Posts tagged ‘Boondoggle’

May 12, 2015

It’s Only Your Tax Dollars

by lewwaters

Reminiscent of the failure of the CRC

April 10, 2013

CRC Supporters Scurrying Like Cockroaches

by lewwaters

Barking CockroachThis past Sunday, April 3, 2013 saw yet another insulting editorial written by soon to be retiring Columbian Editorial Page Editor, John Laird: We should all live as long as the Third Bridge Cockroach.

Laird, a strong supporter of the Columbia River Crossing has now added “cockroach” to his repertoire of derogatory titles assigned to taxpayers that dare actually look behind the shroud of secrecy long enveloping the CRC and stand against it.

BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), Ankle Biters, Hounds of Whinerville, NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) and now Cockroaches to describe those who they also want to buy their newspaper.

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March 11, 2013

CRC Gets Professional Marketing Campaign Support

by lewwaters

Light Rail HellAs public sentiment grows against the Columbia River Crossing Project and citizens raise their voices louder and louder over being shut out of the process for the light rail carrier from Portland, Oregon into Clark County Washington, it comes as no surprise to see a very professional marketing strategy masquerading as a “grassroots” movement pop up.

In an email forwarded to me from Betsy Henning, Founder & CEO of AHA! (Alling Henning Associates Inc. 415 West Sixth Street, Suite 605 Vancouver, WA 98660), “a communications firm with expertise in writing that applies equal parts strategy and creativity to engage, educate and empower the people most important to turning a company’s business goals into business results,” came the announcement of a group calling themselves “Washington for CRC.”

I can’t help but note that the AHA! firm is located on the 6th Floor of the Vancouver City Hall Building downtown either.

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March 9, 2013

CRC, the Columbian and the War on the Middle Class

by lewwaters

Light Rail HellIt has long been shown that the Columbian, the so-called newspaper of record for Southwest Washington, is solidly in the tank for the effort to force Clark County to accept Portland, Oregon’s financially ailing light rail system by supporting the Columbia River Crossing project, falsely being sold as a “bridge replacement project.”

Replacing the aging spans is secondary to forcing light rail across state lines a short distance into our community, as was revealed early in 2012 by an Oregon State Supreme Court ruling in an unrelated case. To date, the Columbian has not acknowledged that revelation first made known in the Willamette Week article, The $2.5 Billion Bribe.

Far from being just an “ugly baby” we are somehow beholden to, as described in editor Lou Brancaccio’s Saturday Press Talk column, It’s an ugly baby, but it’s ours, it is in reality the epitome of the war on the middle class as expenses of this boondoggle fall directly on the backs of a still struggling middle class in Clark County trying to recover from 4 straight years of double digit unemployment.

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February 20, 2013

Seattle & Portland in the Running for 2024 Summer Olympics

by lewwaters

OlympicAs if we don’t have enough trouble in the Northwest with high taxes, pie in the sky dreams of bloated projects taxpayers can ill afford, we now see that the cities of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon were among 35 cities contacted by the U.S. Olympic Committee to gauge their interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics.

With 35 cities contacted it is far from a done deal by either city, but we all know that both cities operate along narcissistic lines, constantly doing what they can to draw attention to themselves and hiding the seedier sides of the respective cities, no matter the cost to taxpayers.

The Seattle PI is asking whether or not readers would want the 2024 Olympics and as of this posting those in favor are in the lead, labeling it an awesome idea.

The no ways are second by several votes.

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February 15, 2013

Changing Minds on the CRC

by lewwaters

CRCThe Columbia River Crossing Project, a bloated effort to replace the aging spans of the Interstate Bridge connecting Southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon and force Clark County Washington to accept extending Portland financially ailing light rail was considered a “done deal,” just accept it, it’s happening, regardless of how the taxpayers that will be forced to foot the bill for decades thinks of it.

For a long time we have heard from the likes of Mayor Tim Leavitt, former Mayor Royce Pollard, Representative Jim Moeller, County Commissioner Steve Stuart, Portland’s former Mayor Sam Adams, current Portland Mayor Charlie Hale end many more ego-inflated elected officials that our resistance to “modernization” was futile, “it’s coming, deal with it.”

While most of us agree replacing the bridges is a good idea, we in Clark County have long resisted the notion of we must accept Portland’s deep in debt light rail. And the tide just may be turning as more and more, we see former supporters switching to opponents as efforts to peel back the shroud of secrecy that has long enveloped the CRC is back and light is shined on some very questionable procedures.

