Slick Used Car Salesman Tactics Promoting the CRC Lemon

by lewwaters

Car Sales 1Next to a politician, a car salesman ranks as one of the shiftiest occupations someone can take. They will lure, lie, mislead, con and deceive people into buying a car. This is especially true when it comes to used cars.

It also appears true when elected officials desire to sell taxpayers on an unneeded and unwanted project like the Columbia River Crossing light rail project from Portland, Oregon into Vancouver, Washington that voters have repeatedly expressed their opposition to, once directly and three times by proxy.

49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller seems to be the head salesman for this lemon as he tries to mislead voters with his campaign of disinformation exposed at Rep Jim Moeller’s Latest Act of Desperation, Lie.

Acting much like Car Fax, revealing the history of that cherry the salesman is trying to push off on you as really a lemon, concerned citizens began seeing the claims and numbers cited simply were not adding up and formed groups like and adding to the revelations seen from, opening citizens eyes and growing opposition.

That was the motive behind Jim Moeller’s effort revealed in the post linked above as he began engaging in the typical car salesman tactics of slick sales trying to talk you into buying something not needed or really wanted.

Saturday, March 16, 2013 saw what can only be described as a “Kangaroo Townhall” where the three Democrats from the 49th, Moeller, Sharon Wylie and Annette Cleveland stacked the audience with what appeared to be paid union attendees to cheer, whoop and clap as any one of the 3 spoke claims long ago disproved.

Opponents armed with facts were relegated to a short time towards the end of the meeting to speak or ask questions, audience comments first having been screened by proponents.

Joining in with Jim Moeller’s hard sell tactics saw rookie State Senator Annette Cleveland submit an Op-Ed to the Columbian where she tried to “Separating CRC fact from fiction,” but in reality, parroted the same disinformation being spread by Moeller.

Now comes fellow Democrat Sharon Wylie circulating the same list of disinformation Moeller drew up and spreading to other legislators’ in hopes of gaining their legislative votes. She includes in her cover letter accompanying the Moeller effort the same tired claim often heard from a slick used car salesman of,

“If we don’t fund this project now, the dollars in this year’s federal budget ($850 Million) will go to other project we are competing with elsewhere in the country.”

Republican State Senator Ann Rivers of the 18th Legislative District summed that tactic up as,

“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.”

Car salesmen usually put it as, “If you don’t buy it now, there is someone standing outside wanting to buy it, but you were here first.”

Wylie adds,

“The CRC is a complex, contentious project and there is much distorted, partial and inaccurate information going around.”

That claim ends up being 100% truth, except she doesn’t say that is the CRC itself and supporters like her, Moeller and Cleveland spreading it in an effort to rebuild some public support that has been steadily deteriorating. refutes the claims in Wylie’s misinformation, but I would like to correct some of them myself.

First off is the claim of “We’re currently averaging about one collision per day.” As anybody who frequently crosses the I-5 Bridge can tell you, this claim is very misleading. While there are collisions on the bridge, most collisions occur well before the bridge where the back-up caused by poorly designed on ramps from Hayden Island causes afternoon congestion to build, on the Oregon side.

Congestion is seen thinning and traffic returning to normal about mid-span and is flowing smoothly exiting the bridge on the Washington side.

In the morning, congestion begins well inside Oregon, again due to a poorly designed freeway that is too narrow and has been for decades.

Most collisions occur off the bridge on the Oregon side, all too often due to an impatient driver jockeying for lane position.

Then too, as we recently saw with an intoxicated semi-truck driver going the wrong way on the I-205 Bridge, the real need is more crossings, not light rail.
Secondly is the claim of “earthquake risk” where it is said, “If a significant earthquake were to hit the area, there is a real risk of structural failure. We live in a seismically active region: a 1962 earthquake was 5.5 magnitude, and a 1993 earthquake was 5.6 and caused $28 million in damages.”

Grossly overstated as a study released by ODOT showed on pages 45 – 48

“the I-5 Bridges are vulnerable to damage but not imminent collapse. Page 46 has a chart which displays slight to moderate damage from an earthquake at 8.3 on the Richter scale on the I-5/I-205 bridges. Page 48…at a 9.0, only moderate damage to Portland bridges as well as the I-5/I-205.”

