Updated: Deny, Deny, Deny, but Stack the Deck

by lewwaters

It seems the very instant anyone brings up mention of the comatose CRC light rail project or even light rail itself, they are quickly deluged with denials and ridicule over it with the usual call of the project is dead and buried and we will not see a new bridge over the Columbia River for at least a generation.

We see comments from C3G2 as, “THE SKY IS FALLING! AKA, THE OREGON-ONLY CRC IS BACK! (….not)” in response to observations from an Oregon resident concerning efforts south of the river.

This blog has shown the gradual efforts from our side of the river in calling for a reassessment of transportation needs similar to those seen years ago as the CRC light rail project grew into the bloated boondoggle it promised to become.

A recent bipartisan effort to reengage in discussions between the two states failed as our legislature declined to fund the $100,000 funding for such discussions.

Why they need tax dollars to begin speaking is unknown to me as I see no reason legislators could not meet over coffee and build support prior to milking any tax dollars, but that is me.

But, we are now seeing a new tact utilized that I can only describe as “stacking the deck” in favor of silencing critics of light rail.

Before I go into that, I feel the need to remind all that we had three major players in our own legislature that led the charge to kill the project. Senators Don Benton (17th) and Ann Rivers (18th) and Representative Liz Pike (18th), all three working very hard over the years to squelch it.

Benton has announced he isn’t running for a 6th term, Ann Rivers is under fire with calls for her to be ousted over a single vote that isn’t setting well with the new establishment leadership of the Clark County Republican Party and others and there are increasing calls to exclude Liz Pike from any future discussions, even though she is who got the ball rolling on the bipartisan effort to reengage in discussions.

First there was a letter by Mayor Tim Leavitt calling for her exclusion and countered by another letter from 3rd Congressional District Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Now we see an editorial in the Lazy C calling on Pike to “step aside” citing, “Pike’s adamant opposition to the Columbia River Crossing — and her opposition to a gas-tax increase approved last year to fund roads projects — damages her credibility when it comes to transportation issues.”

It would appear if you opposed soaking generations of Clark County taxpayers to pay for a bloated project they did not want in the first place “damages your credibility” to the editorial staff of the Lazy C, staunch supporters for several years.

Left out of their call was the cry raised by Oregon Governor Kitzhaber and parroted by Washington Governor Inslee and several supporters of the light rail project of, “no light rail, no bridge, no kidding.”

Somehow, their effort to slam dunk taxpayers against their will seems to not affect their “credibility” in the eyes of the Lazy C and CRC supporters.

Could they be more blatant in “stacking the deck” in any discussion to exclude any who might oppose forcing us into accepting Oregon’s financially ailing light rail a few blocks into our community at a cost of Billions of dollars?

As Herrera Beutler put it in her counter to Leavitt’s call, “…you attacked one of the founding members of that coalition and implied that she should not be allowed to participate in the process. This is exactly the attitude that proved fatal to the CRC project. If we go into this process carrying grudges, clinging to the past, and excluding the people we disagree with, we are dooming ourselves to many more years of gridlock.”

As I see it, that is the very goal of this effort, “exclude the people we disagree with” on light rail to ensure that the people are further ignored and shut out of the process to push light rail into our community against our will.

I would also caution those ready to kick Ann Rivers to the curb that her efforts were a large part of us stopping it back then and we are going to need strong voices like hers to prevent its rebirth.

I must remind all of the wise words of Ronald Reagan, “Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn’t get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I’m trying to get … I’ll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future.”

The Lazy C also mentions, “[Pike] appears more interested in discussing a third bridge in the Vancouver-Portland area — a bridge supported by Clark County Councilor David Madore — rather than supporting the I-5 crossing that was vetted through a lengthy public process.”

First off we see the Alinskyite effort to taint Pike by linking her in with much reviled County Councilor David Madore. This has nothing to do with him as the proposal he champions is but one alternative available for discussion.

It is very obvious to any fool that more more river crossings are a must prior to replacing the current I-5 spans simply to alleviate massively increased congestion through the corridor during construction.

Secondly, that “lengthy vetting” they mention excluded taxpayers at every step possible, even to the point of seeking ways to go around voters that declined every single funding measure placed before us.

We that will be stuck with the bill for such a bloated, massive project absolutely must be part of the process through our elected representatives, those that oppose as well as those that support.

It is very obvious to this blogger that the effort now is to exclude or otherwise prevent opposition to any such future bloated project and silence critics of government waste.

Liz Pike and any other elected official that was key in supporting citizens over special interests absolutely must be included in any discussions.

Update, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:05 PM: Rep. Pike responds, “I Will Not Be Silenced”

Feb 22, 2016; Congresswoman Herrera Beutler Letter to the Editor: Allow representation to participate
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7 Comments to “Updated: Deny, Deny, Deny, but Stack the Deck”

  1. I wonder if The Columbian Editorial Board and their sycophants actually expect anyone to believe their nonsense? Gonna exclude an elected official because they don’t like how she plays? We know what they’d say if Republicans were trying to exclude the oh-so-predictable Jim Moeller from the process.


  2. Politics, of course, is a “what have you done for me lately” kind of thing.

    Yes, Rivers was instrumental in killing the insanity of wasting $200 million on a project that we did not want, did not need and could not afford.

