Earmark for the Rail Runner?

It never ceases to amaze me that David Roybal was a speech writer for Governor Richardson. His columns are often incoherent and never really seem to make a policy point one way or the other. Perhaps that is a strength when it comes to writing politicians’ speeches? If you never make a clear point, you never have to defend unpopular positions…Barack Obama is certainly learning that lesson!
Nevertheless, Roybal, writing in today’s Albuquerque Journal, implies that he’d like to see one of New Mexico’s congressional delegation obtain an earmark to pay for some of the costs associated with the Rail Runner. Among the supposed “benefits” of using the earmarking process is the fact that “an earmark escapes scrutiny that it would otherwise have to face as a stand-alone measure….worse, if the process shows a project to lack merit…it might be voted down.”
Roybal goes on to question whether the Rail Runner should be funded as an earmark and touches on the price of gasoline, but he never takes a particular position on the issue. The fact is that the Rail Runner is not a viable project from a transportation perspective, even with expensive gasoline, because it won’t go where people need to go at the times that they need to be there. Otherwise, someone in the private sector would have thought of it a long time ago.
Sad to say it, but New Mexico taxpayers should (and will probably have to) foot the bill for this boondoggle on their own.

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