Friday, February 27, 2009

Democrats in Olympia are paralyzed with fear: apparently they see the future... and it's 1994.

I may have misspoken when I brought out the comparison between 1994 and the upcoming wholesale political slaughter that will be taking place in 2010.

Clearly, the inaction from Olympia is a result of the political paralysis currently suffered as a result of the institutional memory of the Massacre of 1994.

For those who don't know, here, locally, the makeup of the Clark County delegation switched from 8 democrats and 1 Republican to 6 Republicans and 3 democrats.

In one election.

Republicans took control not unlike democrats have it now... but the switch wasn't gradual... it was catastrophic for the democrats with Republicans taking roughly 63 seats in the House and around 28 seats in the Senate.

There are clearly enough democrats still around in the House and Senate from those days that they haven't completely forgotten what that was like... and their inaction goes to the appearance that the institutional knowledge of the caucus shows terror on the part of the left as they struggle with an $8.3 billion deficit brought about by their fiscal mismanagement.

Well, imagine my surprise when a member of the MSM, Joe Turner of the Tacoma News Tribune just FLAYED the democrats for their inaction... and their idea of using the MSM as extensions of the caucuses to help the left ram though massive tax increases; sheer idiocy any time but off the chart stupidity when executed during a massive recession.

I have mentioned in the past that the MSM has been totally in the tank for the left. Many of them make no bones about it. But Turner's blown his cork on this, and it's a thing of beauty.

The News Tribune / Tacoma, WA

Friday, February 27th, 2009
Posted by Joe Turner @ 12:13:04 pm

Almost every week, House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, meet with statehouse reporters for about 45 minutes on Thursdays. Chopp at 2 p.m.; Brown, in a separate meeting, at 3:30 p.m.

This week, Chopp was mildly complaining that we in the Press Corps have not given House Democrats enough credit for what they've accomplished so far this session. And I respectfully disagreed. We have given them way too much credit. In fact, in hindsight, I can't believe how much "ink" they got for doing so little on the budget front. They passed a couple bills that cut state spending by about $300 million and spend about $330 million of federal money (instead of state money) from the economic stimulus money they're getting from Congress.

That doesn't address even 1/10th of the $8 billion budget deficit they are facing. And Monday will be Day 50, almost halfway through the scheduled 105-day session. (Yes, it may run longer, Chopp's protestations notwithstanding.)

More noteworthy, the Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate told state agencies, basically, to ignore the cuts that Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed in her budget in mid-December and keep on spending money in many areas.

By my count they've done 3 substantive things that address our deepening recession, so far:


City of Portland stonewalls on Sam "If you're 18, you can get an" Adams case: to charge $1.5 MILLION on records request.

Pure, unadulterated, corruption.

It's this kind of despicable behavior of lies and deceit that got close-to-pedophile Sam Adams into hot water in the first place.

The local ABC affiliate, KATU TV has documented where the City of Portland has demanded $1.5 MILLION dollars to respond to KATU's public record request.

Here's the article on their website. Even if Adams hadn't been a lying scumbag over his sexual activities with a teenager, that he would countenance this kind of usurious charge for public records is reason enough to kick his lying ass out of office as it is.

Related Content
Complete coverage of the Sam Adams scandal
Story Published: Feb 25, 2009 at 9:20 PM PST
Story Updated: Feb 25, 2009 at 9:26 PM PST

$1.5 million for Adams' public records? Huh?
By Thom Jensen KATU News and Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - In Oregon, public records are open to everyone and in many cases are free.

Oregon's public record laws are supposed to be some of the most open in the country. The costs have to be reasonable and should be waived when there is a great public interest in the documents. _______________________________________________________________

So when KATU received a quote of $1.5 million from the city to pull public records from Mayor Sam Adams' office, you can imagine the sticker shock.

It all started weeks ago when the mayor issued a public apology over the scandal involving his relationship with a young intern. During the press conference, KATU requested Adams' phone, calendar and e-mail records from the spring of 2005, when the then city commissioner was developing a relationship with 17-year-old Beau Breedlove.

"I think the Willamette Week and the Oregonian have asked for those already, so they're around already," Adams said.


Leavitt blows it again on the bridge: "feeling our pain" ain't good enough.

There's the subtle hint of testosterone filling the political room as the young bull prepares to take on the old bull.

At the end of the day, Vancouver is a slow-motion train wreck for a variety of reasons, most of which I will avoid discussing for now, because none of them come close to the negative impacts of the biggest waste of money in the history of the Northwest.

The chief crime the City is committing against this community is their moronic insistence on wasting $4 Billion on a bridge replacement we do not need, all for the purpose of installing a light rail system we do not want.

As a part of that, this process will enslave a minimum of 60,000 commuters (although Mr. Leavitt uses the figure of 65,000) to the tune of at least $100 per month... $1200 per year... $72,000,000 per year in the aggregate.

And folks, that is $72,000,000 that will be sucked out of our economy. That is $72,000,000 that will take food out of the mouths of our children; it will take clothes off their backs; it's going to make life, particularly for our lower income commuters, just that much more difficult.

So, what we have here is a tax on top of the horrific Oregon state income tax, demanded by a large group of people who hypocritically will not have to pay it.

The hypocrisy of this position is overarching. It dwarfs any other aspect of local government, because the imposition of this tax on a people that do not want, need or have been queried as to THEIR desire indicates that governmental arrogance is the order of the day. It also shows beyond any doubt that this is just the first in a series of projects we're going to have to pay for that government is doing everything it can to implement without our permission... because, after all, if they can do this now, there's no limit to the totalitarian projects they can ram down our throat and force us to pay for. After all, we're just the people... what do we know?

I have been hammering the City and Mr. Leavitt like a nail over this issue. I haven't been saying much about Pollard, who is the chief criminal in this enterprise; not because I don't think he should be immediately removed from office for his selfish and unjustifiable efforts because the more simple elements of government, such as "implementing the will of the people" seem to be concepts simply beyond his ability to grasp. I haven't been saying much about Pollard because chances of reforming Pollard are about as likely as reforming Eichman. And that ain't happening.

Based on Mr. Leavitt's response to the fantasy that was Pollard's "state of the city," there are differences between the two. But in comparison on the most important position either could take, there's not a dime's worth of difference between them.

If there is any difference, it is limited to efforts to provide a political portrayal of difference, with nothing in substance.

That is, Pollard is a supremely arrogant clown who sees himself as politically bullet-proof. Thus, he makes no bones about his demand to shackle our local economy and enslave a huge segment of our working public with onerous tolls for a colossal waste of billions of dollars. To his credit, Pollard is out front on his idiocy; he polishes it, shines with it, revels in his utter stupidity and criminal neglect of the will of the people.

Leavitt is much more subtle about it, but unfortunately for him, the outcome is the same because he will not take the simple step of demanding a county-wide vote on the project before we go forward and waste any more than the ten's of millions we've already vaporized on this effort.

