Done deal on rail line

From the Times:

The trail would be designed as a “dual-use facility” that could accommodate a high-capacity passenger rail line sometime in the future, said one of the architects of the deal, County Executive Ron Sims.

If a final deal is reached in the coming months, the Port would pay $103 million for the rail line, then swap it with King County in exchange for county-owed Boeing Field.

The Port would also give the county $66 million to build a biking and hiking trail south of the Snohomish County line. Freight trains would continue to run between Woodinville and Snohomish.

The really important thing to remember here is this: before everyone starts arguing about what to do with the right-of-way, we had to acquire the right-of-way. Idon’t know if rail will be feasible, I don’t want the rail line eliminated in favor of a trail-only use. At least not right away.

Here’s what Goldy had to say about it back in January:

The pro-rail group wants the corridor to be converted to commuter rail now, using the existing tracks, but transit experts who have studied the route insist that it just isn’t economical. The tracks themselves have been neglected over the years and would require expensive upgrades, while current commuter patterns simply won’t support much of the route. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been privately told.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    Let’s see. King County aquires some valuable real estate, that might be able to be used for public transit (or might not), and if the county didn’t get the land, it would have been broken up and lost forever.

    King County also gets out of the airport business, which seems like a pretty good idea too.

    Boeing Field goes to the Port of Seattle, which may not be the most efficient or responsive bunch around, but at least they do have some experience running an airport.

    Perhaps, in a perfect world, a better deal could have been struck, but in the real world, this one will do nicely.

  2. 3

    Blackhead spews:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....42143.html
    “Vice President Dick Cheney made an unannounced trip to Pakistan on Monday to deliver what officials in Washington described as an unusually tough message to General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces become far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with Al Qaeda.”

    DEMOCRATS THREATENING TO CUT FUNDS HURTS AL QAIDA, ACCORDING TO VP…

  3. 4

    Art Moss spews:

    A current study on the RTID Web site estimates the cost to refurbish the Eastside rail route for high speed use, at 25-50 million. The report is titled “BNSF Facts sheet”, with five options. The current building trend on the eastside will make the current route about as good as you can, for a rail line. Starting in Renton the route goes very close to downtown Bellevue, Kirkland, and Woodinville before it heads out the towards Duval and eventually Snohomish. It could be extended to Arlington and Tacoma. The BNSF eastside route is also the North-South Emergency route, and was used in 1997. With “Political Guts” and money it could take a big load off the I-405 commute using the new DMU trains before any freeway improvements are completed. The new DMU’s are much quiter and more economical than the current “Sounder Trains. You only have to go to Portland to see the start of decent rail Transit. Busses are no better than cars on the freeways.

  4. 5

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    HAVEN’T HEARD FROM THAT PERENNIAL LOSER WRONGON IN A WHILE. THIS IS HIS FAVORITE GRIPE TO WHINE AND MOAN ABOUT. I BET HE’S JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

  5. 6

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    It was the right decision to be made at the time. Still, $100 million for the route? Sound Transit got the Lakeview Subdivision in Pierce COunty for around $20 million. WSDOT got the Palouse River and Coulee City RR for $8 million, and it was 300 miles long, and had some track in bad shape. I guess it must have been the higher property values. Anyway, we at least preserve the corridor, but defer the fight over re-railing it for a few years. If it will be designed for dual-uses, then we might have learned from mistakes made when the rails were ripped up from the route that now is the Burke-Gillman Trail.

  6. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Popular GOP Governor Hates America, Supports Terrorists

    “Arnold Wants Out of Iraq

    “Posted Feb 26th 2007 12:09PM by Christopher Weber
    “Filed under: Iraq War, Calif. Governor

    “Is Gov. Schwarzenegger in bed with The Terrorists? Or, like Jack Murtha, he must Hate America, right? Maybe he just didn’t get Dick Cheney’s memo that things are all peaches and cream in Iraq, and dang the media for not reporting the Good News.

    “Why else would the Republican governor defy The Decider and call for a timetable for withdrawing American troops?

    “‘We should let the Iraqis know that we are here,’ until a specified time, the governor said, ‘and then we’re going to draw back. We’re going to draw our troops out of Iraq. I think a timeline is absolutely important because I think that the people in America don’t want to see another Korean war, another Vietnam war, where it’s an open-ended thing. There should be a timeline,’ Schwarzenegger said.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/2mbq47

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Arnold, who isn’t eligible to run for president, sounds like he’s running for president. Or maybe to save his ass in California? But wait — he was just re-elected. So, could it be he’s just speaking his mind, giving us his honest opinion of the GOP’s piece-of-shit military misadventure in Iraq? Who knows?

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 Now that our state is getting serious about kicking felons off the voter rolls, Gregoire should coast to an easy re-election in ’08.

  8. 10

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    General Pace testifies military readiness declining.

    Bush, and his idiot supporters are destroying our military, and forcing our wounded soldiers to recover knee deep in mouse sh*t.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....ry-strains?

    Wrong war, wrong enemy, wrong time, and most of all wrong leadership.

    Vote Republicon = Destroy America

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Yes, well, I’m glad to see YOU realize the supply of uranium isn’t infinite — in fact, is far more limited than the supply of hydrocarbons. And, therefore, nuclear will not save us from energy resources depletion.

    But, Richard, you have your head up your ass about the size of Gore’s house. He was a presidential candidate and leader of his party, and remains an important public figure. He needs a conference center, not a rabbit hole.

    I wonder how much coal-fired electricity Bush’s 10,000-square-foot mansion in Crawford consumes?