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December 4, 2012

Doesn’t Patty Murray Have Some Cliff to Worry About Falling Over?

by lewwaters

Patty Murray 2Patty Murray, the so-called senior Washington State Senator has long advocated for the Columbia River Crossing and forcing Clark County to accept Portland, Oregon’s financially ailing light rail, even though Clark County voters have voted it down in every ballot measure perceived to support it.

But that doesn’t stop dictatorial Democrats like Patty Murray, even though she is clueless about what goes on in Clark County since we never see her unless she is up for reelection or seeking donations to retain her in the cushioned seat of authority she has gotten accustomed to.

In spite of the apparent corruption surrounding the CRC, having sucked up over $160 Million in planning and can’t even design a bridge with enough clearance to meet U.S. Coast Guard specifications for river traffic clearance, she lends her voice to Oregon’s Governor in the call for “damn the voters, full speed ahead” with the project.

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November 23, 2012

Looking for Facts on Portland’s Light Rail

by lewwaters

Portland’s light rail being forced upon Clark County is and has been a very contentious matter for a number of years. Supporters want us to believe how beneficial it will be while opponents see it for what it is, an expensive boondoggle set to bankrupt our struggling community.

Efforts to shine some light on the CRC has been met with extreme opposition, often to the point of disgust from supporters in elected office who make decisions pertaining to extending it a short distance into our community.

Throughout it all, facts have been ignored, glossed over, and labeled lies, to the point of ridiculing any that would dare shine some light on the project. Most notable would be when Vancouver’s mayor, ‘Teflon’ Tim ‘the liar’ Leavitt’s effort to silence critics from speaking in opposition before City Council.

Facts are out there and through the efforts of David Madore’s Couv.com are continuing to be presented to the voting and taxpaying public. The latest effort to come from Couv.com will be a series of factual presentations in video format, beginning with Portland Light Rail: Tracking the Facts [pt. 1].

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August 20, 2012

Yes Mr. Obama, We Can Wait.

by lewwaters

There is a story circulating of two little girls running to be elected president of their 3rd Grade Class. One girl speaks before the class with several good ideas on how class time could be improved and how she could lead the class to learn more. The second little girl stands up and promises all of the kids’ free ice cream, with no regard for who will deliver it, who will pay for it, what flavors or anything. The second little girl wins by a landslide when votes are counted.

In a nutshell, that is how many incumbents from Washington D.C. campaign and end up being reelected, promising things that no one questions the how, why or where it comes from, especially when their polls numbers indicate the likelihood of losing office after one term.

Currently we see Barack Obama nearing the end of his first term and not enjoying a significant lead in the polls, often trailing slightly as in the August 20, 2012 Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll, promising ice cream all over the country. Be it an executive order to stop deportations of some illegal aliens, promises of a special African-American education office and any myriad of promises if only the people reelect him, the promise of free ice cream for votes is flowing from his campaign.

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July 13, 2012

Mayor Leavitt Declines Open and Transparent Discussion With CRC Skeptics

by lewwaters

Ask any conservative in Southwest Washington about the reliability of the newspaper of record in Clark County, the Columbian, when it comes to political coverage and you will likely be met with laughter. The blatant left lean of the paper has many of us dubbing it the unofficial daily newsletter of the Democrat Party.

Nowhere is this better seen than the papers continued promotion of the largest and most expensive boondoggle to ever hit Southwest Washington, the Columbia River Crossing being shoved down citizens’ throats to force acceptance of Portland, Oregon’s financially troubled light rail into our community.

In spite of 3 past votes in the county declining light rail, once directly in 1995 and twice indirectly in 2002 and 2004, it came out in a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling that the sole reason for project is to force their light rail into our community along with the desire that Clark County residents pay for operations and maintenance of the new line all the way from Oregon’s Expo Center, across the state line and into our community.

In spite of costing so far nearly $150 Million in studies, several deficiencies continue to crop up that even though reported in the pages of the Columbian, are marginalized along with any who speak out questioning the validity of such an undertaking, skeptics often dubbed with such pejorative descriptions as “the Hounds of Whinerville” and “ankle biters” by Editorial Page Editor, John Laird.

