Florida pols line up behind high-speed rail
Ed Turanchik, the self-appointed cheerleader for bringing high-speed rail to Florida, today ran down the long list of elected officials who are getting behind the push to bring billions in federal stimulus money to the state for a line connecting Tampa to Orlando. Turanchik was speaking at a meeting of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. Among the people getting props from Turanchik: U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, John Mica and Corrine Brown, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita and state Rep. Will Weatherford. Turanchik also called attention to comments made by state Sen. Jeff Atwater about the importance of high-speed rail on fastrailconnectus.com. "How many lanes can you expand I-95, I-4, I-75? We are at a place now where the continued growth that we seek, the continued economic activity that we long for can be well served by rail connectivity in this state. It will be an answer for us."
Turanchik also noted that last week, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet passed a resolution in support of the project. Alex Sink made the motion, and Bill McCollum seconded it. "One of those two people will probably be governor," Turanchik said, so that means high-speed rail will have the support of Florida's next CEO.
President Barack Obama will decide how to divvy up $8 billion in federal stimulus money for high-speed rail in December.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer