Skip to comments.Haridopolos flip-flops, sides with Gov. Rick Scott on rejecting rail dollars
Posted on 02/19/2011 6:53:53 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
In a nod to tea party power, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos reversed course on a majority of state senators and his own voting record Friday by saying he supports Gov. Rick Scott's decision to refuse $2.4 billion in federal high-speed rail money.
"Florida is leading by example in keeping its fiscal house in order. We must demand the same from Washington," Haridopolos, who voted for high-speed rail in December 2009, said in a letter.
Haridopolos' new stance was widely interpreted in the state Capitol as an election-season play for votes in his bid for U.S. Senate a race that has been gripped by the politics of trains.
Haridopolos penned his letter hours after Americans for Prosperity Florida, a tea party group, demanded Republicans back Scott, who said Wednesday that Florida should reject the federal money. Scott and tea party groups praised Haridopolos on Friday, but his new stance could complicate his relations with fellow lawmakers in the Capitol.
The day before Haridopolos issued his letter, 26 of the 39 sitting state senators wrote the U.S. Department of Transportation in opposition to Scott's refusal of federal money. Many of the signatories were Republicans, including the Senate's GOP leader, Andy Gardiner, who asked Haridopolos' permission before he signed on. The letter prompted Americans for Prosperity to e-mail its 83,000 activists, calling on them to back Scott.
"Both of these are bad proposals. We just can't afford them," said Matthew Falconer, an activist who described SunRail as a rip-off. "If Rick Scott kills Sun Rail ... he will go from politician to folk hero."............
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
I thought that name was a joke when I saw it. That is worse than a boy named sue.
A bunch of other states have already rejected the money. California is the notable hold out. They view the rail money as the closest thing they are going to get to a federal bail out.
Willie Green is deeply disappointed.
Obama believes Floridians should be happy with this rail proposal because it can employ laid off space workers. Right.
Good ole NY has rejected theirs yet. We have a thruway for autos, trains, buses and planes...We need another means which require a whole new infrastructure because??
I’m finally getting use to the name Huckabee
The AFL-CIO is also mentioned. At the very end of the article.
The Greek Marco Rubio? Hopefully people do not fall for this guy’s falsehoods like they did Rubio. Neither are not really conservatives
Thank you for the link. A lot of information.
The article closes with:
“Meanwhile, some of the biggest nonlegislative proponents of the train continued to sharply criticize Scotts decision as they cheered efforts to work around it.
“At least today I’m not using four-letter words,” said Rich Templin, vice president of one of the states largest labor unions, the AFL-CIO, which said it backed the idea because it believes the construction and the train would create jobs. This is a tragedy, a disaster of unmitigated proportions.”
They’re sitting up and taking note of conservative anger:
[Excerpt] ......Everett Wilkinson, head of the South Florida Tea Party, said support of the bullet train is “a deal breaker. ... The tea party will actively target and make people aware of anyone who supports high-speed rail.”
That’s not much of a problem now for Sen. Nelson, who has little if anything to lose by the tea party effort. Still, the group is trying, bombarding Nelson’s offices with messages opposing the Scott run-around. The messages were copied to Haridopolos in Tallahassee, a clear warning.
Nelson has seized the issue, marshaling resources to form a plan to work around Scott, and is emboldened by some Republican support for the rail project. During a news conference Thursday outside his office, Nelson eagerly greeted U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, who showed up late but added his support and expressed dismay at Scott’s sudden move.
Nelson’s former colleague, LeMieux, stood with the Democrat in calling for high-speed rail money. And he didn’t back down this week. LeMieux said he’s against “out-of-control spending” but it’s too late to stop the rail money anyway.....[End Excerpt]
I should say, “some are.”
There are others who don’t get it yet.
Too bad for the construction workers and engineering companies affected but there is no need for a passenger train connecting Orlando and Tampa.
Sure looked to me like Nelson wasn't representing Floridians. Nelson was representing the federal government.
That’s been my sense of Marco Rubio all along.
Haridopolos’ new stance was widely interpreted in the state Capitol as an election-season play for voters in his bid for U.S. Senate - - ....etc...
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Well seeing as how the last election was 3 months ago and the next one 21 or so months away, this confirms what WE ALREADY KNOW, they are always in campaign mode.
How can they do their job properly if always campaigning?
I guess in a ‘perfect world’ your day to day performance should be enough ‘campaigning’ but the Unions have already deemed that performance should have absolutely no bearing on your future.
“You get into the position and we will try and guarantee you will never leave your position....just keep the money coming”
Good on him. He must have listened to his pollsters.
In my current paranoid state, I'm thinking maybe that's what it's really for.
He must be sent into retirement.
Government has become so big that these politicians don’t know their constituents. They have a calendar set up by staff, speeches written by staff, questions to ask at hearing drawn up by staff. Leadership provides staff to newly elected officials. They bring back what is necessary to keep the campaign cash flowing into their reelection war chests.
Lobbyists go hat in hand to Capital Hill and seek audience with these people to offer tribute and beg that they be left free of more laws. It’s a government shakedown of business.
To change this is like trying to change the spots on a leopard. They only way to get these guys by the short hairs is to dry up their campaign money and put your money and muscle behind someone who will do what needs to be done for those paying their freight.
They all appear to be guns for hire.
Just like, not liking asshole lawyers until you need one.
