High-Speed Rail Agency Uses Taxpayer Dollars To Lobby State Lawmakers

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – It’s a revelation that might not go over so well with California taxpayers: newly-unveiled documents show that the state’s bullet train agency hired a PR firm to lobby state legislators – using taxpayer dollars to do so.

According to the documents, the California High-Speed Rail Authority paid over $160,000 last year to hire the firm to court the state’s politicians. Bullet train planners described it as a vital expense when staff was too small, but according to published reports, even some of the projects own advocates consider the fact that a state agency used state funds to lobby lawmakers wasteful, if not outright unethical.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The revelations come as the rail authority asked lawmakers to spend $2.7 billion on the first phase of the project, which Gov. Jerry Brown said in his most recent State of the State speech last month is a wise investment for California.

“President Obama strongly supports the project and has provided the majority of funds for the first phase,” declared Brown. “It’s now your decision.”

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission said it doesn’t have rules for this type of lobbying, which the rail authority now said is being handled in-house.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Matt Bigler
  • Joe

    We don’t need it! We don’t want it! We can’t afford it! Get it?

  • Ed

    Glad information is out but seriously anybody going to be held accountable? Perhaps like the saying goes “Just do the unethical thing until you get caught and then ask for forgiveness later”….If this was done by someone way below in the job chain he/she would be fired or seriously discipline but when your on the top..just a slap on the wrist.

  • Abi

    The President supports it that doesn’t mean we have to follow. After uncertain billions dollars buget to build the project, how much to maintain the system? Is there anyone know, or care to estimate? I understand the Governor tries to create jobs to get credit for next election, but who will pay for these jobs? and for how long or how many generations to pay off the debt? Typical politicants who only care for their re-elections, and let the next generations figure out how to solve the problem or just suffer. No wonder America Credit was downgraded in last year.

  • PLW

    With the Elitist Liberal Politicians in California and the United States this information does not shock or suprise me at all. What did suprise me was this article got printed………… Wake up and vote these Dim-Wits out of office in 2012!!!!!!!!!

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