Head Of HSR Coalition Al Cardenas Named New Chairman of ACU

By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press

As Kevin Darby reports on Sunshine State News, Al Cardenas, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was named on Wednesday to head up the American Conservative Union (ACU), succeeding conservative icon David Keene who led the group for more than 25 years.

Cardenas, who had served as the ACU’s treasurer was elected as chairman without opposition despite grumblings from some social conservatives who maintained he did not share their commitment to traditional values.

“The American Conservative Union has a long and proud tradition of espousing and promoting the conservative goals of limited government and fiscal responsibility, and it’s my honor to do all I can to help further these worthy objectives,” said Cardenas.

High speed rail opponents here in Florida may recognize Cardenas’ name, he was chosen by one of Florida’s biggest lobby firms, Associated Industries of Florida to head up a recently formed High Speed Rail Coalition.

Which begs the question, can the chairman of ACU, an organization that promotes ‘limited government and fiscal responsibility‘, also head an effort to promote high speed rail using federal dollars at the same time? Is there a conflict of interest going on here?

Amid the grumblings that Cardenas is not ‘committed to conservative values’, is his willingness to spend money that this nation does not have, which only adds to the national debt further solidify those concerns?

Congresswoman Sandy Adams (FL-D24) referred to the rail initiative as “a misguided attempt to expand the reach of the federal government and spend limited taxpayer dollars on projects that our nation cannot afford.”

Cardenas takes over just in time for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which begins today in Washington, D.C. No word yet if there will be a high speed rail promotion in the lobby.