They’re actually running on the platform of making sure the trains not only don’t run on time, but don’t run:
Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama’s signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation’s first bullet-train service.
In his State of the Union address this year, the president called for building high-speed rail, and backed up his words with $8 billion in stimulus money, distributed to various states, for rail projects.
But Republican candidates for governor in some of the states that won the biggest stimulus rail awards are reaching for the emergency brake.
In Wisconsin, which got more than $810 million in federal stimulus money to build a train line between Milwaukee and Madison, Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor, has made his opposition to the project central to his campaign.
Mr. Walker, who worries that the state could be required to spend $7 million to $10 million a year to operate the trains once the line is built, started a Web site, www.NoTrain.com, and has run a television advertisement in which he calls the rail project a boondoggle.
“I’m Scott Walker,” he says in the advertisement, “and if I’m elected as your next governor, we’ll stop this train.”
Oh, hell no! We don’t want no efficient high speed transportation around here! We’ll get to work in bumper to bumper traffic in our pick-em-up-trucks with “Jesus is my copilot” and “Palin 2012” bumper stickers, just the way God intended. Turning down a billion dollar train because you will have to pay 8 million a year in maintenance is like giving away a free car because you might have to one day buy windshield wiper fluid.