    But your oversimplification of why she is now a liability and how, for example, those of us who want her gone (Sidenote: she is not your senator. She is, unfortunately, mine) are somehow tied to anything is the very kind of politics you decry about being played here.

    I am not tied to a thing. It makes zero difference to me who is running the county party. Your disdain for those people has, on occasion, matched my own.

    But I am not one of them. And there is far, far more to it than getting rid of her because she lied about her position on the gas tax/tab fee increases PRECISELY like The Liar Leavitt lied about his opposition to tolls.

    Are you telling me that your opposition to Leavitt is based only on his single issue?

    But Rivers also recruited someone who views her lies about the gas tax the same way to run against the same Liz Pike you’re talking about here… and that doesn’t seem to be a problem for you in the least. Meanwhile, Rivers lied to get elected (Hardly a single vote issue) AND did her best to nail all of us, including you, with a $1600 tax bill… all without asking us.

    On one hand, we give her kudos for ending the $200 million waste on the CRC. On the other, you would give her a pass for her efforts that ultimately and unnecessarily led to this entire county getting hung with a $700 million tax bill… all without asking us.

    Additionally, she is lying about how much money she has reported in the PDC’s. They tell me that she’s overstating the amount by $182,000.

    Why would she also lie about that? And lie about that for a YEAR. And why is that OK?

    It wasn’t “one vote” that set me off. It was SEVERAL votes. And now, it’s morphing into her hate jihad against Pike.

    The power and her title have gone to her head. She is supposed to be honest ALL the time. She is supposed to vote her district ALL the time.

    Belittling my position and that of others who believed in her… believed in her honesty and integrity… who now believe she has failed us unnecessarily and then lied about the results of her “no” vote (She really, genuinely claimed during the Battle Ground town hall meeting that had she voted “no,” it would have both made her out to be a “pansy” (Like keeping your word somehow subjects you to derogatory titles? That must be why every other Republican voted “no” on her gas tax increase.) AND would have cost Clark County SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS instead of the $700 million sucked out of our local economy now.) want her gone as a result has far more to it than that.

    The gas tax, you see, would have passed without her vote AND we would have gotten our projects. After all, all 5 of the other GOP legislators, including the two in the House representing Battle Ground also voted no and yet, here those projects are…

    This is, IMHO, the exact same thing you’re complaining about here when it’s applied to others.

    Whoever would replace Rivers in the senate would likely be just as capable and powerful when the time came. After all, Rivers had been there less than two sessions when she joined with others to kill this monstrosity.

    And frankly, Lew, it’s a risk that I as a constituent, a constituent that she now ignores, am willing to risk.

    You see, this is my circus and she’s one of my monkeys because she has the misfortune of being my senator and I have the misfortune of living in her district. And the people of this district have to live with whoever we have in the Senate just like we have to live with the $6400 bill she smacked my family of 4 with for her gas tax vote… her pledge to the contrary notwithstanding.


  3. A few days ago, when the State Senate voted on that “transgender” issue, the local daily PRAVDA didn’t see fit to put that vote on their website carousel. An issue which reportedly has generated more contacts by constituents to their representatives than any other. When that issue has been brought up in the media, it’s mostly been described as an issue about “bathrooms”, which conveniently ignores the even bigger issue of looker rooms, oops! I meant locker rooms. i.e., men running around the women’s showers and vice versa. Perhaps the stupidest action I’ve ever seen taken by politicians. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    When it comes to the CRC: same thing. It’s always about a “bridge”, which conveniently ignores the lite rail issue, which garners even more objections. And what about that 1995 vote that overwhelmingly rejected the notion of lite rail in Clark County? You’d think that would have been the default position of these planners, the ones who talk up a storm about all of the input they received. “Stacked deck” is also the term I thought of Lew Waters.

    Leftists are forever trying to indoctrinate themselves into believing that everyone sees things as they do. Hence: “Liz Pike has lost all credibility”. “David Madore has lost all credibility”. “Everyone in the state is laughing at Clark County”. It’s nothing but a grade school mentality: “I don’t like you, and nobody else does either”. Leftists don’t speak for everyone. How incredibly arrogant. What inwardly turned minds.


  4. Well, as I always say, everybody to their own view.

    I don’t see any viable name being fronted in opposition to Ann and even if one is, what pull would a junior legislator have against seasoned screw the voter Democrats?

    I don’t get a vote in the 18th, so I will continue watching from outside and whatever happens, happens.

    In the meantime, I post my observations and views 🙂


  5. Also Kndalai, the constant denials that light rail is once again being considered. A blind man can see their ploy.

    The only question now is can it be stopped again, what with so much splintering and efforts to see the power players that did stop it last time pushed out.


  6. KJ Hinton, on his blog site, has posted a video of 17th district house candidate Martin Hash on the bridge issue. He’s nailed it. Social engineering by the planners and government overlords. (My words not his). Hope all of your viewers here, take a look.


  7. Martin Hash is an old buddy of ours. A Democrat, but reasonable. He invited us to his home a couple years ago for a barbecue, very nice spread he has complete with a train in his yard and a maze alongside the house.

    He is highly educated and is as honest as the day is long, a good guy.

    That video is at https://youtu.be/IL_2ZCrvcIs

    As for light rail, when the push is more evident than it is now, something to consider: Billions spent, but fewer people are using public transportation in Southern California

    Even the LA Times is beginning to see the folly others wish to follow


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