The Obama administration had grand plans for a national high-speed rail network, but they didn't stay grand very long. After the 2010 midterm elections, new Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida spoiled hopes of such a system by rejecting federal money for routes through their states. At the time, the three governors cited fiscal responsibility as their official reasoning, but the situation always had the feel of political collusion.
A new report in the Tampa Tribune adds some spice to that notion. The paper details an interesting exchange between one of these governors, Rick Scott of Florida, and Paula Dockery, a (now former) political ally who favored the proposed high-speed route from Tampa to Orlando. Dockery tells the paper that Scott promised her in February 2011 that he'd accept $2.4 billion in federal money pledged for the project — in no uncertain terms: