The website for Minnesota's incredible shrinking high speed rail project has just gotten a rebrand, along with having a lot less information (i.e. none) posted online.
A search on ICANN's WHOIS site reveals that Minnesota Corridor's domain was registered on October 22, 2016 with one person for registrant contact, admin contact and tech contact:
Name: Wendy MeadleyOrganization: Social Wendy GroupMailing Address: 6403 Limerick Drive, Edina Minnesota 55439 US . . .
The screenshot at the top of this post is the entirety of the Minnesota Corridor two and a half months later.
The rebrand itself isn't news. In our December 13, 2016 post, Tonight on Southern Minnesota's walking dead: why won't zombie ziprail stay dead & other stuff, we'd noted that the Star Tribune reported about the name change:
At the Star Tribune's "Who Knew?" division, Janet Moore reported in Private plan for Twin Cities-Rochester high-speed rail draws pushback:
The prospect of a high-speed rail line slicing through the rural stretch of land between the Twin Cities and Rochester, and financed by Chinese and other private investors, is to some an exquisite dream.
To others, it’s folly.
. . .[A] privately held Bloomington firm called the North American High Speed Rail Group (NAHSR) is keeping the idea of a high-speed rail line alive. Recently the group said that it was reorganizing and is now known as the Minnesota Corridor Project. None of NAHSR’s officers has experience developing such a project. [emphasis added]
The group’s reorganization will continue to meet opposition from a determined grass-roots group called Citizens Concerned About Rail Line (CCARL) and several southern Minnesota lawmakers.
There's no listing for Minnesota Corridor in the business filings database at the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. Meadley is still registered as a lobbyist for the North American High Speed Rail Group with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Perhaps the good country people in CCARL can ask the board whether, in the name of transparency, the reorganized entity needs to register as an association with the board.
It might be helpful for the newly reorganized group tell the Minnesota Secretary of State's office about that new name as well.
While Meadley owns the domain name, she doesn't list either the North American High Speed Rail Group nor the Minnesota Corridor as current employers in her LinkedIn profile (below) as of January 9, 2017. Of course, there's no law (that we know of) requiring the Social Wendy Group to actualize its client list.
Once upon a time, there was a public project (Ziprail). Once upon a time, North American High Speed Rail put together a business plan (later redacted). Once upon a time, it was going to use investment by EB-5 visa holders to help finance the high speed rail project. Like the unfortunate creatures in the Walking Dead, this thing seems to have less and less meat on its bones with each new rising.
We could go on....as must likely this grifters' dreamscape will appear every once in a while, as did "Wendy Meadley sitting on a bench on the ground floor of the State Office Bldg" last Thursday, a source tells us in an email.
Screenshots: Top: the Minnesota Corridor's website (side note--thank heavens CCARL is good about keeping screenshots of the old pages in case journalists ever want documentation of earlier manifestations of the project. Bottom: Wendy Meadley's LinkedIn profile as of January 9, 2017.
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