PDC to investigate anti-rail group

A week or two ago, I filed a PDC complaint against the Eastside Transportation Association. They’re the folks illegally campaigning against the “Roads and Transit.” Well, I heard back from the PDC:

Attached is a letter to you acknowledging receipt of your complaint received by e-mail on September 10, 2007, alleging that the Eastside Transportation Association has failed to register and report as a political committee. As noted in the letter, the PDC will investigate your complaint.


Makes you wonder… If the PDC says the ETA hasn’t broken any laws, then what’s to keep people from campaigning like this all the time? Why file with the PDC ever? It would certainly change the way campaigns are done in Washington.


  1. 1

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    In the last paragraph, did you mean to say “what’s TO KEEP people from campaigning like this all the time?”

  2. 3

    ken spews:

    This is who the Sierra Club should have their sights set on. Instead, they are opposing light rail, calling other environmental groups sellouts, and mocking good progressive Democrats like Julia Patterson.

  3. 6

    Benji spews:

    “If the PDC says the ETA hasn’t broken any laws, then what’s people from campaigning like this all the time? Why file with the PDC ever? It would certainly change the way campaigns are done in Washington. ”

    Will, the whole point of being a rich son-of-a-bitch right winger is to thumb your nose at the little people, make fun of people in curlers, and talk about how much better it was on the olden days, when your Grandpop was trying to round-up Japanese people from their farms so he could build Jr.’s mall….thus allowing Kemper Jr. to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to prevent commie “social programs” like light rail from tainting the earth….avoiding disclosure of massive single-source donation, thus making it appear as if there are more than 10 people on your side.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. The Born Again Elitists at the Sierra Club http://nortid.org/?p=43 just joined forces with this elitist fossil. Make it 25 people on Kemper’s side.

    After the rich Republican US Chamber of Commerce helped their buddy (and Kemperite anti-transit ideologue) Rob McKenna elected without filing disclosure forms, it only took THREE YEARS for that case to wind through the courts.

    In other words, Kemper knows he can get away with it.

  4. 7

    Benji spews:

    “This is who the Sierra Club should have their sights set on. Instead, they are opposing light rail, calling other environmental groups sellouts”

    I wandered through the Cascade Chapter’s website and posts on the matter – found a lot of petty criticism of light rail alignments, but little to no criticism of the decades-active and well-funded road warriors at Kemper Development Corporation, now known as http://notoprop1.org

    And whaddya know? The Sierra Club is listed right there with ‘em! More like “the friend of the enemy” strategy.

  5. 8

    marco spews:

    it looks like the Sierra Club/700 Club is also violating PDC rules. They filed late, after they started campaign against light rail and they aren’t filing regular reports now.

  6. 9

    rtidstinks spews:

    Wow, you guys must really be concerned about the Sierra Club’s opposition, choosing a post that is not about them to continue the “attack the messenger” theme.

    This isn’t about light rail, roads, or Kemper Freeman. This is about global warming. The Sierra Club calls it like it sees it — the joint ballot measure spends billions to make global warming worse at a time when we need to be doing all in our power to reduce global warming pollution. According to scientists, 80% reductions by 2050 in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.

    You commenters attacking the Sierra Club are all wrapped up in some warped universe where Kemper Freeman and “governance reform” are these boogey men to be avoided at all costs. How about global warming as the boogey man? Pick the right target please.

    If the Sierra Club is wrong about global warming, please explain how. That is a debate worth having. As is a debate about how we intend to address the fact that automobile driving will increase by 45% in the Puget Sound region by 2030, making it nearly impossible to reduce global warming pollution. Tackling this will require drastic transportation reforms, not business as usual.

    The irony here is that you so called progressives, intent on demonizing the Sierra Club, are doing more to enable climate changing budget busting highways than Kemper Freeman could ever do. The roads advocates are on their last legs here. Transit is getting ever more popular, and the issue of global warming makes highway advocates political dinosaurs.

    Keep it up, and you might do something the Republicans who brought us RTID could never do on their own — get RTID passed. Good work guys. Progressives supporting regressive taxes to make global warming worse.

  7. 10

    scotto spews:

    @7, where has the Sierra Club called another environmental group a sellout?

    Such fabrications are disturbing. Discussion on this ostensibly liberal blog has deteriorated to the point where global warming — the biggest environmental and social justice issue of our time — is not worth comment. Instead of reasoned debate, there is the intellectually lazy dodge of aspersion and character assassination.

    It’s understandable that bad habits might be acquired while growing up in the age of GWB and Carl Rove, but people, George Bush and Carl Rove are not your role models.

    rtidstinks @9 has an important point: the Puget Sound Regional Council estimates that the result of RTID highways will be a 45% increase in driving from a 1998 baseline to 2030. But we need to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from a 1990 baseline, when emissions were much lower than they were in either 1998 or now.

