Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 – 12:25 am

Jerry Brown – publicly, at least – rejects any suggestion that he returned to the governorship to establish a more favorable legacy for himself.

But it’s evident that Brown, now the state’s longest-serving governor, intends for two massive public works projects to become lasting memorials – not unlike the State Water Project that was so closely identified with his father and gubernatorial predecessor, Pat Brown.

One would, in effect, complete the Brown family’s water project by boring twin tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to ease water deliveries southward. The other would link the northern and southern halves of the state with a high-speed-rail system.

Both are sheathed in intense controversy over their utility, their collateral impacts on the regions directly involved and their multibillion-dollar costs. And the fates of both are very uncertain.

Even were the other issues to be resolved, or sidestepped, the pecuniary aspects of the two projects could be their ultimate undoing because at this moment, Brown and other advocates cannot tell us how either will be financed.

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