Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Johnson on commuter rail: Eventually we'd probably need dedicated tracks

State Sen. Eric Johnson, a GOP candidate for governor, stopped in Macon on Monday. He was mum about who he met with, but I know of at least one prominent local fundraiser he visited. This is a summary of the issues Sen. Johnson discussed during a stop here at The Telegraph:

Commuter Rail: Generally, "if it improves traffic flow then it's OK to subsidize it because we subsidize roads, too." He's OK with the state subsidizing infrastructure costs, but operations are the concern.

And since existing tracks are already used for freight, it's going to be difficult to put a lot of passenger traffic on the lines. In the long run, he said, we'd probably need dedicated tracks.

Education: Yep, he's the voucher candidate. Johnson, who led the push to allow disabled students to get vouchers to attend private schools in 2007, said he said he likes anything where the money follows the student.
"(I support) well-funded public schools, charter schools, home schooling and, yes, vouchers. ..." he said. "We have cut (public) education more than I would prefer, but money is not the solution. ... Free market competition for that child ... will do more for that child than more money will."
On an inland port: We need one, the senator from Savannah said. Where it should be "the free market will determine" and then state and local leaders should help make it happen.

UPDATE: I ran into former (short time) Speaker of the House Terry Coleman, D-Eastman, today. He said it's "too early" to handicap the governor's race, but said former Gov. Barnes obviously has an edge on the Democratic side.

For the GOP, he mentioned Johnson:
"Eric Johnson is a regional candidate, but a candidate I think they have to watch because he's working really hard. ... I really don't see anybody on top in (the GOP nomination) race."
John Oxendine might remind you he's led in every poll I know of, but then it's September of 2009.

UPDATE: State Sen. Jeff Chapman's entrance into this race changes the math some for Sen. Johnson. The question is, how much?

2 comments:

Kevin said...

Really? I rode the commuter rail in and out of Boston for 17 years on shared tracks and never had a problem. But maybe train srun differently down here.

Kevin said...

Really? I rode the commuter rail in and out of Boston for 17 years on shared tracks and never had a problem. But maybe train srun differently down here.