The problem for Tim is that, at the end, his position is then SAME as Pollards. And when positions are the SAME, the incumbent almost always wins.

Here's the entirety of Leavitt's take as written in his response to Ceaser Pollard's Fantasy Island speech, so that there is no question concerning context. Read it... and form your own opinion:

"At the regional level, we are faced with both opportunity and challenge in a new Columbia River Crossing. Let me be perfectly clear, I am fully supportive of improving the safety and commute for our citizens and businesses by replacing the antiquated bridge, reconstructing safe interchanges and providing adequate merging lanes, and the limited extension of light rail transit into downtown Vancouver. However, on specifics of this matter, the current Mayor and I have sharply different views. He promises there will be tolls. I am gravely concerned about the burdensome effect of tolls on Clark County commuters, hard-working men and women already paying an Oregon State income tax, and on our local employers who must conduct commerce across the river as a regular partof their business. While tolling will encourage some to commute via public transit, carpooling or other options, the reality is that this fee will be an additional financial burden on the 65,000 daily commuters from Vancouver and Clark County. Ladies and gentlemen, I view tolls even for consideration only if and[sic] adequately-sized bridge design is moved forward, only after all other potential sources of federal, state, and local funding have been exhausted, and only as a measure of absolute last resort."
As I pointed out in the title, this effort at "feeling our pain" isn't nearly good enough.

The weakness in this style over substance self-flatulation is that first, Tim does not define "adequately sized bridge" which, of course, means it could be anything. Secondly, this means that Tim WILL advocate tolls. And he WILL advocate tolls without asking us.

It COULD have been with just a few simple words... words that could have actually won Mr. Leavitt the mayorship of the city of Vancouver... words left out that no amount of money will overcome. I'll rewrite the section as to what would make Tim Leavitt the next mayor of Vancouver, instead of relegating him to political obscurity over what might have been.

What Leavitt wrote:
"...While tolling will encourage some to commute via public transit, carpooling or other options, the reality is that this fee will be an additional financial burden on the 65,000 daily commuters from Vancouver and Clark County. Ladies and gentlemen, I view tolls even for consideration only if and[sic] adequately-sized bridge design is moved forward, only after all other potential sources of federal, state, and local funding have been exhausted, and only as a measure of absolute last resort."
Here is what Leavitt SHOULD have written.
While tolling MIGHT encourage some to commute via public transit, carpooling or other options, the reality is that this fee will be an additional financial burden on the 65,000 daily commuters from Vancouver and Clark County. Ladies and gentlemen, I view tolls even for consideration if only if this entire question is put to a countywide vote.

Government has a role in the lives of the people of our community. But that role does not include ignoring the concerns and desires of those we would govern in the name of some inate superiority or political arrogance. We are faced with the possibility of building the largest public works project in the history of the northwestern United States in terms of cost. Ultimately, our community generally and those 65,000 commuters specifically will be expected to pay for it.

We must not move forward with this project without discerning the public will to pay for this project. We must not move forward without determining if the public wants this project. We must not move forward without determining if the public, who has once before overwhelmingly rejected light rail, has undergone a change of heart and would now support it.

As an elected leader of our community, my job, in part, is to reflect the desires of the community which elected me. My positions will not be determined by special interests, like those who have set the agenda for my opponent. My positions will not be determined by ego or arrogance, the type of ego and arrogance that has led us to a situation where those supporting this project so rabidly turn a deaf ear to the cries of pain the implementation of this effort will inflict.

And make no mistake, it will inflict pain. Taking $72,000,000 or more out of our economy every year will inflict paid on our families. Taking $72,000,000 or more out of our economy every year will inflict pain on our retail sector. And taking $72,000,000 or more our of our economy will cut revenues at every level because, ladies and gentlemen, neither city nor county coffers will see one dime of that money for use in our general funds.

My opponent and his supporters show monumental arrogance to believe that their wisdom somehow supercedes that of the people. It does not. And as a result, the least we can do is to give voice to the people; to seek out and listen to their opinions and then to apply the highest value to that opinion, expressed in that time-honored American way... the ballot box.

And I will accept no other outcome when it comes to the voice of the people on this issue.

In the past, I have been a major supporter of replacing our current bridge and bringing light rail into our community. I will continue on in that regard, but I relaize that my continued support must be tempered by the wishes of those we would govern.

YOU are the reason I am here. And with a project of this magnatude, when other options are available, to ignore YOU, or silence YOU is simply unacceptable and a concept with which I will not abide.

Is this much longer? You bet. But the very fact that Mr. Leavitt spent so little time and effort on this, the most important transportation issue in Southwest Washington, if that clown Pollard is to be believed, means that much more time SHOULD have been spent discussing this issue.

You heard it here first: Tim Leavitt will lose. His failure to seperate himself from Pollard on issues that really matter; his inability to reach our beyond city borders for campaign funding, the fact that when given the choice between a candidate and an incumbent, the people must be angered or otherwise motivated to remove that incumbent... all of those facftors doom his candidacy.

And that's too bad. He could have been a contender.

“The Real” State of the City 2009

City of Vancouver

Vancouver City Councilmember & Mayoral Candidate

Tim Leavitt

“A New Chapter”

Times are tough right now. As a nation, we face one of the bleakest economic periods in decades. Right here in Vancouver, our local businesses are closing up shop; large employers are laying-off by the hundreds; and our cities, schools and libraries are struggling to provide services.

But the citizens of Vancouver aren’t the kind of people who look at a tough time, throw their hands in the air and walk away. Ours is a community that traditionally faces challenges head-on, that recognizes the importance of each and every citizen, and that understands we live in a fast-paced, modern world. Past mayors like Albert Angelo Sr., Jim Justin, Bruce Hagensen have contributed tremendously to our progress. And Royce Pollard’s passion and consummate cheerleading is unparalleled. These chapters in our history are well documented. Now, it is crucial that we begin a new era, revitalize City Hall and start a new chapter for our community; we know that what may have worked over the past 20 years just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Vancouver ends the first decade of this 21st Century facing a new array of challenges. We are the fourth largest city in the state of Washington, a diverse and dynamic community of nearly 165,000. But to maintain that vitality, to propel us through this troubled time and into a prosperous future, we can’t simply rely on what has always been. The political landscape around us has shifted. Vancouver’s mayoral leadership must adjust also. Quite simply, it is time to refresh the leadership at City Hall, it’s time to restore stability in local government, and it’s time to raise expectations about how City Hall serves our community.

More: (PDF file)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the lighter side: You've heard about him, you've read about him, now here he is!

Meet Army Captain Obvious!

On the issue of showing the coffins: Respecting our Fallen or providing a reminder

As the reader can see, Blackfive is one of the blogs I follow. Today, he had a few hundred well-chosen words on the issue of pictures of flag-draped coffins at Dover AFB among other places.

There is no way I could improve upon his sentiments. I reproduce, in part, the some of the many well-expressed views that exactly mirror my own.

