by Goldy, 07/26/2005, 10:13 AM

I guess Democrats welcome debate and Republicans don’t. That’s what I come away with from state Rep. Ed Murray’s guest column in the Seattle P-I (“Save First Hill train station“), and our friend Stefan’s snide response over on (un)Sound Politics (“Ed Murray admits: Sound Transit is pointless.”)

If you ever wonder why politicians are so reluctant to publicly stray from the talking points, this is it… because the minute you stupidly attempt to engage in some sort of reasonable debate, some prick twists your words out of context for partisan gain. Dare to examine all sides of an issue, or worse, (gasp) think out loud, and you might as well ask your opponents to call you a “flip-flopper.”

Apart from King County Executive Ron Sims, there are few elected officials who have shown more support for Sound Transit than Rep. Murray, who chairs the House Transportation Committee. So when he publicly voices constructive criticism of Sound Transit’s plans, he deserves to be listened to, not ridiculed. Indeed, the fact that he is such a strong supporter — and that as a savvy politician he surely recognizes the risk of straying off-message in the vicious world of new media — makes his criticism all the more credible.

The point of Rep. Murray’s column is to emphasize the importance of saving the First Hill Station, which would serve one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Seattle. But in closing his column, Rep. Murray reiterates his support for light rail:

I believe in the vision that Sound Transit is trying to realize. People need a better way of getting where they need to go. They need other options aside from hopping in the car and sitting in traffic.

It took creativity and imagination for Sound Transit to find a way to extend the train to Sea-Tac International Airport.

Let’s keep the faith with the citizens who voted for Sound Transit. Let’s use the same creativity that got the train to the airport to save the First Hill station.

Creativity, imagination, and leadership… that’s also what it takes to publicly criticize a project you strongly support.

And what of (u)SP’s latest contribution to the transit debate? Well, posts like that (and I occasionally make them myself) are the blog equivalent of a fart: they’re noisy and smelly… but damn it feels good to let one out. Fortunately, they quickly dissipate.

101 Responses to “Rep. Murray passes leadership test; (u)SP passes gas”

1. Mount Olympus Hiker spews:

So true, Goldy. And a beautiful analogy.

2. Mr. Cynical spews:

Goldy–
How come you keep reacting to Stefan’s posts??
You seem so defensive.
I guess that’s simpler than coming up with research of your own….
MOH–
Are you still trekking through the Downtown Seattle wilderness in your expensive Patagonia attire, Danner Hiking Boots and other garb with the REI labels still affixed so you can take them back after using them awhile?? Are you still carrying the IceAxe and Cramp-ons on these 80 degree days just in case a Glacier unexpectedly comes storming down 5th Avenue??? I thought so.

And to all you LEFTIST PINHEADS—-How come every time I hear the word “leadership” from you, I have to quickly put my hand on my wallet?? How come “leadership” always means unaccountable spending and tax increases?? Stalin-supporter Murray is a strong advocate of “what’s Ed’s is Ed’s….but what is the rest of ours is also Ed’s”. LEFTIST PINHEADS never seem to allow fiscal reality and the ability of working class people to pay to get in the way of their “brain-farts” like the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Seattle Waterfront Beautification masquerading as a transportation emergency Program. Ask Ed to please explain how if the Alaskan Way Viaduct is so dangerous….why hasn’t Ed declared it an emergency and shut it down??? Leadership???

3. pbj spews:

because the minute you stupidly attempt to engage in some sort of reasonable debate, some prick twists your words out of context for partisan gain.

Oh man Goldy that is rich! Especially coming from YOU! LOL!

4. Goldy Loves Terror spews:

Here’s an example of why no one takes extreme left whiners seriously and why no one takes this blog seriously. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050726/ap_en_ot/doonesbury_language

This blog generates more posts from conservatives that are trying to educate Goldy, than it does any real liberal readers.

5. John spews:

@ 4

Got any figures to back that up? Didn’t think so. I think most people just don’t want to get into food fights with extreme wingers.

Goldy: have you ever compared reader ip addresses with commenters?

6. bj spews:

@ 4

Maybe you should do some research before complaining. The offensive term in the Doonesbury strip is actually GWB’s own pet nickname for Rove. Trudeau was just portraying fact.

7. ConservativeFirst spews:

Goldy,

OT:
Here’s a suggestion, you can start another intiative drive, only this time you can try to declare your latest obesession, Stefan Sharkansky, a “Horse’s Ass”. Continually commenting on Sharkansky’s blog makes you appear jealous of him.

