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La Jolla’s Lynn Schenk, the ex–Democratic congressmember and former aide to Jerry Brown who was written up last month in the Los Angeles Times for allegedly taking a questionable foreign trip in conjunction with her role as a member of the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority, has gotten a letter from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission. “The Fair Political Practices Commission has initiated an investigation of allegations that as a member of the California High Speed Rail Authority, you violated the Political Reform Act’s limitation on the receipt of gifts provisions,” says an October 29 letter to Schenk from commission executive director Roman Porter. “At this time, we have not made any determination about the allegation(s). We are simply providing you with this information as a courtesy and may be contacting you again to discuss this matter.” Schenk told the Times she wasn’t required to disclose the trip to Spain as a gift and that “she has a policy of not accepting personal gifts and used her airline miles for air fare.” The Times reported that the authority could not account for sponsorship of many of the freebies.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 19, 2010 @ 8:02 a.m.

Lynn Schenk, the ex–Democratic congressmember and former aide to Jerry Brown who was written up last month in the Los Angeles Times for allegedly taking a questionable foreign trip in conjunction with her role as a member of the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority,

That thing needs to be shut down.

Curt Pringle, former GOP state legislator, is also under heat for improper business dealings in his role as head of the High-Speed Rail Authority.

These positions are nothing more than cronyism/nepotism political payback for the connected few at the expense of the many-the working class and poor.

Lynn Schenk was a ONE TERM congresswoman, lasting a short two years before she was booted out. She has a law degree, why doesn’t she go out and make her own money without leeching off the poor and middle class.

If I was running this state I would give the people who serve on these boards and commissions a flat per diem of $500 a month, for their 1-2 hours of monthly meetings, instead of their $200K comp packages they get now. It is a scam, if they didn't like it they could quit. Otherwise disband these scams.

. http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2010/11/16/pringles-64000-contract-with-mwd-another-conflict/68264/ .

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JeffMBarker Dec. 6, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

SurfPuppy619, you also ought to know that Board members of the High-Speed Rail Authority do not make the $200K/year you assert, and in fact make less than the $500/month you would give them. Board members earn only $100 per meeting, of which there are one one or two per month. Our Board members serve because they are dedicated to improving mobility in our state, improving air quality, and creating jobs and continued economic strength.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 6, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

Our Board members serve because they are dedicated to improving mobility in our state, improving air quality, and creating jobs and continued economic strength.

Jeff ,your nose is growing with this whopper.

BTW-why don't you tell us what their BENEFITS are worth?????

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JeffMBarker Nov. 23, 2010 @ 12:47 a.m.

I recognize the article above is simply a rehash of an LA Times story with no new reporting, but it inaccurately and unfairly mars the name of a person who has been instrumental in bringing high-speed rail to California.

Travel by High-Speed Rail Authority Board members to other countries to learn about their high-speed train systems has never been questioned -- and in fact it has been OK'd by the state Fair Political Practices Commission and the state Attorney General's office. What is in question is the Authority's filing of a 1-page form to document those trips, and on that aspect, Authority state staff are working with the FPPC and are committed to being transparent and accountable.

Because the United States does not have high-speed train systems, it is necessary that those planning California's system visit other countries to see the technology first-hand.

--Jeffrey M. Barker Deputy Executive Director California High-Speed Rail Authority

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David Dodd Nov. 23, 2010 @ 10:57 a.m.

Mr. Barker, with all due respect, California needs high-speed rail like a fish needs a bicycle. The State of California is broke, in case you hadn't noticed, although I reckon your checks still cash just fine. The government has continually bailed out Amtrak, which is simply putting off the inevitable. The government uses the public fear of creative destruction in order to use tax dollars in some of the most wasteful ways possible. You want to solve the transportation problem? Stop screwing around with old technology like rail; making the trains move faster isn't going to make California any more money. Urge private enterprise to invent some flying cars that run on hydrogen. If every family owns at least one flying car, think of the tax revenue, not to mention the amount of new jobs created by what would certainly be epic demand.

Help to invent a flying car and let Japan have all of the fast-rail technology she wants.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 23, 2010 @ 11:30 a.m.

Refried-I agree with EVERYTHING you just posted-WHY on earth we are spending this type of money (and already there things are going sideways ala the board that is in charge and it's scandel) for something that will have limited value is just beyond me. it does not make sense.

The BART system in the Bay Area is heavily subsidized by sales tax revenue-but they get much less traffic so that makes sense! And it i slocal and serves an on point purpose.

High speed rail is a joke-it's costs will be so far out of line with economic reality that we might as well flush those billions down the toilet-at least then we would not have upkeep on a white elephant.

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