Thanks Matt, for all you do, and all you've done.


Respecting our Fallen or providing a reminder

Posted By Blackfive

Mr. Wolf's post sums up my feelings about the change in policy in media taking photographs of our fallen at Dover. IAVA's Paul Reickhoff issued this statement about it:

“Less than 1% of the American population has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. There has never been a greater disconnect between those who serve in harms warm and those back home. All too often, the sacrifices of our military are hidden from view. The sight of flag-draped coffins is, and should be, a sobering reminder to all Americans of the ultimate sacrifice our troops have made and the high price of our freedom,” said IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff.

I understand some of what Paul is saying - that Americans are not connected to this war. After all, that's what great about Taking Chance (the story or the movie). It shows the connections that are there even when we think they aren't.

What I believe on this matter is that the soldiers are not being represented. I have lost three of the best men I could have as friends. Their families' inconsolable grief is something that I would want to ease. If having a photo of their son's casket, treated with dignity, would ease their grief or concerns, I can see Secretary Gates' position. From Reuters:

...President Barack Obama asked for a policy review early this month and Gates said that drew a call for change from the U.S. Army, which represents the largest portion of war dead.

"My conclusion was that we should not presume to make the decision for the families," Gates said.

"I believe that the American people would defer to the wishes of the families of the fallen," he added. "That's where I would wager a lot of money."...


Brian Baird screws us again: Votes "yes" on Obama's moronic, 9000 earmark budget.

Earlier, Brian Baird, democrat Congressman in the 3rd District here in Washington, moronically voted yes since he had his testes removed after his trip to Iraq, when he voted for the trillion dollar porkulus package.

Today, he voted for the insidious, 9000 earmark House budget. And here's our deficit chart:

I'm sure he'll be sending our another blast email explaining this idiocy, and I'm sure the Pravda Columbian will do what they always do, which is to give him a pass.

In 2010, the democrat party is facing unprecedented destruction. If the GOP has a clue, they're already out recruiting.

But no one would be more stunned then I am if they could do that.

Pork Protest at the Court House.

Hello, this is Laine Johnson

I am organizing a Vancouver, Washington Pork Protest at the Clark County Courthouse lawn for Saturday, April 18th from 11am to 1pm.

We are already listed as a Tea Party event on the pjtv site, and Victoria Taft interviewed me last night during her show.

Will you help me publicize this event? I am coordinating everything through the Facebook site: Vancouver Washington Pork Protest.Thanks,Laine Johnson, PresidentFreedom's Flame"I will take my country back!http://www.freedomsflame.orginfo@freedomsflame.org

A ship is safe in a harbor. But a harbor is not what a ship is for."

A series of youtube videos by Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard on Portland's own Mayor Sam "If you're 18 in PDX, you can get an" Adams.

These, of course, are from the pre-possibly pedophile days before Sam Adams was outed as having had a sexual relationship that he'd repeatedly denied with a possibly-as-young-as-17-year-old boy.

They're a series of videos by Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard with Sam Adams as the subject.

Not particularly work friendly...

Tip o'the hat to Victoria Taft, one of the few of Portland Radio's outspoken conservative talk show hosts... and yes, she IS all that.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So a City of Portland Employee Was So Shocked...

about these videos here and here and here and here and here and here and thought I should see them. Sad. I'd seen them before but I keep forgetting others haven't. Kids, these aren't for you. They're videos featuring your city 'leaders,' but they're unfit for most people to watch.

Craig Williams - Ending his own political career.

Craig Williams is proof that arrogant, blithering idiots exist in both parties. And, unfortunately he has joined the "Legion of Liars" that support this debacle.

I, for one, am heartily sick of the downtown mafia types who believe their judgement is somehow superior to those they would govern.

Williams, abysmally failed county commissioner candidate, best known for idiotically confirming that Tom Mielke "will lose" the general election for county commissioner (Commissioner Mielke occasionally disappoints in that regard) supports the complete, unjustifiable, unnecessary and unneeded I-5 Bridge replacement, a project that will blow a $4 BILLION hole in transportation funding along with the moronic, how many times do we have to say "NO!" loot rail.

Williams, who claims to be a Republican but has yet to show any adherence to Republican principles, is cut from the mold of "Rex superious," that typically supports the idiocy of corrupt leaders like those doing everything they can to ram this project down this county's throat. He's been busily firing nails into his political coffin, and whenever he does, I'll be there to blog it so succeeding generations may see what a jerk he actually is.

He opposes a vote, does not want to hear from the 60,000 commuters that he would want to nail with a $1200 yearly tax, in addition to the many other taxes commuters have to pay; sucking that estimated $72,000,000 yearly out of our local economy as if that ripple effect will not be felt across the entire retail spectrum.

My suggestion to Mr. Williams is this: If you're going to think, act, exhibit arrogance and ignore the people like Jim Moeller, you would be best served to join his party. As for me, you've joined my short list of political opponents that I will pay money and put personal effort into defeating... no matter what or where you run for office.


These comments are from the lovefest between Sam Adams and Royce Pollard, two political menaces that the koolaid drinkers of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Portland and Vancouver, regularly re-elect.

I will quote Williams; tear his idiocy to shreds, and then let the reader decide.

by Craig Williams : 2/25/09 7:35am - Report AbuseI applaud all the difficult work that the commission has done toward this much needed replacement for the current I-5 bridge.

So, Williams applauds this colossal waste of 10's of millions of dollars for a completely unneeded replacement of a perfectly serviceable and functional bridge with a preordained study that only had one "acceptable" outcome? A replacement that will suck out transportation dollars for decades from projects that actually DO need work? One wonders why he's doing this. Is he just kissing ass for a job down the road, so to speak?

It requires a very thick skin to work through all the naysayers who ignore the basic financial reality that we are spending more in congestion at the bridge each year than the mortgage on a new bridge will cost, or those who say that we must do X before Y, but only if Y gets done before X.

Clearly, Williams' ability to manipulate figures into whatever he wants them to be is only exceeded by his political abilities. In short, he has become a classic case of figures that don't lie, but liars that do figure.

We need to address many traffic issues and this is an overdue good start. Once plans for the bridge are solidified, it will be easier to focus on other needed I-5 improvements. Portland is currently working on some of the I-5 Delta Park problems so we need to stop being so negative.

It requires complete self-delusion to ignore the basic financial reality of imposing a $1200 per year tax on commuters just so they can go to work. It requires complete idiocy to ignore the experts who tell us that soon after the bridge is completed, it will have made no difference. It requires an unbelievable level of arrogance to suggest that the judgment of the few somehow is superior to the judgment of the many. It require unbelievably large blinders to believe that Oregon's efforts in Delta Park will mean anything to the issues of freight mobility or congestion.

In short, to share Williams' attitude and positions on this matter requires you to be a fan of totalitarian government.

John, I understand your desire for a new bridge but there is no political or engineering support for the idea. It has been looked at and the conclusions have been against the idea each time.

