State Sen. Bill Dodd shrugs at spending a chunk of his own cash — roughly $60,000 — to fight Tuesday’s California Recall Election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“I do fundraising for things like this. It’s part of doing business,” Dodd said by phone Wednesday, obviously happy with the results of what he called “a sham recall.”
“I had a pretty good idea if the Democrats got out and voted, this recall election would not go anywhere and Gov. Newsom would prevail,” Dodd said. “People voted and that’s the result.”
Dodd said he exchanged texts with Newsom this week.
“I think he’s very happy with the results,” Dodd said. “Hopefully we can now move on from this and get on with solving the state’s problems — and we have lots of problems.”
It’s estimated that $275 million was the cost for taxpayers to fund the failed attempt at dethroning Newsom, with “No” votes getting 65.9% of the votes tallied as of Wednesday afternoon.
That kind of loot could help with taking on everything from wildfires to the homeless situation, point out recall critics. Or, as Dodd points out, it could go toward helping to renovate Highway 37.
Dodd said he’s trying to pull a few rabbits out of a lot of financial hats to avoid a toll road.
“Before it’s all said and done, to do it right, it’ll take $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion from one end (of 37) to the other,” Dodd said.
Adjusting to the rising sea level is a priority, Dodd said, and it’s not something happening in 2035.
“It’s already happening, particularly on the west end,” Dodd said. “There wasn’t enough rain this year, but there was significant flooding two years ago in that corridor to where they shut it down.”
A rising sea level “is coming to a theater near you sooner rather than later,” Dodd said. “It’s already here.”
In a press release earlier this week, Dodd said that “global warming has triggered a dangerous rise in tidal waters across the San Francisco Bay and that’s now threatening a vital commuter route,” with the $5 million targeted for “addressing the environmental degradation of our wetlands and advance improvements to this critical transportation artery. These investments bring us closer to creating a sustainable and less congested roadway.”
Dodd believes more Republicans are accepting climate change as legitimate.
“A lot of Republicans are coming around, seeing the wildfires, floods, tornadoes. It’s become obvious,” Dodd said.
The $5 million funded via Senate Bill 170 passed the Senate, 63-12, and Assembly, 29-3, late Thursday. It will be administered by the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. The allocation comes in addition to $3 million secured by Dodd in the July budget, earmarked for design and planning of interim improvements including adding a lane between Sears Point and Vallejo to increase capacity and reduce traffic.
Highway 37 wasn’t a priority when the Bay Area planners mapped out the area 15 years ago, Dodd said.
“It was just never on the regional plan,” he said. “Now it’s on the regional plan.”
Sign up for email newsletters