Sunday, January 12, 2014

Martinez defends Christie, dismisses railroad

Update, 1452 MST:
Do you support the development of passenger rail service between Cheyenne, Wyoming thru Denver to Albuquerque?
Yes 10 (66%)
No 1 (6%)
No fucking clue 4 (26%)

Votes so far: 15
Poll closed
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New Mexico's governor has been considered the veep part of an earth hater 2016 presidential dream team: that fantasy is evaporating after New Jersey governor Chris Christie, once considered a front runner (Cillizza says he still is), gets remanded to the dustbin of history. Susana Martinez isn't progressive about passenger rail service either: she seems immovable on ending its funding:
A Taos lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would fund rail improvements intended to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief running on its historic route through Northern New Mexico. Rep. Roberto Gonzales, D-Taos, who chairs the state House Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee, said he will prefile a bill that would allocate $4 million from the state’s general fund for track upgrades in New Mexico. A second bill to be introduced during the 30-day session, which starts Jan. 21, would ask for $4 million from the capital outlay fund, which usually funds special state projects, Gonzales said. A report presented to the subcommittee in November says ridership on the Southwest Chief between 2010 and 2012 went up 6.7 percent, with a total of 127,269 passengers in 2012. The report also says the train’s current route supports a total of 368 jobs, with $29.3 million in total economic output. [Uriel J. Garcia, Santa Fe New Mexican]
Amtrak is considering moving the route of the Southwest Chief from Burlington Northern Santa Fe track in northern New Mexico to a more southern tack. Passenger service from Albuquerque to Denver and from Denver to Cheyenne, Wyoming exists only in an alternate universe:

Would you support passenger rail service between Denver and Albuquerque?
Yes: 10 No: 5
Yet to be known is whether service between Kansas City and Trinidad, Colorado would continue regardless of a southern move. Trinidad boasts an astounding inventory of historic properties many of which are at risk to deferred maintenance: smart investors could expedite track improvements that would help showcase such an overlooked trove.

Former US Representative for New Mexico's 1st District, Heather Wilson, now President of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, led Martinez' transition team. Wilson shows up in a google search with Genesee and Wyoming, the rail company who wants to buy Canadian Pacific's west end and at Peabody Coal, where she was named to the board.

In stark contrast to South Dakota's attorney general who is covering up the crimes of that state's governor, New Mexico's Democratic Attorney General Gary King has announced his bid to unseat Martinez.

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