  10. 12

    hardly a done deal spews:

    This swap is far from a done deal. Most if not all of the Republicans on the King County Council will oppose the deal because the value of Boeing Field is double that of the trail. In addition, those Democrats who represent areas impacted by Boeing Field are concerned about the other half of the deal. Simply put, the Port is not a responsive government to public opinion which terrifies those in Georgetown, Tukwila, Beacon Hill, etc.

    The trail is only half the swap, the conditions on Boeing Field are the other. Stay tuned…

  11. 13

    The Dixie Chicks spews:

    9

    How can republicans destroy the military when republicans are the only ones that serve in the military? Just asking. It makes as much sense as Democrats destroying wellfare.

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bush Ranch Trivia

    Hardly a family heirloom, Bush bought his ranch in 1999, and construction of the house was completed AFTER his inauguration.

    Bush paid $1.2 million for 1,583 acres.

    Previously, the property was a pig farm.

  13. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 “republicans are the only ones that serve in the military”

    buuuuuullllllshit!!!

  14. 16

    The Dixie Chicks spews:

    14

    Bulllshitt? Then why does study after study indicate that 80% plus vote republican? Why do liberal voting districts constantly mail out military ballots late or not at all?

  15. 17

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    @12 “republicans are the only ones that serve in the military”

    buuuuuullllllshit!!!

    02/26/2007 at 6:47 pm
    Roger that seems to be the case ever since they end the DRAFT. So Roger we don’t see may chaps like you anymore reporting for duty. Now that is a pity no new cannon fodder for the battle field.

  16. 18

    klake spews:

    The Dixie Chicks says:

    14

    Bulllshitt? Then why does study after study indicate that 80% plus vote republican? Why do liberal voting districts constantly mail out military ballots late or not at all?

    02/26/2007 at 7:18 pm
    That is easy!!!!!!!!!!They only want the enemy vote to count.

  17. 19

    Unkl Witz spews:

    Sorry Klake and Dixie: Show we one study period that proves 80% of them vote R. I’ll show you a study comissioned by Fox news.

    To say that our military is 80% Repukelicans is pure hogwash.

  18. 20

    RUFUS Fitzgerald Kennedy spews:

    Here is what the military wrote about voter disenfranchisment in the military:

    From Navy Seals.com
    http://www.navyseals.com/commu.....fm?id=6536

    By Chad Miles

    A recent report issued by the National Defense Committee, a nonprofit organization that supports the U.S. military and encourages veterans to run for elective office, recently found that 25 percent of ballots cast by military personnel in the 2004 presidential election went uncounted. Incredibly, that rate of disenfranchisement could be even higher due to the fact that the study relied on voluntary disclosure of information from local election officials.

    Unfortunately, the issue of soldiers being disenfranchised during an election is nothing new. We all remember the 2000 Florida recount fiasco and the events surrounding it. During that election, the rate of uncounted ballots cast by members of the armed forces was even higher at a staggering 29 percent nationwide.

    In Florida, which turned out to be the pivotal state in determining the winner of the 2000 election, around 1,400 military absentee votes were left uncounted, largely because of the role of lawyers working for the Democratic Party at local canvassing boards who followed a directive from the party to challenge all military ballots on the premise that they likely were votes for Republican nominee George W. Bush.

    Although many lawmakers vowed that the level of disenfranchisement seen in the aftermath of that election would never happen again, it looks like it did.

    According to the committee’s study, “Military and Overseas Absentee Voting in the 2004 Election,” the largest problem in managing military absentee ballots is not hostile attorneys, but rather what military historians call “the tyranny of distance” – the unavoidable difficulties inherent in getting ballots to our deployed military people serving overseas.

    During the election in 2000, the study found that, 30 percent of military personnel did not receive their ballot in time to cast a vote. When you combine that figure with the number of votes that were tossed out for various reasons – including arriving to the absentee voters via snail mail past voting deadlines – you can see that the scope of the problem is enormous.

    The challenge of getting ballots to soldiers was even worse during the 2004 election due to the post-9/11 deployments of military units to Iraq, Afghanistan and dozens of other countries in support of the Global War on Terror, the committee found. Units frequently on the move and mail delays caused by local threats such as the danger of roadside bombs made the task of getting ballots to the troops even more daunting.

    However, military absentee voters once again in 2004 found themselves the target of partisan political maneuvering as had happened in Florida four years earlier.

    Recognizing the fact that more time would be needed to count all of the military ballots arriving from overseas, the Pennsylvania legislature in 2004 requested that Gov. Edward G. Rendell authorize a two-week extension for the acceptance of military ballots to compensate for the issues surrounding the wartime situation in which our soldiers are now engaged.

    However, in Pennsylvania in 2004, as in Florida in 2000, political operatives were motivated by their longstanding knowledge that a strong majority of military voters generally supports Republican candidates.

    Rendell, a Democrat, initially refused the request to assist military absentee voters. But it later was discovered that he had launched an aggressive “get out the vote” information campaign within the state’s prison population, informing inmates of voting rights and providing them with absentee ballots for the election. Other studies have shown that a majority of the prison voting population supports Democratic candidates. The adverse publicity prompted Rendell to approve the extension for military overseas voters.

    In Washington state, the U.S. Justice Department threatened to sue less than a month before the 2004 election because election officials had yet to even mail out absentee ballots to military personnel overseas. What may have been bureaucratic incompetence may well have altered the outcome of that state’s gubernatorial election.

    The Washington state governor’s race between Republican nominee Dino Rossi and Democratic nominee Christine Gregoire turned out to be even tighter than the Florida presidential vote count in 2000. The Republican candidate won the first two re-counts but ultimately lost the third by 128 votes. With a total of 31,910 overseas ballots mailed out for that election, it’s easy to see that even a few lost, late or missing military votes made a huge impact in the election, ultimately deciding the race.