Here, Williams is just a flat-out liar. First, it's clear that he "understands" NOTHING. To suggest that there is "no political support" for a third bridge when Commissioner Mielke was elected on a third bridge platform is just more of the self-serving garbage that bridge proponents typically use.

Again, Williams political ignorance is so great, that he stupidly overlooks the fact that their was only ever going to be ONE outcome from the people MAKING the "conclusions," no matter WHAT the FACTS say.

The outcome from all of these studies was pre-ordained by the downtown Mafia. We have wasted 10's of millions of dollars to reach a point where anyone with a brain in their head (except, it would seem, Mr. Williams) KNEW we would wind up from the getgo.

Engineering "Conclusions" that are based on politics are worthless. Much like, come to think of it, the idea that a 3rd Bridge should be ignored is worthless.

Even if there was some support it would be almost impossible to get all the permits needed to put in a third bridge. It will be hard enough to satisfy all the relevant permit criteria with a replacement bridge.

Bullshit. In Williams twisted world, if we can't get permits to do the right thing, we should get permits to do the wrong thing.

Words fail me in describing the depth of the idiocy of a mind that could possibly conclude that "permits" should determine this bridging issue.

In light of this why keep pushing for it?

When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it?

Because it is the right thing to do, Mr. Williams. Because until this horrific waste of money is built, there's always hope that the corruption you represent and embrace will somehow be defeated and government will, for once, do the RIGHT thing.

Since you asked.

You ARE familiar with the difference between RIGHT and WRONG, aren't you?

For practical reasons you gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Maybe someday, but it isn't going to happen now so why not work together on this bridge and make it the best we can.

If our massive opposition to this project is so inconsequential, then what the hell difference does it make WHAT we do?

The majority of the 60,000 people you would screw with a multi-hundred dollar a year tax for your little project will not agree with your Nazi-like persuasion.

by Craig Williams : 2/25/09 9:44am - Report AbuseTerm, Dee - we did vote on it, we elected our leaders in fair elections.

See, Craig... this is why you ain't gonna get elected dog catcher around here.

If it was as simplistic as all that, then we wouldn't have the need or the right to vote on ANY tax increase or bond or levy. After all, in your bizarro world, our elected officials should just make all those decisions for us, and we should just keep our mouths shut.

That YOU would FORCE 60,000 people to pay over $1000 per year just to go to work without asking them makes you a dangerous man. Your "faith" that government always gets it right and that ignoring the people in this matter is the best way to go makes you an idiot.

That we elected a bunch of morons ramming a bridge down our throats who lack the guts to ask us what WE want isn't excused by the fact that we elected them. The Germans elected Hitler as well... are you one of those who would go along with his program?

You gutless worms need to ASK us. They won't, because they already know the answer. And unelecting them will not fix this $4 BILLION waste of money... but it will keep you from ever getting elected to anything.

by Craig Williams : 2/25/09 1:49pm - Report AbuseBob, the whole point is that we won't be saving any money by not building the bridge.

So... by not spending $4 billion... by not tasking the commuters with $72,000,000 in tolls... we WON'T BE SAVING ANYTHING??????????????

You need a keeper. You are so completely moronic that you clearly are incapable of handling your own affairs. You need to seek help, Williams... you really do.

The current yearly congestion costs exceed the yearly cost of building the bridge. By doing nothing, we end up paying more! Is that really your goal - to cost the taxpayers more?

What a colossal scumbag.

You are a total liar, and your lies will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.

If this is, in fact, the case (and people a hell of a lot smarter than you say IT ISN'T) then why is your ilk so terrified of asking us?
"Planners and elected officials who back the project are aware of the shortcomings, but say it's better than doing nothing."
Are YOU REALLY interested in screwing the taxpayers for something that WILL NOT DO WHAT YOUR LIES TELL US IT WILL DO?

Of course you are. Because arrogant scum like you are not about to let facts interfere with conclusions.

Here is a real estate analogy: If you are paying $1500/month in rent for an old, outdated, and unsafe home, but the payment on a bigger, brand-new home would only be $1250, most of us would choose to build a new home.

More of William's typically self-delusional garbage.

He starts with a lying premise (That the bridge, while old, is apparently unserviceable; that it is unsafe, and that we have to pay MORE for an already existing bridge then we would for the massive waste of money that a replacement bridge in a saturated I-5 corridor) and then ends with yet another lie: that we would actually pay LESS to use a NEW bridge where at least $100 per month will be vacuumed out of our pockets to use it, in addition to all of the other taxes and fees we pay.

And, of course, the fact is that it would be MUCH cheaper to pay for the needed repairs on the house we ALREADY have, then to build a new one in the same place, particularly when building another one somewhere else would be MUCH cheaper, and result in DOUBLING our living space.

Clearly, to be a fringe-leftist like Williams is to ignore common sense and reality.

Many of the people who are most adamant against a new I-5 bridge are missing this critically important detail.

Another lie. This crap is neither critical, important, OR a detail. In fact, it is completely irrelevant.

They won't "save" the taxpayers any money, they will only condemn them to paying increasing congestion costs at the I-5 bridge bottleneck.

So, Williams, if your position is so persuasive, then why don't you and your fellow clowns put all this to a vote?



Were paying excessive rent on an old, outdated, unsafe bridge. It saves more money and makes better financial sense (even when you include possible tolls) to build a new bridge and we need to plan now to have it done by 2020.

No... we don't.

Somebody else has taken this position before: the President.

He's slammed us with an entire mountain range of debt; debt that we'll be paying for untold generations... and he did so even after the Congressional Budget Office concluded that to do so would actually hurt our economic recovery, yet economic recovery was the excuse he used for doing it.

Here, the experts have concluded that replacing this three-through lane bridge with another three-through lane bridge will make absolutely no difference.

One wonders: Is Williams unaware of this fact? Or like most of the downtown Mafia, does he just not give a damn?

by Craig Williams : 2/26/09 6:26am - Report AbusePaul, I have no personal stake other than to cross a safe bridge that is not a bottleneck going both directions.

And this is the most rank hypocrisy of all.

Williams, apparently, works in Vancouver. So he is working hard to impose a cost on US that HE doesn't have to pay! But then, the vast majority of those who would impose this $1200 or more tax on us won't have to pay a dime!

During the race for county commissioner I researched the numbers. I took the total congestion hours that the bridge was estimated to reduce and calculated the congestion costs associated with those hours. Then I took the estimated cost of the proposed 12 lane bridge with light rail and calculated the yearly payment over a 30-year term. No smoke or mirrors, the congestion costs associated with the current I-5 bridge are nearly $100 million more per year than the yearly payment on a new $4.5B bridge. The facts dictate my view on the subject.

Since no such facts exist, it's certainly not facts" that have led you into desiring to screw us.


Please, please, PLEASE, Mr. Williams. Keep shilling for the downtown Mafia. Keep ignoring the demands of the people of this county that we get to vote. Keep ignoring the please of the commuters that YOU would task to pay for this unneeded and unwanted mess.

