Before Tutor Perini was selected some financial analysts predicted that it would win the competition only because of its chief executive’s close ties to organized labor, one of the project’s biggest supporters.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), the chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee on rail, reckons that the union-tied company’s low bid shouldn’t be trusted, and that it will push up costs with “wild change orders and wild price increases” to “make money on the back end” as the project rolls forward.Despite the fact that the combined debt of state and local governments will soon pass $1.1 trillion, California is going ahead with a $68 billion (and counting) construction project that the GAO claims is underfunded by nearly 60 percent. The state is entrusting this difficult work to a firm allegedly tethered to organized labor that’s never built a bullet train and is already suspected of deliberately fleecing the state for extra cash.This project seems well on its way to becoming California’s Sagrada Família—130 years in the making and still unfinished. Voters should be given another chance to stop this boondoggle in its tracks.[Blue bullet train image courtesy of Shutterstock]