Annette Cleveland Condemns Scoring Political Points by Trying to Score a Political Point

by lewwaters

Annette Cleveland As I suspected last year during the campaign for the 2012 election, Annette Cleveland has shown herself to be nothing more than another Jim Moeller tool blindly advocating for the Columbia River Crossing light rail project.

Cleveland, a Democrat from Washington’s 49th legislative district, the same district as Moeller was easily elected, even though she had no political experience that even the Lazy C admitted her opponent, Republican Eileen Qutub had the qualifications as they endorsed Cleveland.

But elected she was and as suspected, walks lock-step with the Democrat Party and Jim Moeller.

I say this as just this afternoon I received her June 3, 2013 e-newsletter where much of it is devoted to fearmongering over the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge after having 10 structural support beams damaged by an over-sized load on a semi-truck.

You can see a copy of the email here, but I am going to focus on one paragraph.

“I must admit I was shocked to see the swiftness with which a number of bridge opponents issued public comments so quickly upon the bridge’s collapse — not to voice any concern for public safety but to discourage people from drawing the obvious and logical correlation between the collapse and the tenuous state of the I-5 bridges across the Columbia. The state of our infrastructure, and our efforts to ensure safe roads for the public, should be a far more urgent priority than trying to score political points. I should think that ensuring public safety would be far more important than pursuing a personal bias against light rail.”

Funny how she could be “shocked” at how fast we that see through the CRC smoke screen responded to the immediate onslaught of comparisons of the Skagit River Bridge to the Interstate Bridge proponents call for being replaced to accommodate light rail. Somehow, she seems to have missed that the ‘light rail at any cost’ crowd could even wait for the dust to settle from the collapse before flooding articles with comments condemning opponents and dire warnings of a simple sneeze could cause this bridge to collapse too.

Even when it came out that it was caused by a truck impact, that did not dissuade proponents from “increasing the decibels” to launch into their weeks long fearmongering, led by the Lazy C.

As you should be able to see, Ms. Cleveland engages in it herself with “not to voice any concern for public safety but to discourage people from drawing the obvious and logical correlation between the collapse and the tenuous state of the I-5 bridges across the Columbia.”

Ignored by Ms. Cleveland and proponents is that the Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River is not unsafe. It is not structurally deficient nor is it in danger of collapse, verified by bridge engineers from both the State of Oregon and Washington.

But why let facts get in the way?

Cleveland then launches into her “ensure safe roads for the public, should be a far more urgent priority than trying to score political points” spiel, again completely ignoring that is proponents, her side who we continue to hear “no light rail, no bridge” coming from.

Where is any concern for “safety” by holding a bridge replacement they claim is “unsafe,” hostage to light rail from Portland, Oregon?

Is safety even an issue with her that she would join in holding up a new bridge in order to force her constituents, who have repeatedly voted down light rail and all funding measures put before them, to accept the financially failing and high costs of Portland’s light rail?

Does she condemn that call of “no light rail, no bridge?” No. She condemns those who call out for a safe bridge of the proper height to provide adequate clearance for all river traffic without the expensive light rail.

She ends this paragraph with “I should think that ensuring public safety would be far more important than pursuing a personal bias against light rail.”

Yet, public safety isn’t important enough to condemn holding bridges hostage to light rail that adds no safety, provides no easing for congestion or movement of freight, but does require the lowest clearance along the river for waterborne craft, leaving the bridge more susceptible to collision from vessels navigating the river, since light rail requires a lower bridge to be able to climb the grade.

Apparently, her pursuit of light rail is more important than a safe and adequate bridge, yet she ignores her own complicity in holding bridge safety hostage to light rail by pointing fingers and trying to score political points of her own.

Wouldn’t it be great if the 49th had elected officials who were more concerned with representing constituents in Vancouver than ensuring Portland Oregon’s folly is bailed out?

Hostage 49th - B

15 Comments to “Annette Cleveland Condemns Scoring Political Points by Trying to Score a Political Point”

  1. WE KICK ASS!!

  2. She even looks like a mouse!

  3. Proof that ignorance of issues is bliss ..that picture should be titled “3 A-grade Morons”, talking heads without brains

  4. “I should think that ensuring public safety would be far more important than pursuing a personal bias against light rail.”
    Ms. Cleveland, this isn’t a personal bias. Light rail isn’t personally wrong. Light Rail isn’t a scary idea, Light Rail in the right place way back when at the right time, for the right price, was a good thing. But This isn’t the right place, it isn’t the right time and it sure as hell ain’t the right price. The only thing this bridge plan does is serve notice to all the citizens that you care more about who donates to your next campaign than you do about the current and future residents of Clark County. Please just stop making such sweeping statements using such patently false logic. I am offended by your disdain.

  5. In recent days, I contacted Senator Cleveland with my obvious concerns regarding the multiple negative impacts of the current crossing LPA. She responded with one email which from my perspective was quite generic, ending with the comment “I encourage you to stay in touch, and continue to keep me apprised of specific legislation that’s important to you. Thank you for helping me to best represent our community. Together we can work to ensure that it remains one of opportunity for the future.”

    I then responded to her email, stating that she hadn’t answered my questions and only responded in generalizations. I then proceeded with a list of questions which I expected direct responses from someone who was elected by the people. Did I receive a response from her?


