You just can’t make this chit up!
Dirty Business as Usual at California High Speed Rail
From the article:
Out of the entire universe of those who could have won the first phase construction contract for California’s high speed rail boondoggle, who would stand out as the last person who would win it if there were no political patronage.
Put another way, who is the most likely person to win it if there is political patronage?
Both questions have the same answer: Richard Blum, the husband of California senator Diane Feinstein.
So, who won the contract? Blum, of course, as the principle owner of Tutor Perini, the lead firm in the three-firm consortium selected by the California High Speed Rail Authority.
Yes, Diane, it really does look that bad to us little people.
A High Low Bid
The Perini-Zachary-Parsons bid was the lowest received from the five consortia participating in the bidding process, but “low” is a relative term. The firms bid $985,142,530 to build the wildly anticipated first section of high speed rail track that will tie the megopolis of Madera to the global finance center of Fresno. Do the division, and you find that the low bid came in at a mere $35 million per mile.
And that doesn’t include the cost of rolling stock (that’s engines and cars to the normal among us). Nor does it include the cost of electrifying the route. Does it at least include the cost of land acquisition? No, it does not.
As this fiasco progress, remember that this $35 million per mile represents the best California can do on the section of track the High on Crack Speed Rail Authority selected to go first because it will be the cheapest.
Some background on this company:
High-Speed Rail bidding practice questionable the winner’s checkered past has a proven record of high cost over runs.
The Feds put together a task force to go after construction fraid, overruns and safety violations. Perini has been caught doing such things over and over again. They are absolutely ridiculous in California projects. It is like DBE fronting is a part of its business model. Overall fraud appears to be a part of that model also.
According to the Seattle News some of the Perini headlines read: “In February, Tutor-Saliba and Perini agreed to pay $19 million to settle racketeering and fraud allegations in a San Francisco airport project.” “In 2004, Perini agreed to pay the federal government $998,500 to settle fraud claims in the construction of an embassy building in Venezuela.” “The companies are embroiled in an 11 – year legal battle over $16 million in extra costs on a Los Angeles subway job.” “Perini sued for more than $170 million in cost overruns on three New York City projects during the 1990s before settling for about $22 million.”
Here is the link to this story and others at the Daily Paul