    When it was time for Congress to ratify the 2004 election results and electoral vote count for the offices of President and Vice President during a joint session last December, two Democratic legislators challenged the results on the basis of voting irregularities and disenfranchisement. Was someone finally going to raise the issue of one-fourth of our deployed military men and women not having a voice in the democratic process? No.

    The challenge concerned votes cast in the state of Ohio, which turned out to be the pivotal state in 2004 with enough electoral votes to swing the election and the Presidency to John Kerry. The challenge centered on disqualification of a newly created provisional ballot, not the military vote, and was nothing more than a symbolic protest by the party that had lost the presidential election.

    It appears that once again the rights of military overseas voters are no longer an issue within the political establishment.

    We should not have to still be struggling with this issue. Before the 2004 election, the Department of Defense launched an online voting system called the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE), designed to give military personnel deployed around the world the ability to vote instantly online. This would have obviously corrected the problems surrounding the reliance of postal mail for balloting, and put an end to the partisan shenanigans we saw in Florida with Democratic Party lawyers targeting military voters for ballot rejection.

    Alas, DoD officials opted to shut down the SERVE program before the election due to security concerns dealing with the sensitive nature of the data and the possibility of illegitimate votes being tabulated. Since DoD manages to send thousands of classified messages daily around the globe, many of them stamped “Top Secret,” it is hard to imagine that these security and privacy concerns cannot be resolved.

    It is ridiculous to have our troops filling out paper ballots and placing them in the mail in a day and age when publicly available technology allows you to take a picture and send it to someone on the other side of the world with a small cellphone. The disenfranchisement on the scale that we have seen in recent years is unacceptable, but it is definitely correctible.

    If DoD officials take the time to develop a secure and dependable electronic voting system, some election results may be drastically different in the years to come – but unlike the number of contested elections we have seen since 2000, the results will more likely reflect the judgment of all of the voters – including those serving in harm’s way to protect our freedoms.

    Contributing Editor Chad Miles is a U.S. Army veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group during the 1990s. He founded the website WhoServed.com, which tracks the military service of previous and current U.S. government leaders, and is currently pursuing a degree in political science from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. He can be reached at chad@whoserved.com. Send Feedback responses to dwfeedback@yahoo.com.

    No Fox news here. Anyone who doesnt admit that the military votes strongly republican is just a flat out liar. nuff said.

  19. 21

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    The Dixie Chicks says:

    9

    How can republicans destroy the military when republicans are the only ones that serve in the military? Just asking. It makes as much sense as Democrats destroying wellfare.

    ————-

    And so Dixie, how many battalions do we have at the ready in case they are needed someplace in the world?

    Answer = 0

    Oh, by the way, I saw on 60 minutes a poll that way over half the soldiers polled do not like the way Bush is running the Iraq nightmare. All them Repbulicons finally starting to figure out they have been used as bloody pawns in the chimperator’s power grab game.

  20. 22

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Speaking of voting overseas, Expat Americans living overseas can log onto the Federal website, and have their ballot mailed to them.

    Unfortunately before the 2004 election, the website went down for no reason, and the Americans living overseas, many of them in the military, who vote overwhelmingly FOR DEMOCRATS could not get their ballots.

    Republicons call democracy doing all you can to keep democrats from being able to cast their ballots.

    “While the Internet has proven a fundamental political tool for expatriates, its use has also caused significant glitches. In mid-September, the Pentagon blocked access to its Federal Voting Assistance Program web site, established by the Defense Department to aid expatriate voters, including servicemen, with absentee ballots. Internet service providers in 25 countries were denied access, causing an outcry from would-be voters racing against state registration deadlines. After Congressional interference, the block was lifted several days later. The Pentagon, which had initially indicated the block was meant to thwart hackers, backpedaled by saying it had inadvertently been left in place, giving no real reason for its existence.”

    http://www.alternet.org/election04/20153/

  21. 23

    spews:

    I’m not so sure how “great” of a deal this is.

    That corridor will never be rail, once it is established as a bike right of way. The pro-transit forces are not going to go toe to toe with the bike advocates if there is any kind of disagreement (and it would be a shame if it came to that–they’re on the same team; but the county might just roll on them instead. It would be clever situation for the county if it could be acertained that this dynamic was set up on purpose. Not a pretty picture.

    The folks in Georgetown have already had to give tons of hell to the county and Sims over airport expansion. Now they will have to do it again, eventually, with the Port. That might hurt Sims for any future race for Gregoire’s replacement.

    Nope, I don’t see this as a smooth deal at all. One doesn’t have to take any position to see that.

  22. 24

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Any of you see Olbermann’s special comment tonite? Pooooor widdddow mushroom cloud Condi got b*tch slapped hard.

    I would never ever type anything on a blog disrespecting a woman, but does Condi really count? Ol mushroom cloud Condi Them ‘luminum tubes that could be used “ONLY” for centrifuges right Condi? Mushroom cloud, mushroom cloud, mushroom cloud, mushroom cloud, mushroom cloud, mushroom cloud……

    Hey Condi. Next time you open your pathetic pie hole, and compare Saddam to Hitler, and Iraq to WW2, you better get your facts straight.

    What is she, a doctor of history, and she has not clue about the Marshall Plan, or the Repbublicon appeasers, or the Republicons that did not want to finance reconstruction of Europe, and the spread of democracy……

    Hey cons, how does it feel to know your party’s leaders are all retarded liars, crooks, and traitors?

