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George LeMieux standing by his rail stance

Count former Sen. George LeMieux as the only one of the only big-name Republican Senate hopefuls who isn't reversing course over his previous support of high-speed rail.

LeMieux's central point: Rejected federal money that has already been budgeted is simply giving spent money to someone else. Here's his statement:

“Washington spending is beyond out-of-control.  When I was in the U.S. Senate, I worked day and night to roll back spending, and that effort has to continue even more aggressively now.  But there’s an important difference between dealing with new spending and dealing with money that has literally already been appropriated.  Congress has, for its purposes, already spent the high speed rail money.  The only remaining issue is whether it comes to Florida or goes to California or New York.  Rejecting this money will do nothing to lower our debt.  It will only send transportation funds to another state.”

 “I believe to promote business and create jobs in Florida we need to increase our transportation capacity.  Florida’s size, multiple city centers, and poor intra-state air travel, make doing business in this state a challenge.  High speed rail, done right, could be the answer to that problem.  I understand the Governor’s concern of putting state government on the hook for hundreds of millions in continuing obligations.  I would seek a public-private partnership to alleviate that concern.”



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What a joke. Charlie Jr., I mean Sen. LeMieux appears to have learned the career politician "I can have it both ways on the issue" game during his senate tryout. He was chearleading this spending as a senator, now saying its still a good idea, but he would seek a private option for the rest of the funding? What about operation? Who is going to subsidize this thing after the obama funny-money dries up? The alread taxed to the max floridians. Thanks Georgie...you belong with your buddy charlie in the private sector.

Tom Tito

Sen. LeMieux makes a lot of sense. Give him credit for being consistent on this.
Opponents of rail are getting off easy. How about asking some tough questions Herald writers?
Marco Rubio, how do we reduce the debt by sending Florida's money to New York?
What will traffic be like in 10 or 20 years without rail?
What is the alternative, 16 lanes of new highway? Bumper to bumper traffic?
Are you also against federal highway spending?
If Florida can afford tax cuts why are we taking any money from Washington?
What is the local economic impact of transit jobs vs. oil imports?
What is the local economic impact of our people spending so much time and money commuting?
Rail supporters also need some tough questions. Why do you pour money into road improvements and subsidized parking if you say you want people to use rail?

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