SW Washington to CRC, Please Do Not Resuscitate

by lewwaters

CRC, KnotsFriday, April 12, 2013, a stunning day for all opponents of the Columbia River Crossing filled with enough good news to make Jim Moeller & Tim Leavitt’s head swell up and explode from anguish.

The Columbia River Crossing appears to be in a death roll.

We first read of the actions of the leadership in the State Senate Coalition Majority, who have been pressured all week to roll over and fund $450 Million to be used as Washington’s portion to begin work, calling upon Governor Jay Inslee to convene a fully independent, outside audit of the Columbia River Crossing project.

Music to my ears as I and several others have been making the same call for some time.

In a 2-page letter sent today signed by Sen. Rodney Tom (D. 48) Majority Leader, Sen. Ann Rivers (R. 18th) Majority Coalition Whip and Sen. Mark Schoesler (R. 9th) Republican Caucus Leader, we read of a second forensic auditor who has confirmed the findings of those of forensic auditor Tiffany Couch, long demeaned by CRC supporters due to her being hired initially by now Clark County Commissioner, David Madore.

“The Senate coalition’s decision to pursue an independent investigation stems from CRC-related audits done by Vancouver accountant Tiffany Couch, who has shared her findings and concerns with the Senate and House transportation committees. Rivers and fellow coalition leaders were intrigued by Couch’s CRC reports but realized it would be prudent to seek a second opinion, so arrangements were made for an independent review from outside Clark County.”

“That review was conducted by forensic accountant Linda Saunders, a Jefferson County resident whose background includes working for the state auditor’s office and later the state Department of Transportation, where her focus was on auditing overhead rates for architectural and engineering contracts tied to Interstate 90 construction on Mercer Island.”

“‘We wanted to be sure about the information before using words like ‘investigation’ and ‘mismanagement.’ Now that we’ve seen what amounts to an audit of an audit, and things have been verified, it’s time to get some answers,’ said Sen. Tom.”

In the likelihood Gov. Inslee will not comply with the request, a separate release today by Sen. Don Benton (R. 17th), a 16 year State Senator who was one of the earlier officials to begin seeing problems with the CRC, we read,

“I think the governor would want to know as much as possible about a project he’s been pushing so hard recently, which is why our coalition has approached him about commissioning the investigation himself. It’s his transportation department that co-owns the CRC project, after all, and as a new governor he has no stake in what his predecessor did.”

“However, if he doesn’t respond to our request by the middle of this next week I am more than ready as chairman of the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee to entertain the notion of having the Senate pay for the comprehensive accounting review.”

I would hope that along with this audit / investigation that criminal prosecutions of some follow suit, if found to be warranted.

If that news isn’t enough to warm our faith in elected officials, another even more stunning announcement came out late this afternoon from the State Senate, Washington Senate leaders say no to money for CRC.

Responding to the Governor’s call of “it’s now or never,” “increase the decibels” and the cry of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, parachuted in to try to breathe some life into the project with his call of “it’s time to cut bait or fish,” after increasingly strong opposition from citizens organizing into groups, CRCFacts.info, StopCRC.com, Couv.com, the tireless efforts of Sharon Nasset, Jim Karlock, Tiffany & Rusty Couch, blogs like this one and Clark County Politics plus a whole lot of citizens too numerous mention, Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, co-chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, says, “we will not pass hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Legislature this session for the project.”

At least for this year, barring anything unforeseen occurring, the CRC dies with no funding authorized y the Washington State Senate.

Staunch supporter of the project, Jim Moeller (D. 49th) chimes in,

“If you’re successful in delaying this project Lew, You will only ‘kill it’ for a generation. It will return in another generation with light-rail, tolls, a smaller bridge (total usable lanes) but double the price tag. But you and I will (hopefully) be dead by then. ;-)”

It is highly doubtful that future generations will desire inflexible light rail to move where they are told to move about to. As rapidly as technology is advancing, who knows what mode of transportation is waiting to be discovered and perfected for the individual. Why would anybody want to rely on outmoded 19th century technology of fixed rails even today?

But Jim Moeller is also wrong about us wanting to delay the CRC. We don’t want to delay it, we want to kill it, outright!

We want an affordable project to allow us free movement across the river without being forced to pay for generations for a fixed rail system few will use.

We want more crossings to really alleviate the congestion seen.

We want a bridge that does not interfere with future job creation upriver by creating choke points along the river.

What we want is a redesign of this boondoggle into something workable that the majority of citizens will support.

But we need to also note in Jim Moeller’s words, this project is not yet dead. I have no doubt he and other supporters needing to repay campaign donors will do what they can to resurrect the project as soon as they can.

We cannot rest until this project as designed is dead and buried, hopefully with some promoting is resting in jail if criminal conduct is discovered.

The citizens of Clark County need to issue our own ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order for this Columbia River Crossing as currently promoted.

