40 votes

Guess whose Company won the bid for CA high speed rail?

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.

http://crazifornia.com/2013/04/16/dirty-business-as-usual-at...

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.
http://www.examiner.com/article/high-speed-rail-bidding-prac...

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.”

http://www.nationalbcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view...

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are you blind?

FeinSTEIN
Blum

nothing?

.ro

stupid california..

when I first saw the huge piles of rails and things along the old tracks I got cold chills.. Smart train pffft! it reminds me of someone saying that no one would have voted for the patriot act if they had called it the treacherous act or the treasonous act.. who would have voted for the train if they had called it the treacherous train?

Garnet
Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

We Need a Name for Rail System to Reflect The Cronyism

FeinRail...SteinRail...CronyRail...SpouseRail

Any ideas?

"Gigantic Waste of Unwilling

"Gigantic Waste of Unwilling Taxpayers Money" aka GWUTM... All aboard!

Should name it

High Speed Train To Nowhere

Ok

Gun Control Railway
Nazi Rail
The Dirty Speedway

This is her reward for pushing the gun legislation.

Ron brought the Liberty movement together, Rand is expanding the crap out of it! :)

Disgusting

So vile

recall Senator Feinstein for treason, graft, corruption

... and numerous violations of her sworn oath to the Constitution.

RECALL DIANE FEINSTEIN

Never forget

Tutor Perini also won the Solyndra contract. You know, that solar company that had built a giant, $300M+ headquarters on the peoples' dime and shortly thereafter went under.

Why here she is applauding the loan that enabled Solyndra to have the building built...

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-relea...

PLEASE CAN WE PUT THIS BITCH IN PRISON YET?

Now this is a conspiracy, for real

Forget West, Texas, this is what is destroying our country, crony capitalism

=======
RON PAUL 2012

It's over my head

but it's easy to see why she'll never, ever be voted out. Too much money, too much corruption in her favor. The funny thing is, I don't know of people who actually LIKE her. Maybe that's just because I'm a hermit, but really?

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

Because they are all in the

Because they are all in the same bed: Unions and politicians. A terrible combination. The great worm that eternally consumes itself. The Worm of Ouroboros.

It's no surprise really;

these high speed rail networks are part of the Agenda 21 city-to-city transportation system.

Wrong on many levels

First, as someone who left a government contractor for ethical reasons just like setting up cost over runs, any contractor with such a history is very well known in the bid process. Most states simply remove them from the valid pool of bidding prior to putting it out for bid.

Also, most large contracts like this have a process where proposals must include all missed items in the contract. Once a contract is signed most of those will not get an increase in budget. It must be proven that it was missed on both sides due to an obvious mis-communication in the original spec.

Secondly, CA should be considering skytran.net not high speed rail. It's 20 times cheaper, more useful for the people, less resources and more energy efficient, not less. It's also 10x faster to install and faster travel times for the people. Traditional HSR is a dinosaur.

Great Concept

skytran really is an interesting transit system. I suspect the need it would fill is far greater than the need to connect with large neighboring cities at eyeball peeling speed.

I saw a similar concept in a magazine, long ago, before the days of maglev. ;)
I'm really glad to see how the idea has matured. skytran.net seems to have most of the logistics worked out.

That type of transportation really does make sense for joe citizen, hence it's sure not to be considered.

Just open the box and see

Cyril's picture

Yuck.

Yuck.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Californication....

.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Cyril's picture

It is indeed, quite literally, phony corporate IN BED with gov't

It is indeed, quite literally, phony corporate IN BED with government...

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Benito Mussolini liked to refer to it as Fascism....

.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Sounds like a job for Ben

Sounds like a job for Ben Swann...

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.

Sounds fishy but...

If there were five bidders than the price tag (as high as it appears) must be valid. Unless we could see the plans we cannot assess this price.

If the bids were opened publicly (probably not at this size of bid) than there could not be bid fraud. If the bids were negotiated (secret bid opening) than the worst that could happen would be that PZP was offered to lower his bid to below the low bidder. It happens all the time. And it is not exactly bid fraud. It is unethical, but not illegal.