    What is wrong with this picture?

  8. 11

    marketforce spews:

    “PDC to investigate Anit Rail Group”

    For a moment I thought the Sierra/700 Club was being investigated.

    Will, you are going to have to be more specific from here on out about which “anti rail group” you are speaking of.

    Maybe we can call the ETA “Anti Rail Group A” and the 700 Club “Anti Rail Group B”

    Something to help me keep them straight.

  9. 12

    Puddybud spews:

    rtidstinks says: “Wow, you guys must really be concerned about the Sierra Club’s opposition, choosing a post that is not about them to continue the “attack the messenger” theme.”

    rtidstinks: Again Puddy doesn’t forget. “The Wise man” Darryl recently wrote: “I know this must be very difficult for you to understand, but unlike you wingnuts, liberals don’t maintain a strong “top-down” approach to positions and messaging.” – TOTAL BULLSHITTIUM

    When you leave the liberal reservation; the kooks, nuts, the people who love to threaten appear in full force. Did you read what Seton Hall University did? Take stock in the Progressive wing of the New Democratic Party. People like Jane Hamsher and the gooststepping reprobate retards of ASSWipes will remind you where you “really” belong!

  10. 13

    Puddybud spews:

    Where is the 700 Club in any anti-RTID documentation, or, as always, some lefty is slinging more BULLSHITTIUM. Oh… another attempt at rhetorical device!

  11. 14

    Puddybud spews:

    scotto@9: Do you read comments?

    Each and every week the ‘Bats pickle their “commentary” with global warming themes. You didn’t receive the liberal speak decoder ring?

    Call George Soros! He’ll send one free.

  12. 17

    Scotto-riffic! spews:

    Hey Scotto-
    The Sierra Club called all enviro groups sellouts when they didn’t get their way, picked up their ball and ran to The Stranger.

    And when did you guys start caring about social justice? The blue/green alliance with labor is only one way…The Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club supports a NON-union Target store downtown.


    You can try and say that people pissed at you and your calendar selling friends don’t believe in global warming or try to martyr yourselves by calling bullshit on your hypocracy a Rovian tactic…but at the end of the day the Sierra Club is opposed to new roads and any light rail/transit funding outside of the kingdom of Seattle.

    Not everyone can be a lawyer like your leader and work from home. Some people couldn’t buy in Phinney ridge 15 years ago when it was more affordable.

    The reality is that this region needs 50 miles of light rail to connect up urban centers in the South, North and East. The density argument falls flat – look at Light rail in Denver, Salt Lake, Houston – all less dense than our region.

  13. 18

    chadt spews:

    Puddy the Fake Christian

    Where do you park your sapphire throne when you’re at your psychiatrist’s office to avoid attracting attention?

    I’m sure he doesn’t want it known that such a treatment failure is associated with him….

    He needs to either increase or decrease your medication level, the present regimen isn’t doing it.

  14. 20

    Marmot's Whistle spews:


    You seem to have problems with names of organizations, but I infer from other posts that you are talking about the Sierra Club. Perhaps you should look here:
    to find a good deal of well-documented statements against the RTID roads package by the Sierra Club.

    Opposition to the road warrior Kemper-ites is an obvious starting point of Sierra Club positions. When minimizing the effects of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions shape organization positions and efforts, it should be obvious that the best stance is to oppose highway capacity expansion projects that will worsen sprawl and global warming. Light rail can still go forward in a separate vote. Get rid of the highway expansion projects that don’t really help our transportation or environmental objectives, and then focus on better transit.

    Climate change demands we end business-as-usual trade offs of more highways in order to get more transit.

  15. 21

    Patrick spews:


    It’s clear from even a cursory glance at the Cascade Chapter’s web site and historical positions that is a champion for transit. The Sierra Club — nationally and locally — has global warming as their top priority, and vehicles are our #1 source in Washington.

    We can’t cut global warming without giving people better transportation options, especially fast, reliable rail transit. But I support transit for specific reasons, not just because it’s cool, and if it’s hitched to a bill that will cause the combined package to do more harm than good, why vote for it? That’s insanity.

    The momentum is building for transit. It will be back. Instead of bashing environmentalists and progressives, you should focus your energy on the people down in Olympia who put us in this situation (and who we need to get us out of it).

  16. 23

    Glacier Hugger spews:

    Nice People Swallow?

    Voters are being asked to be nice and swallow Republican road spew in order to get light rail. It is a false and vile choice. Nice people care about global warming. They care about protecting India and Hawaii and Aberdeen from flooding. They care about droughts in Africa and other parts of the world. They care about Polar bears drowning and penguins starving.

    The stakes are too high to swallow for people like Ex-Senator Jim Horn (R).

  17. 24

    thor spews:

    rtidstinks and scotto better check their crazy spinning.

