Of Increased Decibels, Cutting Bait and the Four P’s

by lewwaters

CRCUnable to read the tea leaves, by all appearances proponents of the costly and controversial light rail project, falsely promoted as a bridge project, the Columbia River Crossing are responding to the call of Governor Jay Inslee to “increase the decibels” as if they were trained seals blasting on a horn to be rewarded with a small piece of fish.

Increasingly we see elected officials fall in lock-step along partisan lines to promote this boondoggle, falling back on all of the disproven talking points and at times, gross exaggerations if not outright lies.

Early last week we saw outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood parachuted in to manipulate the State Legislature into voting for and supporting this project where he said, “This is the 11th hour. Fish or cut bait. Make a decision.”

As any fisherman knows, any fishing trip begins with not only cutting up your bait, but also choosing the right bait for the fish you intend to catch as well as baiting your hook properly. If not, the bait falls off your hood or is easily taken by a passing fish without setting the hook in its mouth.

The wrong bait and they just swim by, uninterested.

And that has been one of the bigger problems associated from day one with this fiasco, no one cut any bait, the proper bait was never chosen and CRC supporters can’t seem to figure out how to properly bait their hook, so instead they demand we little fish just swallow what they throw out, hook line and sinker.

Instead, we saw the State Senate Leaders first issue a letter to Governor Inslee requesting an independent audit of the CRC’s book as well as Coalition Majority Leader in the State Senate come out saying he will not pass any funding for the CRC this year.

LaHood’s trip was for naught.

Undeterred by the rising voices opposed to this overly expensive, job killing project, we see the unofficial daily newsletter for the CRC and Democrat Party, the so called newspaper of record for Southwest Washington, the Columbian going all out to coerce readers into accepting the bloated project.

Not long after Inslee’s call of “increase the decibels,” publisher Scott Campbell, staunch supporter of the CRC, commissioned a “scientific” poll to be conducted, supposedly to gauge the mood of Clark County voters in regard to the CRC.

Of that poll, Editor Lou Brancaccio told me in email,

“the poll is representative to population relative to zip codes. So the calls were evenly distributed in the zip codes meaning the more population a zip code has the more calls it would get and vice versa.”

In comments under a Saturday article Brancaccio said,

“Our scientific poll — results to be reported on Monday — will show some absorbing results, specifically on light rail.”

Unknown at this time is precisely what Lou means by “absorbing results” given he swore off the use of the word “interesting” a few weeks ago. Also unknown is the Demographics of this poll in just how many County Residents were called, how many responded and whether or not they are registered voters.

If unregistered to vote, since we have repeatedly been denied a vote were promised on the light rail, their view is largely irrelevant since a project of this scope and expense should be decided on by voters, not a handful of appointed officials or legislators falling in lock-step with a partisan viewpoint.

We’ll see how it comes out.

But we also have seen no sparing of the ink or megabytes from the Columbian in promoting this deeply troubled project with slanted coverage and promotion, granting liberal access to op-eds for a rookie Senator supporter, but relegating releases from opponents like 4 term State Senator Don Benton to the Letters to the Editor section.

Again, just today, Sunday April 14, 2013 we see yet another op-ed, this time from former Oregon Legislator now second term 49th Legislative District Representative Sharon Wylie filled with talking points and erroneous claims.

Wylie claims,

“We can always wish for a better process, however, we wound up with a process of our own making, based on the quantity and quality of our participation. The process may not have been perfect, but it was open and it was fair.”

From day one the effort has been to silence, shut up, drown out, diminish and demean any and all opposition or critical observance of the CRC.

David Madore, Tiffany Couch, Joe Cortright, Debbie Peterson, Josephine Wentzel, Larry Patella and so many more have been treated rudely, disrespectfully and with outright hostility at times as even Vancouver’s hopefully soon to be ex-Mayor followed the dutiful CRC party line advocating shutting off microphones if someone with concerns wanted to speak on the CRC.

The process has been anything but “open and fair.”

A prime example of get this bloated light rail project pushed through at any cost was given by editor Lou Brancaccio in his Saturday Press Talk Column where he explained how for some time, withdrawals from state coffers have grossly exceeded deposits.

Lou continues with,

“There have been so many missteps on this Columbia River Crossing project that if it was entered on ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ it would be voted off before Mike Tyson. It’s just mess after mess. The tomfoolery is epic. Even its most ardent supporters would agree with this. For me, I hold my nose and close my eyes, and say we should move forward.”

And therein lay the main problems associated with the CRC over the years. In spite of all of the missteps, mistakes, over spending, malfeasance, mismanagement, cover-ups, outright lies, demeaning of critical views and much more, the call is to just ignore all of that and continue pushing ahead, no matter the cost in money or economic harm resulting from it.

head_up_assEven after numerous voted defeating every funding measure for light rail placed before the voters, even if only perceived to be funding for light rail, we now see main supporting agency C-Tran, our Public Bus System at a crossroads over light rail, struggling to decide what to do.

Heeding the voice of the public seems to not be high on their list.

Back in my Army days we would refer to such a misguided, ill-conceived and poorly planned project as this as the “Four P’s.”

Piss Poor Prior Planning!

From properly engaging the public to drawing an affordable bridge that still allow river commerce free movement under the bridge to heeding the public vote on light rail, from day one this has been an effort to do an end run around the people and force Portland, Oregon’s financially failing light rail on Clark County, regardless of public outcry, economic harm or interference with river commerce.

This is not how I was taught America works, but is what I learned of how a Communist Society performs.

Stop this insanity, fully investigate all concerned and if warranted, prosecute and send some to prison.

It’s time to start over and do it right this time and come up with something that actually will work and will have the support of the people.

6 Comments to “Of Increased Decibels, Cutting Bait and the Four P’s”

  1. Absolutely top notch and on target.

    Well done!

    Like

  2. Together we shall continue shining light on them as the cockroaches supporting this mess scurry around.

    Thanks

    Like

  3. Fantastic Lew! Funny how you don’t even have to throw in any of your own words – you can just quote them.

    Like

  4. That is all we have to do, Robert.

    Later on, I’ll post on this “scientific poll results” in the Columbian, nice bait & switch on Brancaccio’s part, he should have been a Used Car Salesman, but I’ll apply the Paul Montague method of interpreting the November Prop 1 vote to the poll results.

    Most “absorbing” to me in reading the results in the print edition, Attitudes towards CRC gained 1% approval when the project was explained, but opposition jumped 8% in once it was explained.

    Like

  5. Notice how the Columbian is trying to profit from the failing LRC-light rail crossing (my new nickname for it) with this poll. You have to obtain a hard copy to be able to read the results.

    Like

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