Mayor Leavitt Declines Open and Transparent Discussion With CRC Skeptics

by lewwaters

Ask any conservative in Southwest Washington about the reliability of the newspaper of record in Clark County, the Columbian, when it comes to political coverage and you will likely be met with laughter. The blatant left lean of the paper has many of us dubbing it the unofficial daily newsletter of the Democrat Party.

Nowhere is this better seen than the papers continued promotion of the largest and most expensive boondoggle to ever hit Southwest Washington, the Columbia River Crossing being shoved down citizens’ throats to force acceptance of Portland, Oregon’s financially troubled light rail into our community.

In spite of 3 past votes in the county declining light rail, once directly in 1995 and twice indirectly in 2002 and 2004, it came out in a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling that the sole reason for project is to force their light rail into our community along with the desire that Clark County residents pay for operations and maintenance of the new line all the way from Oregon’s Expo Center, across the state line and into our community.

In spite of costing so far nearly $150 Million in studies, several deficiencies continue to crop up that even though reported in the pages of the Columbian, are marginalized along with any who speak out questioning the validity of such an undertaking, skeptics often dubbed with such pejorative descriptions as “the Hounds of Whinerville” and “ankle biters” by Editorial Page Editor, John Laird.

Enter successful Vancouver businessman and owner of US Digital, David Madore, now vying for a seat on the Clark County Board of Commissioners. Madore, after seeing citizens often being ignored and seeing efforts to either silence or restrict comments skeptical of the CRC as well as the blatant bias of the Columbian favoring this project with little questioning, opened up an alternative Online News site,

Although not a journalist and the service suffering a few hiccups in getting the site going, it continues to provide well documented skeptical coverage of the CRC, exposing financial irregularities uncovered by a forensic accountant, engineer reports on the discrepancies noted and asks questions one would expect from a regular newspaper like the Columbian, given that Oregon newspapers like the Oregonian and Willamette Week seem able to conduct a little investigative journalism in regards to the project.

Being that we are in an election year, we will see forums and editorials concerning candidates. But, these forums and editorials are often based on questions designed to give a little advantage to candidates favorable to the CRC or questions skeptical not asked at all.

Again, enter David Madore and who last election year began taping and webcasting of candidates being asked slightly different question designed to provide actual transparency of the project.

I have been to and was interviewed last year and can honestly say they have a very nice and professional studio set up for this. I also saw in candidate interviews last year that questions were fair and interviews not edited to give any candidate an advantage over another. Each that agreed were asked the same exact questions and their answers stood as said. Although David Madore owns the operation, he does not micromanage the interviews or taping.

As can be seen in the link in the last paragraph, several candidates from both sides agreed to be interviewed or participate in the forums with none claiming unfair treatment that I have heard.

All candidates were sent invitations, one sent to the current Mayor of Vancouver and strong proponent of the project, Tim Leavitt, who most of us now know lied through his teeth to be elected by claiming his opposition to tolls, only to “evolve” to the exact opposite shortly after winning the election.

Mayor Leavitt, it must be recalled, was a driving force behind the efforts to silence skepticism of the CRC at City Council meetings last year.

Madore posted Mayor Leavitt’s response to an invitation to openly discuss the CRC in a live webcast on his facebook page earlier this week.

As you can see, Mayor Leavitt does not wish an open discussion of the CRC and light rail. He shuns transparency, accepting only interviews where he knows he will not be put on the hot seat about his “evolving” on the tolls issue or face questions critical of his strong support of the CRC in light of continuing deficiencies such as the current design being too low to meet US Coast Guard approval, even though the CRC has been told for years the river clearance must be more to meet their approval.

By all appearance, the design has ignored just about any criteria other than carrying light rail into Clark County and is expected to drive the cost up by several Millions of Dollars.

Mayor Leavitt declines to discuss such troubles unless questioned in a light he expects favorable to him and the CRC.

As you can see, he directs all skeptical questions right back to the project besieged with the discrepancies, labeling their questionable material as “factual.”

As has been noted, their “facts” continue to come up short, citizens who will be forced paying for this boondoggle kept in the dark by the likes of Mayor Leavitt.

We citizens must begin demanding accountability and transparency of what is being done with our hard earned tax dollars.

Mayor Leavitt refuses to be open and a transparent, deflecting legitimate concern with a wave of his hand and is unwilling to sit down with anybody critical of the CRC. He has even recently made it known that citizens really don’t matter as C-Tran is committed to light rail, regardless of how citizens vote on increasing the sales tax expected to pay the light rail operations and maintenance.

Mayor Leavitt is a coward!

He lied to get elected and will not answer questions unless the forum where asked is favorable to him and the CRC.

I applaud David Madore for making every effort to provide transparency and insight into the candidates and the CRC project. I appreciate his investment to provide Clark County with uncensored news concerning the CRC and candidates.

Even though continues to experience a few growing pains in finding its footing, it is still providing us with valuable insight and information, unlike Mayor Leavitt.

What can be said about a Mayor that will strut around shirtless, but refuse to be open and transparent in answering citizen concerns?

