Associated Industries of Florida, led by Barney Bishop, has the reputation of being one of the most powerful, influential companies in the state capital. Whether that's still the case or not might be debatable, but one would think that with Rick Scott's reverence for business, one would have to think they might have some influence on his thinking.
So as Scott waits until February to get an assessment before weighing in on whether to continue to support the construction of a Tampa-Orlando high speed rail route, he'll continue to be lobbied pro and con by various stake holders.
Advocating strongly for the high speed rail today was the aforementioned Mr. Bishop, who released a statement calling on the Governor to go ahead and embrace the high speed rail project:
Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has, for years, been a strong advocate of bringing high speed rail to our state. That is why AIF is announcing the formation of a coalition we will spearhead to ensure this valuable project remains on track. We are in the process of assembling the coalition, which will include the private-sector companies that want the jobs, the work and the prestige that will come from being a part of Florida high speed rail.
The Orlando to Tampa project will not only bring 5,000 construction jobs to Florida at a time when we desperately need them, but will also make an international impression as the home of the first high speed rail of its kind in this country.