Don't get me wrong. I'm a big believer in infrastructure, and I like it even more when infrastructure spending comes to my neck of the woods. This is especially true when the spending involves trains, and train crossings, and ways to make them safer for everyone. I'm not complaining.
But still, I think it's worth pointing out just how hypocritical these Republicans are. Elton Gallegly is crowing all over the press about his most recent "get".
Metrolink spokesperson Sherita Coffelt said the railroad crossing at Spring Road near High Street will be upgraded to enhance safety for rail, vehicles, pedestrians and commercial property patrons.
The improvements will include relocating a warning signal, installing a new one, and installing two vehicle exit gates, she said."There will also be advanced reactions, which means that when a train is approaching, the warning lights will be coordinated with the traffic lights so that the traffic lights will never accidentally cause a car to get trapped on the tracks," she said.
Requested by Gallegly, the funding comes from the 2010 transportation/HUD appropriations bill as part of the Federal Railroad Administration's High Speed Rail Corridor Improvements program, said Tom Pfeifer, spokesman for Gallegly's Washington office.
Yeah. That would be the high speed rail spending program Gallegly voted to kill, alongside his fellow suicide bombers in the House so we could pay for disaster assistance.
But of course, that doesn't stop him from dancing all over the place about what a great guy he is:
Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, said he welcomed the funding.
"Every day, Metrolink, Amtrak and Union Pacific trains cross major intersections in Ventura County cities," he said in a statement. "This first-in-the-nation program that identifies and implements improvements to railroad crossings will reduce accidents and save lives."
Assistant City Manager Hugh Riley also welcomed the funding.
"In this day and age, with things the way they are, if he (Gallegly) got some money for railroad crossing improvements out here, that's terrific," Riley said. "So this is great news."
I realize that this is just the hundred-zillionth example of Republican hypocrisy, but this one hits pretty close to home. About ten miles away. We're an area that could really benefit from high-speed rail, too. So while Gallegly brings home the pork -- er, earmarks -- while claiming he's a hard-core fiscal conservative, all I can do is laugh. Or cry. Or something. I just can't wait until his seat is redistricted off the map. R-Simi Valley, indeed. The guy represents more than Simi Valley. Then again, he really doesn't. We're just unfortunate enough to be in his district anyway.