Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
“It’s really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told CNN Money regarding comments made by presidential candidate Donald Trump about Ford moving its plant to Mexico. Ford is not moving to Mexico nor firing anyone!
I made a similar comment at the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) informational meeting held in Manteca, Sept, 15, when its Manager for Regional Incentives, Dan Leavitt announced that ACE will be conducting a Town Hall meeting with Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock). This session will be onboard ACE in support of its expansion and realignment that will bring ACE as far as to Merced, linking it to the California High-Speed Rail; a project not supported by Denham.
According to Metrolink’ Legislative Committee report of June 13, 2014, Representative Denham has been a railroad block for the High-Speed Rail. He has blocked funds that otherwise would have helped with construction and deployment of the Speed Rail, calling it a “ flawed project.” Leaving no other alternative for others than to find ways to make the High-Speed Rail a reality.
Just as recent as last month, the Congressman referred to securing funding for the High-Speed Rail as “ wasting money on a high-speed rail system that may never be completed…” ACE and the California High-Speed Rail go hand in hand, and it is projected that over 5 million Central Valley residents will benefit from their connection. It will link Southern California with the Central Valley and connect again at the Bay Area; it will not only bring progress but more importantly will reduce highway congestion by reducing highway commuting to an acceptable level.
How ACE came up with the idea to partner with Denham for a Town Hall meeting onboard ACE is beyond me. The funding for $1.3 billion needed to start this new chapter of ACE will be met by the State of California, not the United States Congress.Denham has nothing to do in securing these funds, but a lot to gain when interacting with over 1,000 of his constituents while riding ACE with them during the proposed Town Hall; one thousand likelihood voters that Denham will desperately need to win re-election on Nov. 8.
Denham is no friend of high-speed rail which is one of the primary reasons for ACE expansion into Merced County. Giving these facts, I believe Denham should not be allowed to conduct a Town Hall meeting onboard ACE. The ACE/Denham Town Hall meeting will be perceived as a publicity stunt of the Congressman. ACE cannot afford to become part of the political madness of this year’s election by becoming a voter registration venue for \Denham. The ACE commuter deserves better; a stunt like this will only jeopardize the faith the public has in the Altamont Corridor Express.