“My goal,” Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, tells me, “is to ensure that we do not rip through the Central Valley, uprooting prime agricultural land, families, businesses, water infrastructure and a way of life for 100 miles of track just to say we started high speed rail.”
Harkey is, of course, referring to the state’s beleaguered fast-train project that, so far, has survived numerous bipartisan and independent challenges from local, state, and even federal officials. Yet if anyone can stop California HSR in its tracks, it’s the determined Harkey, who lately has led the charge on behalf of fiscal conservatives everywhere fed up with the lunacy of high-speed rail.
With more than 30 years of banking and finance experience and an economics degree from UC Irvine, Assemblywoman Harkey, whose district stretches from southern Orange County to the San Diego County border, is no stranger to both promising projects and dangerous boondoggles. And as the vice chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Harkey strives against the odds (one might say, tilts at windmills) to provide a modicum of fiscal sanity here in the state capital.