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.
Pringle resigned from that board in June 2011.
(*Correction: A campaign spokesperson says Kashkari left PIMCO in January 2013 to pursue public service.)