Just to prove this blog is not “all Eyman all the time” this week’s Lie of the Week focuses on another lying sack of crap, Kemper Freeman Jr., and his intentionally misleading Initiative 883.
Listen to Junior’s paid signature gatherers and you’d think the initiative simply opened HOV lanes to all traffic during non-peak hours. (As if there are non-peak hours in the Puget Sound region.)
But flip the petition over and read the fine print and you’ll see the true intent of the legislation (take note, Tim…) clearly stated in the title:
AN ACT Relating to reducing traffic congestion by making road construction to reduce traffic congestion the top priority of the state transportation system;
That HOV stuff is just a slick pick-up line, intended to distract voters while Junior slips them a mickey. Come November 3, the body politic is going to wake up bruised and disoriented, wondering if it really said “yes” to building new highways at the expense of maintaining our existing roads, bridges, rail, buses and ferries.
Of course, nobody other than a pathetic wonk like me actually bothers to read the text of the initiative. Apparently, not even many of the journalists we rely on to keep us informed of the issues.
The Tacoma News Tribune refers to I-883 as “the car-pool lane initiative,” The King County Journal calls it an “initiative campaign to open up car-pool lanes and spend gas taxes on fixing congestion,” and the venerable Seattle Times kicked off their coverage with the headline: “Initiative filed to open HOV lanes in off-hours.”
Yes… I-883 does have a provision that opens up HOV lanes in off-hours. And Eyman’s I-892 dramatically expands the authority of the Washington State Lottery Commission. But neither of these provisions are the legal or actual subject of their respective initiatives.
Voters deserve to know the primary subject of I-883: that it reduces state spending on road maintenance and mass transit by 20%, and earmarks the money towards new road construction.
You know what else it would be nice for voters to understand? That the initiative is personally financed by Kemper Freeman Jr.
Why? Well Junior is the state’s largest developer of shopping malls. New freeways will have new exits. And along these exits, what do you build? Shopping malls!
I’m not naive. I expect Junior’s paid signature gatherers to be selling I-883 with lies. I just expect a better job from the media refuting them with the truth.