Goldy:
“If you ever wonder why politicians are so reluctant to publicly stray from the talking points”

Actually I don’t wonder, look what happened to Kerry (who was supposed to be so much smarter and sophisticated than Bush), when he try to speak off the cuff, saying that he voted to authorize the 87 billion for Iraq, before he voted against it. Sounds like words right out of Danforth Quayle’s mouth.

Murray:
“I believe in the vision that Sound Transit is trying to realize. People need a better way of getting where they need to go. They need other options aside from hopping in the car and sitting in traffic.”

This is leadership? Sound Transit doesn’t accomplish this vision. At least not with any significance or cost effectiveness.

Goldy:
“Creativity, imagination, and leadership… that’s also what it takes to publicly criticize a project you strongly support.”

I hardly found his comments to be critical, since he represents the First Hill area of Seattle in the Legislature. A real leader would be questioning the feasibility of light rail all togehter, because it’s way over budget, not what was originally promised, way behind schedule, and doesn’t put a significant dent in traffic congestion. Instead, he’s saying, in essence, “Keep the station you want to remove in my district.”

Murray:
“It took creativity and imagination for Sound Transit to find a way to extend the train to Sea-Tac International Airport.”

So “creativy and imagination” = spend more money for what was originally promised in the project when approved by the voters.

http://www.soundtransit.org/projects/svc/link/south/default.asp

“Light Rail Connection: The light rail extension to Sea-Tac International Airport will cost approximately $225 million, assuming the project is completed in 2009 and final agreements are consistent with preliminary agreements. The cost will be funded entirely through existing revenues and additional grant funding. Port of Seattle Road Improvements: The road improvements total $60 – $80 million, to be funded by Port of Seattle airport revenues.”

I hope the Port has the money, if Southwest and Alaska move to Boeing Field, I believe that money will be in jeopardy.

8. JDB spews:

@ 4

So, now that you know that GWB uses that term, I assume you don’t take him seriously either? And who said you can’t teach old dogs.

Conservative @ 7

Since you are not stupid, I’ll try to keep you from spewing talking points:

John Kerry voted for the funds for the troops when it was funded. After the GOP refused to provide any revenue for the 87 million, he voted against it. Is that so hard to understand? I didn’t think so.

Of course, Bush insisted that the war would cost almost nothing, and ran people out of his administration who suggested it could cost at least 200 billion. Guess what, it is costing well over 200 billion. Makes Sound Transit look like pikers, and they didn’t have to lie to get their project started.

9. RonK, Seattle spews:

Ahoy, ConservativeFirst — Just checking in to see if you caught my advisory re your unfortunate misreading of Cantwell-related FEC filings.

I assumed you had not, since a principled discussant would surely have responded with an appreciative acknowledgement and retraction … but I might have missed your response somewhere in the comment stream.

10. Goldy spews:

Con1st @7,

Read my tagline… I cover WA politics and the press. (u)SP is media, isn’t it? It’s also a political mouthpiece for the GOP and other conservative groups, so I think commenting on Stefan fits my mission statement.

And it’s not like he’s never sent an unkind word my way. He’s a big boy; he can stand up for himself.

11. ConservativeFirst spews:

JDB @ 8

“Since you are not stupid, I’ll try to keep you from spewing talking points”

Thanks, I don’t think you are stupid either.

“John Kerry voted for the funds for the troops when it was funded. After the GOP refused to provide any revenue for the 87 million, he voted against it.” Is that so hard to understand? I didn’t think so.”

My point about Kerry was, that once he strayed from his prepared remarks, he made a monstorous political gaff.

“Makes Sound Transit look like pikers, and they didn’t have to lie to get their project started.”

I’d have to disagree with you here. Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the left, Bush “fixed” the intelligence to make it look like Iraq had WMDs and was a threat to the US to justify going to war. I appears to me that Sound Transit “fixed” the ridership numbers for Sounder trains, and possibley light rail, to justify people voting for the project.

http://www.effectivetransportation.org/docs/STReportCardV12.pdf
(See the Ridership section for Sounder Commuter Rail):

“In the face of failing patronage, Sound Transit began to “fix” the numbers. In 2002, when ridership was 37 percent of the level promised, the agency announced it had beaten its target by 10 percent. The press reported it that way.”

“In 2004, Sound Transit lowered its target from the promised 2,984,000 to 900,000, a reduction of 70 percent. Then it beat its finagled target by 6 percent. Another triumph – as presented by Sound Transit.”