    I was hoping for a mistrial, so they could try Libby (traitor) all over again….. Maybe they could call “last throes” “greeted with flowers” deferment Dick Cheney to testify this time.

  23. 25

    The Dixie Chicks spews:

    Oh, by the way, I saw on 60 minutes a poll that way over half the soldiers polled do not like the way Bush is running the Iraq nightmare.

    I am sure people didnt like some of the decisions FDR or Churchill made but that doesn’t mean they were going to surrender to Hitler. What is your point?

  24. 26

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    No Fox news here. Anyone who doesnt admit that the military votes strongly republican

    INDEED IT DOES DOOFUS. THERE’S ALSO A STRONG DEMOCRATIC VOTING PART AS WELL.

    THEIR VOTES COUNT TOO. DON’T THEY DOOFUS?

    BY THE WAY, YOU AND YOUR PAL “DAN” SURE BELIEVE IN BEATING DEAD HORSES INTO DUST.

  25. 27

    spews:

    Once the trail is converted it will be very hard to convince people to run light rail through it. Think of the Burke-Gilman, which was also a rail line once. Imagine if someone proposed running a rail line connecting Ballard to the U-District, or the U-Disrict to Bothell. It’d be a non-starter.

    That said, the tracks on the Eastside corridor were all but useless. They’ve been there for decades, and they’re not suited for commuter rail. When the downtown Seattle bus tunnel was built in the 80s, they laid light rail tracks in anticipation of the central link. Well, guess what? The new rail cars needed a different kind of track, and the old tracks were built with the wrong kind of insulation, so it all had to be ripped up anyway!

    Bottom line is that decades-old BNSF track does not mean it’s a no-brainer to convert to rail. It’d also have to be double tracked, etc.

    It’ll be a nice trail. I’m looking forward to riding my bike on it. And in 40 years, when the light rail is running to Redmond, maybe we can talk about putting in a super-high-speed ultra-quiet monorail that could whiz above the trail without distrubing the runners and bikers below. Heck, maybe it could run on hydrogen and spray its waste water down on the bikers to refresh them on a hot summer day. ;)

  26. 28

    spews:

    “Dixie Chicks”

    Another anonymous short-timer.

    Since you haven’t been around long enough to get to know many of the posters here, it might interest you to know that a number of us are either former or retired military.

    The 80% figure is simply a lie. The Military Times ran polls that showed that over half of active duty members are dissatisfied with the current administration.

    Ref: http://www.militarycity.com/polls/2006_main.php

    Oh, and while regular posters here already know my background, just to avoid the standard “you were never military” argument that the chickenhawk wingnuts tend to come up with, you may check my service at:

    http://tinyurl.com/flelx

  27. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 “Bulllshitt? Then why does study after study indicate that 80% plus vote republican? Why do liberal voting districts constantly mail out military ballots late or not at all?”

    Reality check: The Pentagon does not permit political surveys of active duty troops, so no one knows how soldiers vote. The 80% figure is a rightwing conjecture, nothing more. Because it is illegal to ask soldiers about their voting preferences, any actual surveys done by conservatives to back up their claims were done in violation of federal laws.

  28. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 “Why do liberal voting districts constantly mail out military ballots late or not at all?”

    This is unmitigated bullshit — utterly baseless and unfactual.

  29. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Trollfucks have posted claims that Democratic counties — King County in particular — disenfranchised military voters so many times they sound like a broken record. They do not support these claims with any facts or data, and these claims are in fact BULLSHIT.

    In King County, as in many jurisdictions, there is no such thing as a “military ballot.” King County has a category of absentee ballots called “military/overseas” ballots that lumps military voters with civilians living overseas, and there is no way of telling them apart.

    In the 2004 election, King County began mailing military/overseas ballots on Oct. 1, mailed the bulk of them on Oct. 6, and completed this mailing on Oct. 1, within the federal deadline. Ballots couldn’t be mailed any sooner because the September primary had to be certified before they could be printed. In the 2005 Legislature, REPUBLICANS opposed moving up the primary to August or July to allow more time for mailing ballots.

    In 2004, King County mailed 15,289 military/overseas ballots, of which 12,694 were returned and 12,474 counted, a turnout of 83.02%. The countywide turnout was 82.98%. This is CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE that military/overseas voters had the same opportunity to vote as everyone else.

    In addition, King County received 1,342 Federal Write In Ballots, of which 1,081 were validated and counted. Any soldier who, for any reason did not receive an absentee ballot (including failing to request one), could vote a FWIB. All he had to do was request one from his unit’s voting assistance officer. In Iraq or Afghanistan, he did not need a stamp. He did not need to know the names of the candidates; he could vote by writing “Republican for Governor” — and that vote would be counted for Dino Rossi. He did not even need to be registered to vote; if his home of record was in King County, his ballot would be forwarded to King County elections and counted. He did not need to know the address of his county elections department; he could write: King County elections, Washington state … and it would get there.

    The total number of military/overseas/FWI ballots received too late to be counted was 16. Possibly NONE of these ballots were military votes. Possibly ALL of these votes were for Gregoire. It is likely that most or all of them were delayed by voter procrastination.

    King County elections officials have no control over, and are not responsible for, ballots lost or delayed in the U.S. Postal Service or military mail systems.

    King County elections officials are not responsible for soldiers who choose not to vote.

    It is not credible that some soldiers couldn’t vote because they were in combat, as has sometimes been claimed by wingnut bullshitters. No operation in Iraq or Afghanistan has lasted for days or weeks on end. No soldier was involved in continuous fighting of such duration as to prevent him from voting if he wanted to. This is bullshit. But in any case, if soldiers don’t vote because they are busy with military duties, that is not the fault of election officials back home.

