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High-Speed Rail Project Linked to Sen. Reid

Postmillennialism —  Leave a comment

DesertXpress, a privately held company with links to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), is spearheading a high-speed rail project aimed at connecting tourists from Southern California to Las Vegas and says it needs a $4.9 billion federal loan to do it.

Along with Sen. Reid, the project is being advanced by casino developer and contractor Anthony Marnell II, who heads Marnell Companies, the majority shareholder in DesertXpress; project consultant Sig Rogich, a Republican adviser to two presidential campaigns who founded Nevada’s most influential lobbying and advertising company; and Canadian transportation giant Bombardier, a DesertXpress strategic adviser that wants to supply its rail cars.

But how, exactly, is Sen. Reid attached to the project?

Sen. Reid initially backed a rival project that planned to use magnetic power to reach Orange County, but he jumped ship shortly after Rogich became co-chair of Republicans for Reid, a Nevada group with ties to the gambling industry that helped Reid win re-election in 2010.

The senator‘s office disputes any connection between his flip and Rogich’s involvement in the campaign. Spokeswoman Kristen Orthman says Reid’s decision was based on the viability of DesertXpress, while the other project languished.

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