In fact, Rivers was christened "Bridge Killer" by no less a luminary then Willamette Week:
That was the headline back then... "back then" meaning March 5, 2013.
Before the massive, record gas tax and tab fee increases she voted for.
Before the unconscionable property tax increases she arranged, which raped property owners for additional billions, not only here but across the state... (Myself? the better part of $1000)
Select quotes in the article from "used to be" Ann Rivers:
"It's almost been like a timeshare sales pitch: 'If you don't buy now, by God, you'll never be able to get it at this price!'" Rivers says. "We need some sanity on this."....
Now Senate majority whip, Rivers says the project's costs aren't worth shaving only a minute off the rush-hour commute from Portland to Vancouver.....
"This is not a project about congestion relief, not a project about freight mobility," Rivers says. "All those things were shells. It's about light rail."....
King and Rivers served on an oversight committee on the project. "The deeper we looked, the more questions we had," Rivers says. "We would wait and wait and wait, and never get the information we wanted."....
But Rivers says she won't let the opportunity to kill the CRC slip away. She's taken no chances, working her Senate colleagues on the issue and trying to keep her fellow Republicans together.
"My shoulders have gotten very broad and strong from being the only one saying, 'No, no, no,'" Rivers says. "And now others are beginning to join me."I long for those days when Rivers actually gave a damn what her constituents, of which I am one, actually wanted or thought... the days when her word was her bond. I grieve for the loss of that senator, who became what she so utterly despised when she first started out... now, completely out of touch with those she would govern in favor of those who would use her for their ends.
Those days of her integrity are long gone.
Now, I've occasionally wondered what flipped her from "Woman of the people" to "Woman of the downtown mafia."
Lou "Industrial-Sized Just for Men" Brancaccio provides a little insight into the sell-out with his most recent garbage piece beating the drum for his favorite scam.
Now, Rivers has proven herself to be, well, "flexible" when it comes to mundane issues like "integrity." There's no question that, when properly motivated, she'll betray those who elected her in a heartbeat.
This appears to be one of those "proper motivations."
You see, each and every issue cited in the Willamette Week article?
Remains just as important today as it did then.
And just as unchanged.
Yes, the bridge is old. And yes, the bridge remains safe.
As the Oregon Supreme Court ruled, safety is not and never has been an issue in the bridge replacement debate.
The ENTIRE reason to replace this bridge has ALWAYS been light rail and light rail alone.
Back in the day, Oregon's Mafia Governor Kitzhaber famously told us that "no light rail" meant "no bridge."
Back then and now, our blithering idiot of a governor, Inslee, has said and continues to say the same, as does that whack job running Oregon.
Now, all of this is to provide background for the obvious flip Rivers made from steadfast opposition to this scam to steadfast support.
Lefty Lou Brancaccio has always been one for ramming this multi-billion dollar waste of money down our throats. So, he's done all he can to kill or cripple any of the many other options that make geometrically more sense than this rip off, no matter what the evidence is to the contrary.
Unlike Rivers, Lefty has not shown her variety of flexibility. He support has been rabid, he's assaulted those wise enough to oppose his idiocy by using his column, and continues to use it as a cudgel whenever he can against, for him, the hated David Madore who also did all he could to kill this scam.
So, here's the latest installment of Lefty's effort to screw us, in this case, using the completely out of touch Sen. Ann "Gas Tax" Rivers.
OK, let’s be fair, an east county bridge isn’t a bad idea. It’s actually a good idea. But timing is everything, and it was clearly the wrong time five years ago. Opening that discussion up back then simply muddied the water in Vancouver’s attempt to get an Interstate 5 replacement bridge moving.
And although I suspect the east county bridge chatter back then wasn’t the main reason talks for a new I-5 bridge collapsed, it was a player.
So here we are today, five years later. Ironically, there now is a contingent of politicians who are trying to revive the discussion on an I-5 bridge replacement. Maybe even a peek at an east county bridge, as well.
I spoke with state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, Friday about these new bridge talks.
Rivers is a key player in all of this because she was instrumental in getting an I-5 bridge replacement killed five years ago.
So what has changed for her?
“I’ve reframed my thinking to exclude the congestion piece of it.”Sigh.
You know, you can support most ANYTHING if you just get rid of the parts you don't happen to like.
THAT'S an example of "reframing her thinking."
All she did was "exclude" the "integrity" part of her campaign pledge. And then, all she had to do was "exclude" what her constituency wanted and voted for her for.
Voilà! "Reframed thinking!"
In fact, it's the EXACT same thing leftists in Congress have done when it comes to a border wall that most all of them have voted for and spoke for in the past. Why, they've just "reframed their thinking!"
Who can forget what one famous senator said about illegal aliens a few years back?
That bore not the slightest resemblance to Obama after he was elected president or, for that matter, democrats now.
A CLASSIC case of, well, "reframed thinking!"
Just like the Senator formerly known as "Bridge Killer."
You can turn a Volkswagen into a Rolls Royce if you just... "reframe your thinking!"
In this case, the "reframing" has merely involved eliminating THE most critical element of any cross-river transportation project, congestion relief... an issue Rivers has made clear she could care less about.
It's like saying, "if you got rid of that engine, that would be a pretty good car."
Kinda sounds like a Nazi "reframing their thinking" about World War 2. "I've reframed my thinking about concentration camps and killing Jews."
