Wednesday, September 21, 2005

See what effective gerrymandering can do? "C-Tran measure rolls."

Yesterday was a sad day for Clark County.

Yup... the "C-Tran measure rolled" all right... right over the people of Clark County.

I was looking at the measure map again, yesterday. Those behind this measure effectively cut away any serious resistance to the C-Trans measure with an exacto-knife approach that would have made the Klan blush with envy during the Jim Crow days of Alabama.

So... what has happened here?

A small minority of people in this county, allowed to vote because of the exacto-knife approach, have decided that tens of thousands of us who weren't even allowed to vote have to pay their tax.

Oddly, the phrase "Taxation without representation" comes to mind.

The fly in their C-Tran ointment is that, while we weren't allowed to vote, almost every single location within the county that can charge this tax by virtue of being in the taxing area just happened to contain the vast majority of places we use to shop.

Look at the map. Was there a single Safeway, WalMart or Fred Meyers, for example, where those of us who shop can go to without paying the increased sales tax?

Of course not.

Whenever the will of the people is avoided... Whenever a government agency gets cute, like C-Tran got "cute" here... the natural reaction is resentment.

The fact is that much of the resentment will be expressed by an even greater number of people heading to the other side of the river to shop.

Hopefully, C-Tran and other agencies that want to game the people of Clark County will learn a lesson from all of this. Sadly, I find it unlikely as they continue along their road of ever-higher pinnacles of arrogance such as this one.

And with equal clarity, this precedent will result in an ever-increasing number of efforts on the part of our government to erase opposition to their tax and fee increases where thousands will have to pay without getting the opportunity to vote on the matter... just another example of those in government that hold us in the highest contempt taking us all for granted.

I hope they're proud of it... and I hope they choke on it.

Primary Elections 2005: C-Tran measure rolls

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
By THOMAS RYLL, Columbian staff writer

A slimmed-down sales tax increase to maintain bus service in much of Clark County was the biggest winner Tuesday as voters handed C-Tran a victory by a 2-1 ratio.

The heavy support was a huge turnabout from November, when a sales tax proposal failed after it was rejected by 54 percent of voters countywide. A smaller tax-boost request 2 cents on a $10 purchase instead of November's 3-cent proposal was at least part of the trick Tuesday.

"What a win for Clark County," said a relieved Bill Ganley, C-Tran board chairman and a Battle Ground City Council member. "I think this is a big, big statement about people coming out together in support of something."

Ganley said he initially misheard the yes vote as 57 percent when results were released just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. "I was happy with that, but then somebody said, 'no, 67 percent,' and I said, '67 percent? That's a landslide!'"



Anonymous said...

Umm...yeah...what a stupid idea, letting only people who live in an area that gets served by C-TRAN vote on C-TRAN service. Whatever. Lots of Oregonians spend money in Vancouver, but they couldn't vote on this. Same thing with Cowlitz County residents.

Thank you to Brent Boger and the majority of the board of the Clark County Republicans for their support. To Kathy McDonald (R) and Heather Melton (D), for their hard work and dedication. And to the more than 1,000 volunteers who helped break all sorts of records for a successful political campaign in Clark County. Finally, thanks to the voters who took the time to examine the issue and make the right choice.

Randy Mueller
Campaign Co-Director
The Committee to Save C-TRAN

Brad said...

The only problem with your "stupid idea" is that those of us who DIDN'T vote will have to help pay for it.

Look, Randy, let's call a spade a spade. You people deliberately excluded a huge block of voters who WILL have to pay YOUR tax increase because you knew damned well we would vote it down.

Had you left all of us in the mix, I'd have nothing to complain about if this thing passed because at least our voice would have been heard and democracy would have been served.

Instead, you and your group bastardized the process because you were afraid of what the people... ALL of the people, would have to say.

I saw nothing in this effort to exclude those of us not served from paying your tax. I see no system in place where, when I buy something in Costco, the fact that I didn't live in an area where I was allowed to vote on this will not exempt me from paying for it.

That was a deliberate oversight on your part and on the part of all of those who ran this embarrassment.

You people want it... you people are the only ones allowed to vote on it.... then YOU people PAY FOR IT.

Thanks for your comments.

Brad said...

Additionally, the fact that you actually mentioned that "Lots of Oregonians spend money in Vancouver, but they couldn't vote on this," is lame beyond words.


You know... the same exemption that the REST of us who weren't allowed to vote on this tax SHOULD get... but won't.

And very few people in Cowlitz County need to come down to Vancouver to shop.... for anything. Longview/Kelso pretty much has the same shopping opportunities available that we do.

You can justify anything when it suits you... and when you're getting paid for a successful outcome.... Right Randy?

