ICYMI: San Diego Union-Tribute Editorial: "Newsom's Rhetoric In Gas Tax Fight Ignores Past Betrayals"

October 21, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s habit of creating confusion and then blaming others for the fallout is again on display. In February, he called for a new era of candor about the lack of funding needed to complete the state’s troubled bullet-train project — then groused when news coverage (accurately) said he was distancing himself from the fiasco championed by his two predecessors.

In June, he created vast consternation when he depicted a legislative attempt to crack down on bogus student vaccine exemptions as bureaucratic overkill — then groused when news coverage (accurately) said he appeared to be backing away from a bill that was the top priority of the public health establishment.

Now it’s here-we-go-again, this time on gasoline taxes. On Sept. 20, Newsom issued an executive order directing the California State Transportation Agency to “leverage” its $5 billion-plus budget “to help reverse the trend of increased fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Two weeks later, state officials announced that they had “deleted” three long-sought road projects and scaled back others to create a $61.3 million reserve to be used for rail projects and other plans that reflected the priorities set out in Newsom’s order. ...

… In fact, residents had strongly prioritized road improvements with their votes in 2002 and 2006. If Newsom ignores this history of cynical betrayal, Californians can expect still more gaffes from him. How can someone who has spent decades in politics be so tone-deaf?

Read the full editorial here.