Do We in Clark County Still Have a Right to Our Money?

by lewwaters

Although just a snippet from a much larger video, the question asked by a union activist in Madison, Wisconsin sums up pretty well what seems to be going on, not only in the ongoing crisis in Wisconsin, but here in Vancouver and Clark County as we continue to be railroaded into an overly expensive Columbia River Crossing project and extending Portland, Oregon’s financially failing Loot Rail across state lines into our community.

That voters rejected such a project by a 2 to 1 margin in past votes means nothing as we are reminded time and again that not only do our votes not count, neither do our voices as city council strives to regulate citizen comments to marginalize voices in opposition to Loot Rail and a project the community an ill afford in these economically troubled times.

Completely lacking is a responsible media with real journalism that once exposed such corruption as must be going on in this process, seeing some $140 Million wasted in “studying” the project over the years. Instead, we see a media that is complicit in the corruption in encouraging shutting down the voices of citizens and business owners who see how it is will bankrupt an already struggling middle class.

Week after week we see the Columbian’s so called ‘political editor,’ John Laird lambasting, not a corrupt political process or wasteful studies or even the openly corrupt process, but citizens who take a stand for the people. From labeling us “Hounds from Whinerville” to “ankle biters sharpening our fangs,” Laird joins in with denigrating common ordinary citizens who only desire an open process, a reasonably priced bridge that might actually help relieve congestion on I-5 and the most obvious fix needed, more bridges between the communities.

Even in today’s column, Laird speaks like concerned citizens are abusing speech at city council meetings when to date, the only examples of such are from council member Harris, in her internationally famous “Gavel Down” incident or by trumped up allegations made by a personal friend of the mayors.

Let one city council member stand for citizens by voting to give citizens a vote in the project and she is cut from the C-Trans Board. No, we can’t be allowing the very citizens they intend to tax and toll to death to pay for this boondoggle to have a voice in the project.

As ridiculous, after years and much effort to shut citizens voices down and marginalize our input, we are told, Public asked to weigh in on I-5 bridge designs days after being told Legislature has clout to OK tolls for light rail, “It could do so even if voters defeat proposed C-Tran hike.”

This a week after we were misled to believe a “listening session” scheduled by newly installed congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler was an opportunity for our voices to finally be heard. In actuality, the “listening” was for concerned citizens to “listen” to what we will have to accept, not for our concerns.

Now we are told, Light rail vote may be delayed while a jury-rigged “subdistrict for light rail” might be formed to ensure a favorable vote, completely ignoring the majority of voices in Clark County’s outlying areas that will also have to pay exorbitant tolls to cross the Columbia River and who eventually will also see tax increases to pay for a wasteful and little used Loot Rail across the river into Portland.

State Sen. Don Benton and State Reps. Paul Harris, Ed Orcutt and Ann Rivers have been joining citizens in opposing the current corrupt boondoggle, either as elected officials or candidate when they ran for office and must be applauded for Citizens urged to make voices heard on CRC. Even though in the minority, we at least have some officials who side with the people over the fatcats who intend to expand their personal fortunes on the backs of struggling taxpayers.

What we don’t have is responsible journalists at the Columbian who would dig deep and discover why this process and project is allowed to remain ongoing, draining dwindling tax dollars to who knows who, while we have others expressing concern over spending cuts.

Is it any wonder a union activist in Madison, Wisconsin can ask, “why do you have a right to your money” when elected officials and the newspaper of record in Clark County apparently share the same thought?

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