Working With Us | Products | Case Studies | FAQ | About Online Media

A Long Ride Off a Short Bridge


Well, well, well, Gov. Terminator ain’t gonna pay for no stinkin’ bridge. The $2.3 billion in cost over-runs, he says, are the San Francisco Bay Area’s to worry about.
Oh my. Oh dear. Call me cynical – it’s okay, I can take it – but I smell a little old-fashioned political payback here. The kind that leads to naming names and assigning specific blame for cost over-runs.

Why else would Gov. Terminator want to appoint a special auditor (where oh, where did the money go?) and suggest that a regional transportation authority supervise the rest of the work. If I were former Mayor Willie Brown or anyone who had signed any contracts with him in any way related to the Bay Bridge’s seismic retrofit – the one that’s gone on for 15 years – I’d be a little teeny bit worried. Just a teeny bit.
The Governor’s actions are aimed squarely at San Francisco’s political reward culture, the jobs/public works nexus that’s at the heart of the city’s Democratic Party power. This is hardball of the nicest sort – Schwarzenegger looks like he’s being reasonable to the rest of the state – that’s going to be very hard to fight against. Government waste is a big ‘no-no’ these days.
This fight is going to get bigger and it’s connected – in spirit, not specifics – to the increasingly interesting saga of San Francisco powerbroker Julie Lee and California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. Yes, I know, everyone loves Shelley: he’s a great guy. Good lookin’ too. But anytime you see your name in a newspaper story that also includes the words “U.S. Attorney’s office” and that’s not the job you hold, well, it’s bad. Very bad. Just ask Frank Quattrone. And while not very many people like Lee – she’s vindictive and none too subtle – it seems that her shady dealings are finally catching up to her.
So who benefits in all this? Well, Gavin Newsom who is now one more step away from the political wheeler-dealer moves of his predecessor Willie Brown. Politically disabling Julie Lee and getting her off the city’s Housing Authority is good for Newsom. It’s good for Lee’s rival, Rose Pak. But it’s also good for Democrats all over the city who want to clean up – really clean up – City Hall.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 1:25 PM | Permalink

<< Back to the Spotlight blog

Chris Nolan's bio
Email Chris Nolan

Get Our Weekly Email Newsletter

What We're Reading - Spot-On Books

Hot Spots - What's Hot Around the Web | Promote Your Page Too

Spot-on Main | Pinpoint Persuasion | Spotlight Blog | RSS Subscription | Spot-on Writers | Privacy Policy | Contact Us