Not stated in the Moeller / Wylie misinformation paper, the damage amount claimed for the 1993 earthquake was not to the I-5 Bridge or even the Clark County / Multnomah County areas, but was a little further south. It also remains the “the most destructive quake in terms of property loss in Oregon’s history,” yet both spans of the I-5 Bridge escaped heavy damage or collapse and still stand.

We also saw from the CRC claims of the feasibility of upgrading both spans to meet current earthquake standards for a fraction of the cost estimated to replace the current spans to suit light rail.

I urge you all to visit the links above where refutations are actually documented from many official documents proponents do not wish for you to see and educate yourselves before you get us all stuck with a major lemon we’ll be indebted to for several decades that will not resolve the problems seen.

Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by a slick polish job to make this lemon appear like new.

Call your legislator and demand an end to this folly and a project we can afford and that will really resolve our problems, not drain the middle class to benefit a few proponents getting rich off of our tax dollars.

14 Comments to “Slick Used Car Salesman Tactics Promoting the CRC Lemon”

  1. One of the biggest problems the pro-CRC shillers have is that they’ve lied so much, for so long, that at this point, there’s no way they can repair their self-inflicted wounds.

    As a general rule, when you have to lie to get your project built… then it shouldn’t BE built.

    And these clowns have been lying from the beginning.

  2. The lie regarding accidents is really amazing since the “project area” is where one of their documents state these accident a day+ but another document says on the bridge itself! Talk about crazy bs! The project area is a five mile long section of I-5. Let’s get ral and just understand that this was never about a new bridge and it never will be. It is about big money for the two states to feed into their existing projects and you and I will pay for the rest of our lives for them. It is about developers who can get grants and low interest loans for high density housing on mass transit rail lines.Its a “follow the money honey” sort of game. Maybe it is about feeding china more interest and buying more steel from them and hiring their workers to do the work. Who knows how crooked we have just started unraveling the cover that has been hiding the CRC under it.

  3. One more thought here… Annette and Sharon never went to the CRC oversight meetings so they have no clue what the truth is an I question if they have either the integrity or the intelligence to find out!

  4. If you look closer at their linked claims, they lead straight to Jim Moeller’s page.

    They are merely parroting his words.

    From Wylie’s page clicking on “Get the CRC Town Hall Handouts” leads to

  5. Today, Friday the 22nd of March, our governor will be in town according to local news reports. His claim is…if we don’t get the $850 million for the crossing, it will go elsewhere. Well yeah…for someone else who has a mass transit project. Not a penny goes towards the infrastructure of the 5-mile stretch other than just light rail. We’re speaking of a BRIDGE REPLACEMENT, not a freaking worthless commuter rail system! He also states no light rail, no bridge. Now where is it we’ve heard this bunch of hockey before??? The broken record needs to be thrown out, along with the current crossing project. The promised $450 million from each state could just as well go towards retrofitting and other upgrades to the existing bridge as well as re-aligning the ramps in order to increase efficiency with the 5-mile stretch of corridor which they claim is the cause of the gridlock, even though the commuters know exactly where the problems lie…and it begins with politicians who have been duped to believe this is the best alternative to improve commerce. Yeah…commerce for who???

    Nice write up, Lew…your best yet on the CRC.

  6. So what, if the money goes elsewhere! It’s better that we do NOT get the Federal money for this monstrosity of a project. It’s better to let the proposal die … then a new, better proposal without trolley cars can proceed (meeting any “required” mass transit with cheaper, more practical bus service).

    Seismic upgrades are much cheaper than a whole new bridge.

    The proposal to upgrade the railroad bridge (by inserting a ‘draw’ section) downstream from the I-5 bridge would minimize the number of traffic snarling lifts of the draw bridge section and cost considerably less than building a new bridge.

    If a new bridge is built, it should be a third span that actually increases traffic capacity. There are several proposals, though possibly additional studies might be required to select the best option. Something that would move truck traffic off the I-5 bridge would be a big help.

    I note that the I-5 bridge suffers from on ramps just short of the span at both ends. These last minute entries to the flow of traffic are a serious disruption and should be eliminated, if possible. (I lived in the SF Bay Area where the Caldecott tunnel (through the east bay hills from Oakland to Orinda) has a last moment on ramp from another highway. This causes an incredible backup as people have to deal with the on-coming traffic just before the psychological “squeezing” effect of the tunnel itself. This is very similar to the psychological “squeezing” effect of the superstructure of the I-5 bridge.) The disruption on the Oregon side in the afternoon seems to be the worst, though the morning back up on the Washington side is fairly obvious. Perhaps this traffic could be routed to a third crossing west of the current bridge, with ramps from I-5 to allow overflow or truck traffic to use a third crossing.

