Say Again: Gov. Lex Luthor Will Find a Reason to Keep SunRail/CSX

[box type=”shadow”]Editor’s Note: I’m on a month long “sabbatical” and for some reason Billy Townsend is in on the shores of Lake Erie, but he was able to send a message to suggest we rerun his column from February 17. Good idea.[/box]


Rick Scott Head Shot

Florida Governor Lex Luthor Rick Scott

I think, generally, that creating and developing a publicly-owned rail line in the middle of I-4 makes a lot of sense, considering the likelihood of ever more expensive gasoline in the years to come. To me, the greatest value has always lain in creating the base of a public system not dependent on CSX property. I also think arguments over the bang-for-buck that HSR can provide for transit and environmental purposes are legitimate arguments. I support the construction of the line, and I think it might put some people to work. But people who consider it too expensive and unnecessary aren’t crazy.

What’s indisputable is that any governor who cuts a project designed primarily to serve the public, which is almost entirely paid for by the federal government, should also do whatever he can to scrap the CSX/SunRail deal, which requires $700 or so million from the state for construction and massive CSX payoff, ongoing operations money, and untold new taxes in the Orlando area.

As the St. Pete Times put it in its HSR denial story:

But the state has more obligation for the SunRail project, a $1.2 billion Central Florida passenger line. Scott recently put a hold on $235 million in SunRail contracts, but said today that he is “still reviewing” that project.

How many of you Tea Party folks actually think Gov. Medicare Fraud is actually going to halt CSX/SunRail?

Well, consider this: On Tuesday, the governor hired CSX’s former general counsel as his own general counsel.

Look, if there’s one thing Lex Luthor* has been about in his business and government life, it’s finding ways to get tax money into private corporations’ hands.

He killed HSR because it had actual public benefit in mind, rather than straight corporate benefit. Doing that makes liberals and Democrats mad. Making liberals and Democrats mad and transferring as much public wealth to private hands as possible is the entire conservative platform. Thus, the fact that the CSX plan is a massive freight deal–the state-funded implementation of CSX’s business plan disguised as worthless suburban passenger rail plan–appeals to Scott. I promise you. I predict he and J.D. will eventually get along quite well. Similar sensibilities.

I want to thank you delusional, Tea Party old people and “conservatives” who voted for this guy. He’s gonna entertain the hell out of me for four years. And I suspect he will provide you a taste of the reality of what you think you believe. Keep telling yourself: “This is what I wanted. This is what I wanted.”

*Can’t take credit for this. Saw it first with the blogger Atrios. But it fits wonderfully.

3 thoughts on “Say Again: Gov. Lex Luthor Will Find a Reason to Keep SunRail/CSX

  1. I heard a report somewhere that Dick Scott also is a stakeholder in companies that dredge canals for ports, but I can not find any info.  Hearing about the dictator’s plan to dredge the port of Miami has left me wondering.  Billy, do you know anything about Prick Scott’s interest in said dredging businesses?

  2. I heard a report somewhere that Dick Scott also is a stakeholder in companies that dredge canals for ports, but I can not find any info.  Hearing about the dictator’s plan to dredge the port of Miami has left me wondering.  Billy, do you know anything about Prick Scott’s interest in said dredging businesses?

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