    Hey Lying Wingnut @16: Don’t let the facts hit you in the ass on your way back to your sewer.

  30. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 (continued) Not only are wingnut claims that Democrats disenfranchised military voters LIES, they’re also hypocritical because the REPUBLICANS illegally suppressed military voters, particularly African Americans:

    “A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters …, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts.

    “Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were … accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.

    “One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.

    “Here’s how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, ‘Do not forward’, to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as ‘undeliverable.’

    “The lists of soldiers of ‘undeliverable’ letters were transmitted from state headquarters … to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters’ registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted.

    “One target list was comprised exclusively of voters registered at the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station. … [See this scrub sheet at http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.g.....038;size=o ] …

    “A soldier returning home in time to vote in November 2004 could also be challenged on the basis of the returned envelope. Soldiers challenged would be required to vote by ‘provisional’ ballot.

    “Over one million provisional ballots cast in the 2004 race were never counted; over half a million absentee ballots were also rejected. The extraordinary rise in the number of rejected ballots was the result of the widespread multi-state voter challenge campaign by the Republican Party. The operation, of which the purge of Black soldiers was a small part, was the first mass challenge to voting America had seen in two decades.

    “The BBC obtained several dozen confidential emails sent by the Republican’s national Research Director and Deputy Communications chief, Tim Griffin to GOP Florida campaign chairman Brett Doster and other party leaders. Attached were spreadsheets marked, ‘Caging.xls.’ Each of these contained several hundred to a few thousand voters and their addresses. A check of … the addresses on the ‘caging lists,’ as the GOP leaders called them indicated that most were in African-American majority zip codes.

    “Ion Sanco, the non-partisan elections supervisor of Leon County (Tallahassee) when shown the lists … said: ‘The only thing I can think of – African American voters listed like this – these might be individuals that will be challenged if they attempted to vote on Election Day.’

    “These GOP caging lists were obtained by the same BBC team that first exposed the wrongful purge of African-American ‘felon’ voters in 2000 by then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Eliminating the voting rights of those voters — 94,000 were targeted — likely caused Al Gore’s defeat in that race. …

    “The party has refused to say why it would mark soldiers as having ‘bad addresses’ subject to challenge when they had been assigned abroad. …

    “Setting up such a challenge list would be a crime under federal law. …

    “While the party insisted the lists were not created for the purpose to challenge Black voters, the GOP ultimately offered no other explanation for the mailings. …

    “Soldiers sending in their ballot from abroad would not know their vote was lost because of a challenge.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/jv9nf

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: What kind of slime suckers would intentionally challenge the voting registrations of soldiers deployed overseas to keep those soldiers from voting? REPUBLICANS, that’s who. And this was no renegade operation conducted without party knowledge or sanction; it was a huge multimillion dollar operation organized, funded, and supervised by the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE.

  31. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh, and let’s not forget how REPUBLICAN CROOKS bilked senior citizens of their life savings:

    “Fund-raising group milks vulnerable senior citizens

    “By David Postman and Jim Brunner
    “Seattle Times staff reporters

    “The College Republican National Committee has raised $6.3 million this year through an aggressive and misleading fund-raising campaign that collected money from senior citizens who thought they were giving to the election efforts of President Bush and other top Republicans.

    “Many of the top donors were in their 80s and 90s. The donors wrote checks … to groups with official sounding-names … But all of those groups … were simply projects of the College Republicans, who collected all of the checks. …

    “Some of the elderly donors … wound up bouncing checks and emptying their bank accounts. ‘I don’t have any more money,’ said Cecilia Barbier, a 90-year-old retired church council worker in New York City. … ‘That was all my savings that they got.’ … Barbier … made … donations totaling nearly $100,000 …. Now, she said, ‘I’m really scrounging.’

    “In Van Buren, Ark., Monda Jo Millsap, 68, said she emptied her savings account by writing checks to College Republicans, then got a bank loan of $5,000 and sent that, too ….

    “The … family of an elderly Indiana woman with Alzheimer’s disease … sent a registered letter asking that she be taken off the mailing list, but the solicitations continued. ….

    “The Washington State Attorney General’s Office received at least six complaints about the College Republicans fund-raising letters … cit[ing] … ‘senior exploitation.’ …

    “… College Republicans falsely claimed in letters that checks were only trickling in and that the group was in a constant budget crisis. And the elderly continued to be a major source of donations. There are far more retired people giving to College Republicans than to any other IRS-regulated independent political committee, IRS records indicate. The Times was able to determine the ages of 49 of the top 50 individual donors to the College Republicans. The median age of the donors is 85, and 14 of them are 90 or older.

    “Donors interviewed this week frequently expressed disbelief when they were told how much they gave to the College Republicans. …

    “The letters are computer-generated … form letters, but the recipients often view them as personal correspondence.

    ” … [I]n September 2003, … the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, issued a report on the explosive fund-raising growth by the College Republicans [which] noted that several elderly donors who were contacted did not appear to know to whom they had given money. …

    “An August fund-raising letter … [told] donors there was a Democratic conspiracy to intercept the committee’s mail:
    ‘Given what I’ve learned, you and I must take every precaution necessary. Apparently the Democrats don’t have any concern about hurting you, your family or America. Their sole concern is revenge — vengeance — retribution.’ …

    “The College Republicans themselves are rarely mentioned in the group’s fund-raising letters. … The focus is on the presidential campaign, congressional races and the constant threat of … liberal victories in November. The letters imply close connections to Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Republican leaders and the party organization. …

    “Most donors interviewed said they get up to 50 solicitations in the mail each day. That pile can include four or more from the College Republicans. ‘My house looks like a post office, and I’m not exaggerating, said Anne Kravic, a retired school-district employee in Parma, Ohio. … Elliot Baines is an 84-year-old Florida retiree who says he has a hard time just carrying the mail he gets each day now. … Baines was surprised to hear he had given more than $63,000 and that it had all gone to College Republicans. He said he was swayed to give, sometimes against his better instincts, by the power of the letters.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete story and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/6tnzu

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: What kind of slime suckers p[rey on senior citizens? Criminals and Republicans, that’s who.