12. Janet S spews:

Is it just me, or does anyone else out there wonder why the first leg of Sound Transit is to go from downtown to a mile away from Sea-Tac? This seems totally pointless, and will do nothing to relieve traffic.

The current debate about Southwest and Boeing Field just further emphasizes why we shouldn’t be reliant on fixed-rail solutions. They become obsolete almost before they are built.

13. ConservativeFirst spews:

Goldy @ 10

“Read my tagline… I cover WA politics and the press. (u)SP is media, isn’t it?”

Yes.

“It’s also a political mouthpiece for the GOP and other conservative groups, so I think commenting on Stefan fits my mission statement. ”

Just as you (as HA) are a political mouthpiece for the Democrats and other liberal groups. I think free speech is great, don’t you?

I never said you should completely refrain from commenting on SP. Your sophomoric comments about SP on this thread reek of petty jealously to me.

14. John spews:

@ 13

Sharkansky like Eyman is a horse’s ass. For evidence you need look no further than Minnow’s breathless coverage of the election contest trial one week before Bridges’ decision. Goldy just calls it as he sees it.

It’s not jealousy – it’s entertainment.

I read Goldy because he’s the first local blogger I know of to hold Sharkansky’s feet to the fire.

15. L. H. Smith spews:

Eyman is a hero. Anyone who’s working to crush the oppressive government in this state is a hero. That includes Stefan.

16. Dr. E spews:

15

Give me a break. It’s not like this is Albania under Enver Hoxha, you know.

17. Dr. E spews:

Oops, I was commenting on the words “oppressive government.”

18. Mr. Cynical spews:

Goldy can be a real dink!

19. JC Bob spews:

I have repeatedly asked how Sound Transit intends to help me get to work; I do pay the taxes for them to do that. I live near Carkeek Park and work at Boeing Everett.

Sound Transit’s answer is they cannot help everyone get to work. Then why am I paying the tax?

You know, I am a generous kind of guy, I sent 2% of my annual income to tsuanmi relief and my annual charatible giving is over 10% (tithing, you know). But why should help someone else get to work when I do NOT get any help?

By the way, I have riden the light rail system from Scott Air Force Base to Lambert Field (St. Louis Airport) a distance of 39 miles. It cost Illinois and Missouri taxpayers $400 million to build the system NOT $2 BILLION and counting.

And what kind of leadership, creativity and imagination does it take to duplicate what Philadlephia did back in the ’70s. Interestingly enough, New York City has not bothered to run their subway system to either JFK or LGA.

20. rwb spews:

15

so why don’t you run for office and become part of “the oppressive government” and make some changes?

21. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Since we are building a system that will be a starter line, perhaps they should bore the tunnel, save the cost of the station by defering it until better deals can be made with the other Washington. On a Pro-Streetcar Blog, I heard a better idea, and that is to bypass First Hill, go to Capitol Hill, and improve the Trackless Trolley Network and add at least one Streetcar route. Also one possibility is to run a Trackless Trolley on 9th, putting part of the 60 under wire, and in the case of that, only a turning wire is needed, as there is alread trolley wire in place on 9th, since it is the snow-bypass route for the 3 and 4 to avoid the steeper James St climb. Also TT routes on Boren, Yesler, and Broadway would connect First Hill with at least 3 Light Rail stations, combined with the 2 serving University St. Station.

The Electric Routes would require Power, and perhaps Metro should invest in a joint venture with Seattle City Light for a windpower plant down in Klickitat or over in Kittitas County, but put a few turbines on the site of Atlantic Base just to show that they are willing to put a few turbines in the Seattle area.

22. W. spews:

so why don’t you run for office and become part of “the oppressive government” and make some changes?

Because that would involve something other than spending their days listening to talk radio and their evenings passed out in front of the tee-vee.

23. Roger Rabbit spews:

HEY STEFAN — SPEAKING OF POINTLESS PROJECTS …

“Rep. Ed Murray … admits in Tuesday’s op-ed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Sound Transit … is a pointless project …. Indeed, as Emory Bundy makes clear in his recent media alert — the only point is to ask for more money.”

Stefan Sharkansky, July 25, 2005 at 11:00 PM

“Yesterday was the day when King County Elections was supposed to satisfy my public records request of July 5 …. My next step is to Sue Ron Sims. Please hit the tip jar if you want to contribute to the Sue Ron Sims legal fund.”

