Monday, May 27, 2013

Office of Executive Abuse

[trigger warning, this post makes sexual assault analogies]

 News that Washington Goveneor's veto of the Senate's Columbia River Crossing plan rocked the few dozen people paying attention to every detail so you might have missed this somewhat important news.
Legislators had allocated $81 million to the CRC for 2013-15, far short of the $450 million identified as Washington’s share. Aware of concerns that including light-rail track below the project’s bridge deck could hamper navigation on the Columbia River, Benton, vice chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, wanted that money to pay for a redesign of the project to make sure it would meet Coast Guard requirements.
When that effort was blocked by the committee’s Democratic co-chair and others, Benton spearheaded a move to set nearly all of the new allocation aside until the Coast Guard’s permit decision, expected later this year. If the Coast Guard endorses the design the remaining money will be released for further work; if not it must be used to redesign the project – which almost certainly will eliminate the light-rail extension from Portland.

This is pretty great news for people who think the CRC as designed is an abomination of design, set to wreck havoc on Cascadian budgets, transportation and environmental systems.*

Still this is no time to relax. You can bet the mysteriously inept, yet powerful forces behind the CRC will continue to push for more money to waste trying to figure out how to fit a round peg into a square hole. Over the past few months both the Oregon and Washington Governors have regularly pressured the legislature into taking premature action. Saying we must act now to take advantage of the paltry amount of federal money** that might be made available should everything else work out. Governors Inslee and Kitzhaber repeating "It is now or never" like some sort of creepy sexual predator, pushing their innocent partner into having sex before the magic spell is broken. If the trusting partner agrees they will be promptly used and disregarded, their phone calls and pleas for open communication ignored, while the predator, indifferent to anything but their own desires, will move on to the next conquest.

They decided now wasn't the time. How long do you think it will take for a Cascadian politician to use this line again? (We have created a poll on the side bar, vote now!)

This sort of behavior should not be rewarded. We must raise our voices and work to organize against these abusive, manipulative Governors. Together we can stop the transit rape.

*in other words, the vast majority of people
** try this game with a friend: ask for $4000, tell them if they act now you will give them $750.