    LOL.... at first I thought you were calling us jerks,,, remember I told you I went to school in Vallejo. But wait... wait ... I did look it up and I see what you are saying,,, Lol

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