Federal officials are promising to invest $230-million to build a high-speed passenger rail system that would run from Iowa City to Chicago with a stop in the Quad Cities. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says people in Iowa and Illinois would get on board the 80-mile-an-hour trains, especially once the line runs on to Des Moines and Omaha.
Grassley says, “You’re finding a situation where, connected with the problems of Homeland Security, the problems of terrorists on airplanes, the fact that airlines are having trouble providing the service they used to provide, alternative service like rail service is something that, at least on a regional basis, is going to pay off.”
The plan is to have the Chicago-Iowa City service running as soon as 2013 with two round-trips daily. One study says that 220-mile route would attract nearly 247,000 people by 2015.
On another topic, Grassley says he’s not concerned the reputation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may be compromised after Thomas’ wife appeared in the news in recent days. Ginni Thomas reportedly made a phone call to Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment two decades ago.
In the voicemail, Mrs. Thomas urged Hill to recant her story which became national news in 1991. Grassley says Justice Thomas “has a mind of his own” and admits the actions by Mrs. Thomas are mysterious.
“I don’t have any explanation for phone calls she makes or anything,” Grassley says. “The main thing is that I’m convinced, knowing him the little bit I do but more than most other people, he’s the sort of person that’s going to make his decisions based on what the Constitution says and what the law says.”
Grassley adds, “I don’t think Clarence Thomas is going to be compromised by anything his wife does or says.” Hill is sticking by her story and tells media outlets she found it offensive Ginni Thomas would ask her to apologize.