Tag Archives: Proposition 1A (2008)

“Courts Are Not Entitled to Rewrite Legislation” – A Response to Governor Brown’s “Arrogant” Demand to Borrow $8.5 Billion for California High-Speed Rail

As the California High-Speed Rail Authority chafes at the bit for groundbreaking and moving forward with construction of the first 29-mile segment of rail between Madera and Fresno, it has also petitioned the California Supreme Court for extraordinary action to overrule two Superior Court decisions and allow it to sell Proposition 1A bonds. Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and its allies object to this desperate scheme to get quick cash and roll over voters who approved a different project.

A brief filed on behalf of Kings County residents John Tos and Aaron Fukuda and the County of Kings asks the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District to “reject this arrogant request.”

While Courts are empowered to enforce legislation, and to interpret legislation when the Legislature’s intent is unclear, Courts are not entitled to rewrite legislation. That is particularly the case when the legislation involved is a bond measure presented to and approved by California’s voters.

In 2013, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that neither the authorization for issuing bonds from the California High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee nor the funding plan put forward by California High-Speed Rail Authority met the requirements of Proposition 1A, the statewide ballot measure voters approved in November 2008 to authorize the state to borrow $9.95 billion for the rail system through bond sales. In other words, voters approved borrowing money under certain conditions, but the California High-Speed Rail Authority now wants to borrow it under different conditions.

Remember that Proposition 1A told voters they would get a $45 billion complete high-speed rail system connecting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego. Now it’s a $68 billion “blended plan” between San Francisco and Los Angeles in which the first and last parts of the journey (the “bookends”) are not high-speed rail. Construction of a new high-speed rail segment is most immediately planned for bisecting or demolishing more than 1,100 properties between Merced and Bakersfield.

Read the brief at Return by Answer and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities of Real Parties in Interest John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings to California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Petition for Extraordinary Writ of Mandate.

California Attorney General Files Brief with Appellate Court Defending Extraordinary Petition to Sell California High-Speed Rail Bonds

California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a brief this afternoon (Monday, February 10, 2014) on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Secretary of the State Transportation Agency, the High-Speed Rail Authority, and the High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee.

Their goal is to get the California Supreme Court to allow them to borrow money for California High-Speed Rail by selling bonds, thereby overruling two November 2013 decisions of a Sacramento County Superior Court judge determining that the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with state law (Proposition 1A) that establishes conditions to issue the bonds.

Here’s the brief: Petitioners’ Reply to Preliminary Opposition of Real Parties in Interest – Stay Requested by March 1, 2014.

The brief states that the case involves “weighty matters with far-reaching implications that demand this Court’s rigorous consideration…the stakes are high and the risks are great…” That’s probably the only statement in the brief that has unanimous agreement among the parties.

Expressing the highest levels of professionalism and respect for fellow California citizens, the brief also dares to call the winners of the two Sacramento County Superior Court cases “a collection of special interests.” That’s how they treat citizens who seek California High-Speed Rail accountability.

Read the decisions of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny:

November 25, 2013 California High Speed Rail Authority Bond Validation Lawsuit Ruling

High-Speed Rail Authority and High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee, for the State of California v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of the Validity of the Authorization and Issuance of General Obligation Bonds to be Issued Pursuant to the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century and Certain Proceeding and Matter Related Thereto.

August 16, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Ruling

November 25, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Remedy

John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings v. California High Speed Rail Authority, et al.

Filed with the Court: Opposition to Governor Brown’s Petition to Allow California High-Speed Rail to Borrow Money by Issuing Bonds

February 3, 2014 – The winning parties in Sacramento County Superior Court against the California High-Speed Rail Authority now fight back against an attempt by Governor Jerry Brown to help the Authority evade public accountability by seeking extraordinary relief from the California Supreme Court.

California High-Speed Rail - Cut Water Deliveries - Disasters - Courtesy of Governor Brown - April 4 2013 in Fresno

Parked outside a California High-Speed Rail Authority board meeting remote location – April 4, 2013 in Fresno.

Gov. Brown (along with State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Attorney General Kamala Harris) wants the state to proceed with borrowing money for construction of the 29-mile Madera to Fresno high-speed rail segment by issuing Prop. 1A bonds, even though the California High-Speed Rail Authority has not complied with the law, as confirmed in 2013 by a judge.

February 3, 2014 – Preliminary Opposition of Real Parties in Interest John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings, and County of Kern to Governor Brown Petition for Extraordinary Writ of Mandate – California High-Speed Rail Authority

Please contact these leaders with press inquiries:

Aaron Fukuda – afukuda77 [at] gmail.com – Cell: 559-707-8928

Frank Oliveira – frank.oliveira [at] me.com – Cell: 559-469-6685

Court decisions against California High-Speed Rail Authority:

John Tos v. California High Speed Rail Authority (Prop 1A compliance)

August 16, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Ruling

November 25, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Remedy

California High-Speed Rail Authority v. All Persons Interested (bond validation)

November 25, 2013 California High Speed Rail Authority Bond Validation Lawsuit Ruling

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