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January 19, 2012

Forensic Accounting Analysis Released, Time To Pull The Plug On CRC

by lewwaters

See also Couv.com for Forensic accountant slams high costs, low competition of CRC and Audio of testimony by Ms. Couch

After many months of work, Forensic accountant Tiffany Couch has released her CRC Forensic Accounting Analysis (81 page pdf)

Her work has “identified numerous significant questionable accounting and contracting practices involving the CRC.”

Today, January 19, 2011, she held a meeting in the Republican Caucus Room with Washington State Legislators where she shared her findings with “Representatives Armstrong, Clibborn, Harris, Moeller, Orcutt, and Rivers. Washington State Department of Transportation officials on hand included: David Dye, Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Steve McKerney, WSDOT Director of Internal Audit; and Bob Covington, Director of Accounting and Financial Services. CRC project office officials and staff were invited but chose not attend.”

As previously noted, Tiffany Couch was one of 15 speakers speaking at the Smarter Bridge Committee News Conference held last Thursday morning on the northern bank of the Columbia River, each expressing their own misgivings on the current project as planned.

Ms. Couch communicated questionable accounting practices on just where has some $150 Million of our tax dollars gone. She touched on this in the Executive Summary,

“As a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner it is my professional opinion – based upon the information I have reviewed, and measured against the continued difficulties I’ve experienced with Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project office members – that the accounting and contracting practices for the CRC project are characterized by irregularities and planning missteps on many fronts. The magnitude of these irregularities, in terms of quantity, amount, and qualitative aspects of the project, are more than adequate to indicate that this project is suffering from a severe lack of accountability, transparency, and oversight. It is my further opinion that these irregularities are of a sufficient depth to warrant an intervention on the project, and perhaps a termination or delay until procedures are in place that provide for centralized accounting and financial decision making, and compliance with federal and state contracting standards. Whether there is sufficiency to elevate these irregularities to a definition that would warrant the assertion of civil or criminal practices is not the subject of my comments today. Such definition could not be ascribed without further scrutiny and investigation. That responsibility from here forward falls to you – the elected officials who run these states – in your representation of your constituents, the citizens of Washington (and Oregon).

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November 29, 2011

Admissions Tax Defeated, Proposal Does Not Even Receive a Vote

by lewwaters

In a move that seemed to surprise many this afternoon, Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt sided with Commissioner Tom Mielke in not supporting slapping a 5% admissions tax on county entertainment venues to pay a significant portion of a proposed new stadium.

Boldt had previously indicated support for this project and the tax, but today stated he simply could not support it due to concerns of whether or not the Vancouver City Council would also sign on to it.

In a lengthy public hearing this morning and into the afternoon, citizens were pretty evenly divided over support and opposition, much support coming from members of Identity Clark County, The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Downtown Vancouver Association as well as a few private citizens. Nearly all opposition was expressed by private citizens who would be left on the hook for this stadium, should it turn into a white elephant as did the Amphitheater, the Hilton and a golf course in North County.

Seeing Identity Clark County and many others with high hopes of reaping personal side benefits from construction of a stadium with taxpayers taking the risks is not unexpected. We see much of that with Identity Clark County and their “vision” for our community, often leaving us, the struggling middle class out of the loop, but holding the bag.

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July 21, 2011

It Appears Those “Ankle Biting Hounds From Whinerville” Were Right

by lewwaters

Oh those “Ankle biting hounds from Whinerville” as John Laird, the Columbian’s editorial page editor so eloquently described those who have spoken out in opposition of the Columbia River crossing project. They’ve been ridiculed, demeaned, shouted down, gaveled down, marginalized and mostly ignored. Speaking out against the CRC, especially the loot rail component of the project has been treated as blasphemy by supporters such as John Laird and others at the Columbian.

But they didn’t stop, they kept speaking out, writing letters, holding meetings, scheduling seminars inviting experts from all walks knowledgeable about such projects. Seeing that some $130 Million was spent with nothing to show for it, cronyism in people hired and paid quite handsomely for producing very little and questions continually ignored, Vancouver Businessman David Madore, at his expense, hired a forensic auditor to go through the mountains of documents finally given under a FOIA request.

It’s an old tactic to flood a ton of documents, many unrelated when trying to hide what is really there. The concept is the one seeking information will get bored with pouring over frivolous papers and either give up or miss what is right before their eyes.

It didn’t work.

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