High-speed rail PR is a waste of MONEY.

News is out that the California High-Speed Rail Authority spent $12.5 million on public relations over the past two years.

$12.5 million?  Are you kidding me?

I've been in the communications business for 40 years.  I've known billion-dollar corporations that don't spend a 10th of that on PR and get much better results. WTH is going on at the CHSRA?

Reading deeper I learned that significant portions of the budget were spent on "politically connected consultants" made up of former politicians.

Again, are you kidding me?

Right now we live in a nation where long-term politicians know diddly squat about communicating with their constituency.  Spending money on people who are going to talk to get advice and counsel from politicians is a great way to make sure you DON'T relate to the general electorate.

Personally, I am in complete favor of high-speed rail having used it overseas.  I know the benefit and value of such systems.  I'm also thoroughly in favor of fully funding other public transit systems.

But really, folks, it isn't that hard to reach the common people and get your story across in today's world.  It isn't hard to get them to give you constructive input either. The first step is get out of the inbred world of politics and get ahold of some people who know how to engage with reality. My rates are a LOT more reasonable than what you've been paying, believe me.

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Earltini December 10, 2011 at 07:43 PM
The reason they need to spend so much is because CA HSR is a bad idea as currently conceived. They should have taken that PR money to fund intelligent studies on how public transit could be most successful. Instead they said "build a fast train!" as if the idea itself justified this as the best solution. The companies that spend little on PR can do that because they have great products that consumers want and seek out. CA HSR is neither, and that is why the attempt to "spin" the benefits to the citizens costs so much. It is time to stop the madness on CA HSR.
Jim Somers December 10, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Lou; I have to say, up front, that I am not opposed to HSR, as a concept. But I am opposed to the plan put forth by the HSR board. I have heard a mayor of a Peninsula city refer to this HSR plan as a high speed train wreck. That comment pretty much nails it. I attended the Assembly budget committee hearing, held a couple of weeks ago in the P.A. City Council chambers, and wrote a blog post about all the things wrong with this approach to HSR. You can read that post by following this link. http://www.athomeredwoodcity.com It's the 3rd post on the page.
Reality Check December 10, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Speaking of your rates -- they must indeed be quite low, since you've denied being compensated for doing so much work for DMB/Cargill on the "Car-fill-ville" Pave the Bay project for the last few years, no?
Martin Engel December 12, 2011 at 04:39 AM
Reading deeper I learned that significant portions of the budget were spent on "politically connected consultants" made up of former politicians. That sentence certainly caught my attention. If true, this is fraud with public funds. How can I learn more about this?
Lou Covey, The Local Motive December 12, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Martin, the people who were paid from these funds were listed in the original articles. But paying lobbyists is not illegal.


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