They have a calendar set up by staff, speeches written by staff, questions to ask at hearing drawn up by staff. Leadership provides staff to newly elected officials.
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Correct...and vote one clown out and his staff just keeps going on for the newbie.
Now I propose paying the Cong/Sen couple mill a year and let them hire their own staff, aides, pay for their own housing, in other words, would you find it necessary to have a ‘cast of thousands’ if coming out of your own pocket?
Also, if they want to hire their wife, mother, brother -whatever- go for it, by the time you get rid of the lobbyists/lawyers etc the voters will see who is getting the work done.
Also, let the states pay for their own reps...I find it kind of appalling that part of my taxes pay the likes of Pelosi, Frank, etc etc...at least let the people that keep voting them in pay for them.
The biggest down side here by getting rid of the lobbyists/lawyers etc the unemployment ranks would swell to unbearable amounts.
“..there is no need for a passenger train connecting Orlando and Tampa.” ~ fso301
Make this go VIRAL:
This is a MUST SEE VISEO to SPREAD AS FAR AND WIDE as possible. Use it when communicating with your representatives in Tallahasse. This will let them know that the jig is UP because we know what is REALLY going on and who stands to profit and who stands to lose (taxpayers):
Here’s a Short Video with the ‘Real Story Behind the High Speed Rail Push’!
Facts, figures do not lie....this would a disaster for Florida taxpayers and their grandchildren! The video also explains the real reason and who will profit from the Rail.
Mike Haridopolous is my state senator. He used “what’s a Haridopolous” in his commericals. He is well known in Brevard. I find him thoughtful, intelligent, and conservative. He is a strong advocate for his constituents. I have been very impressed. If he has moved to the “right” side of this issue, more power to him!
I have no doubt, but I would be embarrassed to try and say his name, jorge bush would call him harry.
I’m surprised Nelson could find some time off from managing his snake crisis in the everglades.
He needs to get a lot of those.
What a GREAT explanation!
You can even substitute other government programs in your mind as he explains the scam that will pick taxpayers pockets to pay vendors (big and small) who will buy politicians through campaign cash "kick-backs" and keep them in office as reliable votes for more funding when the rail has cost overruns.
And as the number of pockets being filled grows, the miles of track for this gravy train will grow. An entire network is envisioned to keep the fat cats and their politicians happy and prosperous on our confiscated dollars (and we're not talking ticket prices here).
Instead of High Speed Rail this is designed as a reliable, high speed transfer of tax payer money into politically connected pockets (everyone will "enjoy" the China and Buffet tie-ins and go, "Ah-ha! So that's it! Of course!").
I guess when you have big players like China and Buffet (along with tens of thousands of others eye-balling that fat tit) you don't mind making up cartoon numbers and bottom lines to sell it to the suckers who will foot the bill for their profits.
Floridians should email this video to their congressman and the recipient needs to know that you have watched it with great alarm and anger and that you are sending it to every one in Florida that you know and telling them to send it to everyone they know, etc.
The video runs about 10 minutes but it packs a HUGE punch because it explains things CLEARLY.
And it isn't going to stop in Florida. The "rail" scam has planted seeds in many major cities. So click on the video link and watch what is set to happen in your state, if it hasn't already begun.
This HUGE new government bureaucracy is getting ready to leave the station! And like AmTrak, they will never pull the plug on this money pit.
You’re welcome! We ARE spreading it far and wide in Florida, and I’ve sent it out to all my email lists which include people in other states.
Here’s an email sent to Nelson from my husband - we’re FL residents.
I received you email regarding the Governors action to stop the High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
First, you should know that I spent my working career in the planning, design and implementation of public transportation projects with the majority of the time spent on rail projects. My forty-plus years of experience encompasses both domestic and foreign projects.
My initial comment on your email is you have not listed the primary purpose and justification for a transport project (transit or roadway). The primary purpose of any transportation project must be to satisfy a travel need and the solution should be sized to resolve the transportation issues. The justifications you listed in your email are more attuned to development projects. And, even so, your research on the number of jobs the project would create (and, I assume it only refers to the development phase since the number is grossly overstated when the project gets to the operations phase) are not Florida jobs. In fact, most of the jobs are not even domestic. If you review the previous studies, going back to the Fluor proposal, you will find that all proposals have relied primarily on foreign products and foreign technology.
The most significant deficiency in the project is the lack of ridership. I have personally reviewed the ridership estimates over the several studies and I have yet to see a credible forecast that would justify the expenditure. Under the best of circumstances, the potential forecast market for the service in its design year is about 5,000 trips per day a far cry from reaching a threshold value for an expenditure of the magnitude proposed.
A major prerequisite for an intercity HSR project is an adequate local public transport system at the major termini. Neither Lynx nor HART has the investment in place or the plan to get the investment in place to meet that requirement. Hence, in my opinion, the investment focus needs to be in the urban areas (Lakeland, too) in order for a HSR project to even be considered in the future.
As an aside, I have been an admirer and supporter of John Mica and his efforts to get high quality transit service into the Orlando area. And, I support his commuter rail project as an element of that plan. It is unfortunate that the light rail project was not carried to completion it would have been even more valuable to the public transport system of the area. It is these types of projects that should be receiving moneys.
This is what the Tea Party is capable of, when true to its beliefs: Dragging wobbly RINOS along with it. It’s exactly what Reagan did.
Great letter. Thanks for posting it. bttt
I wonder what the trade was?