That will make my efforts to torpedo any candidacy you EVER engage in so much easier.

Every post, every statement you've ever made about this, REEKING with hypocrisy (because YOU won't have to pay for this) and arrogance (Because you oppose a vote on all of this crap.)

Good luck with your local political future, and thanks for helping to keep me politically active.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Early take on the Cowlitz headshot: What does it all mean, and does it undo all of the land that WAS taken into trust?

As the ramifications continue to make themselves known, I pause to wonder: What impacts will now be felt by all of the many tribes, recently recognized, who then opened up casinos?

As we peel this political onion, a series of new questions arise: if taking land into trust for tribes recognized after enactment of the 1934 Act is not allowed.... then what about all of those areas where land WAS taken into trust in violation of that law? Will all of those efforts be declared null and void? Will the "sovereignty" of those lands suddenly be questioned? Will the commercial enterprises, including casinos, now all come under state and local regulation and law, since they are arguably no longer "sovereign?"

Tribes are talking about taking this to Congress. What can Congress do, Constitutionally, to "fix" this?

Article One, Section 9 prohibits "ex post facto law."

An ex post facto law or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.

Does that mean that even if Tribes do buy the needed changes in Congress, that such changes will require Tribes to undergo approval AGAIN?

In a case like this, it seems not altogether likely that Congress might wave a magic wand and just reverse all of this.

Can states act on their own to preserve at least a version of "commercial sovereignty?"

It's fairly clear that Tribes own our governor. Will she view this as an opportunity? Are the tribal compacts now void?

In Washington State, race-based commericial enterprise advantages are prohibited by the enactment of I-200, the initiative that eliminated race-based preferences in government.

How can, for example, this state extend the ability of tribes to engage in casino gambling without extending the same privlege to everyone else?

These are just a few of the many questions that either no doubt have, or no doubt will be discussed in the near future.

Interesting times, these.

Excerpts from around the country:

<span class=

It remains unclear how many tribes could be affected by Tuesday's ruling, but Richard Guest, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, said it could be dozens. Lawyers for Rhode Island believe several hundred tribes recognized after 1934 might now be unable to place new land into a federal trust without specific permission from Congress.

In neighboring Massachusetts, the Supreme Court ruling effectively blocks an effort by the newly recognized Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to open a casino in Middleborough under a federal law that permits tribes to enter the gaming business, said attorney Dennis Whittlesey, who helped town officials negotiate a deal with the tribe on gambling.

Whittlesey said Congress could still amend the disputed statute for the benefit of tribes like the Mashpee Wampanoag and Narragansett.

01:00 AM EST on Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By Paul Grimaldi

Journal Staff Writer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday dealt a blow to the tribe seeking to build a casino in Southeastern Massachusetts, forcing it to seek congressional help with plans for a gambling venue near the Rhode Island line.

“It’s really absurd that the policy of the U.S. government would be to recognize the sovereignty of native tribes but not allow those native tribes to take land into trust,” said Cedric Cromwell, Mashpee Wampanoag tribal chairman. “It’s all a part of sovereignty.”

Cromwell said he will write to members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation asking them to intervene on the tribe’s behalf.

“We look for the Congress to correct what the court could not,” he said.

The Wampanoags won federal recognition in 2007, seemingly giving them the right to operate a casino. Their intent was to open an entertainment destination of slot machines, table games, a hotel, golf courses and other attractions by next year in Middleboro, about 30 miles from Providence.

The casino would be similar to the complexes in Connecticut run by the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes and be a direct threat to the two slot parlors that provide Rhode Island with millions in gambling revenues.

Feather News

Independent News For Mohegans and By Mohegans

Responding to today's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal said that no more land will be taken into trust as reservation land for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes.

Blumenthal called the decision "historic" and will bring to an end the ability of the state's two federally recognized Indian tribes to have land "taken off the tax rolls."

Once the United States takes land into trust for Indian tribes, the land cannot be taxed.

The Mashantucket Pequot Nation, however, said the Supreme Court decision doesn't affect them.

The Mohegan Tribe has not yet reached the 700-acre limit (not including the Fort Shantok property) the Tribe was guaranteed upon its settlement agreement.

Currently, the Tribe's Reservation includes the 158-acre Fort Shantok property and about 350 acres of other property. The Tribe submitted an application last September requesting the federal government to add 49.75 acres to the Reservation.

Included in the 49.75 acre application are: 1) the Tantaquidgeon Museum and adjacent property upon which is the imprint of Harold Tantaquidgeon's longhouse, 2) six parcels that include or are near the former Trading Cove Pizza property, which is largely now a parking lot, and 3) five properties on Broadview Avenue. All but one of the 16 parcels are currently owned by the Tribe.

Including Fort Shantok, the Mohegan Tribe's Reservation is 508 acres. This does not include the 49.75 acres in the application or other land owned by the Tribe but not held in trust, such as the Cochegan Rock property and the Shantok Apartment complex on Sunny Hill Drive in Uncasville.


These represent some of the early responses to this landmark, common sense decision. In one fell swoop, The Supreme Court accomplished more to return sanity to the utterly nonsensical idea that an individual possessed of tribal membership by the accident of 1/32nd blood, or tribal membership by administrative fiat and NO tribal blood, can somehow find ways to usurp state and local authority.

Make no mistake: this is a huge stick in the spokes of those who would do their best to turn this county into an economic black hole.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hopefully, the Silver Bullet has been fired: Supreme Court ruling raises questions about Cowlitz casino

The massive and damaging Barnett/Paskenta/Mohegan/Cowlitz megacasino would be a crushing financial and social blow to Clark County were ever to get approved.

The Cowlitz Tribe no more has a presence here then the fact that I drove through Orange County once gives me historical ties.

So the announcement that the US Supreme Court has narrowed application of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act to tribes recognized at the time of passage comes as a pleasant surprise and a vicious blow to the few special interests interested in sucking our local economy dry.

The article speaks for itself. And contrary to avowed tribal supporters perspectives, I cheerfully disagree with their statement that this is not a probable "silver bullet."

Though Daniel Kearns, who has been fronting for LaCenter Mayor Jim Irish, avowed casino supporter tells us:
he had not read the decision, but suspects it will not be a “silver bullet” for casino foes because the tribe could argue it has been restored to federal recognition.
that has no application here, since the language of the decision indicates:
"Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion that the law “unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction” when it was enacted."
That the Cowlitz came under federal jurisdiction 68 years later means they, and many other corporate tribes, are out of luck.

And thank God for it. To those of you who've wasted millions attempting to ram this garbage down our throats... my condolences.

Back to the drawing board, guys.

Supreme Court ruling raises questions about Cowlitz casino
Court limits federal ability to hold land in trust for tribes

Tuesday, February 24 | 11:57 a.m.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the federal government’s authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes, a victory for Rhode Island and other states seeking to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands.

