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Legislature

Fast-train backer rails at governor

Today is the fourth day of the 60-day session.

By MICHAEL SANDLER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 7, 2003


The Lakeland man most responsible for getting the bullet train in the state Constitution had some harsh words for the governor's proposal to repeal it.

"The governor does not live in the real world of travel frustration," C.C. "Doc" Dockery told the Ledger newspaper in Lakeland. "When he wants to travel, he hops aboard a state plane or corporate jet, hassle-free, with flight attendants and fine Scotch whiskies."

Gov. Jeb Bush bristled at the criticism. "This isn't his toy," Bush said. "This isn't his little world."

Dockery, who led the referendum that requires the state to build high-speed rail, took out a full-page ad in Thursday's Florida Today attacking Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, who has introduced a bill to put the issue back on the ballot.

Bush complained that Dockery is personalizing the issue and not considering the full cost of the project. "I'll tell you what Doc Dockery told me: "We could get funded, it would only cost $70-million and you could build the choo-choo train from Tampa to Orlando.' I said, "Doc, that's great, but what about the Orlando-to-Miami route?' He said, "I'll be finished. It will be your problem.' "

The dustup is something of a family affair: Dockery's wife, Paula, is a Republican state senator.

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