Stefan Sharkansky, July 26, 2005 at 10:53 AM

P.S.1, I think anybody who donates money to a legal fund for a guy who lives in an $800,000 house deserves to get taken. You know the old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” But then, I’m just a cute fluffy little bunny.

P.S.2, Hey Stefan, are any of your fans as gullible as you think they are?

P.S.3, Never mind, I already know the answer to that.

24. Mr. Cynical spews:

JCBob@19–
It will be a cold day in HELL before the LEFTIST PINHEADS give a reasonable answer to the fair question you raised. The LEFTIST PINHEADS seem to hate it when someone rains on their “visioning” parade with questions about equity, fairness, cost, accountability etc.

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

Stefan’s public disclosure lawsuit against Ron Sims sounds like a WPA project for unemployed Rossi lawyers.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 19

I don’t work in Everett, so why the fuck should I pay gas taxes to help YOU get to work?

27. W. spews:

Sound Transit’s answer is they cannot help everyone get to work. Then why am I paying the tax?

For the same reason you’re paying for roads that don’t go directly to places you want to visit.

It’s called infrastructure. Businesses depend on it.

28. EvergreenRailfan spews:

I wonder, that already full bus, the 10/12 on Madison St, does have some problems, and nobody will ever think of blocking access to an on-ramp at Spring/Seneca to Southbound I-5 just to improve East-West Traffic Flow. I have sometimes walked downtown to Madison St faster than the bus during Rush Hour. (I do not live on First Hill, but my dad often has been in the hospital thanks to complications of diabetes, so I spend a lot of time on First Hill.)

29. ConservativeFirst spews:

John @ 14

“I read Goldy because he’s the first local blogger I know of to hold Sharkansky’s feet to the fire.”

Why does Goldy always have to intertwine himself with a local conservative activist? First Eyman (the inspiration for blog’s name right?) and now Stefan? Can’t Goldy stand his own?

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

I have an idea! Let’s sell I-5 from N. 105th St. to Everett to private enterprise, and use the proceeds to pay off Sound Transit. That way, Bob won’t have to pay taxes for Sound Transit, and will only have to pay tolls for the highway he actually uses. Does that work for you, Bob?

31. RUFUS spews:

I will repeat my Mantra. No new taxes until full independant audits performed. Not one more penny.

32. ConservativeFirst spews:

RonK @ 9

“I assumed you had not, since a principled discussant would surely have responded with an appreciative acknowledgement and retraction … but I might have missed your response somewhere in the comment stream. ”

I got busy, stopped posting, which really has nothing to do with principles. But since you brought it up, the comment you posted, only applies for the 2004 cycle, not for 2006, see the link below.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/memberprofile.asp?CID=N00007836&Cycle=2006

No such caveat appears for 2006.

Like I said on the previous thread, Cantwell, didn’t used to accept special interest money, for the current campaign that is no longer true.

To address you comments in the other thread, amount is really irrelevant, since her pledge was to not accept PAC money. Which she didn’t in 2000, but has since done.

http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,38614,00.html

“Cantwell has made a commitment not to accept PAC donations and has been trying to make campaign finances one of the central issues in the race.”

“”We’re concerned when someone’s worth $36 million and they’re running against us,” Bergman said. “Here we’ve got a situation where a candidate can dump $10 million and it will be a drop in the bucket for her. If she dumps in five more million or 10 million, oh yeah, we’ve got a whole new race.””

“The Cantwell counter: “The bottom line is that Maria Cantwell cannot be bought by special interests,” said spokesman Christian Sinderman.”

Back to Sound Transit.

33. JC Bob spews:

W @ 27

Let me help educate you.

When I pay motor vehicle fuel tax, I pay for the right to drive on any public highway I choose to drive on. If public highways did NOT go where I wanted/needed to go, I would NOT buy motor vehicle fuel and pay the tax. And that is fair except for the gross inefficiency at the WSDOT.

When I pay the Sound Transit tax and they do NOT provide service I can use, I am being shafted for the exclusive benefit of someone else.

The leftists are always yipping and yapping about equality and fairness. Well wouldn’t it be more equitable and fair if the people who USED Sound Transit pay for it.

34. JC Bob spews:

Roger Rabbit @ 32

Cute but have you ever thought about putting your mind in gear before typing?

35. Artie spews:

Ed Murray’s statement about bypassing First Hill shows he knows little about how light rail systems can and must integrate with connecting bus lines.

The most important destination on the southern leg of Link LRT is South Center. Seatac is a place you go to when you’re going somewhere else. South Center was ruefuly bypassed, (nearest Link stations are 2 miles away and on the other side of I-5), and cannot be readily served with connecting transit.