Brad said...

So it's okay for other people who don't live in the C-TRAN service area to not get to vote on it, but it's not okay because YOU didn't get to vote on it? How on earth does that make sense?

Uhhhh… It doesn’t. Your reading comprehension problems don’t help… But I’ll give it a try.

My problem with this situation is this: you people removed the opposition with an exacto knife method based on the outcome of the last election. No one has denied that; the map is clear in that regard.

You and those like you want me, and those like me, to support your bus system with our dollars, even though we were denied the RIGHT to vote. Yet you and those like you, denied us any say in the matter because you knew exactly what would happen if you did allow us to have a say.

You with me so far?

NO ONE… NOT JUST ME… WHO DOESN’T LIVE IN THE TAX AREA SHOULD HAVE TO PAY THE TAX. And nothing I wrote would indicate that anyone should.

That includes me, my next-door neighbor, or any other Clark County resident denied the right to vote on this matter by your deft gerrymandering tactics

YOU are the one that brought Oregonians, who won’t pay one dime of this tax increase, since they don’t have to pay ANY sales tax, into this. YOU are the one who attempted to bring Cowlitz County into this.

OK… got it now?

Would you have been upset if the meth tax in Cowlitz County passed, because you'd have to pay that tax when you shopped there, yet you never got to vote on it?


No, Randy, I wouldn’t.


Now, of course, what Cowlitz will do is follow the C-Tran model, go over the map, precinct by precinct, and just cut the precincts out that didn’t support the meth tax when they re-refer it. And voila! INSTANT, ESSENTIALLY COUNTYWIDE TAX INCREASE BECAUSE THEY WILL CUT OUT THE OPPOSITION EXACTLY LIKE YOU DID.

That part, of course, won’t bother you, because, after all, winning pays you the big bucks and hell, you’re not concerned about a little thing like democracy when the will of the people might get in the way of your pay day, right?

You people put expedience over democracy. You took the easy way out.

You want me to be happy with that? I’m not. You’ve started a pattern that will now be followed in county after county. Not a pattern of winning… But a pattern of cutting out the opposition.

And frankly, Randy, I don’t give a damn how you spin it… at the end of the day you people made a decision to cut us out. You, of course, were not one of those who WERE cut out… and when you pay this tax, you’ll do it with the certain knowledge that you’re doing exactly what you want… and that you were even asked FIRST. Us rural folks… well, Hell… we don’t get no damn luxuries like DAT!

Do you want to vote on a Seattle tax measure because you might go there and spend some money at some point in the future?

Randy, try and pay attention… and stop it with the deflection, already.

I don’t live in Seattle. I live HERE. Any time I spent in Seattle would be short and voluntary. I don’t HAVE to go to Seattle. I DO have to live HERE.

We (the people here in the cities) have buses, and a tax to pay for them. You (outside the cities) don't have bus service, and don't have a tax to pay for them. The taxes you pay when you travel outside your area aren't relevant.

You don't live in our cities. You don't ride our buses. You don't pay our taxes. Deal with it.

Are you on drugs or something?

MY property taxes would put yours to shame. You think living in Hockinson is cheap?

And, of course, the fallacy of your position is your absurd statement that “you don’t pay our taxes.”

Every fricking time I go to Fred Meyer… or Safeway… or Costco… or KMart… Guess what? I’M PAYING YOUR TAXES! If those of us cut out of your precious vote were EXEMPT from “paying your taxes,” we wouldn’t be having this little chat. But you people didn’t do anything about exempting us… you just failed to include 6 mini-marts or so outside your taxing area and called it good.

As for “dealing with it,” I AM “dealing with it.” And I will deal with it much more in the future.

I'm just glad that leaders like Marc Boldt, Tom Mielke, and countless others could see that this was the right thing to do. I appreciate their endorsement and support.

They are all entitled to their opinion. For whatever the reason, you don’t happen to extend that same courtesy to me.

Tom, of course, got to vote on this. Marc saw the political consequences. You saw a paycheck. Everybody has a reason for doing what they do.

Yes, as a professional, I get paid to do this. But it's certainly not about the money, until today nobody on our campaign staff got paid a dime except to reimburse for expenses. We did this because it was the right thing to do, for seniors, the disabled, and everyone else in Clark County...from BOTH parties.

Right…. Big money is never an incentive. Can the altruism, Randy. I’ve been in this business far too long to buy it.


Brad said...

And knock off the name crap.

Brent from Clark County said...

No more money is coming from my house and going towards WA Republicans with this kind of nonsense going on. Randy, you are a huge part of the problem of our party here in blue Washington. You almost make me believe you are a democrap but have an (R) next to your name for some reason.