Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LaHood-Winked?

Maybe, Maybe Not. I haven't done my due diligence but my first reaction was anger, then sadness. It's official. This is the guy. Who nobody seems to know about in a transportation light. He doesn't run a transportation agency of any type and so far as I can tell he's pro Amtrak and anti-privatization of it. Obama and LaHood were linked in a Light Rail Now! article in 2005, what foresight.

Newly elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D) noted, "Every year they make the same proposal and some of it is just ideological.... It strikes me that we should make a greater investment in upgrading our rail system rather than eliminating the subsidies that already exist. "If you look at the amount of subsidies that we provide the highways relative to the subsidies that we provide rail transportation, it pales in comparison." Obama echoed a comment many Amtrak supporters have made for years saying, "We're the only developing country in the world that doesn't make a significant commitment to our rail transportation system."

U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, also rejected the Bush rail plan. He said he favors maintaining the current Amtrak system but didn't rule out small changes to make the railroad more efficient. "We've got a good Amtrak system in illinois and I don't think we want to destroy it by talking about privatization," LaHood said in a telephone interview with the Peoria Journal Star. "The subsidies need to continue. These subsidies are the lifeblood of Amtrak continuing the kind of service they have to the college towns and the small communities in illinois and around the country. I don't see us really tinkering with that."

I'll be deep in the Googles later tonight looking for dirt, good or bad. I'll post what I find.

3 comments:

Ken Roskos said...

Cool blog! I found it on
http://la.curbed.com/archives/neighborhood_reports/inland_empire/
Hope to ride a Metro Green lin train all the way to LAX someday.

Jon K. said...

I mentioned this on another blog. The fact that this, or any secretary, doesn't exactly fit the mold of the President is irrelevant. The secretary serves to enact and enforce the policies of the president, not his own. If he doesn't, he gets fired. If LaHood accepts, he is accepting the offer to uphold Obama's policies. Obama is not hiring him to enact is own agenda and run wild. As long as he is a competent manager, we will all be fine, regardless of his personal beliefs.

jon said...

my big question is, why is this guy the best person to be transportation secretary in the whole US? what made obama decide this guy?

i love how the WaPo article makes no mention of his experience or views on transportation. either thats bad journalism or this person selected has no major experience or views on transportation.

seems like a bush-type pick to me... like "heckva job brownie"

i hope he proves all our doubts wrong but right now i have my doubts.