  32. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 Prove it, klake. You can’t. Know why? Because political surveys of soldiers are ILLEGAL, therefore no one knows how soldiers vote. You’re blowing smoke out of your ass.

  33. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 “Here is what the military wrote about voter disenfranchisment in the military”

    No, Dufus, “Navy Seals.com”, “Chad Miles,” and “the National Defense Committee” are not “the military” — they are private groups/individuals not affiliated with the military or U.S. government expressing their personal opinions, and they are not “nonpartisan.”

    Chad Miles was a Republican candidate for Congress who ran against John Conyers. http://www.chadmilesforcongress.com/

    A cursory perusal of National Defense Committee’s web site reveals a strong conservative slant. For example, two links in the sidebar are to articles entitled:

    “Conservative Spotlight: National Defense Foundation Project” and

    “NDC Calls On Congressman Rangel To Apologize For Attacking Troops”

    http://www.nationaldefensecommittee.org/

    Nice try, Dufus. Thanks for playing.

  34. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh yeah, one more thing Dufus … here’s how Chad Miles did in the 2006 election:

    John Conyers (D) 158,755 – 85%
    Chad Miles (R) 27,367 (15%)

    That’s what REPUDIATION looks like, dude.

  35. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Mr. Miles should do a better job of speaking for his own constituents before he purports to speak for America’s soldiers.

  36. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wingnut claims that Democratic lawyers tried to block military votes from being counted in Florida are a LIE. The truth is that one lawyer, acting without party authorization, circulated a memo describing how to challenge overseas votes; and the Gore campaign promptly intervened to squelch this. The Gore campaign also agreed to the counting of military absentee votes that technically were illegal because they were not filled out properly and did not comply with Florida laws.

    Here is the truth about what really happened in Florida:

    “Republicans campaigned to persuade canvassing boards in strong Bush counties to ignore Florida’s election laws when counting overseas absentee ballots, while discarding questionable ballots in heavily Democratic counties, according to a six-month New York Times investigation. At least 680 of the questionable ballots for Bush were not in compliance with election laws, the Times reported. That would have been more than enough for Gore to overcome Bush’s 537-vote lead. 17

    “The Rove-Bush campaign even threatened election officials with federal prosecution if they did not count illegal ballots. Incredibly, the campaign was run out of Katherine Harris’ office, which … violated laws against using public offices for political campaigns. Harris’ computers were later scrubbed to delete any evidence, raising questions of obstruction of justice.

    “The New York Times found that Florida officials accepted hundreds of overseas absentee ballots that did not follow election laws, with such flaws as not having postmark or witness signatures, being mailed from the U.S., and being from people who voted more than once. Out of 2,490 ballots that were counted as legal votes, The Times found 680 questionable votes, some 80 percent of which were accepted in counties won by Bush.

    “The Times also reported that U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., used his position and office as a member of the House Armed Services Committee to help contact military personnel to be used in the Republican campaign to discredit Democrats who lobbied to throw out illegal overseas ballots. Military regulations prohibited service members from engaging in political activities, while federal laws stated that Congressional officials could not use government offices for partisan activities.

    “And Salon reported that the Bush campaign discussed organizing an illegal post-election, get-out-the-vote drive among overseas military personnel who had yet to cast ballots by election day. A call allegedly went out on Nov. 11 to have Republicans encourage military personnel to illegally send in ballots after the voting deadline. Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 13, Florida election officials received 446 military overseas ballots. But by Nov. 16, that number had ballooned to 2,575. And another almost 1,200 absentee military votes came in on Nov. 17.”

    http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/cheat5.html

    See the pattern of criminal activity and voting fraud by Republicans here?

  37. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Did Bush camp encourage military personnel to vote after Election Day?

    “By Jake Tapper

    “March 5, 2001 | In the heat of last fall’s historic post-election presidential campaign … some of the … maneuvering … centered on the counting of overseas absentee ballots.

    “According to a knowledgeable Republican operative, the Bush camp even discussed … organizing a post-election get-out-the-vote drive among overseas military personnel who had registered to vote but had not cast ballots by Election Day.

    ” … [A]ccording to the … GOP source, on Saturday, Nov. 11, Bush’s political team … discussed having political operatives near overseas military bases encourage soldiers who had registered to vote — but never did — to fill out their ballots and send them in, more than four days after the voting deadline. …

    “Before the election, 23,246 overseas ballots were mailed out from the state of Florida, and more than half of them — 14,415 — had come in by Election Day. As of Nov. 13, Monday, Florida’s 67 counties had received 446 military overseas ballots since Nov. 8. By Nov. 16, Thursday afternoon, that number had swelled to 2,575. By the next day, it was 3,733. It was clear to strategists on both sides … that they needed … a … strategy on the overseas absentee ballots, which were due Friday, Nov. 17.

