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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kudos to IP Candidate Robert Fitzgerald for Rejecting IPs "Personal Rapid Transit" Plank

Last Saturday, Eva Young challenged Independence Party candidates to state whether they approved of the plank supporting Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) in the IP platform:

Avidor raises a good point when he suggests that IP candidates should be asked whether they support or oppose this particular IP platform plank. Peter Hutchinson, John Binkowski, Tammy Lee, Robert Fitzgerald et al, please step up to the plate and explain.

Well, Robert Fitzgerald stepped up to the plate and hit PRT out of the ballpark. From the Strib's notes on the third candidate debate for U.S. Senate:

"Lighter moment: Fitzgerald said he opposed government subsidization of personal rapid transit, when asked to cite a major difference with his party."

I'm sure most people in the audience must have wondered what Fitzgerald was talking about. PRT is not an issue in the Senate race. As far as I know, the only candidate in the Senate race who promotes PRT is Michael Cavlan of the Green Party. Cavlan was was not included in the Senate debate.

John Binkowski, IP candidate for the 6th Congressional District has written to Lloydletta that he also rejects PRT. I was disapointed that neither Binkowski or Wetterling challenged Bachmann in the Sixth District debates on her sponsoring legislation and promoting PRT with Dean Zimmermann (Zimmermann was convicted of soliciting and accepting bribes in August). Bachmann's promotion of PRT, a controversial and unproven transportation concept is her Achilles' heel. Unlike Bachmann's other wedge issues, PRT is not mentioned in the Bible... nor is PRT part of the no-new-taxes right-wing agenda. David Strom, for instance has stated his opposition to PRT on his radio show.

There is still time for Wetterling and Binkowski to ask Bachmann why she promoted and sponsored legislation for Dean Zimmermann and Mark Olson's PRT boondoggle.

I would also like to see the media to investigate why Bachmann, Olson, Vandeveer and Zimmermann promoted PRT instead of treating the issue as a "lighter moment".

A few years ago, there was nothing "light" about the disruptive tactics PRT supporters used to stop rail transit in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Many rail transit advocates remember when PRT supporters used to disrupt meetings about transit. In one memorable encounter, a deranged man interrupted an art workshop my wife and I were giving at Macalester College, shouting that PRT is the “only transportation solution", threw a dozen Taxi 2000 Corporation brochures at us and stormed out.

Learn more about PRT at the PRT is a Joke web site.