Friday, March 13, 2009

What special interest lobbying is all about

The National Bike Summit is currently taking place in Washington DC this week. You can find any number of news and blogs covering the event with a quick google search.

The title of this post comes from a posting by Jonathan Maus on BikePortland. The story gives an inside scoop of a dinner and reception hosted by BikesPAC a political action committee founded by the non-profit Bikes Belong Foundation.

The interesting part of the story is the telling of Florida's Seventh District Rep. John Mica visit at the reception. Mica happens to be House Minority Leader of Transportation and Infrastructure committee. Bike Portland writes, "Mica boasted that Florida leads the nation in rail-trails and then said in a self-deprecating tone, “That’s pretty good for a right-wing, knuckle-dragging conservative.” The article then follows with, "Mica said that as a Republican he has to support biking “quietly”. “I did a path over an interstate years ago,” he said, and then began to smile, “but we didn’t send out a press release on it.”

What Mica fails to mention is the vast majority of those rail-to-trails are in the middle nowhere and do nothing to help cycling as an alternative to driving.

Isn't also more than a little sad when raising the quality of life for your state has to be done "quietly" so as not to attract the attention of your party?

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Abhishek said...

Firstly, why is this a 'special interest' lobbying? Bicycle infrastructure along with mass transit should be the number one interest. Hasn't the nation learned about the unsustainability of an oil and housing based economy?