I just re-read this article. It's very good. You should read it if you already haven't.
The issue is, why is Governor Jerry Brown supporting HSR (not in any particular order)?
1. For the free $3.5 billion from the FRA.
2. To get out from under his father's shadow. (The way George Bush went back into Iraq, which his father 'abandoned'.) To be as good as, or better than his father, Governor Pat Brown.
3. To obtain a legacy/vanity project: "The Governor Jerry Brown Memorial High-Speed Train."
4. To not piss-off the Obama White House.
5. Because it's politically correct for the Democrats to support it. He's being a "team player." (Three Republican Governors dumped it.)
6. Democrats love very large public works projects. Brown may very well believe the "jobs" myth.
7. He is sucking up to the Unions that believe HSR is a "jobs" creator. They will pay back that favor in numerous ways. Quid Pro Quo.
8. He thinks of himself as a "visionary," in the mode of his father and President Obama. He wishes to overcome the pejorative "Moonbeam" nickname.
9. He was in on the ground floor of this project thirty years ago, when this HSR "vision" was cooked up by some back-room politicians. He feels some "ownership." He considers it a revenue generator and money magnet.
10. If he doesn't support it, and it dies, it will "kill" high-speed rail in the US for generations, a burden and permanent scar he does not want to bear.
And, what is Governor Jerry Brown impacting with this support, intentionally or not (not in any particular order)?
1. He is committing California to a project costing way north of $100 billion dollars, which nobody has. It will be a financial debacle for both State and Nation for generations. Cost forecasts can only go up.
2. He is ignoring the down-side of this project; that is, the adverse financial impact on the state, and all the affected communities. He is ignoring the horrendous consequences of the construction and the eternal cost burden on the state.
3. He is starting something he can't finish and won't be around to finish.
4. He is depriving other, and highly critical areas of state investment, such as education, from tax funds to be consumed by HSR.
5. He is seeking funds contributed by the taxpayers of the rest of the US for a project of no value to the rest of the US.
6. He is failing to invest or even to promote the "public mass transportation" he claims to support by focusing HSR instead.
7. He is thereby not supporting the far more critical repair of deteriorating existing infrastructure and upgrading existing public mass transit in the population centers of the state.