The court’s ruling applies to tribes recognized by the federal government after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.

The U.S. government argued that the law allows it to take land into trust for tribes regardless of when they were recognized, but Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion that the law “unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction” when it was enacted.

The implications of Tuesday’s ruling for the proposed Cowlitz casino west of La Center were not immediately clear.

The federal government formally recognized the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in January 2002, some 68 years after passage of the Indian Reorganization Act.

Phil Harju, the tribe’s vice chairman and casino spokesman, said he and others were digesting the opinion and might have a statement later Tuesday.

Dan Kearns, La Center city attorney, said he had not read the decision, but suspects it will not be a “silver bullet” for casino foes because the tribe could argue it has been restored to federal recognition.

Tuesday’s ruling involves the Rhode Island-based Narragansett Indian Tribe and a 31-acre tract of land that the tribe purchased in rural Charlestown, about 40 miles south of Providence.

At issue was whether the land should be subject to state law, including a prohibition on casino gambling, or whether the parcel should be governed by tribal and federal law.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Governor "Last October we were operating in a surplus that didn't exist" Gregoire: We'll take stimulus money

Recently, leftists and many in the media (Sorry, my bad... since the terms are interchangeable.) are attacking GOP governors with enough sense to at least question, if not refuse, some or all of the income redistribution that President Obama is so thrilled about; that the Congressional Budget Office says will harm our economy... because of an inescapable fact:
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter was less optimistic. Otter, a Republican, has agreed to accept the stimulus money, but said he was concerned about expanding programs that could boost his state's costs in the future when the federal dollars disappear.
Leftists in government are addicted to money. Like any hardcore junkie, democrats have no ability to look into the future.

From the president on down, democrats in government are genetically incapable of asking, or genetically incapable of caring about "what happens next?"

At some point, the money our grateful fiscal junkies are stealing from us will end. At some point, the Federal cow will dry up.

And then what?

Governor Gregoire, mouthing the DNC talking points that all shortsighted democrat governors are telling us, blathers thus:
"I'll not only accept all the dollars coming to Washington state, but any governor who wants to reject the dollars, send 'em my way," Gregoire said Monday after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

There's nothing in her quote... nothing in her mindless, short-sighted babble; that answers the question.

In the end, the hundreds of billions of dollars moronically stolen from us for this bizarre political payback/indebtedness program will stop... and who is going to pay for all the programs... the hope... the jobs... then?

Thanks a lot, governor. Just don't come to me for your next fix.

Gregoire: We'll take stimulus money
Monday, February 23 3:51 p.m.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. (File/The Columbian)

While some of her Republican colleagues try to decide whether to accept federal stimulus money, Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington state says her mind is already made up.

"I'll not only accept all the dollars coming to Washington state, but any governor who wants to reject the dollars, send 'em my way," Gregoire said Monday after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

"We've got an economy that is struggling right now," Gregoire said. "These dollars represent hope. They represent jobs and services for people who can't take care of themselves. We're going to spend every dollar and we're going to do it wisely."

At Monday's meeting, Obama told the nation's governors that states could begin receiving money from the newly passed $787 billion economic stimulus program as soon as Wednesday.

Washington state could receive nearly $7 billion under the stimulus plan for projects ranging from transportation to food stamps to education. Oregon could get about $2 billion from the stimulus bill, Idaho and Alaska $1 billion each and more than $600 million for Montana. Much of the money will be designated for programs such as Medicaid and unemployment.

Obama warned against allowing politics to cloud discussion of the stimulus program and said governors must demonstrate that the stimulus money will be used to jump-start the ailing economy.

Message received, said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

"People call this a stimulus bill. This is a jobs bill," Schweitzer said. "It's going to put people to work."

Schweitzer, a Democrat, said the money could create or save as many as 11,000 jobs in Montana. The bill will be a huge boost for the Northwest energy sector, he added, noting that it includes billions of dollars for new transmission lines, coal gasification and weatherizing homes and businesses.


Once again, The Columbian leaves out the facts: Heywood to run for Vancouver council

So, we have an article, apparently written by press release, where former Columbian editorial page editor and current county democrat newsletter editor Michael Heywood announces that, once again, he's running for the city council.

Heywood, who agrees with everything of any substance that the downtown special interests generally and The Columbian specifically wants, has announced he's running against Jeannie Stewart; because, after all, everyone on the council has to go along with the program, whatever that might be.

Well, there's a few facts left out of this announcement that The Columbian declined to provide... so I think I'll fill in the gaps, so to speak.

Mike Heywood was fired from The Columbian for doing porn sites while he was at work at the newspaper.

The word of this came out way back in August of 2005. That the Clark County Democrats continued to support Heywood; continued to have him edit their county newsletter and continue to serve as the 49th District Democrat Legislative District Chair is a subject, perhaps, for another post... but all of those things are true.

That The Columbian announced Heywood's candidacy against a woman is not surprising and normally, I would let that go without comment.

That The Columbian would deliberately fail to mention Heywood's firing for pornography at work is yet another example of their selective memory, and their selective desire to present all of the facts.

It would be ONE thing if they didn't know this. However, since this guy worked for their newspaper, that is just the tiniest bit difficult to believe.

But is it surprising?


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Local News
Heywood to run for Vancouver council

Monday, February 23 8:13 a.m.

Mike Heywood, The Columbian’s former editorial page editor who spent 27 years working for the newspaper, intends to make a third bid for a seat on the Vancouver City Council.

"I’m running because I am interested in the community and seeing the most made of the possibilities," Heywood said. "I think my experience over the years, not only at The Columbian but in the Democratic Party, has suited me to be a good member of the deliberative body that sets policy."

Heywood, 69, said he is a strong supporter of the Columbia River Crossing project, which would replace the Interstate 5 Bridge, extend light rail to Clark College and improve freeway interchanges. He also backs redevelopment of the former Boise Cascade industrial site on the waterfront.

Mike Heywood will make third bid for Vancouver City Council

Heywood has run twice before, in 2003 and 2005. Each time, he failed to get past the primary and advance to the general election.

Heywood was candid when asked why his third run will be different.

"I don’t know it will be," he said. "I’ve been involved in Democratic politics. A lot of people who supported me before have encouraged me to try again."

Heywood said he intends to seek the seat held by Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart, who is entering her eighth year on the seven-member council.

"As I was four years ago, I am somewhat taken aback by her consistent view for the negative and the critical and even the skeptical," Heywood said.

Stewart hasn’t announced if she will seek a third term, except to say that she is "narrowing" her options and intends to run for a position this year.

"What I call myself is an informed optimistic, and I stand by that," she said. "And for people who love to be onboard and want to be a cheerleader, it is very easy for these people to say there is negativism."

Washington State of Morons:Washington sends $1 food stamp checks to 250,000

I apologize to the rest of the United States that we're even a part of this country.

That my state could not have found some other way to accomplish this goal is simply beyond disheartening.