First Hill ‘can’ be bypassed because the nearest station at Capitol Hill is about 1/4 mile away and the connecting bus transit is in place through a transit-dependent corridor. Furthermore, Link First Hill station has a limited walking distance due to hilly topography, (less than 1/4 mile). Thus, improvement to connecting bus transit in this case is as important as Link, even if the First Hill station were built.

Ed Murray’s knowledge deficiency is somewhat excusable because all-knowing Sound Transit provides the talking points and they don’t go this far into design consideration either. They chose to bypass South Center because.. because.. well, somebody told them to. Sound Transit said it would save money, but they know this is not true.

36. W. spews:

If public highways did NOT go where I wanted/needed to go, I would NOT buy motor vehicle fuel and pay the tax.

So you want/need to go everywhere, because otherwise you wouldn’t be paying the tax…or does your vehicle run on hot air?

37. W. spews:

And that is fair except for the gross inefficiency at the WSDOT.

What gross inefficiency? I’ve had visitors this week and have driven I-5 from Sea-Tac to Edmonds, I-90 from Seattle to Snoqualmie, up and down 99 twice, and crossed the Sound on two different ferries. None of that time did I experience any “gross inefficiency” other than oppressive traffic jams.

38. K spews:

So much hot air. Sound Transit opponents, what is your suggestion to address congestion? Either you need more pavement or an alternative which reduces the number of vehicles- mass transit. You also have not only the capital costs of whatever alternative you choose, but also operating and replacement costs for your infrastructure. This means money. There is indeed no free ride.

39. RUFUS spews:

what is your suggestion to address congestion?

Answer: Start performing independant financial audits.

40. K spews:

No Rufus, audits build nothing. What is your capital solution. THat is separate from how you pay for it.

41. RUFUS spews:

No Rufus, audits build nothing

First we see how much waste there is than we can worry about capital solutions later. Raising capital now is like putting the buggy before the horse. I say no more taxes until Government takes a serious look at how it is operating and where all the money is going.

42. RUFUS spews:

Get the confidence of the voters back before we start digging through their pockets for more taxes.

43. K spews:

What exactly do you know about government waste other than what you read in the right wing echo chamber? How much waste is there in a project which is pit out to bid on the open market? The waste there is, is put there by constituents. The Mercer Island segment of I-90 was not the most expensive stretch of interstate highway (at the time anyway) because of waste. It was because the neighbors (mostly good east-side republicans) required a lid. One person’s waste is another’s essential mitigation.

44. ConservativeFirst spews:

K @ 38

“So much hot air. Sound Transit opponents, what is your suggestion to address congestion? ”

How about dedicated bus lanes? Can move more people than light rail and are more flexible. Probably more cost effective as well, both from a capital and operational perspective.

HOT lanes are another alternative that is intriguing.

45. K spews:

CF @ 44

They are certainly a piece of the puzzle. And by the way, they are a part of Sound Transit’s program. Note the Transit only access to I-5 from lots in Lynnwood and Martha Lake.

Didn’t we just have a move to open up the carpool lanes? Could we cut out that foolishness?

46. RUFUS spews:

That is the point K… no one know since there is no independant verification of financial information. We have no independant verification that what the government tells us is true. Let me but it this way, would you invest stock in a company based on the words of the owners? No! So why would you put your trust into what politicians and bureacrats are telling you? Nuff said.

47. K spews:

No, I don’t work for Sound Transit.

48. K spews:

Rufus-

You know what, you elect the folks responsible for overseeing the agencies. Those agencies are responsioble for reporting to the elected officials. And there are auditors at every level of government reporting to those elected officials.

Try this for a start http://www1.leg.wa.gov/JLARC/

49. RUFUS spews:

K

I have been through this a million times. A government audit controled by the government is not independant. Out of curiousity have you ever taken a college level accounting or auditing course K?

50. K spews:

I am well versed in government accounting. And I stand by my earlier position. We are in a representative democracy. Elected representatives are responsible for the function of government. If you do not like who’s in charge, change them. Who exactly do you think these independant auditors will report to? Where does their money come from? Who is their constituency? Isn’t it the same folks who elect your representatives?

