Ron Klein Wants to Ban French Company From Rail Project for Holocaust Involvement
Société Nationale des Chemins de fer, or SNCF, is basically France's version of Amtrak, except its trains run on time and it's been around since 1938. That means it was there during the Nazi occupation and played a role in transporting Jews to their demise in the Holocaust -- something the French would rather forget, if they weren't still being held accountable for their cooperation.
Now Klein is opposing a $2.6 billion bid from SNCF to construct a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. Klein wants to introduce legislation that will require high-speed rail bidders to disclose any involvement in the Holocaust -- basically a direct jab at SNCF (which, incidentally, has provided assistance and training to the Israeli railways).
The project lies entirely outside his east-coast district, but he does have to consider another factor: lots of Jewish voters.
This is "absolutely not" an election issue, says Klein campaign spokeswoman Melissa Silverman. "The issue came directly to Ron from Holocaust survivors," says Silverman. "The timing is because the bids for the project have just been placed."
Silverman acknowledges that it's illegal for legislation to target a single company, but unless Deutsche Bahn gets involved, it's unlikely that Klein's proposed legislation would affect anyone else. The California state Legislature is working on similar legislation to ban SNCF from its projects.