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Second GOP senator backs off opposition to Scott and high-speed rail

by Dara Kam | March 3rd, 2011

Sen. Mike Bennett reversed his opposition to Gov. Rick Scott’s rejection of $2.4 billion for a high-speed rail project from Orlando to Tampa.

Bennett, a Bradenton Republican who is the Senate president pro tempore, sent letters to Scott and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking to remove his name from the list of 25 senators who objected to Scott’s refusal to accept the federal funds.

“I do not support the use of taxpayer money for High Speed Rail and fully support your decision to return the monies earmarked for High Speed Rail. I believe that it is simply irresponsible to spend $2.4 billion on such projects when we face a $14 trillion in federal debt. We cannot borrow our way into prosperity,” Bennett wrote.

Bennett also made it clear he does not support a lawsuit filed against Scott this week by fellow Sens. Thad Altman, a Rockledge Republican, and Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa.

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, also revoked his signature from the letter sent by a bipartisan coalition of senators led by Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, an early Scott supporter during his campaign for governor.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos, a Merritt Island Republican running for the U.S. Senate, also supports Scott’s rejection of the federal funds and opposes the lawsuit.
The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the lawsuit today at 3 p.m.

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8 Responses to “Second GOP senator backs off opposition to Scott and high-speed rail”

  1. JesUp Says:

    Did the Tea Party get to him?

  2. In One Ear Says:

    No, he was just overcome by common sense.

  3. Blackman Says:

    The memo said “Get in line or lose you party entitlements, including the spend as you wish Republican Party credit card.” My God, what a wimp!

  4. They can do math now Says:

    Yet another Florida public official learns that we can’t sign up to spend money we don’t have. Awesome!

  5. Hook, Line, and Sinker Says:

    Maybe our two local republicans Lizbeth Benacquisto and Ellyn Bogdanoff will change their minds and jump off the train too?

  6. Redman Says:

    So the largest yet to be indicted crook in history Gov. Rick Scott couldn’t find the the other 300 million to attract 2.7 billion of federal funds for rail improvements in Florida. Isn’t 300 million the same amount he is spending in additional fund he is (wasting) to run the Governor’s office over his predecessor Charlie Crist? Senator Bennett is from my area and I expect him to show more spine when he confronts Scott’s foolishness!

  7. what a clown Says:

    So just exactly how does our governor plan to give our state’s economy a boost now that he’s nixed the 24,000 jobs this project would have created? Rick Scott is a liar and a thief and a joke of a governor. He makes Jeb look like a genius.

  8. same ol same ol Says:

    More factual information about this typically-corrupt, governmental, could-have-been-a-major-boondoggle costing honest Florida taxpayers billions in the long-run:



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