Town Square

Assembly race: Software engineer challenges veteran legislator for District 24 seat

Original post made on Oct 18, 2012

Two Menlo Park men are in the race for the local Assembly district seat: Rich Gordon, who is asking voters to return him to Sacramento for a second term; and political novice Chengzhi "George" Yang.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 18, 2012, 10:59 AM


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Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Quoting from the article above:

"Mr. Yang criticizes Mr. Gordon for a July vote with the Assembly majority on a high-speed rail funding bill. He said the bill includes only a small amount of money for the electrification of Caltrains -- a carrot for the Peninsula -- with "no guarantee that it won't be built with four tracks."

Mr. Gordon dismissed the criticism, and said there was a lot of misinformation reported in the media about the vote. The bill he voted for, he said, funded only ancillary components of the rail plan, but no actual high-speed rail construction.

Those components are: electrification of Caltrain, modernization of the rail service between Los Angeles and Anaheim, new tracks in the Central Valley that will be used solely by Amtrak if high-speed rail isn't built, and funding for rapid transit systems across the state.

"There's actually no high-speed rail activity in any of those projects," he said."

If this quote from Gordon is correct than Gordon is simply lying.

He voted for the expenditure of $6 billion to construct HSR in the Central Valley (so did Jerry Hill and almost all the Democrats in the Assembly).

Mr Yang is correct in that Gordon's vote also approved spending $600 million of State funds to be directed to CalTrain. Although illegal under Prop 1A requirements, and will be challenged in court, These funds are supposed to also assist the HSR project, although in what way, it is certainly not easy to see.

As the article points out, Mr. Yang, hardly has a chance against Gordon, but Gordon certainly is not listening to the voters (neither is Jerry Hill for that matter), but like all the other sheep in the Democratic caucus, he is following Gov. Brown's obsession with this boondoggle HSR project. We deserve better, but we won't get it.

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Posted by Samantha
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 25, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Gordon has been a big booster of HSR from the start. He's made no bones about his preference to support big labor to get HSR moving. He's minding his donors. He's never going to care about how people on the peninsula feel about HRS, it's negative impacts, nor that it's the single largest fiscal fraud perpetrated on CA citizens ever. So long as the dollars keep flowing from our pockets into the black hole of HSR, and regurgitated as campaign donations, Gordon will support, shill, and vote for HSR. Citizens, and tax payers deserve better.

As far as I'm concerned, the Caltrain funding was little more than a bribe to ensure peninsula democratic votes for the HSR bond funds. One billion dollars for Caltrain is cheap insurance to keep peninsula politicians supporting HSR, compared to the potential of hundreds of billions of dollars that will pass through Sacramento to build HSR. Once it's started, the bleats from Sacramento will be "we can't stop now!".

It's a myth that Caltrain will magically transform from a bloated horribly mismanaged commuter train into an efficient well run business when it's switched from diesel to electric power. Any savings will likely disappear as executive bonuses. More faster trains on the tracks will lead to more train-car collisions, and probably more train-people collisions. There is not one dollar allocated for grade separations along the Caltrain corridor, why? Safety costs. The 4 track HSR alignment is still THE preferred plan for the peninsula. Gordon doesn't care about that. His assertion that "There's actually no high-speed rail activity in any of those projects," is simply a lie. He knows better.

Vote for Mr. Yang. We deserve better than a self serving political **** representing this area in Sacramento.