So now, what both Rivers and Babbling Brancaccio are advocating is that instead of sitting in traffic now without paying extra for the privilege, we should get to sit there and pay $2000 a year or more to start for the opportunity.
Really doesn't justify much, does it?
That’s important, because the back-and-forth on bridge replacement over congestion relief was a huge distraction, she said.
“Who cares if it doesn’t reduce congestion? We need a new bridge.”I bet her constituents do. But it's also pretty clear she could care less. How a so-called "representative of the people" could be so blind is yet another symptom of the complete ownership of our Senator by the special interests over the demands of her constituency.
And I have to wonder: If Rivers is so far gone that she's willing to actually IGNORE her constituents, then what the hell is she doing in office?
Since the ONLY reason to replace or add a bridge over the Columbia River is to "reduce congestion," then how could defending that element of this issue be considered a "huge distraction?"
And, of course, by babbling "who cares if it doesn't reduce congestion" she is also admitting that she doesn't give a damn about freight mobility, either.
In 2013, Rivers said "... the project's costs aren't worth shaving only a minute off the rush-hour commute from Portland to Vancouver."
What happened to that? How did it go from "aren't worth shaving only a minute" to ignoring that altogether? It wasn't worth it THEN, but is absolutely worth it NOW?
You have GOT to be kidding me.
Now these billions of dollars ARE suddenly worth shaving a minute off the commute time?
How did THAT happen? And why?
She’s right, of course. There are plenty of other reasons to replace the aging Interstate 5 Bridge. And as Rivers noted, a new bridge should reduce traffic accidents, which will reduce congestion.She's wrong, of course. And this is the purest of the pure bullshit these two ladled out in Lefty's column.
There is precisely no other reason to replace it. None.
The bridge is safe. If it wasn't, it would be closed. Oregon's ongoing failure to do ANYTHING about the Delta Park bottle neck, combined with the failure to provide ANY additional bridge capacity to bypass Portland is at least 1000% more responsible for the congestion on the bridge then Lefty's bogus "accidents" claim.
Rivers agreed that five years ago talking about an east county bridge was a distraction.Of course she did. She has to make up as many excuses as possible for ripping off her district again, but I'm cursed with having actually worked WITH her to kill this scam and what *I* know is that the east county bridge played exactly ZERO part in getting that done. And Lefty needed her to say that so he could beat on Madore a little more.
If she's claiming otherwise now, she is flat-out lying. We rarely, if ever, even MENTIONED the east county bridge issue. And, for example, the east county bridge doesn't merit any mention in the Willamette Week article... so how much of a "distraction" could it be?
This is just more of Lefty's effort at image rehab for Rivers, and God Knows she needs it. Remember: there's nothing they won't say to get what they want. And this is them... doing that.
And although it’s OK to note it in discussions today, she said the focus must be on replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge.Damn decent of her to give her approval. And no, the focus does NOT have to be on an affordable, unneeded and unwanted bridge replacement. It needs to be focused ONLY on congestion relief... and anyone involved in this that refuses to even consider congestion relief is unfit for elective office.
And that means you, Rivers.
When I asked her about light rail, she said it could be a deal-breaker for her. It’s old technology, and she believes younger people are trending against it."Could be?"
What the hell does "could be" mean?
She knows going in that Oregon will not accept a bridge without loot rail on it and neither will that moron governor we have.
Yes or no. Up or down. It's like being pregnant: one is, or one isn't.
Remember: loot rail is the ONLY reason this project is under discussion. Anything else Rivers says to the contrary is a lie.
There are others, of course, who oppose light rail, but she’s not sure if there are enough votes to get it approved over their objections.Try us. And enjoy running for reelection, Rivers. We'll be waiting.
Another contentious issue — tolls to help pay for a new bridge — is not something that should derail the project, Rivers said.Of course not. Because you know what?
NONE of the politicians raping us with this scam will have to pay those tolls to go to work. Lefty Lou Brancaccio won't have to, either... so one wonders: how easy is it for those who won't ever have to pay to jam tolls down our throats? They are SO good at spending OUR money that THEY won't have to pay.
SO, what this idiot would have us do is pay her massive tolls to CROSS the bridge, only to have Oregon extort ADDITIONAL massive tolls to subsidize THEIR socialist state. So, Rivers doesn't care if our wallets get raped TWICE on one trip.
Perhaps "Gas Tax" can tell us why that's OK, eh?
She’s not opposed to tolls, in part, because it’s a bedrock conservative view.
“You use it, you pay for it.”So is integrity and keeping your word, proven commodities she lacks.
Not to mention that SHE won't have to pay for it, right?
Kinda looking like she needs to "reframe" her thinking about being in politics.
I concluded my conversation with her by asking where we’ll be five years from now.
“We should be on our way to construction.”
Let’s hope so.Let's hope NOT.
God how I loathe either people or politicians who screw us at no cost to themselves and no responsibility or accountability to those they would govern. Rivers, likely, would claim that such is what elections are for. But when she loses her next election, will that, in any way, stop this monstrosity from being built?
How many billions of our dollars is this fake Republican willing to waste? Why does she want to hurt her constituency so badly? What is behind the kidnapping of the conservative we first elected, only to replace her with this rabid RINO sellout sees, hears and speaks nothing reflective of the constituency that put her in the senate?
Where's Liz Pike when you need her?