OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

The Story of High Speed Rail Lobbyist Troy Edgar

Posted by OC Insider on April 25, 2012

As we’re still getting to know the candidates for Assembly in the 72nd District, one question I keep hearing people ask over and over again is: Does Troy Edgar still support wasting taxpayer dollars on fanciful high speed rail?

Just as importantly he should come clean about how much taxpayer money he spent traveling around the country lobbying for high speed rail.

Everyone knows that Troy Edgar was a lifelong Democrat and only switched parties when he decided to run for office.   Unfortunately for Orange County, despite the ‘R’ next to his name he has governed like a Chicago Democrat.  Edgar’s push for an illegal trash contract and constant desire to raise taxes and fees are well known.

What is a little less known is that, for a brief period of time, Los Alamitos paid a large sum in order to join the Orangeline Development Authority (OLDA).  At the time, the mission of OLDA was promoting a high speed maglev rail line that would run from Irvine to Palmdale.

Troy Edgar was named Vice Chairman of OLDA and quickly became one of the most active proponents of this high speed rail boondoggle.

He quickly started lobbying Orange County cities and agencies.  He frivolously worked on getting the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on to support the project.  Before presenting to OCTA, he bragged about “his previous lobbying efforts toward the OCTA to prepare for this event.”

Fortunately for Orange County and California, OCTA turned Troy Edgar and his levitating high speed train down.  No doubt, by saying no to Troy Edgar, OCTA saved taxpayers billions.

Here are just a few of the problems that OCTA found with Troy’s Train.

From OCTA July 26, 2007 Staff Report:

“OCTA has not committed right of way”

“Financial plan appears extremely optimistic”

“$18 average fare is assumed for 20-mile trip”

From OCTA CEO Arthur Leahy, August 9, 2007 Memo:

“The Orangeline financial plan appears extremely optimistic.”

“Investors expressed concern about the Orangeline’s ability to secure right-of-way for the project and to receive the necessary environmental approvals.”

“Only one of the Orangeline’s 14 member cities, Los Alamitos, is located in Orange County, and none of the seven the seven Orange County cities directly bordering the PE Railroad right-of-way has joined the Orangeline.” (OLDA Minutes May 9, 2007)

“In March 2007, the La Palma City Council adopted a resolution explicitly opposing the use of the PE Railroad right-of-way for any future transit project, including the Orangeline.”

Furthermore, in true Chicago Democrat style, Troy Edgar could not take no for an answer and wanted OCTA to bully Orange County cities that did not want this project going through their town.

La Palma city councilman, Ralph Rodriguez spoke in opposition to the project.

“The City of La Palma opposes this particular project since it would be disruptive to the residential properties that are adjacent to the subject right-of-way” (OCTA Transit Planning and Operations Committee Meeting May 10, 2007)

How did Troy Edgar react?  He urged OCTA to ignore the city of La Palma.

“Troy Edgar, Councilman, City of Los Alamitos, stated this is an opportunity to provide clean technology and asked staff to keep the Orangeline project as an option and append the Long-Range Transportation Plan to include this project. (OCTA Transit Planning and Operations Committee Meeting May 10, 2007)

Not being able to take a hint and realize that he is lobbying for a tax dollar black hole that is not wanted by either the impacted cities or the taxpayers who would have to foot the bill, Troy Edgar decided it was a good idea travel to New York and lobby private investors for this project.  He even brags about it in the OC Register.

“He will talk later this month to potential investors in New York”

I wonder just how much this trip cost.  In fact, I would like to know how much all of Edgar’s lobbying efforts cost.  He traveled all over the state on behalf of this project. In addition to his OLDA per meeting stipend of $100 (yes, he took a stipend for his OLDA meetings), how much did taxpayers have to pay for all of his travel?

Can we trust Troy Edgar to oppose High Speed Rail if we send him to Sacramento? I would have to say, absolutely not! If this entire saga makes one thing clear, it is that Troy Edgar cannot be trusted with taxpayer funds.

5 Responses to “The Story of High Speed Rail Lobbyist Troy Edgar”

  1. Bush League said

    Troy Edgar is a phony. While he describes himself as the owner of two businesses, no one really knows if they’re viable enterprises. One, known as Global Conductor (www.globalconductor.com) claims they’re experts in computer-based supply chain management (aka ERP), and other disciplines. But the only evidence ever seen of them doing any business anywhere is an occasional ad for recruitment — in other words, they appear to be headhunters — the sleaziest of businesses. No one knows the name of Edgar’s other business which he claims is in underground construction.

    The REAL question that needs to be asked is WHY does this self-proclaimed successful businessman want a travel-intensive position in Sacramento that pays less than $100k annually. What’s he hiding about his “success” that he wants this job so badly?

  2. P.T. Alexander said

    how does this high speed rail shill have ANY endorsements? did nobody do their research first?

    this guy is known as “Trash Edgar” at this point in Los Alamitos

  3. BTaaylor said

    What is wrong with the American dream? Are you a builder or a destroyer/

  4. Return to Sender said

    Editor’s Note: This comment has been redacted for being an off topic attack on somebody not relevant to the post.

  5. Return to Sender said

    Editor’s Note: This comment has been redacted for being an off topic attack on somebody not relevant to the post.

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