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Tense Exchanges in Legislative High-Speed Rail Hearing

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(Palo Alto, CA)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Republican Assemblyman David Valadao wasted little time in grilling High-Speed Rail officials.  He said Californians were promised there'd be private investment early on.

Valadao: "Now the business plan comes out saying we have to get the first part started for the private money to come in.  Do we really expect the private money to come in?
Rossi :
"Yes.  Because what we're talking about…"

Rail Authority board member Michael Rossi, who's also a senior advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, waded into the technical details to explain why.  Valadao cut him off.

Valadao: "We can't even sell the bonds!"
Rossi : "You asked me whether or not I could sell the revenues.  Yes. I can sell the revenues.  You want to ask me about the bonds? I venture to guess we could sell the bonds."

But when a Democratic Assemblyman asked if the private funding could be locked in before taxpayers get involved, another board member said that would be "highly unrealistic."

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