This desire on the part of everyone fearing eminent domain almost demanding that tunneling be a CONDITION for the HSR, caused a LOT of eyes in this political climate, including Washington and Sacramento, to focus on our communities and realized they had to jump on this before it got out of hand.
Payoffs do not or could not matter if that were a plan.
Even an Arab Sheik could not buy off the future of the HSR which is now an object of reprisal for all of the angry people who did lose a fortune in the banking scandals which affect this entire area a LOT and includes the upper middle class who have been reduced to a lower rating in the class system. Poorer, but still with false self images.
But, it did not kill the naivetee of a "smallish" group of those who lacked the sophistication of knowing how to relate to the average man because of the insularity of this egregious empirical area.