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Democrat Nelson looks to sidestep Scott’s refusal of U.S. rail money

by George Bennett | February 16th, 2011

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said he talked with Transportation Second. Ray Lahood this afternoon about financing the Tampa-Orlando rail project without the state government’s participation.

“We are exploring with the Secretary of Transportationan Ray LaHood, how we could keep this project going forward since the state of Florida will not participate. We have the lawyers researching it,” Nelson told The Palm Beach Post.

Nelson’s action was in reaction to Gov. Rick Scott announcing this morning that he’s rejecting $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money from President Obama’s administration for a high-speed rail project from Orlando to Tampa.

Read more: Scott says no thanks to feds’ $2.4 billion for hi-speed rail

39 Responses to “Democrat Nelson looks to sidestep Scott’s refusal of U.S. rail money”

  1. Let's Be Truthful Says:

    Wouldn’t we expect Sen. Nelson to look assiduously for a way to spend federal dollars? Has nelson ever met a way to spend taxpayers’ money that he didn’t embrace? There is no end to all the good things you can do with other people’s money.

  2. Tampa Patriot Says:

    Has Sen Nelson read the Constitution lately? This is very troubling that the Feds are hell-bent on getting their vision of transportation in Florida over the will of Floridians who voted overwhelmingly in 2004 to keep high-speed-rail out of our state!

  3. Infrastructure and Innovation Says:

    I’m a taxpayer and I support innovation and improved infrastructure. I was one of the voters who supported Governor Crist’s decision regarding High Speed Rail. And I was glad the federal government provided the assistance for Florida to do so. As for the constitutional aspect of it all, Senator Nelson’s request is aligned with the Constitution. It’s more than reading, it’s reading with comprehension that matters.

  4. GT Says:

    If it works no better than Am-trak we don’t need it. They have yet to show a profit and just suck the taxpayers money down the drain. If it were a good idea the private market would have done this long ago. Sen. Nelson will not be reelected I hope.

  5. Jim in Tampa Says:

    Sen Nelson is enjoying his last days as an elite. In 2012, he will have something in common with the High Speed Rail, he will be rejected by voters. Billy, we are coming for you next!

  6. PP Says:

    Just called Nelson’s local office and his staff denies ever hearing that he made these statements. We NEED to vote out this man in 2012 – he continues to ignore the will of the people. He does not hold townhalls, sneaks in side doors to avoid his constituents in Florida and has a staff that is unaware of his positions on major issues. He just continues to spend America into debt by supporting useless projects that will ruin Florida and the whole country.

  7. Jason Says:

    Senator Nelson needs to go in 2012. This man is a Progressive who has no respect for the will of the people, OR the constitution.

  8. pragmatic Says:

    GT, by that standard, the highway system would be considered an utter failure on all levels.

  9. GT Says:

    Sorry pragmatic but people actually USE the highway system and pay for it. Not a bunch of empty cars running up and down the track. Rail as a means of public transportation is way past.

  10. Todd C Says:

    HSR is not a time efficient or cost effective mode of transportation between Orlando and Tampa. Send the money and its long term financial commitment on the Florida taxpayer back to DC. We support Gov. Rick Scott in this courageous decision.

    We will address sending Senator Bill Nelson out to pasture next year.

  11. Lois in Largo Says:

    Are you people serious? This state is retarded, and has been for years. Drive I-4 and see how great that is. And your gasoline comes with lots of taxes! You’re just used to paying them. We can continue to tar the state or change our ways. Rail is the future, just like an educated workforce is, which you won’t be getting from the character in the state house either. How many hi-tech firms want to come to a state with dummies for employees? We need to do something about this. Why do you think it’s so hard to get businesses to move here? Businesses want a potential workforce. They know there’s more to life than not paying taxes.

  12. Tad MacKie Says:

    What do we have to do to get Nelson’s head out his you-know-what???
    What do we have to do to remind him of who he works for?
    We voted in 2004 to kill that HSR and Rick just freed the State of another Federal hook. Now, Nelson is trying to bypass the Governor AND the voters???
    What’s it take to recall a Senator?

