Mica is unabashedly anti-Amtrak. No doubt about that. But there is more than Amtrak that provides passenger rail service. There are mane other passenger rail proponents that are anti-Amtrak. So Mica is not unique in this sense either.
Did I say Mica was unique? Amtrak is the only passenger rail where I live. Amtrak is probably the only passenger rail where many of us live. And folks like John Mica are doing their best to degrade and defund it into obscurity. I may not be the biggest Amtrak backer but that doesn't mean I want to see it disappear entirely like Mica apparently does. Sorry if I find your selectively worded appeal for Amtrak riders to support him confusing and disingenuous. The very least you could have done is mentioned the double edge sword supporting and electing Mica represents. Instead of glossing it over and sweeping it under the rug like it wasn't an issue.
There was no intention in the wording to be interpreted the way you did. It is a statement of an unfortunate fact that there are many rail passenger proponents who agree with Mica's position. Sweeping that under the rug is a dangerous thing because they are a significant group that provide succor to the anti-Amtrak sentiments on the Hill.
We need to recognize them for what they are and deal with it. While Amtrak may be the only passenger service for you, that is not the case for many others. It is better to have a Hoosier State or even the Piedmonts and the California Commuter services which complement Amtrak to get support than not.
It is easy for you to sit in Texas and rant about Mica whereas in Florida and specially in a district adjacent to Mica's district we have to actually deal with him more immediately. Fortunately this time we have Stephanie Murphy as a viable alternative to Mica and who support passenger rail of all sorts, and should be supported completely against Mica. In the past we have had Democratic candidates who opposed local passenger rail running against Mica. At that point the local choice was clearly to favor Mica so as to get funding through for SunRail and get support for AAF which is of more immediate local concern locally than what happens to food service on Amtrak. Even this time in the 8th we had to have an argument with the Democratic candidate on supporting AAAF or not (it will be a miracle if he wins unfortunately, since the Republican incumbent Posey has been anti-AAF though there is little that he can do against a railroad that wants to run trains on its property zoned as railroad ). These issues get very nuanced and complicated and sometimes a choice between bad and worse has to be made, there is no denying that.
We have faced the same problem potentially in NJ, but fortunately there are very few consequential candidates in NJ who are as schizophrenic as Mica. But the tension between what is good for NJTransit, which affects more NJ residents than Amtrak is always present. One example is Rodny Freylinghausen who is lukewarm on Amtrak (being a R I suppose) but very supportive of NJT (because his constituents would skin him alive if he were not). We have so far managed to keep him from voting anti-Amtrak on the Hill, but each time it is touch and go. OTOH there are people like Garrett, who have almost never voted pro-Amtrak but have seldom voted anti-NJTransit (read FTA transit title funding). Such is life. What can you do?
The way to do the list would to break it down by category: does the candidate support a) transit b) rail transit (i.e. communter/subway/lrt/etc) c) passenger rail (i.e. long distance) and then could have local proposition or funding questions.
I'm thinking in the format that we have locally that puts all the various bar association judicial endorsements/recommendations/qualifications into a table (not excel, but just a generic word table I suspect).
Of course one would have to either send a questionnaire to candidates or somehow vet their opinions via websites, campaign statements, etc.
I agree and I also agree with the characterization. I would probably split passenger rail into two sub categories - Amtrak, non-Amtrak, just to capture the reality, not necessarily agree that there should be non-Amtrak LD service. Two other things I would add are multi-modal infrastructure and transit oriented development. Often transit fails to live upto the full potential because it is inconsistent with real estate development patterns.