The Seattle Times

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The state of Washington sent out $1 checks to the 250,000 food stamp recipients in the state.

The director of the Community Services Division for the Department of Social and Health Services, Leo Ribas, says the checks mailed Feb. 17 trigger an additional $43 million in federal food benefits. They also connect recipients to an energy assistance program.

Ribas says the $1 check is a one-time move to leverage the federal money. He says next year the state will be able to trigger the federal assistance through a routine deposit in food stamp accounts.

(with information from The Olympian).

Is it hypocrisy, or just ignorance? In our view Feb. 23: Washed Out, Wasted

I'm sure that whoever wrote today's editorial completely missed the dripping irony of the concerns expressed within.

The waste of around a half million dollars rightfully draws the ire of this newspaper. That much, at least, is understandable. But our democrat State Auditor, Brian Sonntag, has, identified the waste, the misspending and the outright theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.... BILLIONS of dollars... and it has been quite some time since I've read a peep out of this paper over that.

The irony for me is that this newspaper advocates the most colossal waste of money in the history of the United States, yet they complain about the relatively and astronomically more minor loss of a few hundred thousand.

Thus, the question: is the editorial staff of this paper so ignorant that they are unaware of the waste of this project? Exclusive of the idea that the people of Clark County do not want this project, and that those ramming it down our throats would dive into a boiling pool of hydrochloric acid before they would actually allow us to have a voice in this matter; could it be that this newspaper simply is unaware that this project is one of waste and pay offs?

Or is it that this newspaper simply doesn't care? For at least the past 15 years or so, this paper has been salivating at the thought of light rail. When the question was put to the people several years ago, this newspaper acted like it was a direct part of the campaign, then as now, avoiding any pretext of fairness in their presentation of facts, perspective and opposition.

One need go no further then the recent history of this newspaper when it came to the issue of increasing our gas tax. Again, this newspaper rabidly supported jacking our taxes up, and what has been the result? Well, in a nutshell, we're getting 80 cents on the dollar. Besides the fact that the statewide project list was cut by almost a third immediately after the vote, this county, which has desperate transportation needs, finds itself subsidizing other projects around the state.

This is the curse of the liberal position. In explaining what I believe to be the main difference between liberals and conservatives on fiscal matters, I've frequently stated that a liberal looks at a situation, sees a problem, and says "we have to fix that," while a conservative looks at a situation, sees a problem, and says "how do we pay for it?"

That is not to say that in this instance, I don't commend this particular editorial, because I do. It points out that Republican State Senator Joe Zarelli (R-18) "embraced a project that wasted public money, and he brushed off warnings by the state's own experts that the project was likely to fail."

I'm not sure, exactly, why this newspaper should express this particular concern over this project, since Sen. Zarelli merely mirrored the exact same type of process followed by our president.

Strange, isn't it? This paper holds Zarelli accountable for "...embrace(ing) a project that wasted public money, and he brushed off warnings by the state's own experts that the project was likely to fail."

Yet the President of the United States has done PRECISELY the same thing with hundreds of billions of dollars, and this paper didn't say a word. We're buried under an entire mountain range of debt, and we've arrived here for the precise same reasons, exactly the same way.

It also, finally, gets around to explaining that, like our entire Congress, democrat State Representative Deb Wallace, who is personally responsible for wasting 10's of millions on paying for planning an unneeded and unwanted I-5 Bridge replacement; voted for something she truly had no idea about.

Wallace, when confronted with this waste of money whined: ""In my mind, we were advocating for funding that would provide the fix. You're talking significant money, and why would you do something that's just a temporary fix?" Gee, Representative Wallace... that's a toughie. So, why did you do that? Why did you apparently vote for, and shill for, such a huge waste of money?

No... I can't fault the editorial for that. In fact, giving it this weeks' "Broken Clock Award," wherein much like a broken clock, the Columbian is right in spite of itself, I have to admit they're directly on target.

I do, however, question the focus on a few flowers when we're confronted with an entire National Forest of issues, waste and spending.

Cross posted on Columbian Commentaries.

In our view Feb. 23: Washed Out, Wasted
Advocacy groups, politicians, scientists must learn from failed East Fork project

Monday, February 23 6:00 a.m.

More than half a million taxpayer dollars washed down the East Fork of the Lewis River recently, wasted as a result of poor planning, and accelerated by the cruel hand of Mother Nature.

As Erik Robinson reported in Thursday's Columbian, last summer's project was designed to prevent further erosion of a cliff bank. For years, huge fir trees and valuable rural property have been dumped into the fickle stream. But three high-water events between November and January swept away the project and the hopes of its designers. Torrents took downstream $575,000 in public money that was secured largely through the efforts of state Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, and state Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver. Also lost to the rushing water was about $20,000 that property owners had committed to the project.

Even in the best of economic times, this kind of waste is unacceptable, and these are the worst of economic times. And even with the best of intentions — which motivated this project's advocates — painful lessons of such waste must be learned and heeded. There is much work to be done in saving the relatively pristine East Fork, the largest undammed river in Clark County. And when projects such as this one fail, the larger river-rescue effort suffers. When a system of large boulders and six rock-and-log cross veins cannot last more than a few months, a serious review and a fierce resolve must follow.

The chief advocate for the project was Fish First, heretofore an effective fish-recovery advocacy group that has performed yeoman's duty in numerous other endeavors. But this time, Fish First members should acknowledge that three scientists had criticized the group's broader strategy of refashioning seven miles of the lower river. The scientists' report noted: "All reviewers were uneasy over a plan that restricted the East Fork to a single thread channel that could reduce channel and habitat complexity."

Zarelli and Wallace are understandably frustrated by the project's failure. Zarelli, a ferocious fiscal watchdog, also said: "It would be a tragedy to sit and do nothing and watch that bank erode and erode and erode." The state senator also hinted that, although "I'm not a lawyer," there could have been legal ramifications if no action had been taken. Still, Zarelli embraced a project that wasted public money, and he brushed off warnings by the state's own experts that the project was likely to fail.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

And now, a few words to Clark County elected officials

Every elected official and many loot rail supporters have received this letter from Sen. Don Benton (R-17) who sits on the Senate Transportation Committee.



Dear Board Member,

I am writing to you today to ask that you reconsider your position, and that of your organization, and join the growing group of community leaders opposing the monumental waste of precious tax dollars proposed to bring a light rail line in to Clark County. I am writing to you specifically because in the past your organization has joined the Transportation Alliance to promote the Columbia River Crossing project as the top priority for the county. With all of the pressing transportation needs in Clark County I believe it is irresponsible to claim that the CRC project is the top priority for our county. Clark County Commissioners have recently refused to allow the county to join the alliance this year because of the absurdity of this position (making the CRC the top priority).

I believe that once people understand that unless the entire I-5 corridor (Wilsonville to Ridgefield) adds capacity (more lanes) it really doesn’t matter what you do to the bridge. In other words, a ten, or even a twenty, lane bridge won’t help if it only meets three lanes on each side of the river. In addition, all available facts on light rail in America indicate that it will never move more than 3% of daily trips. Light rail is clearly not the answer to cross river congestion.

