Cleveland’s Talking Points Out Of Touch With Constituents

by lewwaters

Cleveland 3There is an old saying by Mark Twain that goes, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

The quote can fit no one better than 49th Legislative District Senator Annette Cleveland who tries to portray herself as learned and relevant, even though she has yet to complete a single year in office.

Face it, she didn’t win the election because of any great intellect or connection with voters, but solely because she registered as a Democrat running in the heavily Democrat 49th district. A district so out of touch with itself that it repeatedly reelects Jim Moeller, knowing he sued them to invalidate their votes so he can raise their taxes easier.

Even the Lazy C, in endorsing her last year admitted the Republican candidate, Eileen Qutub, was the more experienced and all around better candidate, but that Cleveland was running in a Democrat district so they went with her.

In all, she is a light weight, having no real background in politics other than boasting of her father’s affiliation with the ILWU and often is reduced to relying on whatever talking points she can parrot.

And that is exactly what she once again does in a pathetic effort to counter a letter sent to Oregon Legislators by 5-term state senator, Don Benton, Republican from the 17th Legislative District.

Where Benton outlines some very relevant and critical question for Oregon’s Legislators to contemplate before voting to fund the bloated and troubled Columbia River Crossing light rail project to try to force our community into accepting the very light rail we keep rejecting, Cleveland rolls out the same tired talking points heard time and again and disproved.

Her piece, appearing on the Senate Democrats Blog is one that ought to bring shame to the Democrat Party, except they know no shame.

To begin with, she says, “Lest they be misled by an overly vocal minority from our side of the river, Oregon lawmakers should know that a majority of Washington legislators support the Columbia River Crossing project.”

Other than pulling such a statement out of her rather robust derrière, what could she possibly base that on? The last direct vote in 1995 saw light rail defeated by a 2 to 1 margin. Every measure put to a vote to fund any portion or operations of light rail has been defeated by her constituents.

The latest effort, Proposition 1 last year to increase sales tax to pay for operations and maintenance was also defeated. That majority within her district turned it down by a vote of 56.51% against, 43.49% for.

Of course, that is just her lowly constituents, not her esteemed fellow legislators who continue to ignore voters’ desires. But, even there, it was a majority in the Senate who did not support the effort to slap us with a 10.5¢ gasoline tax increase last year to meet the Governor’s over $10 Billion dream of bloated transportation projects that do not maintain or repair existing infrastructure in dire need.

She continues, “The most vociferous opposition to the CRC has come from a Washington lawmaker who represents a district miles from the existing Interstate 5 bridges.”

This is very laughable, as if only those residing closest to the light rail bridge will pay for it. Sen. Benton’s district, the 17th is well within Clark County, beginning maybe 6 miles from the bridge location. Still, many of his constituents will be forced to pay exorbitant tolls if the project goes through whenever they cross it as well as the 17th runs adjacent to the 49th, all the way to the Columbia River, bordering on the only other bridge to cross the river that just today we were warned would like be jammed with traffic avoiding tolls on the new carrier Cleveland prefers.

She continues, “It’s important to remember that a post-session proposal from a group of business leaders from both sides of the Columbia River wrote to urge Gov. Inslee to work with Gov. Kitzhaber to explore their new proposal which satisfies all concerns Republicans put forth in the 2013 session.”

Another laughable one considering she neglects to inform them that this “group of business leaders,” Identity Clark County, stand to gain personally from the project. And again, what about her struggling middle class constituents?

They are who will be stuck with the bill. Where is her concern for them?

Her final paragraph is pure hyperbole, right out of the tired talking points, “Replacing the antiquated Interstate 5 bridge — now — remains the single most important safety and economic issue facing us as a community, state and region. Our economic viability and ability to meet the needs of the future hinge on doing the right thing now. I believe history will judge us as leaders by how well we prepare for the future and that of future generations.”

Again, all of the cries of the bridge being unsafe, antiquated fall apart when we hear, “no light rail, no bridge.”

That is the cry from her party members and Oregon’s Governor. “No light Rail, no bridge.”

Why, if their concern for safety, economic improvement or what have you is of prime importance, do they demand light rail or nothing at all?

Light rail is a bloated expense that does not travel where most people need to go. It is fixed and inflexible and often sees more flexible bus service being cut so the light rail can be afforded.

She is correct though, when she says “history will judge them as leaders.” But not in how she wants you to think.

Like others in her party, no consideration is given that struggling middle class families will be who is stuck paying for many generations to fund this boondoggle. For those that have to work in Oregon, since the focus remains sticking our community with Oregon’s light rail over attracting good paying jobs, their expense stand to increase by nearly $2,000 a year, just to cross the bridge daily to go to work.

That is food right out of the mouths of middle class families with small children who will also be squeezed with higher gasoline taxes, increased license fees and higher fares if they are forced out of their cars and onto Portland’s financially troubled light rail.

Yes, Portland is struggling with $1.6 Billion in unfunded liabilities with their light rail lines and you can bank on Vancouver, Clark County residents, including those who don’t live closest to the bridge footing the bills for a very long time.

Does Annette Cleveland care?

No, she has her marching orders from party leaders and tired talking points.

I can’t help but wonder if old Mark Twain envisioned Ms. Cleveland when he said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

She sure proves it right.

4 Comments to “Cleveland’s Talking Points Out Of Touch With Constituents”

  1. Lew is spot on with his analysis of Cleveland’s abilities. And…he is correct. Every Dem. Candidate was wishing they were her, running in the 49th – a virtual “Shoe In” rather than the 17th or 18th. As recently as last February, when I was in Olympia, she still said, in those eye twirling moments that we were losing 20,000 jobs. Finally I went to her aide and asked him to tell her to stop saying that – as she was embarrassing herself. When I think that we could have had Eileen – smart, articulate, it is unbelievable

  2. Boy does she. She rarely has anything of her own to input at the townhalls and is always the last to squeak I mean speak 🙂 in the trio.

  3. most of clark county doesn’t give a damn what the daily dog turd thinks anyway


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