    “The Bush team turned to Warren Tompkins — who had helmed Bush’s nasty South Carolina primary campaign against Arizona Sen. John McCain — to coordinate its strategy. Days after the election, he put together a spreadsheet on the overseas absentee ballots, what had come in already, what had been counted, how many had been requested, how many were still expected in and so on … on Nov. 11 … the Bush political team organized a conference call to discuss its absentee ballot strategy. … Many matters were attended to. The group talked about finding volunteers to be observers in counties doing recounts. They talked about drumming up protesters. They talked about assigning operatives to different clerks’ offices to wait for the overseas absentee ballots, and to report anything Democrats did to challenge them. And, according to a knowledgeable Republican source, in the course of this conversation the Bush team discussed having political operatives abroad encourage certain soldiers who had registered to vote — but never did – to do so after the voting deadline.

    “The group discussed how to target Republicans in the drive. Voter registration files made it possible to identify which soldiers, sailors and airmen were Democrats and which were Republicans, which were black and which were white. Let’s target the likely Bush supporters, one of the operatives said, according to the GOP source — we’ll get them to send their ballots in and then argue about the postmarks later. We’re gonna raise a stink and force them to count these ballots. …”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/lzcc8

  38. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    222 “Unfortunately before the 2004 election, the website went down for no reason”

    This happened in Seattle on Election Day 2006 — Verizon took down the internet all day. I called AOL to complain, and they said their system was up, the problem was caused by the phone company. After the election was over, miraculously, Verizon customers had internet access again.

    This should be investigated.

  39. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 What, exactly, are we trying to “win” in Iraq? Is there a mission? Does anyone know what it is?

  40. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 Comparing Iraq with WW2 is pure nonsense. WW2 was a global war of survival, in which our nation’s survival was at stake. Iraq did not attack us, is a civil war, and the Iraqi factions are no threat to America. How the hell is minding our own business “surrender”? And who in hell do you “surrender” to?

  41. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @26 “BY THE WAY, YOU AND YOUR PAL “DAN””

    One and the same; real name is Kevin Carns.

  42. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s an MSNBC article circa 2004 that shes some light on the military vote:

    “WASHINGTON – The traditional Republican lock on the military vote … shows signs of softening in the run up to this year’s presidential race, experts say. …

    “Steeped in patriotism, the military vote in this election cycle has been complicated by events in Iraq and grumblings of military miscalculations. Add … the economic, emotional and physical hardships endured by families and friends of the 160,000-plus National Guard and reservists called up from their civilian lives and deployed overseas to help fight the global war on terrorism and the once solid GOP voting bloc of the military could be in play, some experts say. …

    “But determining the political leanings of the nation’s military has traditionally been difficult. The military is prickly about giving pollsters and academics unfettered access to its troops. …

    “Military personnel have put the president ‘on probation’ says Peter Feaver, director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies at Duke University, and an expert in civilian-military relations. ‘ … Kerry, doubts about Iraq and frustrations with … Rumsfeld and these kinds of issues have softened military support for the President but I don’t think they have caused it to collapse,’ says Feaver ….

    “Such disaffection isn’t lost on the Bush campaign. During the last week of August the president made a concerted effort to meet with families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. …

    “A poll released in the last week of August by Quinnipiac University in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania indicated that veterans and military families there overwhelmingly oppose the war: 54 percent to 31 percent. Such polls continue to give Republican strategists fits because it tends to erode the conventional wisdom that the military vote is a Republican given.

    “’The military — either active duty or veterans — is going to take a much harder look at this election then they have in elections before,’ said Dian Mazur, a University of Florida law professor and former Air Force officer. ‘The choice is no longer a reflexive choice,’ Mazur said. …

    “’I think the Iraq war may have caused many officers who have become quite partisan thinking Republicans in their private political capacity to wonder about whether they should be invested very much in the politics of the country,’ Kohn said. Kohn believes that the internal questions officers raise won’t deter them from voting but it’s possible that it could erode or soften their overall support for Bush and even throw some votes toward Kerry. …”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete article and/or copyright info, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5964655/

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: This article also discusses the problem of military disenfranchisement, which centers on the fact that today’s troops are moving around, compared to the Cold War when most troops were deployed to static bases. Organizations like the National Defense Committee advocate electronic voting, but the Pentagon shelved such a plan, citing security concerns. Pentagon policy, not state or county election administrators, is the impediment to improved voting access for soldiers deployed overseas. And, of course, it doesn’t help when the national Republican Party targets soldiers for voter challenges.

  43. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I think Congress should pass a law that anyone who willfully deprives a legal voter of his right to vote shall pay the wronged voter $100,000 in damages and serve 3 years in a federal prison.

  44. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In Lori Sotelo’s case, the would come to about $35,000,000 in judgments and 1,000 years in jail.

  45. 48

    Puddybud spews:

    Libtards, when you want facts why do you trust Furball?:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0884144.html

    http://archives.cnn.com/2000/L.....index.html

    “The lawsuit brought by Democratic voters sought to eliminate enough ballots to change the election results in Vice President Al Gore’s favor. Republican George W. Bush led by less than 200 votes as election challenges continued in the U.S. Supreme Court and elsewhere Monday.”

    Clueless: It’s from CNN – the most disgusting name in news! Remember Eason Jordan paying Saddam bribes?

  46. 49

    righton spews:

    Ok, as neo-communists you must not understand economics

    a) you can buy rail line for cheap, but sort of don’t want to; rather have a trail
    or
    b) you can later on buy slightly better right of way for 10x or more money….

    If you were doing this on your own nickle you’d always opt to take that current right of way and run rail on it….

