California Recall

Top high-speed rail contractor donates to Newsom’s recall defense

The top high-speed rail contractor for the Fresno County and Madera County stretch has chipped-in to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall defense campaign. 

Southern California-based construction company Tutor Perini donated $25,000 last week to Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom, according to contribution documents filed with the California Secretary of State. 

One principal owner of Tutor Perini is Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.). 

Tutor Perini originally won the contract for the Fresno stretch with a $1 billion bid, according to reports, but due to delays, that contract has swelled to $2.2 billion. 

Notably, Newsom has remained supportive of the bullet train project despite the many delays and over-budget expenses. 

Tutor Perini sent a letter last year to the California High-Speed Rail authority saying that over 500 parcels of land in the 31-mile stretch were not available, even though the contract had been in place for seven years. 

The contractor said the delays in purchasing the land were “beyond comprehension.” 

As of January, Tutor Perini had completed 14 bridges, viaducts and other structures throughout the Fresno route, and work had started on six more. 

That left 32 structures – which includes 10 major bridges – needing to be completed. 

The delays led to Tutor Perini laying off 73 workers at the start of the year. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at