Anti High-Speed Rail Statement Debunked.
I had not been aware that a major American newspaper was owned by a journalism school, but that happens to be the case with the Tampa Bay Times. It’s independently owned by the Poynter Institute, a journalism school located in St. Petersburg, Florida.
More to the point, the Tampa Bay Times is home to PolitiFact, which has a staff of people engaged in fact-checking statements being made by politicians and public figures. In 2009, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its fact-checking of the 2008 presidential election. These days, with candidates for president all at full-throated roar, PolitiFact is very, very busy.
(I cannot resist noting that a couple of weeks ago, PolitiFact published their rating for one of Donald Trump’s statements, noting with not a little wonderment that since the beginning of the campaign it was the very first review of a Trump statement that was not rated either “False” or “Pants-on-Fire”.)
A few days ago, PolitiFact reported on a statement made by California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson (Republican-Fresno). He had attacked the California High-Speed Rail Authority which, he said, “failed to disclose huge cost overruns after they boasted private firms were interested in funding this project. We now know these firms are unwilling to put up any private money.”
PolitiFact went to the trouble of interviewing a number of those companies—the very “private firms” to which Patterson had alluded—and came back with their assessment of the assemblyman’s claim: FALSE!
Gee … we have thugs erecting threatening signs, property owners creating fake cemeteries, and politicians making false claims, all in an attempt to stop construction of California’s high-speed rail project.
Franklin Roosevelt once asked that he be judged by the enemies he had made. More and more that’s looking like a good way for Californians to evaluate their high-speed train.