    Here’s what’s going on right now: a whole bunch of people are spewing whatever sounds good to them with absolutely no credibility.

    Oh. It’s an election. Throw truth and thinking out the door! Work every day to prove your point!

    Idiocy. I’m sick of it.

    The best way to put all these nutcases in their place is to vote to actually do something good for the environment and good for transportation and vote Yes on Prop. 1.

    The alternative is more mindless debates without end.

  18. 25

    Glacier Hugger spews:

    Thor, any plan that increases greenhouse gasses is NOT good for the environment. No matter how you want to try and spin it. If you care about global warming, you’ll vote no on prop 1.

  19. 26

    ken spews:

    Glacier Hugger, everytime you get in your car you are making global warming worse. Therefore you should never drive your car again. Right?

  20. 27

    Dengle spews:

    Back to the point of this thread….I was listening to the radio today as I drove to work and I heard an Ad by Keep WA rolling….they claim that voting for the RAT would ease congestion….that is flat wrong. Even the states own people have stated that it will not. Funny.

  21. 29

    scotto spews:

    @24, please explain what truth is getting thrown out the door. Also please explain how increased vehicle miles does not mean more greenhouse gases, and then explain how more greenhouse gases, and RTID, does not mean worse global warming.

  22. 30


    In a comment posted elsewhere in this horsesass blog somebody anonymous wrote about me:

    “John Niles forgets to mention Sound Transit’s methodology and calculations were reviewed, vetted and signed-off on by the Governor / Legislature – appointed Expert Review Panel.”

    Sorry, I did forget to mention that I attended most meetings of the Expert Review Panel (held in downtown Seattle over the past several years) and I know exactly what this panel wrote. The numbers I and other critics like Jim MacIsaac use are all derived from Sound Transit’s methodology and calculations.

    Then after more perjorative commentary, the anonymous poster wrote, “Niles knows he can request the data and calculations behind the state’s figures (maybe he has already done so) but John Niles and his eastside dinosaur counterpart, Jim MacIsaac, will never try to actually pick apart the other side’s numbers or methodology. If they actually used standard metrics, or standardized methodology, both these has-beens would get flogged.”

    Jim a dinosaur? Yep, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Think of that unfortunate lawyer in Jurassic Park caught with his pants down. I think of myself as a flying Pterodactyl.

    My serious response: Indeed I have requested many figures published by government. I have many times picked apart Sound Transit’s numbers and methodology, and so does Jim. For example, the $157 billion over 50 years tax cost comes directly from picking apart ST’s numbers … it’s a simple extrapolation of their tax collections out to 2057 when the last bonds are paid off. It uses Sound Transit’s projections of inflation. Sound Transit’s latest financial plan shows full collection of its proposed higher tax rate going out to 2040. That’s when ST’s spreadsheet stops.

    Do Jim and I think ST is going to ratchet back its taxes in 2041? Nope.

    Jim ran the tax numbers out another 13 years secure in the estimation that ST will do sometime before 2028 exactly what the agency did back in 1999: Sell bonds with covenants that lock up and make mandatory the collection of the entire tax rate until the bonds are paid off. We also know that the ST Link and Sounder operations and maintenance costs, and the rail car replacement and facility refurbishment costs, will soak up every penny of those taxes, all $157 billion.

    For an example of my work, read my dissection of Sound Transit’s Benefit-Cost Analysis of Sound Transit’s 50-mile light rail expansion posted at http://roadsandtransitfactual.info under quick links (“Highlight! See revised analysis of Prop 1’s $31 billion 50-mile light rail expansion illustrating that cost exceeds benefits”).

    With responsible and reasonable assumptions the benefits of the ST light rail expansion are less than the costs, in contrast to what Sound Transit figured out in order to get its plans past both PSRC and the Expert Review Panel.

    Read what I wrote, read what the Panel and PSRC said about ST’s work, and then flog away.

    Ok, in the same blog post I’m reading, after more personal attacks on me without basis, the anonymous commenter finally asserts “The state-appointed Expert Review Panel was set-up to prevent local government from stretching the truth even slightly.”

    That’s not exactly how the charter of the ERP reads, but I’ll go with that.

    During the course of ERP’s work, there were a few occasions when the ERP caught ST stretching the truth, by a billion dollars in one case, but ST pulled back.

    But there’s one other use being made of ERP’s work in the present campaign season: Some Prop 1 supporters are using the Expert Review Panel report to justify claims about Prop 1 that the Expert Review Panel never covered at all.

    It was good that Dave Ross had the final ERP report on his desk and read from it while covering the latest in Prop 1 developments this morning on the issue of YOE versus backdated 2006 dollars, both of which the ERP said to report.

    By the way, a complete archive of the Expert Review Panel’s work is available for inspection at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/partners/erp/default.htm .