8 Comments to “Mayor Leavitt Declines Open and Transparent Discussion With CRC Skeptics”

  1. What you are leaving out here, Lew, is that David wants Tim to come to his biased venue, in a private setting that will be taped. It won’t be “open and transparent”; rather, it will be biased and slanted. While I am against the CRC, I am even more against someone trying to pretend that a venue that is owned and managed by them is not biased. It is completely ridiculous. I have suggested that David conduct this at a venue like Evergreen High School with someone like Pat Dooris of Channel 8 News conducting the interview, where there can be an audience and the questions aren’t slanted to fit David Madore’s position. He hasn’t responded. Don’t you think a really unbiased venue, with an audience in attendence, with an unbiased third party interviewer is the best option?

  2. Greg, if a venue doesn’t edit your response, it doesn’t matter if it’s biased. I’m unafraid to debate in any forum, and am frequently shouted down by local zealots, but my text is for those who are undecided or uninformed. If Tim Leavitt simply articulates his argument then those watching can make their own decisions.

    I suspect Tim Leavitt’s position is untenable, and can’t hold up under even cursory scrutiny, which is why he is afraid to promote it.

  3. Odd. I have and do meet anyone, anywhere, regardless of their bias to discuss what I’ve written on my blog. If I can do it, then why is it our esteemed mayor seems to lack the testicular fortitude needed to do the same?

    If Leavitt were both a courageous leader and one who had the courage of his convictions, there’d be no venue he would not only attend, but seek out to exchange views while using his powers of persuasion due to the “obvious” superiority of his positions…. which leads to the absolute weakness of the CRC shiller’s position:

    We all already know the true basis for the entirety of the CRC scam is light rail from Portland while throwing Vancouver a bone in the form of an unneeded, unwanted and horrifically expensive bridge to get it. We know that the safety of the bridge, and the moronic earthquake scam scenario (There’s really no particular reason why the bridge couldn’t be retro-fitted to allay those bogus concerns) was just back-fill to try and get the sheeple to support it.

    If this is such a great program with so many benefits that would be so far superior to what we have now… than these people wouldn’t have excluded the voters of the entirety of this county in giving us a say.

    Leavitt is the face of this fraud. He is the face of a lying, underhanded, dishonest campaign. And he is terrified of any effort to hold him accountable before that when his political career is ended in November of next year.

    No, if Leavitt was right and believed it, he’d go to hell for an interview conducted by Satan and not CARE who was interviewing him, where he was being interviewed or what questions he was being asked. After all, he’s not a political neophyte and he should have no problem whatsoever dictating the outcome of any interview with anyone.

    That he lacks this courage, of course, makes him unfit for elective office… as he spits in the faces of his constituents and the people of Clark County yet again.

  4. Greg, it is you who is leaving something out and using your hatred of David Madore to muddy the waters. Did you even read what was said?

    “I just received Tim Leavitt’s response to my request to have a two way conversation with him in a live video webcast on…”

    If I recall right, you thought is dumb of others not to submit to the scripted and heavily biased interviews with the Columbian. Of course, you leap at any remote chance to bash David Madore or anybody you believe might be associated with him.

    The bias of a source is irrelevant, especially if being webcast live. This worry was brought up last year and shown to be unfounded by candidates who were interviewed. All were treated fairly and equally.

    Scott Campbell is very Pro-CRC and the bias in favor of the CRC is very apparent at the Columbian. Yet you don’t seem to mind recommending candidates submit to interviews with them and they have been shown to edit interviews and get facts wrong.

    By the way, I was interviewed by KGW 8 and the extreme editing they did made my point look the exact opposite of what I said to them.

    Yet you would have us believe they are the preferred venue while they are the ones doing exactly what you claim to dislike?

    All interviews are biased, Greg. That is why we need alternate interviews to get the other side from candidates. And no, and my blog don’t receive the audience these other heavily biased venues today receive. But at one time, neither did they have the audience they enjoy today. That doesn’t change the need for alternate venues and as time goes by, our audiences grow too.

    Face it Greg, it is your personal hatred of David Madore that has you stalking him to slap at him every chance you get and clouds your own mind of what needs done to rein the out of control CRC.

  5. I love the comment in the Leavitt reply, “as they continue to refine the design”. Does that mean, oh shit, we’ve spent 100’s of millions of dollars on a bridge that is too low.

  6. Hi Lew,

    Nice to see mentioned. I was going to send you a comment about a nice faceoff between Madore & Boldt here:

    Other candidates appear elsewhere on the site.

    I recall seeing a lame Columbian poll about how voters gather information. Not surprisingly, was not included.

  7. Funny thing is, Josef, it has been admitted to me that the Columbian follows, this blog and a few others, Kelly Hinton’s especially, yet they do not want to credit us unless pushed into it.

    One such incident was when Kelly and I called Joe Tanner on his misleading claim of “Numerous Combat Medals” from his time in the Navy off the coast of Vietnam.

    They originally wrote their post in a manner to call us onto the carpet for daring to question a Vietnam veterans claims, forgetting or ignoring that I too am a Vietnam Vet as is Tom Mielke.

    But, once I met with Tanner and he agreed to change the wording of his claim, Lou backpedaled and reluctantly credited us with the call.

    It should disturb everybody that the Columbian wishes to control the flow of information as they do in Clark County while denigrating other sources that actually provide balance.

  8. Lew – Should we also add, that they continue to fail to credit local news sources or blogs, where they pull information from but when you or one of the local bloggers use information, they threaten them, if even a smidge is used, they scream copyright or some other point?

    Honestly, what I want to see is some good, decent discussions about what is going on in our county, our state and our region. I want to care less about the where it comes from per se, as long as it is true and accurate. And to stop blowing the peacocks horn, when they feel a slight abridgement…

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