    Instead, I engaged in discussion with Mr. Robert Sellers, Session Aide to Senator Cleveland. He appeared to be much better informed and better equipped to respond intelligently rather than a robo-response. Maybe HE should be in office rather than Annette Cleveland. His comment to me, and I hope he doesn’t mind that I share this information as I believe it provides the basis for the CRC promoters’ groundwork in attempts to get this project built:

    Mr. Sellers stated –
    “There is no funding plan for the replacement of the I-5 Bridge without light rail. The money that the project is requesting is for transit specific funds and the bill funding the Oregon half of the project requires approval of operation funds for light rail or Oregon’s money will not appear. Without light rail transit there is no funding from Oregon or the Federal Government for a new bridge.

    Also, as Governor Inslee said when he vetoed the $81 million dollars in CRC funding from the transportation budget, if the Coast Guard does not permit the existing design than the attempt to build a replacement bridge will not have succeeded and the project will be dead.

    As far as construction impacts, there will be construction impacts to any replacement of the bridge. So, unless we believe the bridge will never need to be replaced then all we can do is work to minimize and mitigate the effects.

    The time is now to approve the Columbia River Crossing as designed or abandon the project of replacing the I-5 Bridge between Vancouver and Portland.”

    And finally, Mr. Sellers also stated the following (if it is true) which I believe is quite an eye opener to all of us who do not support the current LPA.

    Mr. Sellers’ statement –
    “If the current Colombia(his typo) River Crossing dies there is currently no funding, engineering, or process of implementation for any sort of seismic retrofit or any other safety improvements to the Interstate Bridge. Any process for replacing the bridge would have to start at square one finding a design that fits the divergent needs of Portland and Vancouver.”

    Together as a community, we should hold the federal government and the Oregon/Washington State Departments of Transportation accountable as they should have made that investment for seismic retrofit in the first place rather than holding out hopes for loo rail into Clark County. They damn well know we’re in the Ring of Fire and earthquakes are not uncommon to this region. Why they’ve failed to retrofit the bridges in the first place has me shakin’ my head in frustration…that is, IF the bridges were so vulnerable as they’ve been trying to sell us in the fear-mongering propaganda.

  6. Reviewing Mr. Sellers words, Goldie, he actually reaffirms what we have been saying all along.

    This is a light rail project before anything else.

    The rest, bridge safety, easing congestion, improving freight mobility are just smoke screens.

    He actually is saying that light rail has been the only consideration from day one and no one on that side is willing to to even consider anything else.

    They really are holding bridge safety hostage to light rail.

  7. Of course it has been all about light rail from the beginning…at least from the beginning of approval for this LPA, I should say. Lew, if you go back in history and look at what federal funding was or wasn’t available at the time of the initial requests for crossing improvements, you will likely find there was no funding available for bridges which already passed safety inspections. At that time, the bridges were considered in good condition. It wasn’t till the time of the push for the current LPA which was approved by the select group which didn’t include the rights of the voters… that funding was available (thanks to President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tiger (Transportation Income Generating Economic Recovery) grants. You know, those little carrots dangling over the heads of entities like TriMet. Funny how suddenly, the bridge’s structural integrity report from ODOT was removed right around the same time as the approval of the current FEIS for the loo rail design.

    A thought…and I mean no disrespect, but felt compelled to ask you, Lew…

    Is it all about holding bridge safety hostage to light rail, Lew? Come on now…in one breath we’re being told the bridge is structurally sound for bridge traffic, yet at the same time, you and many others are saying they’re holding bridge safety hostage on this project. Either it is or it isn’t structurally sound. The only safety improvements I see with the current LPA are pullout lanes for fender benders or stalled vehicles…as well as a Cadillac version of bike lanes and that’s certainly NOT worth investing $3.7 billion (before residual costs pour in). When you say “Bridge Safety” is being held hostage to Loo Rail…you’re sending a mixed message, my friend.

    Just my little, itty bitty two-cents’ worth.

  8. I see no disrespect in your comment at all, Goldie.

    But, the reason I am using that phrase is because it is they who are crying how unsafe the bridges are while it is also they who proclaim “no light rail, no bridge.”

    If they truly feel our bridges are really that unsafe, why hold them hostage to light rail?

    Basically, it’s an effort to throw their words back in their faces. They should be made to admit that 1, the bridges really are safe after all or 2, safety isn’t their goal, light rail is.

    It’s an effort to point out their hypocrisy.

  9. Okay, Lew. I’m glad I wasn’t sounding terse with you. Sometimes words can be quite powerful and other times, the message just doesn’t come out the way it was originally intended. I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page regarding your comment…and we are. Regarding the effort to point out their hypocrisy…the only effort I see is in deciding which hypocritical statement they make is the focus of my attention…and there’s very little energy spent on the decision process. They make it too easy, lol.

  10. Mr sellers appears to understand that Portland will not be forced to pay for their poor judgement without consequences. IOW I shot my self in the foot, if you don’t help me pay the er fees I’ll shoot myself and you too in the other foot.

  11. There is an apropos scene in blazing saddles, which this reminds me of, the new sheriff threatens to shoot him self. However due to the sensitivity of peripheral issues I will not link to it.

  12. I’ll link to it, I love that movie. One of the funniest ever

  13. …and to tie it all in with yet another Mel Brooks movie (Robin Hood, Men in Tights)…

    “WHY NOT??? It worked in Blazing Saddles!!!!”

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