  13. GT Says:

    Lois in Largo. If you want to look at the education system in FL ask an EDUCATOR. We have paid EDUCATORS to teach our children and they have failed, more money will not solve the problem. If you Libs. have your way we will be getting rid of our cars and freedom. And you say conservatives want to tell everyone how to

  14. TheBigEasy Says:

    Lois, Maybe you could provide us with “facts & Figures” that show us where in Florida or anywhere this type of transportation is self supporting? We would ask for information, with demographics similar to the Tampa Orlando proposal, but since I have already done this I know it doesn’t exist.

  15. Miami Homer Says:

    This is what happens when you have a LARGE number of UNEDUCATED,IGNORANT, ASS-BACKWARD, Trailer Park White Trash, COUNTRY F*&KS !
    Who VOTE for @SSHOLE’s Like This CROOK of A Governor !
    At First I was Mad !
    But then I thought ? Since this High-Speed Rail is ONLY From Tampa to Orlando,and DID NOT Effect Miami/Ft.lauderdale.
    I find it a Classic case of REAPING what YOU SOW !

  16. papabear Says:

    For crying out loud. Haridopolous and Scott say no to tax dollars for rail, and Nelson’s response is to find a way to spend it anyway. If this doesn’t prove Nelson’s a liberal who’s been around too long, I don’t know what will.

  17. Jupiter Guy Says:

    To all of you that keep quoting the Constitution, I suggest you actually read it before you start preaching from it. And after you read it, if you can read that is, have a real constitutional laywer explain the big words to you.

  18. FRED SELTMAN Says:

    NELSON ????

  19. oddjob Says:

    The roads don’t pay for themselves, either.

    No form of transportation pays for itself. It’s just that a big percentage of you irrationally hate the idea of traveling by rail.

    That you suffer from an irrational pathology doesn’t mean your point of view makes for good policy.

    The rest of us will enjoy the $$$ you would have received, had you not voted a criminal into your governor’s office.

    (What an amazing thing to do, by the way.)

  20. FRED SELTMAN Says:


  21. Trent Says:

    I can’t understand the need for this HSR that Nelson is pushing for? It’s only 85.5 miles from Tampa to Orlando. Just how fast do you jokers in central Florida have to get to Disney?

  22. eggkorn Says:

    Yo, Florida: HSR makes money everywhere it runs. Even Amtrak HSR. What part of that does your Governor not understand? Any professional in the field will tell you that. You all just got suckered with your own ideology. Be thankful if he can go back on this.

  23. YOU IDIOTS Says:

    You idiots….Hes trying to save the Florida taxpayers the burden of paying for it in the future with state taxes…..U POS we are paying for it now with 25 % taken out of my check every week addressed to Washington DC… and if the money goes to Alaska….WERE STILL PAYING FOR IT…. Use the Fed money, create jobs…. OBTW we voted for the rail in the late 90′s by like 80 % margin … Tampa to Orlando To miami….. Its our stimulus money USE IT OR LOSE IT AND STILL BE BILLED FOR IT @$%&#&#%^ U PISS ME OFF…..

  24. valerie eggers Says:

    We don’t need high-speed train NOW! What we need NOW is a truly Representative Republic at the helm!

  25. Al Breeck Says:

    What a bunch of dummies in Florida. You do not need the thousands of jobs and the profits from land sales for the right of way? Well?
    Republicant Rick Scott is deliberately trying to depress the economy of Florida to ensure President Obama is running for reelection in 2012 in a lousy economy. Gov. Scott does not need the salary, and if not reelected can throw another $25 Million dollar party for himself..

