Thursday, December 09, 2010

Runaway train (money)

I feel sorry for the citizens who didn't vote for the incoming governors of Wisconsin and Ohio, because they'll suffer the consequences too, but one hopes this will be a wake-up call for the slogan voters who put these two in office. In real life, that "small government" sound byte that sounded so good in the the teevee commercials means no high-speed railroad jobs for them.
The Obama administration is taking $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money away from Ohio and Wisconsin and awarding it to other states, congressional sources said Thursday.
Both Ohio and Wisconsin have elected incoming Republican governors opposed to the rail projects. The Department of Transportation plans to award their money to rail projects in California, Illinois, New York and other states, sources said. ...
Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich apparently thought he would just use the money instead for "other transportation projects."
Lahood turned him down, noting that the law that authorized money for high-speed rail projects stipulated that it can’t be used for other purposes.
The delicious irony is the reason they made the rules so strict was in response to the GOPers wailing about how the stimulus money disbursement was going to be rife with graft and fraud. At the time ARRA was passed, I don't think anyone expected the GOP to make enough of a comeback in only two years to have shot at spending any significant amount of the "payola" themselves. [ via]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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