Tea party activists have already planned SunRail protests for Tuesday when state transportation secretary Ananth Prasad and Orlando-area officials will host public hearings on the project. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to make a decision on the 61-mile commuter rail project by the end of next week.
Aggressive campaigns are also underway to pressure state lawmakers and the governor to reject the project. So far, the governor's office has received 3,637 e-mails, letters and phone calls opposing SunRail. In the pro column: 1,290 e-mails, letters and phone calls.
State lawmakers are also being lobbied. Here's the text of an e-mail that's part of an anti-SunRail campaign organized by Central Florida tea partier Tom Gaitens (typos and liberal use of capitalization are per Gaitens.):
I am writing you to encourage you to stand with the Florida Taxpayer and reject the SUNRAIL project. You made the politically tough but courageous decision to reject the High Speed Rail project and by doing so Protected all Floridians, please reject SUNRAIL which is decidedly worse for the Florida taxpayer.
Sunrail was pushed through before all the financial components were even known to those who voted for the measure. SUNRAIL is a horrible agreement between the Federal Government and the State of Florida which places unreasonable burdens upon the people of Central Florida, while placing the financial burden upon all Floridians for the costs, cost overruns and failed expectations of ridership.
The process of Politicians and Special Interests, Taxpayer Funded Agencies of deciding what is best for Floridians while expecting WE THE PEOPLE to pay for it must STOP! Tri-Rail is a failure, and SUNRAIL will just be a continuation of failed projects.
I encourage you to REJECT SUNRAIL and continue your defense and PROTECTION of the FLORIDA TAXPAYER from POLITICIANS who only care about SPECIAL INTERESTS and POLITICL EXPEDIENCY.