Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer today held a press conference at the train station that bears incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s name, calling the massive Secaucus project a billion dollar waste of taxpayer money.
“Welcome to the most extravagant and most wasteful stop on the New Jersey Transit system, the Frank R. Lautenberg Train Station. This $1.4 billion vanity project epitomizes the bankruptcy of Frank Lautenberg’s brand of pork-barrel politics. So it’s entirely appropriate that he had it named after himself,” said Zimmer in a statement.
The train station stop was a part of Zimmer’s ongoing “waste of the week” campaign, and he highlighted its $600 billion construction price tag, the $500 million that has gone towards related projects, and the $250 million to build the least used extension on the New Jersey Turnpike. The station, he noted, does not have a parking lot.
“While it might have been reasonable to build a modest transfer facility here, there was no reason to squander so many tax dollars on this elephantine boondoggle,” he said.
Zimmer said that the station would be rendered obsolete by a new Hudson River tunnel when that’s finally built, and that the station has failed to pull economic development into Secaucus.
Lautenberg spokeswoman Julie Roginsky said called Zimmer’s attack hypocritical.
"Once again, Washington lobbyist Dick Zimmer sounds like he should be debating himself rather than Senator Lautenberg,” she said. “First Zimmer accuses Senator Lautenberg of not bringing enough money back to New Jersey and now he attacks him for bringing back too much money to the state for transportation needs. Then he attacks Senator Lautenberg for directing Federal funding to New Jersey for the Trans-Hudson Tunnel and then says that the tunnel's success will make a key train station obsolete. Finally, he attacks Senator Lautenberg for passing landmark legislation this month to revitalize Amtrak and NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor line and then says that Senator Lautenberg is not doing enough on transportation.”