Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vox Verax skewered John Thune on railroad


What a trove!
How this all started is when Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) managed to sneak a provision into the 2005 Transportation Act on behalf of his former client, the DM&E railroad. The problem is that it swelled a loan program for certain railroads from $3.5 billion to $35 billion, there was no discussion of it in either chamber of Congress, and almost no one knew about it except perhaps a few members of the House-Senate conference committee. Thune and DM&E CEO Kevin Schieffer have to understand that if they're going to play ball on the big boys' playground, the big boys are not necessarily going to let them win. And if they get knocked down because the big boys teach them a lesson or two, it does little good to go to mama media crying. [Leigh Pomeroy, Vox Verax]
John Thune bringing home the revolving door bacon while denying help for those living on the margins: how conservative.

David Montgomery wrote in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader back in August:
“I would not be surprised if Canadian Pacific were not meeting their requirements, and I would not be surprised if the Surface Transportation Board did nothing about it,” said former U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler, who helped create the DM&E in the 1980s and was chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “The national railroads are just completely in bed ... with both political parties.” In fact, the DM&E’s own birth involved a heavy role of politics — from Pressler himself. As U.S. senator, he stepped in when another railroad wanted to abandon its South Dakota track and instead negotiated the creation of the DM&E. Integral in that process was Pressler’s chief of staff at the time — Schieffer. [Montgomery, S.D. presses railroad for upgrades]
The announcement of Canadian Pacific's intention to sell to Genessee Wyoming comes after a series of CP mishaps including a derailment north of Rapid City. CP stock has been trading in fits and starts: it rebounded a little yesterday.

Image lifted from South DaCola.

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