CRC Tombstone

8 Comments to “SW Washington to CRC, Please Do Not Resuscitate”

  1. So Senator Cleveland thought it would be smart to chastize Senator Benton, not only is he her senior by age but also by length of service to the people. What an immature move on her part. Hopefully it proves to be political suicide. Kudos to Senator King and Senator Tom and Senator Schoesler for joining ramks with Senator Rivers and Benton on forcing this thing through the microscope! Last week when I went up to Olympia I was exhausted and had my hands full with family cominginto town, I went anyway knowing the critical importance this hearing had. This day I am smiling that we all stood and we fought. We will not go away… the cause is just!

  2. YES !!! GO, Washington and thank you to the Senate leaders for having the sense and fortitude to say NO to halt this money sucking monstrosity. A lot of people in Oregon are mad as hell about this project and the decisions made by our legislature, but people in Washington take care of business. Better to build two more bridges to alleviate the traffic on I-5 instead of taking two steps backward by tearing down one of the only two bridges that join the states.
    I used to ride the BART train in San Francisco and they had a bus system that actually got you to the train in a short time. They have huge parking lots where you can leave your car all day. The BART trains are packed all day long and much of the time standing room only. It’s not a perfect system, but it definitely moves people to their jobs and from city to city. Here, Tri-Met is cutting services and raising prices so who can afford to waste their money and time. What is wrong with this picture?
    ODOT had a very recent bridge construction failure, how could we possibly trust this bunch with a project this massive?
    Stop the CRC.

  3. I’m no light-rail hater (though I favor other options like automated-driving cars), and tolls on a 3rd bridge make perfect sense, so it’s not those issues that make me dislike CRC. No, I dislike CRC because it was Portland-centric manipulation by bureaucrats who arrogantly, and possibly illegally, ram-rodded their agendas at the EXPENSE OF CLARK COUNTY.

    And the citizens of Clark County defended themselves using Social Media that would not have been possible when the CRC-schemers began in 1995. This blog was part of that rebuttal. (It’s tougher to get away with being a scumbag in this modern age of connectivity.)

  4. (I think that the Scumbag Columbian has just learned that, Martin.)

  5. Lew, you said it right when you stated Friday was a stunning day for all opponents, although I am still skeptical whether or not the fight is coming to an end. These CRC fanatics are scheming, underhanded and crafty. They’ve gotten this far by stripping the wallets of the taxpayers by their deception. I won’t deny that I’m quite happy about the recent events, thanks in part to the Washington State Senators and Representatives who have taken a stand against the project…but as a longstanding member of this community, I feel compelled to thank “Citizen” David Madore for putting his own cash down on the table to launch the audit by Ms. Tiffany Couch who did a phenomenal job (thank you, Tiffany) in bringing to attention the obvious discrepancies which should be clarified in the investigation. I also thank Rep. Herrera-Beutler for pursuing the discrepancies and laying it on the line with the USCG AND the Vancouver Director of the CRC with her request for clarification of the discrepancies which I haven’t heard whether or not she received a reply. And most of all, it has taken the diligence of folks such as yourself, Carolyn, Jim Karlock, Sharon Nasset and all involved with StopCRC, Thirdbridgenow and all the other action groups and citizens such as myself (yes, I thank the good Lord above for giving me the strength to endure this battle) who have not allowed the corrupt leaders into manipulating us to prevent our rights as citizens of our communities to speak up for what we know is unfair taxation without representation and strong arm tactics to promote a special agenda in order for TriMet to gain taxpayer subsidies.

    When will I celebrate??? The day the current crossing project is dead in the water…literally!!! Then there should be the biggest celebration party Clark County has ever seen!!!

  6. The Columbia River does need more crossings. Another one in the east county at the least would be ideal! What we don’t need is another enhanced $4 billion dollar bottleneck!

  7. Health-Care Directive (Living Will)
    I, _John and/or Jane CRC_, living in the city of _Dark_, in the county of _Clark_, surrounded by a state of _grace and gratitude_, make this Health-Care Directive this _15th_ day of _April_, 2013:
    Being of sound mind, I willfully and by choice make known my wish that my life shall not be artificially prolonged as outlined below and hereby declare that:
    1. If at any time I should be diagnosed in writing to be in a terminal condition by my attending political pundant, or in a permanent unfinanciable condition by two doctors, and where the use of lifesustaining treatment would serve only to artificially lengthen the process of dying, I ask that
    such treatment be withheld or withdrawn and I be allowed to die naturally.
    I understand by using this form that a terminal condition means an incurable and irreversible
    condition caused by injury, disease, or illness, that would within reasonable politica;judgment
    cause death within a reasonable period of time in accordance with accepted medical standards,
    and where the use of life-sustaining treatment would serve only to lengthen the process of
    I further understand in using this form that a permanent unconscious condition means an
    incurable and irreversible condition in which I am medically assessed within reasonable
    medical judgment as having no reasonable chance of recovery from an irreversible coma or a
    persistent vegetative state.

    Witness: Norm A. Le Sane

  8. Well, normal, you still have your sense of humor about you. This is a good one and gave me the chuckles.

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