CRC, the Columbian and the War on the Middle Class

by lewwaters

Light Rail HellIt has long been shown that the Columbian, the so-called newspaper of record for Southwest Washington, is solidly in the tank for the effort to force Clark County to accept Portland, Oregon’s financially ailing light rail system by supporting the Columbia River Crossing project, falsely being sold as a “bridge replacement project.”

Replacing the aging spans is secondary to forcing light rail across state lines a short distance into our community, as was revealed early in 2012 by an Oregon State Supreme Court ruling in an unrelated case. To date, the Columbian has not acknowledged that revelation first made known in the Willamette Week article, The $2.5 Billion Bribe.

Far from being just an “ugly baby” we are somehow beholden to, as described in editor Lou Brancaccio’s Saturday Press Talk column, It’s an ugly baby, but it’s ours, it is in reality the epitome of the war on the middle class as expenses of this boondoggle fall directly on the backs of a still struggling middle class in Clark County trying to recover from 4 straight years of double digit unemployment.

CREDC, The Columbia River Economic Development Council and staunch supporters of the project, unwittingly admit to just that in their 2013 Legislative Agenda paper where you read,

“As we move into 2013, Southwest Washington has largely been bypassed by economic recovery. As the Legislature continues to wrestle with the budgetary challenges it faces on a statewide level, the need remains to minimize economic harm to municipalities, schools, and our other local economic entities. When cuts are made in the State budget that affect local communities, the legislature should review mandated policies under State law that remain unfunded and if possible allow latitude on implementation to our local governments, schools and other impacted agencies.”

Ignoring that CREDC does not advocate paying higher taxes themselves on their individual businesses or increased license and fees, often seeking and gaining actual tax cuts to remain in business, they end the paper saying,

“The business community of Clark County has provided a united voice and Southwest Washington Legislators have been receptive and supportive. Southwest Washington has enjoyed successes because of the teamwork this region demonstrates in both the public and private sectors. We thank you for your continued support.”

What successes? Did they not begin saying “Southwest Washington has largely been bypassed by economic recovery?”

The only success I see is CREDC fighting to receive more funding confiscated from the struggling middle class who has “largely been bypassed by economic recovery.”


Jim Moeller

We also see this week in the Columbian online, a series of short videos featuring 49th Legislative District Representative, Jim Moeller, a far left Democrat justifying his efforts to sue constituents to invalidate their votes, cramming Portland’s ill fated light rail down our throats against our wishes and his opposition to many positions his constituents take.

He laughingly calls that “leadership” when it more rightly would be labeled “dictating” elsewhere.

Sen. Annette Cleveland D-49

Annette Cleveland

But shining light on the left’s war on the middle class, who will bear the burden of generations to pay for this boondoggle, who will see tax increases, high tolls, fewer long term jobs, gasoline tax increases, possibly an increase in their license tab fees and if rookie 49th District State Senator Annette Cleveland gets her way, a toll on top of the tolls, does not set well with the left, even those who have expressed opposition to the light rail prospects.

Fortunately, the middle class in Clark County has allies in the State Legislature who are standing up for us and against this heavy burden the left wishes to place on us to pay for a massive light rail carrier we have repeatedly said we do not want.

Again, we end up turning to the Willamette Week as they did an article recently on 18th District State Senator Ann Rivers. Allied with 17th District State Senator Don Benton, both Republicans we read from the Willamette Week, “Oregon backers of the CRC think they’ve won the day. They haven’t met Ann Rivers.”

Ann Rivers 8

Ann Rivers

Together, Rivers and Benton have sponsored legislation to halt the massive spending, some $170 Million to date and cannot even draw a design to adequately clear river commerce traffic and redraw plans to a workable, more affordable project.

As Sen. Rivers puts it,

“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!’ We need some sanity on this.”

Yes, it is well passed time some sanity was brought into this discussion and the hard sell pushed by supporters and the Columbian ceased.

Even though Brancaccio claims to “respect” Ann Rivers and her views, he too engages in an obfuscation tactic with,

“there is a sense from many in this community that the conversation about the CRC has to shift. It has to shift from talking about all the problematic details mentioned above to a much broader topic. And that broader topic is what a new bridge would mean to this community.”

In other words, very similar to what Sen. Rivers said.

Brancaccio would have us ignore the multitude of problems associated with the project as well as the ever increasing call of raising revenues throughout Clark County to pay for what we say we do not want.

Barely batting an eyelid to acknowledge the forensic auditing work of Acuity Group LLC and the diligence of Tiffany Couch, the so called NEWS paper seems to take no position on the revelation of irregularities asked by 3rd Congressional District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler as she questions CRC expenses, some as far as 60 miles outside of the so-called benefit district of the project and that also stand to be placed squarely on the backs of the still struggling middle class in Clark County.

