Trainwreck: Rick Scott Keeps On Killing Florida HSR

Somehow, every time a governor makes a really bad decision that denies appropriate transportation options to his constituents, he gets chance after chance to take it back. And somehow, they never do.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to kill high-speed rail, again. Photo: ##http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/feb/17/rail-decision-shows-scotts-a-different-kind-of-gov/news-politics/##Tampa Bay Online##

Take Chris Christie of New Jersey. How many times did he say no to the ARC Tunnel before it was finally over? And now Rick Scott of Florida has killed the Florida high-speed rail project deader than dead.

He announced a week ago that he was rejecting $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money for a high-speed line to run from Orlando to Tampa. Everyone from DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to Rep. John Mica to Sen. Bill Nelson and countless Floridians have tried to change his mind. They tried to allay his fears about the state’s financial exposure. They promised that private investors would take over the risk and local governments would manage the project. Mica proposed scaling back to a 21-mile line from the Orlando Airport to the Convention Center and Disney World.

But Rick Scott won’t budge.

Scott’s press office won’t say when he’s expected to make the announcement, but local Florida papers are already announcing, based on anonymous tips, that it’s all over.

Even without an official announcement, Twitter lit up with frustration over Scott’s decision.

“Rick Scott Throws Florida Under The Train.”

“Scott is tone-deaf. Disastrous for Florida.”

“This was a political move not a business decision.”

“Can’t believe he turned down the money for the rails. That would have brought jobs to fl and would have helped!”

#Floridians officially embarrassed! California, you’re welcome!”

“Enjoy the money and the jobs, California and New York. Signed: Rick Scott”

Sen. Bill Nelson said, “A wise man’s quote favored by President Kennedy was that ‘an error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.’ Well, today, Rick Scott made one heck-of-a mistake.”

  • Brandi

    This is proof that Republicans are trying to turn this into another wedge issue. Scott refuses to listen to reason and it really shows how poor of a businessman he is. Wouldn’t someone running a business typically wait to get studies and bids before making an informed decisions? This truly shows his ineptitude and pathetic ploy to become popular with oil billionaires. He’s just like Mr. Walker, excited by the fact that a Koch brother might call him.

  • Jose

    Problem in Florida are not the Reps but the COUNTLESS Dems who do not vote in state and local elections.

    The most apathetic Dems I have ever met I have met in Florida .
    The only Dem voting block which votes in EVERY election here are Jewish Americans but sadly their numbers are tiny.

    Most other Dems are a disgrace when it comes to voting in every election. Most just vote once every 4 yrs if even that.

    Thus guys like Rick Scott and others like Bondi and Rubio get elected in a state with more registered Dems than Reps.

  • Tarelton

    I completely agree with Jose. Florida has more registered voters than Republican voters; however Republicans vote more often. It is mind boggling how people are so complacent and apathetic about how legislative decisions will impact their lives.

    I voice my concerns every opportunity I get as I vote during every election cycle.

    Had the Dems voted, we could have kept Jeb, Charlie and Rick out of office (Charlie wasn’t really that bad).

  • LAofAnaheim

    I blame the Florida people. They should have seen this coming with Rick Scott. In California, we went the complete opposite way and voted FOR MORE DEMOCRATS than every other state. We avoided all those Teabaggers. Now, we’ll have more money for HSR…booya!

  • Maxx

    What a jacka$$… This was no more than a political stunt to thwart President Obama! Forget the unemployed, forget the job creation (wait… wasn’t that what HE was supposed to be doing?)!

    Two months and hated.

  • David

    STOP TAKING THE BAIT. The Government doesn’t GIVE anything (jobs) without payback.
    Maybe a greater system would be better road system that lets more business and homes to build along it.

  • Newt Barrett

    The individual economics just don’t make sense, let alone the big picture economics.
    With gas at $7/gallon and 30mpg, you will spend $42 for a round trip by car. That’s less than a projected one person round trip on the HSR train. With 2,3 or 4 people traveling, train is really prohibitive, but car travel doesn’t cost a nickel more.
    Moreover, with millions of us driving EV’s and hybrids in the coming years (figure 90mpg for the awesome, American Chevy Volt), you’ll pay only $15 or so for a car RT.
    Where is your economic analysis for why this will pay off financially? It can’t be all about partisan rhetoric. It needs to be about the economics.

  • Matthew Kennedy

    Choke on the new high gas prices Florida! Its gonna be a long time before Florida has alternatives from forced car and plane use.

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