  7. Friends…Well stated and I couldn’t agree more with you! Just an FYI…I was being facetious when making the statement about the $850 million. Sadly, certain leaders in government see that $850 million dollar promise waving in front of them like rotten, smelly fish bait to a great white(shark) and are already hooked…and are in far over their head with their stance. Too bad the fish bait has been long gone even before going for the bait, but the stench is still there!

    My honest opinion??? This crossing project will likely fail and those who have supported it for a long, long time will pour out the blame on those of us (politicians included) who supported the common sense route in this whole mess, even though they’re the ones responsible for letting the CRC planners spend like there’s no tomorrow with little more to show than a fancied light rail crossing. And those who have been paid out already…their pocketbooks will continue to grow as they find another group of chumps to rob funds…funds from the taxpayers, that is.

  8. Hopefully The Columbian will go bankrupt in the meantime.

  9. If only this Lew ran the Columbian. Great read. I wish we could get a Politifact file. I’d get Sharon Wylie,Moeller & Cleveland a bunch of pants on fire ratings.

  10. The Pinocchio’s might be taken, but I’d use Horse’s asses on them 😉

  11. And the Slick Used Car Salesman tactics continue, thanks in part to the editor of the Columbian with his press talk column. Talk about a conniving, underhanded way to trap those who willingly answer a general poll in order for him to gain support by the people who promote the CRC…especially at the expense of those of us who oppose the current crossing project. He definitely pulled a fast one this time by duping the people in an outright attempt to diminish the message of those of us who are in absolute opposition.

    Note how he did not mention in the poll or his comment, that there was no suggestion for people to dash to the LRT station proposed for this project in order to catch LRT to Portland. He also didn’t mention that ALL roadways leading into Portland were gridlocked and drivers wouldn’t be able to make it to any bus stop, any terminal, nothing…not even the buses were moving so how would light rail have helped?

    Just plain, cheap slick, used car salesman tactics…to sell us an overpriced project with light rail running in the red…to a dying city.

    A move of desperation???

  12. Just finished listening to most of Rep. Monica Stonier’s Telephone Town Hall…and yes, the CRC was brought up. One person questioned why the letter Representative Herrera-Beutler sent to Ms. Boyd regarding expenditures which included funding for repairs on the Steel Bridge in Portland, Hood River channel restoration and Lewis River restoration, along with construction of a maintenance facility in Gresham so that they may maintain the new cars for the Yellow line (yeah, right)…and is yet to be answered by Ms. Boyd.

    Wow…what a surprise….well, not really. It’s to be expected, given the lack of cooperation in transparency when it comes to this project. And Ms. Stonier’s comment??? in general, she said something to the fact “The bridge is in bad shape, is unsafe and needs to be replaced. In order for the federal tax dollars to pay for the bridge that will have light rail, it must have the light rail on the project.”


    They can’t even keep their stories straight.

  13. I missed it, had planned on recording it and forgot what time she started.

    As for the CRC, they have their talking points, even though they have been disproved, that is all they have to cling to.

  14. Oh my goodness, Lew…you are absolutely spot on. I swear when listening to those who support the project in its current design format, they’re like Borgs (the Trekkie in me) in their responses. It’s time to unplug ’em.

    Last night, I received a wonderful telephone call…talked quite awhile with a gentleman…someone who I really didn’t expect to hear from and that was Senator Don Benton. He asked me by my name, to confirm I was the one he was speaking to. I recognized his voice immediately. I was hoping for an email response but this was by far, a better method of communication. He laid the facts on the line to me…much of what I’d already known and some which I was pleased he’d shared with me that I hadn’t known…but definitely a phone conversation I was glad I’d decided to accept after reading the caller ID. He definitely knows I’m supporting his stance on the crossing project 1000% and will continue to be one who fights for what is right for us and the current design is definitely not it.

    I also told Senator Benton that I felt we’re being treated like lemmings being pushed over a cliff…a fiscal cliff when it comes to this project. He was in agreement.

    A telephone conversation well worth the time for sure!!! (Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to call me, Senator Benton. It was greatly appreciated!)

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