In contracting, overruns are not the contractors fault. There is a contract accompanied by scope of work, plans, and specifications. If the engineer and/or owner is not explicitly clear in these documents (either inexperienced, lazy, or vague) there is a chance of overruns. But it is not the contractor's fault. The contractor will take a set of crappy plans and exploit any opportunity to make money, but that's the game. It is a contract. If you sign a contract that ends up screwing you, do you call the other party a fraud? If his costs are higher than his bid he pays.

But on the other hand, the plans could have been tailored to fit what his company does to give him an advantage. He could have been involved in the planning process and as I stated before, given the job as long as he agreed to a price below the other bidders.

Perini has a history; why is that not taken into account?

Perini has a history; why is that not taken into account? They lowball a project, use political clout to keep important questions from being asked, and use dirty mafia thuggery to muscle the project through without concern about overruns or quality concerns.

With THAT kind of history, I would be hesitant to take their offer seriously. Its one of those cases where the low bid ends up costing more.

But then, Blum's boys would probably meet me by my car late one night to "have a chat" and break a few fingers for questioning his integrity in public...

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

I find it odd too.

Don't get me wrong. Any contract above about 10 million is Request For Proposal (RFP). Which means it is not an open bid. The owner selects who they want in secret and negotiate prices down to the low bid. That is wrong. It is public money and there should be a public bid opening.

But there really is a contract that must be adhered to. So once it is signed it is hard to cheat.

But most of these high dollar deals are fishy, I agree with you.

In India at least it is

In India at least it is usually a miracle if infrastructure projects stay within budget. It would be an exception rather than the norm.

He could well make a loss on this. I just talked to a guy whose working on a petroleum emergency reserve storage facility and they are losing millions of dollars on the project. Each day that its late by costs them money. They are only willing to absorb the cost to get a foothold in the Indian market.

I understand peoples concerns but the simple fact is that owners of such large companies by the virtue of their wealth are invariably well connected. But you would have to change human nature itself to stop people taking advantage of their contacts in high places. The further up the food chain you go, the more important it becomes.

That is why limiting the power of government to raise and distribute money is the best way forward.

Good observation.

A contract is a contract though. Large contracts are the same as small ones. If the owner or engineer is inexperienced, lazy, or vague the bid documents (plans and specifications) will not explain exactly what he wants done. In that case ANY smart contractor will be able to take advantage. Usually, before bid time, the contractors will submit questions to any discrepancies but if they are not noticed than usually the owner will pay. But, if the contractor makes a mistake or omission in calculating his bid he has no choice but to finish the project with a loss.

"But you would have to change human nature itself to stop people taking advantage of their contacts in high places. The further up the food chain you go, the more important it becomes."

I do not think this is true. People are people. Everyone likes to make money. My mind is always planning, calculating, and comparing schemes to make more profits. It is part of the game. Huge companies have many smart people planning, calculating, and comparing schemes to make more profits too. That is why we are all in business. Employees primary task, always, is to make money. It will be the same in a private world.

I do agree that without government there would not be cases, as in what may have occurred above, where the government employees have incentives to give work, and money, away to family and friends in the private sector.

And the people of California will vote her right back in

$985,142,530 - really?

Does anyone else find it hilarious that a near 1billion dollar bid comes down to such a finite amount of 30 dollars. I mean they couldn't round it up to say an even 986,000,000??
Or since clearly they are going to be hitting CA up with tons of overages - why not just 985,000,000??

That is your first sign they are full of crap - you can't bid out a million dollar project that close - never mind a billion.

The next lowest bid was probably 985,142,540 - LOLLLLL

Cyril's picture

Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blum are living their American dream.

Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blum are living their American dream.

Plundering us all.

(California here)

Beautiful, is it not?

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

It is just another coincidence.

I bet Ms. Feinstein will be out there with a pick and shovel to help save a few pennies for her constituency.

And that is how crony capitalism

And that is how crony capitalism works in America.

I just thank God every day for the complete and total economic collapse of the USA that is on the way.

it's just

Judaism, where according to the Talmud, robbing the goyim is not only allowed, but encouraged.

.ro