Thursday, March 5, 2009

Congressman lies about Las Vegas railroad

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has either lost his moral compass, spent too much time in the Arizona sun or is a baldfaced liar.

Franks flatly deceived viewers on Fox's "America's Newsroom" earlier this week by implying that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had earmarked funds for a railroad from Disneyland to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, one of many legal brothel outside Carson City.

How could Franks come up with such bucket of hogwash? It's obvious he has already spent too much time in Washington, D.C., because he has clearly forgotten his western geography. There is no direct rail right-of-way from Las Vegas to Carson City, 400 miles away.

First, the proposed $12 billion magnetic levitation train is planned connect Las Vegas to Anaheim, Calif., not to Lyon County, Nev.

Maybe he just got confused. There are two separate projects being proposed with a single thread in common — tourism.

The two rail projects are probably a century apart in design, the maglev is a super speed aerodynamic passenger train yet to be completely designed. The other is the McCloud No. 18, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in 1914. This steam engine burns oil to make steam.

The reconstruction of the Virginia Truckee Railroad project began in 1974 from Virginia City to Gold Hill, with plans that now extend all the way to Carson City — well past the brothels at Mound House. By the way, the funds proposed for the VTRR are less than $500,000.

This is no more than another Republican arrow whizzing at the target on Reid's back. It also demonstrates the desperation of the GOP to cast aspersions on Nevada's senior senator and Senate Majority Leader.

The mere fact that a member of the United States Congress would go on a national cable news program to tell a lie is sickening. To fabricate such a ridiculous lie by combining two projects 400 miles apart, then spinning up a little diversion to include businesses that are in the vicinity of each project, is desperation.

Fox host Megyn Kelly laid the track for Franks' line of deceit by saying, "It's a super railroad of sorts, a line that will deliver customers straight from Disney — we kid you not — to the doorstep of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch Brothel in Nevada."

Franks clearly misled viewers by affirming the train would run from Disneyland to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Mound House, Nev.

Kelly later piped in with, "The bunnies are very happy about this development," adding fuel to Franks' outrageous lie.

Fox obviously has an inside line with the Bunny Ranch by means of Fox talk show host Sean Hannity, who spent some time interviewing the bunnies at the ranch in 2007.

Even though Kelly half-heartedly challenged the validity of Franks' claim, she was doing her best to take advantage of the interview.

The irony of Franks' charade is that 80 percent of his district, which includes the Colorado River system and the Grand Canyon, benefits from Nevada tourism, which sends thousands of Las Vegas and Laughlin tourist to those sites every day.

The second irony is that Franks alluded to Americans losing trust in government, but how can Americans trust congressmen like Franks when he is capable of totally twisting the truth with a straight face?

Wow, I need to remove my rose-colored glasses.

Tim O’Callaghan, co-publisher of the Home News, can be reached at 990-2656 or tim.oc@vegas.com. He writes a regular column for the Home News.

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