It may get a little awkward at upcoming Orange County GOP functions if Neel Kashkari runs into Curt Pringle.
Former U.S. Treasury official Kashkari--a.k.a "the architect of the bailouts"--has begun his run for the California governor by ripping the bullet train former Anaheim mayor and Assembly speaker Pringle--a.k.a. the onetime "face of high-speed rail"--championed while in office.
Kashkari's campaign just unveiled NoCrazyTrain.com and a "Crazy Train" video to highlight Gov. Jerry Brown's "misplaced priorities" in also supporting the project that would finally, someday supposedly link Southern and Northern California by high-speed rail.
The train is to eventually start in San Francisco and be built in different phases, north to south. Currently, the 29-mile leg from Los Angeles to Anaheim is projected to run on an upgraded Metrolink corridor starting in 2029. The total (and always rising) price tag for the entire project: $91.1 billion.
"To me, it is not only a waste of money, it is a great example, a symbol of Sacramento having the wrong priorities," says Kashkari, who
is now was an executive at PIMCO* of Newport Beach. "If I were elected governor, we're going to cancel the bullet train and we're going to focus on the state's priorities, which are jobs and education."
His campaign pointed to just-released Bureau of Labor Statistics that show California continues to have the 46th worst unemployment rate in the nation. See the video here: www.neelkashkari.com/video-stop-crazy-train/.
Ironically, then-Attorney General Jerry Brown who found it a conflict of interest for Pringle to have served on the boards of both the Orange County Transportation Authority and the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
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Pringle resigned from that board in June 2011.
(*Correction: A campaign spokesperson says Kashkari left PIMCO in January 2013 to pursue public service.)