Urban Fold

Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Rail Against Rail

In Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and California, the Republican gubernatorial candidates are all campaigning on pledges to return the high speed rail stimulus finds that the Obama administration recently awarded.

DOT Secretary LaHood is incredulous that these states, after campaigning so hard to win the stimulus grants, would then turn them down. He insists that HSR is a national project, akin to the interstate highway system. However, should a state reject the funds, they could not be used for roads, as many of the candidates hope to do - they would be given to other HSR projects.

"The state-level opposition is a reminder of the challenge of building a national transportation project in the United States: while the federal government can set priorities, the construction is up to the states.

With recent polls showing all of the anti-rail Republican candidates leading or within striking distance of their pro-rail Democratic rivals, it is possible they could be elected and try to stop the train projects."

From Grist: Republican guv candidates line up to say no to federal stimulus money for rail: "The rail issue appears to be emerging as another political football for Republicans determined to sink any ambitious proposal the Obama administration comes up with."

Thanks to Mathews Hollinshead

Full Story: Rail Service Expansion Imperiled at State Level

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