Whether or not she will follow through on her questions remains to be seen, though.

We hear a lot of lip service from Democrats on how they support and stand up for the middle class. But we then see them raising taxes, fees, charges or any multitude of burdens they place squarely on the backs of the middle class.

Although you wouldn’t think such a project is a partisan issue, the CRC in its current form is just that as Democrats line up to force the middle class to accept it.

Or, as Democrat Jim Moeller once put it,

“I’m just going to spend my political capital dragging you and the rest of the CRC naysayers into the 21st century so we can join in the future of the economic powerhouse to the south called Portland.”

Doing something to the benefit of his own district he is elected to represent, like give the struggling middle class a break, is out of the question as Moeller and others drive their war on the middle class ahead.

8 Comments to “CRC, the Columbian and the War on the Middle Class”

  1. !. Moeller ain’t got that much capital TOO spend. he’s a no-body, here or in the legislature with a ceremonial, no-power position that he has, frankly, because no one else wanted it.

    2. If he’s spending the miniscule amount of “capital” this clown thinks he has, he’s going to wind up broke because this thing is already dead and like Brancaccio, when it gets buried here in another few weeks, both of them are going to look even moronic than they already do.

    3. Moeller needs to ratchet back the meth he’s wasted on, or whatever his drug of choice might be, if he thinks this bridge will serve ANY purpose except to enrich his buddies and suck more of the economic life blood out of our jugular up here.

    But then, he’s never been the brightest bulb on the tree, has he?

    Meanwhile, that slimy coward we have in congress continues to refuse to either take an up or down position OR do ANYTHING about ANY of this except write a few more letters that like, most everything else she does, will be ignored while she continues to trick people into thinking she cares about what we want.

  2. One of the huge negatives on this is the new pictures of what Hayden Island would look like with the NEW MEGA Freeway. Thousands of tons and dirt and pavement crammed down the Minnesota Freeway! No wonder the local environmental community and so many regular folks are against it. Build more bridges, start now, get the trucks, including those hauling hazardous material off our neighborhood streets!

  3. What will be even more Hilarious are the traffic jams that the constructiion wi create Ahh…to be a fly in the car of every LIberal Boondoggle-Supporter…

  4. jack2, I’m not sure people who support CRC are daily commuters. Most commuters are Rs who don’t like Portland politics but have a job in Portland, or poor people who have to work there. Marxist-thinkers wouldn’t live here and work there – they’d move.

  5. Mr Hinton, that “slimy coward” as you referred to our Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler, has done fine job positioning herself both on the House Appropriations, the House Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Committees. She has traded shots and won IMO the debate with the truly slimy house member from Oregon Defazio’s attempts to defame. Additionally Representative Herrera has stood firmly against the latest attempts to raise the debt ceiling without serious spending cuts and has championed smart cuts to the military that cut fat and not muscle affecting the efforts of our troops to conduct successful missions.

    “Slimy coward “?, really? really? Tell me sir, what research have you done that could possibly support such a miserable statement?

  6. I has long been my contention that Light Rail belongs on the Glen Jackson Bridge if at all. It allows for the height required to not obstruct shipping, it has none of the problems with air traffic glide slopes and it has all the strength to handle the weight of the tracks and cars. A third or fourth bridge built at 192nd could easily siphon off enough car traffic to lighten the truck and vehicular use necessary to accommodate it and not create the problems with the current bridge. Additionally the west side of Hayden Island and the aging and over used roadways from I-5 through St Johns to the west hills into the have the capability with modest improvements to carry more traffic surely and safely without destroying but rather improving the neighborhoods there. It can be done.

    The only thing that stands in the way is, Oregon, and their wrong headed assertion that Max has to make trax from down town to down town, instead of solving the regions transportationissues.

  7. I am so tired of hearing Jim Moeller declare that his job is leadership not representation. If a representative was supposed to be nothing more than a leader wouldn’t we call them a shepherd? Why would we call them representatives? Just curious.

  8. k.j. hinton – I agree with normallysane. Your attacks on Congresswoman Beutler are unwarranted. I think she has done a lot to stop the CRC – or at least try to strip light rail from it. She believes that it’s important to replace the bridge. I don’t agree with her on that, but as long as she keeps trying to bring sanity (strip light rail and raise the bridge height) to the project, I’m willing to go along with her.

    Remember that not only does she have to contend with local politicians who are pushing for the project, she also has Democrats in the House and 2 fairly powerful US Senators from her own state to contend with. In my opinion she has done well.

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