Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Kicking Your Own State While It's Down

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    WASHINGTON - MAY 15: House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) talks with reporters after a last-minute news conference at the U.S. Captiol May 15, 2008 in Washington, DC. The impromptu news conference was called after House Republicans voted "present" on a $163 billion war funding bill, effectively defeating the bill that Democrats expected to pass. Leaders from both parties accused each other of playing political games with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    California voters cast their ballots for a $9 billion bond for high-speed rail. They voted overwhelmingly in this November's elections for candidates who support the stimulus, including high-speed rail. The state needs federal money to complete the project. And California certainly could use the jobs boost from construction and a better transportation system.

    But a prominent California congressman doesn't care.

    House Republicans, including California's Jerry Lewis, are trying to pull back $2 billion in stimulus moneys for high-speed rail, the San Jose Mercury News reports. They're naturally citing the national Republican gains as a mandate for this change.

    But California didn't go along with the nation. So Lewis isn't representing his state or its interests here. He's going against the wishes of the voters.

    Here's a better solution. Let California keep its money -- and send to California any high-speed rail money that new Republican governors in places such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida want to refuse. Our voters want this. Why won't their elected officials give it to them?