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Republican powerbroker Sig Rogich endorses Reid; Now, Reid endorses Sig's train
Write on Nevada ^ | June 9, 2009 | Victor Joecks

Posted on 06/09/2009 3:23:54 PM PDT by NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

Earlier this year, Republican powerbroker Sig Rogich endorsed Sen. Harry Reid's re-election effort. And today Reid has unexpectedly announced that he no longer wants a government-funded maglev train between LA and Las Vegas, which he had publicly supported for years ─ and he now favors a new train between Victorville and Las Vegas, in which Rogich and his business partners have already invested millions.

All right, let's step back, look at this from the beginning and see if it could really be what it seems.

Rogich is a big-time Republican donor and has helped numerous Republican candidates in Nevada get elected over the years, most recently Gov. Jim Gibbons. Rogich also worked on the Reagan and Bush 41 campaigns. The man has connections, experience and money.

In February, Rogich endorsed Democratic Sen. Harry Reid for re-election. And last week, a group called Republicans for Reid, which includes Rogich, announced its endorsement of Reid. By itself, that's no big deal, as people occasionally support candidates from the other side of the political aisle.

Fast-forward to today. Reid has just announced that he no longer supports a maglev train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and instead wants a cheaper, private alternative.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader and an ardent supporter of high speed rail systems, said today he no longer favors construction of a maglev -- or magnetic levitation -- train between Anaheim and Las Vegas.

Instead, the Nevada Democrat said he now favors a conventional high speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas -- a privately funded venture that is farther along in the planning process and cheaper to build than the maglev proposal, which has been studied for almost three decades.

“I've been working on this for 30 years," Reid said. "We’ve gotten nowhere. Maglev projects have been abandoned around the world. It’s time to stop talking and start doing something.”

The proposed DesertXpress is a steel-wheeled train that would travel up to 150 mph along the heavily traveled I-15 corridor. It would provide an alternative to motorists who often drive more than six hours one way during weekends to reach Las Vegas from the Los Angeles area. The 183-mile system is estimated to cost $3.5 billion to $4 billion.

In contrast, the system proposed by the American Maglev Group, which would rely on government funding and bonds sold to investors, would run 270 miles and cost at least $12 billion to build. A first leg is planned for Las Vegas to Primm on the Nevada-California line.

This marks a major turnaround from a few years ago and even just the past few months, when Sen. Reid was a big supporter of the maglev project. In 2008, he secured $45 million for it, and this year he supported the $8 billion in stimulus funds that could have been used for the train.
However, the bill does provide $8 billion for unspecified high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects, more than three times as much as allocated in earlier versions of the legislation…

In a town that loves to connect the dots, the funding increase raised suspicions that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who played a key role in writing the bill, pushed for it in order to promote home-state interests, namely the Anaheim-to-Las Vegas project…

A Reid spokesman said the money was not being earmarked for any specific project but would be available on a competitive basis. "This was a major priority for President Obama, and Sen. Reid as a conferee supported it," said Jon Summers.

Aside from the interesting note that Sen. Reid is suddenly concerned about reckless government spending, this would appear to be a non-story ─ except that one of the backers of the "high speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas" that Reid now enthusiastically supports is … Sig Rogich. From February 2009 in the Review-Journal:
Backers of DesertXpress, among them Nevada GOP powerbroker Sig Rogich, are pouring millions into their project and courting Nevada lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a longtime maglev supporter.
A press release by DesertXpress identifies Rogich as "President of Rogich Communications Group, a partner and spokesman for DesertXpress Enterprises."

So Rogich, a prominent and active Nevada Republican, endorses Reid, and a few months later Reid reverses a position he's publicly held for years, which directly benefits a business into which Rogich and his partners have invested millions.

Reid’s spokesman downplayed the connection, saying the senator has worked in Nevada for decades, and is “connected to people on just about every side of every issue.”
Riiiiiiiiiight. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

(h/t CityLife blog)

TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: desertxpress; harryreid; sigrogich; train

1 posted on 06/09/2009 3:23:55 PM PDT by NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

The worst politician money can buy.

I seem to recall a certain phrase from a couple of years ago... something about a “Culture of Corruption”.

2 posted on 06/09/2009 3:26:31 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute
How to Influence Friends and make enemies.
3 posted on 06/09/2009 3:27:53 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

The real unemployment rate is 16.4%. Like with snow ruining the global warming hoax, you can’t hide that fact.

4 posted on 06/09/2009 3:30:48 PM PDT by Tarpon (You abolish your responsibilities, you surrender your rights.)
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To: KoRn

Crooks and scum. Washington DC is just one big Star Wars bar scene.

5 posted on 06/09/2009 3:31:38 PM PDT by Noumenon (As long as I have a rifle, I STILL have a vote...)
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To: Noumenon
"Washington DC is just one big Star Wars bar scene."

LOL!!! You couldn't have said it any better!

6 posted on 06/09/2009 3:41:54 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute
Assuming the middle of the estimate = nominally $4 Billion to build this thing... equals about $22 million PER MILE.

I can look at my window and see the end results of an I-10 expansion that's taken the better part of 8 years, plus years more for engineering and other things.

That was about $150 million per mile, through a major city, including tearing up every inch of existing freeway, demolishing existing overpasses and railroad track right-of-ways. The freeway is about 10-12 lanes wide in some places, not including the feeder roads that are each 3 lanes wide.

They can't build this thing through the most godforsaken desert in California for less than $22 million per mile. That's crazy.

7 posted on 06/09/2009 3:46:57 PM PDT by willgolfforfood
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

OK, kids, can we all say “quid pro quo”???

8 posted on 06/09/2009 3:51:06 PM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

Another example of why the 17th Amendment MUST be repealed and Article 1, Section 3 of the US Constitution MUST be reinstated.

State Legislatures are supposed to choose the Senators from their State. This way, the Senators owe EVERYTHING to their State and cannot easily be bought by lobbyists, crooks, or the criminally insane.


If the Founding Fathers’ way was good enough from 1787 until 1913, it’s good enough now.

9 posted on 06/09/2009 4:08:18 PM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in 2012. With Liz Cheney as Secretary of State.)
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To: NevadaPolicyResearchInstitute

Sig is a crooked son of a bitch, along with Billy Vasiliades. They are sellouts to the Las Vegas Convention Authority.

10 posted on 06/09/2009 4:36:22 PM PDT by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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