Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Did Republicans Orchestrate a National High-Speed Derailment?
"The Obama administration had grand plans for a national high-speed rail network, but they didn't stay grand very long," writes Eric Jaffe. "After the 2010 midterm elections, new Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida spoiled hopes of such a system by rejecting federal money for routes through their states. At the time, the three governors cited fiscal responsibility as their official reasoning, but the situation always had the feel of political collusion."
In fact, Florida governor Rick Scott was supportive of the project before deciding to decline federal funds, at least according to Paula Dockery, "a (now former) political ally." Jaffe describes the curious timeline of events explored in a new report in the Tampa Tribune that suggest Scott's flip-flop may have resulted from political pressure.