  26. TampaAntiRail Says:

    Senator Nelson will go in 2012 as we will ensure he is gone. The federal trough has run dry – there is no money for boondoggles – a HSR that will only go moderate speed because it has 4 stops in less than 90 miles – this is called idiocy! We are $15 TRILLION in debt and Senator Nelson is trying to push thru the ObamaCare of Transportation for a train Voters repealed overwhelmingly in 2004. Nelson,Obama – quit trying to ram your HSR down our throats – the taxpaying American people want no part of it

  27. da_truth Says:

    Gotta love the half baked tea bagger talking points. Hoy cow, Sen Nelson actually wants federal dollars spent in Florida. You know, federal dollars for a construction project that would create jobs. These federal rail funds are not going back to the treasury, they will now go to California, Illinois, or New York. So spare us with the empty talk of Scott’s decision replenishing federal coffers.

  28. Elaine Says:

    The president has gotten our country in more trouble than we will ever be able to dig out from under. Thank you Gov. Scott for looking after our pocketbooks and those of our children grandchildren and great grandchildren. We don’t need any more DEBT.

  29. AT Says:

    A portion of the federal money was going to bail out the Miami high speed train which each rider pays $5 to ride and the government pays $112 per person to operate. Also do you support the trains being bought from China because that is what the plan called for. Sure doesn’t sound like American money supporting profitable American business.

  30. Uncle Mike Says:

    Hi Speed Rail would be a bottomless pit to try and fill with money. Like the cross Fl. bardge canal back in the Nixon days.
    I hope it stays DEAD.

  31. Cesar M. Gonzalez Says:

    High speed rail equals jobs for Florida…
    The tourists who come here will ride it because they are accustomed to rail in the nations that they come from….Floridians need to wake up and realize that without tourism we are nothing….Brazilians spent untold millions of dollars here in Miami in 2010….Florida is ALL about tourism…
    And look at the Chinese how they are making our trains look like junk…Let’s compete and beat them….
    Don’t wait till gasoline is six or seven dollars per gallon to wake up dear Floridians….

  32. Cesar M. Gonzalez Says:

    In respectful response to Uncle Mike :
    High speed rail wont be a bottomless pit when in a few years we see gasoline prices at six to ten dollars per gallon…..That wont happen ???? Think again sir….I am almost 58 years old, and I remember pumping gas as a teen for 23 cents per gallon for regular, and sometimes it went as low as 15 cents per gallon….As sure as I am writing this we will see gasoline at five per gallon this year, and six to ten dollars per gallon in the next ten years or less…..

  33. Cesar M. Gonzalez Says:

    People who reject high speed trains, and who refuse to believe that gasoline will someday reach ten to twenty dollars per gallon are living in a form of DENIAL known to psychologists as THE NORMALCY BIAS : The inability and unwillingness to believe that our world of abundant and cheap energy is OVER…..DONE FOR…..
    FINITO for you Italians up in Broward and Palm Beach….Sierra Cuban, Miami, Florida, Estados Unidos de América
    ( Saludos from south of the border )

  34. FL Construction Worker Says:

    I have read the comments here and not 1 says anything about what & where the HSR will actually do & go. The ends do not connect to anything (you will have to rent a “gasp” car to get around), there are 5 stops currently planned along the way (with possibly more depending on politics) and the train will never achieve top speed due to the stops. It is about 90 miles between Orlando and Tampa which takes about 90-110 min by car. If you figure 15 min per stop, that’s 75 min right there and you still have travel time. It WILL NOT be quicker and you will still need the horrible car to get around when you reach your destination. The taxes going elsewhere is another issue I will get into now.

  35. FRED SELTMAN Says:


  36. Nelson=Do nothing Says:

    Out with Bill Nelson in 2012.

    Democrats better look for another candidate, because Bill will not be elected.

  37. Lynn DC Says:

    I would like to start by apologizing to the citizens of Florida for voting for Nelson some 20+ years ago. So, I pledge my support to any candidate to defeat Nelson!

    Go Govenor Scott!

  38. David L. Russell Says:

    The last thing we need is a high speed rail system.It seems that Nelson is more concerned with the wants of the national party that what’s good for Florida.Spending more tax dollars is not the answer.

  39. Lynn DC Says:

    Please keep in mind, the jobs will be created for “Northern Union Workers”. Only a handful of jobs will acually go to Floridians. Also, the Tri-rail in Miami is a financial disaster.
    I support Governor Scott!

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