Republican Ted Gaines grovels for the Gigafactory

Tesla Motors has five Southwestern states – Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas – on the ropes. Each would love to land the company’s massive, $5 billion gigafactory for battery production. Tesla has acknowledged breaking ground on a potential site in Reno, but is keeping its options open. State politicians, economic development officials, governors and senators are falling over themselves to bring the economic development bacon, and the promise of 6,500 manufacturing jobs, home.

Enter Republican Ted Gaines of Roseville, who represents California’s 1st Senate District. He’s also running for the statewide office of Insurance Commissioner and is the legislature’s most vocal critic of what many call “Obamacare.”

On Friday, Gaines will tour Tesla’s factory in Fremont. Then he plans to show up at Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters with a “symbolic gift” for CEO Elon Musk. He doesn’t have an appointment with Musk, who may not even be there. Musk travels extensively and also runs SpaceX.

What is the symbolic gift? An oversized check for $500 million? CEQA in a shredder? Gaines wouldn’t say: we’ll find out on Friday.

“I am doing everything that I can to communicate that California is serious, and we’re going to win,” said Gaines in an interview Thursday. “I don’t buy that Reno is the front-runner in the line. The Nevada legislature isn’t even in session. How can they cut a deal? We can put together a package that makes us competitive.”

Gaines and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) are co-authors of SB 1309, a bill that aims to enticeĀ  Tesla to build the factory. There’s about a month left in the legislative session to get the bill, which currently just has intent language, done.

State Senator Ted Gaines


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  • CMCNestT .

    Many? Everyone outside the professional and semi-professional Left calls Obamacare Obamacare.

    • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

      As do (or did) many leftists, professional and otherwise, up to and including Obama himself — who *used to* use it personally, a badge of honor, until it became clear what a disaster it actually is in most locales.

  • NCIC

    So if California elected a few more republicans in office, they might actually begin to attract some business back to California!! Unfortunately, when you factor in other costs, like utilities, employee costs of living, insurance, transportation, shipping/receiving….California still moves back to last place.

    • CarlK

      Yeah right tell that to Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, HP, Oracle, Netflix, eBay, Twitter, Linkedin…..oh and don’t forget Tesla and SpaceX that they shouldn’t be there. Your state is free to compete with China and Vietnam as the cheapest place to do business.

  • Robert Rachclip


    If you or your staff is reading this, please know that there is a sizable and growing body of taxpayers and voters in your district who are disgusted by this pandering and squandering of state resources for this company. Tesla can do what it wants to manipulate governments to shake down the public taxpayer for its own benefit, to avoid the compliance with the rules that every other company has to abide. But if you align yourself with this effort, please know that it will cost you dearly. Its offensive and its contrary to what any conservative should stand for. Understand the costs.

    • jeremys

      oooh look. Another “pro-business” Republican.

      Someone sounds bitter. Does Tesla clash with your world view? Are you feeling threatened?

    • WeaponZero

      Every other business has to comply? since when? large business ALWAYS find ways around. You are somehow making it sound like Tesla is being treated special or getting something others are not, not the case, all large businesses get these things.

  • Randell Young

    Republican Ted Gaines grovels for the Gigafactory?

    If Gaines were a Democrat the headline would read…

    Against all odds, Democrat Ted Gaines battles tirelessly to bring jobs to

    • InconvenientTruthsYouHate


  • TeslaOwner


    I’m neither Republican or Democrat. I retired from my former party when I got sick of all the pointless and unproductive B.S. being spouted by both sides.


    Oh, I get it. I read a little further and found out that Gaines opposes Obamacare.

    So, when a Republican does something completely on the level, its “groveling?”

    Dana, I’ve been reading your Tesla articles for over a year now and I am thoroughly disappointed in you. Granted, I’m a new reader, but I’m not in California and this is the first example of polarized B.S. that I’ve read in your column. Up until today, I thought highly of you.

    What does Obamacare have to do with Tesla? Tesla is a non-political issue. Its good for the planet. The only pollution associated with Tesla is found spewing out of the mouths of the extreme Left and Right. Now Dana has shown her colors and smeared her brown stinky streaks of opinion all over Tesla’s pristine white factory walls.

    It’s Dana’s own personal B.S.; representing no one else and selfishly staining the an issue we can all agree on.

    Thanks Dana, for standing up, pulling up your pants, and then reaching back into the toilet and producing this GEM of an article.

    • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

      Exactly. Nothing but partisan posturing and spew around here. I guess it’s too much to ask for an intellectually honest and non-partisan article. Obamacare has to be brought up in an article about Tesla just to have something to b–ch about.

  • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

    Is there not even a single subject matter which this paper and its “journalists” cannot turn into an excuse for partisan grousing and sniping? Good grief!

  • MikeH

    Relax Ted. California will get the gigafactory without you having to give Elon a “symbolilc present”. Tesla wants it to be in California and all of this “negotiating with other states” and clearing land in the Reno desert is just a strategy to get the best possible deal from California.

    Also Ted, get a shave before your next headshot photo.

    Dana – in the future don’t give anyone an excuse to hijack the conversation by mentioning hot potato items like Obamacare. It was definitely extraneous to this article.