Last year when I met with the Transportation Alliance in Olympia, I shared my grave concern for the enormous cost and excessive tolls on this project. I also discussed how every other transportation project in Clark County will suffer for years to come if we commit billions in resources to the CRC. I am enclosing some of the facts that I shared with the group in our meeting about the ineffectiveness of light rail and particularly, the MAX line’s inability to deliver on budget and to even come close to ridership projections.

I have consistently been an avid, involved, and effective crusader for all major Clark County transportation projects for the fourteen years I have served on transportation committees in the legislature. Our successes have been many, from the Mill Plain Extension project back in 1995, the 192nd Avenue/SR 14 interchange, the widening of SR 14, the Mill Plain/205 fly over exit (currently under construction), the interchange at 134th /I-5/205 and the just completed I-5/219th interchange in Battle Ground just to name a few.

As you may know, I have been instrumental in not only obtaining funding for these projects and many others during difficult times, but have also been effective in moving right of way and construction timelines up significantly on several projects. I was very involved in getting the Thurston/Van Mall/SR 500 overpass project included as a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of the design/build process in Washington State. The success of this project resulted in the adoption of a new law and a standard statewide policy on this tax and construction time saving concept.

I have naturally gone to bat for the whole community, and not just my legislative district on these important transportation projects that bring great benefit to the entire county and region. This is the first time I have felt this level of frustration and angst about supporting a transportation project in Clark County.

My frustration with the Columbia River Crossing project is because I cannot support a project that I know will not benefit the majority of Clark County citizens. The reason for this is clear; it simply, no matter how badly we would like it to, will not increase capacity in the corridor and therefore will not reduce cross river congestion

There are two primary reasons I have taken this position. The first is because I firmly believe that an additional bridge (third bridge) rather than the replacement of the I-5 bridge will do considerably more to help relieve interstate congestion and mobility (not only now but especially into the future) than replacing the I-5 bridge will ever accomplish. Remember, the I-5 corridor on both sides of the bridge is full with no capacity improvements planned!

The second is the incessant and continual insistence by many that the replacement bridge must accommodate light rail which will dramatically increase the cost to taxpayers not only for construction of the bridge but also for on-going operational cost, thus impeding, slowing, and possibly eliminating the planning and future funding of the third bridge option. Not to mention that the citizens of Clark County have already voted down light rail.

There IS A LIMIT to the revenue streams available whether they are gas tax, tolls or other sources. This project is especially frustrating when the addition of light rail brings literally no additional benefit to the taxpayer. None!
This is a fact that can be easily confirmed by examining any or all light rail systems constructed in America in the last 15 years and more especially by examining the record of broken promises made by the promoters of the Portland Max system. Rapid bus service is considerably more flexible in meeting changing needs, more compatible with additional road capacity, and much less costly to the taxpayer.

As long as light rail remains a part of the Columbia River Crossing project or until I can be convinced of the cost/benefit ratio to the taxpayer of bringing a light rail line in to Clark County, the Columbia River Crossing project will not, cannot, receive the aggressive support I have given to every other major transportation project since my election to the legislature. I cannot and will not betray the trust the taxpayers have placed in me to use their resources wisely to actually solve problems.

Light rail, based on my many years of transportation policy experience and easily accessible independent research material (which is plentiful), will not now, or in the foreseeable future, reduce congestion on Interstate 5. It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of light rail riders come from busses, not cars.

As a community leader and as a member of the Transportation Alliance I hope you will do your own independent research and begin to speak out against the false promises of light rail. When we begin to reject, with a united voice, the ridiculous waste of taxpayer’s money on proposals that we know will not work, then we can move forward with a united voice to quickly and successfully work on the funding of real solutions that will actually reduce congestion time and taxpayer cost. These solutions include proven concepts such as the building of additional roads, adding new corridors and capacity, the third bridge option and a regional ring road. These are real solutions that will bring measurable relief now and many, many years in to the future.

Again, I ask you and your board to join me and your Clark County Commissioners in rejecting the notion that the Columbia River Crossing project is the top priority for Clark County. I look forward to continuing to work with you and your colleagues to bring forward solutions that work for Clark County taxpayers. Please call me if there is ever anything I can do for you in the future.


Don Benton
Seventeenth District

The theft that is Light Rail.

The Vancouver Downtown Mafia is all about wasting $4 BILLION on an unneeded and unwanted bridge replacement and loot rail.

Their winged monkeys in Olympia: Pridemore, Moeller and Jacks; are out shilling for their gerrymandering bill that will give us all the opportunity to pay their taxes in addition to their horrific tolls, without once being asked if WE want this.

They won't ASK us, because they KNOW the answer... and they don't want the facts to interfere with their agenda.

Well, here are just a few "facts" that any sober individual could utilize to conclude what a colossal and horrific waste of money loot rail really is.

Light Rail Fact Sheet

“It’s hard for me to understand why intelligent people, who have access to the same information I do, continue to support light rail even though it is clear that it does little to nothing to relieve congestion problems.”

–Don Benton, State Senator, 17th District (


· Six of the West Coast light rail systems (Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego and San Francisco) require taxpayer subsidies to pay for 73% of operations and 100% of capital improvements per year and on average remove between 0.39% and 1.1% of cars from the roadway. (Washington Policy Center. )


· The per mile cost of an urban freeway is comparable to light rail. ($30 million) However, a highway can carry five to ten times as many person-miles of travel as a light rail line. (Goldwater Institute. )


· Tri-Met projected that the Eastside MAX would take 3 years to build and cost $135 million to construct. Actual time and cost: 4 years and $214 million. Tri-Met projected that five years after completion the Eastside MAX would carry 42,500 people per day. After five years, the MAX averaged 21,000 riders daily. The cost was 55% higher than projected and the actual ridership was 50% of the projected. (The Thoreau Institute. )


· Nationwide, the average cost of light rail $1.50 per passenger per mile. (Double the cost of bus transit per person per mile and FIVE times the cost of automobile transportation per person per mile.) (Goldwater Institute. )


· Nationally, light rail brings in revenue of $226.1 million, while the annual operating costs total $778.3 million, leaving a $552.2 million burden on tax payers. This does not take into consideration construction costs. (Light Rail: Boon or Boondoggle, Molly Castelazo and Thomas Garrett of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


· Sound Transit officials in Seattle estimated that nearly two‐thirds of its ridership would have come from the existing transit system if its second phase had been approved in 2007. (Washington Policy Center. )


· A study of the Bay Area Regional Transit (BART) system in the San Francisco Bay Area estimated that only 18 percent of the residents within one-half mile of a transit station used rail to commute to work. Also, monthly ridership on Cleveland’s new Waterfront Line has fallen 42.8% since its opening in 1998. This decline is consistent with national trends. (Buckeye Institute.