Gavin Newsom has a transportation problem — not personally, but politically.
As governor, Newsom travels in an entourage with a personal driver and lots of security.
However, he shares the road with millions of Californians who must cope with ever-increasing congestion, poorly maintained pavement and sky-high fuel prices.
A couple of years ago, when Jerry Brown was still governor, he and legislators mustered the courage to raise gas taxes to fix some of the state’s worst roadway conditions.
It was not popular. One state senator who voted for it was recalled for doing so, and the $5 billion a year package, Senate Bill 1, survived a repeal initiative thanks only to a very misleading ballot title and a massively financed campaign promising voters they would see improvements.
Understandably, therefore, the business and labor groups that backed SB 1 and legislators who voted for it are very sensitive that funds be spent as promised, which is why there was such a sharp reaction when Newsom appeared to renege.