  47. 50

    Puddybud spews:

    What Pellethead leaves out is Federal law mandates that states accept overseas ballots for up to 10 days after Election Day. Yet Moonbat leaning Florida counties threw out many those late arriving military ballots on Gore’s Team advice. Don’t fall for the standard Pelletizer libtard based URLs. I again call a Clueless here: Just the libtard MSM Furball URLs allowed.

    Why did Moonbats! do this Pelletizer? One lone lawyer? Bullshittium Furball. It was David Boies and the Gore Barrister team in concert! The problem was Florida has a few military bases and the Gore boys war of words put them in a bad light, looking to disenfranchise military voters. Damn, Furball I presented these facts so many times you can’t get them to penetrate that single cell organism called a brain. The Gore team thought the military vote would break 70/30 against. It eventually broke 58/48 against. So in the long run Gore out-foxed himself.

    I’ll say it again libtards. Gore admitted he screwed himself by only asking for the recount in four Moonbat leaning counties. If he did it in all 67 counties it could have been President Gore – retch blah spit hack cough!

    Shucks: If Gore won Tennessee it would have been President Gore – retch blah spit hack cough!

    Sucks to be him. He had bed legal advice right Pellethead?

  48. 51

    Puddybud spews:

    Also Moonbat!s I already placed five times on ASSWipes the lawsuit brought by the Gore Team against Seminole and Martin Counties.

    “In two separate lawsuits, Leon County Circuit Court judges refuse to throw out absentee ballots from Seminole and Martin counties that had been disputed by Gore.”

    I already linked this above!

  49. 52

    Puddybud spews:

    Here is the legal chronology for 2000. Pellethead, you’ll see when you read it was THE GORE TEAM. Why do you continually spew BULSHITTIUM? Where did you get that “law” degree?

    http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/ele.....ontime.htm

    November 9: Manual recounts are requested by or on behalf of the Gore campaign under 102.166 in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Volusia counties. Libtard counties

    December 8: In 4-3 split decision, Florida Supreme Court rules for Gore, ordering a statewide manual recount of undervotes to begin and adding 383 votes to his total. Bush seeks stays before the Florida Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court and additionally petitions the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari. Leon County Circuit Court Judges Terry Lewis and Nikki Clark refuse to throw out any of the 25,000 absentee ballots challenged in Martin and Seminole counties. In Bush v. Hillsborough County Canvassing Board, federal District Court Judge Lacey Collier rules that overseas absentee ballots can be counted even though they lack a postmark required by 101.62(7)(c) of the Florida Election Code. Florida Legislature meets in special session and adjourns with plans to convene again December 12.

    Waaaaaa haaaaaa haaaaa HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    Nuff Said!

  50. 54

    Puddybud spews:

    Didn’t Clueless claim the poll last week where most Americans do not support a fast pullout was a sham? I guess the only fast pullout Clueless does is at night with his “woman”. Still unsatisfied after all these years!

    Back to my topic: If this is so true Clueless why are the Congressional Moonbats retreating on their get out of Iraq stances? http://www.cleveland.com/newsf.....washington

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn’t support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

    The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress’ spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

    Why is Reid delaying? Lieberman said this could make him join the Republicans! Waaaaaa haaaaaa haaaaa HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR.

    Nuff Said!

  51. 55

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    @16 “Why do liberal voting districts constantly mail out military ballots late or not at all?”

    This is unmitigated bullshit — utterly baseless and unfactual.

    02/27/2007 at 12:12 am
    Roger I was there when they mailed the ballots and there was no way they could reach the troops and be back in time to be counted. Roger say what you must but you are full of bullshit yourself.

  52. 57

    Poster Child spews:

    I like the way Ron Sims et al hail this corridor as a cycling and multi use trail but always mention it can be converted to some other tranportation mode later when it’s needed.

    We love bike trails… until they’re in the way.

  53. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @55 “Roger I was there when they mailed the ballots and there was no way they could reach the troops and be back in time to be counted. Roger say what you must but you are full of bullshit yourself.”

    If the military can’t get a ballot from King County to Iraq and back in 3 1/2 weeks, then you’d better talk to your REPUBLICAN representatives in the state legislature, because they’re the ones who objected to moving up the primary to July or August. How the hell is King County supposed to mail ballots before the primary election is certified and the ballots are printed? You are one dumb jackass.

  54. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @55 One more thing — whooooose fault is it that you slept through the training on how to get a Federal Write In Ballot from your Unit Voting Assistance Officer?

  55. 60

    ArtFart spews:

    I’d like to see the right-of-way used for some sort of transit, but I don’t expect to see it come to pass. As to the rail…BNSF is just selling the land. They’ll tear all the steel up and either reuse it or sell it for scrap. They might leave the ties behind, especially if they’re old enough to be soaked in arsenic and/or creosote. Leave us taxpayers to pay the tab for the hazardous-material abatement.

    That being said, I think I’m persuaded to the idea that it’s best for the route to be put into public control while it’s still possible to do so. 40 or 50 years from now, it’ll be nice to have any square footage at all that isn’t covered with condos and strip malls.

  56. 61

    Commentator spews:

    It was quite interesting how one threat was to turn the 50 to 100 foot wide trail into strip malls (Julia Patterson quote) and another was subdivisions (BNSF president quote). One wonders what the real alternative was.

    One also wonders where the Port’s money is coming from: the property tax which is supposed to be used for economic development?

    $100 to $170 Million could buy a lot of other recreational facilities.

  57. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, the British monarch has not had absolute powers since Magna Carta in 1215, and today is little more than a ceremonial office and grist for movies and tabloids.

  58. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    No fucking wonder they couldn’t hold onto any of their colonies. India didn’t put up with that shit either.