51. RUFUS spews:

Are the below members of the board for JLARC Independant? Do you think some of these people might have a stake in the results of the audit reports? You be the judge:

Committee Members
Sen. Brad Benson Rep. Gary Alexander, Secretary
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Rep. Glenn Anderson
Sen. Bob Oke
Rep. Kathy Haigh
Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, Vice Chair
Rep. Janéa Holmquist
Sen. Phil Rockefeller, Asst. Secretary
Rep. Ross Hunter, Chair
Sen. Debbie Regala,
Rep. Fred Jarrett
Sen. Pat Thibaudeau
Rep. Kelli Linville
Sen. Joseph Zarelli
Rep. Deb Wallace

52. RUFUS spews:

Who exactly do you think these independant auditors will report to?

An INDEPENDANT audit committee who would report to the state auditors office. The government would not be in charge of who was on the audit committee either.

53. W. spews:

How about dedicated bus lanes?

I can already hear the howls about bus lanes that are empty 95% of the time…

54. RUFUS spews:

K

Our founding fathers called on us to always be skeptical of our politicians. I dont care if Pope John Paul the II was in office I would still demand independant verfication on how well he was running government.

55. W. spews:

You be the judge:

Instead of waving your hands and blowing smoke, how about providing some facts to support your innuendo?

56. RUFUS spews:

W

Are you that much of an idiot that you cant figure what is wrong with that list. Do you understand the term ” independant audits”. Are people on the left scared of independant audits because they are hiding something?

57. K spews:

I see a committee evenly split (exact 50/50) between R’s and D’s, from east and west side districts. Are they all in a conspiracy together? Do you have so little faith in our democratic form of government?

58. RUFUS spews:

How about a committee with no politicians with people on it that do not reside in this state nor care about our politics. The further away the better. Now that is how would pick an fair and impartial and independant audit committee. All the fortune 500 companies that are publically traded and widely held our audited this way.

59. Old Fart spews:

Rufus @49

I don’t see how anyone committed to “good government” (as opposed to the crony capitalism espoused by the Bush administration) could be against greater public sector efficiency and effectiveness. The question is how to achieve that.

Rufus seems to assume that state government is so fundamentally corrupt that you can’t trust anyone within the system. I don’t buy that. Compared to states like Ohio, which has a great deal of machine politics (Democratic in major cities, Republican at the state level), our state is pretty clean. A big reason is that the structure of our government came out of the populist and progressive eras, where activists had a profound distrust of elected officials and parties assuming too much direct control over the ADMINISTRATION of government.

As a small but telling case in point, our revenue estimates are made by a bipartisan commission with a professional staff that is given wide latitude to do its job. The result: You can actually trust the numbers that come out. This is strikingly different than at the federal level, where estimates are heavily tainted by political pressure.

That said, I would agree if you argued that the DOT could be Washington state’s biggest source of potential inefficiency and even corruption. However, I would also argue that this is partially a function of the sheer scale of the projects and the amount of dollars slushing through the system. There are limits to what ANY type of reform can accomplish in such a big system.

Right wingers love to harp on how governmental costs are too high because it doesn’t engage in the “race to the bottom” compensation cuts endemic to the private sector in recent years. In making that argument, right wingers forget a basic element of economics: The fewer folks who make a livable wage, the fewer who can buy the private sector’s goods and services. Why on earth would you want to turn the mighty U.S. into Brazil?

And while they are beating up on unions, right wingers also tend to downplay and ignore the role of private sector special interests in using their political clout to land various types of sweetheart deals.

Independent audits CAN be useful, but they are a limited and blunt object. Nothing can substitute for good management that is allowed to do its job unconstrained by political deals.

I’m not arguing for the removal of politics from transportation planning. Bureaucrats can be just as lazy and myopic as anyone else. I am arguing against simplistic “solutions” than either are likely to have very little impact or could even backfire.

60. zip spews:

k 43

“It was because the neighbors (mostly good east-side republicans) required a lid. ” Exactly. DOT has been gutless on a lot of projects: they would rather spend extra $ to keep neighbors happy than economize. Alternately they just drop the project alltogether, like the SB connection of the express lanes to 520. The Montlake people raised hell about 15 years ago and the project never was proposed again.

61. RUFUS spews:

Rufus seems to assume that state government is so fundamentally corrupt that you can’t trust anyone within the system. I don’t buy that.

Old Fart – I dont assume anything, I dnot think anyone know how well government is doing.

Compared to states like Ohio, which has a great deal of machine politics (Democratic in major cities, Republican at the state level), our state is pretty clean

Are you kidding. The KCRE blows anything in Ohio away.

Right wingers love to harp on how governmental costs are too high

How can you tell how much something costs if the taxpayer doesnt even know what they are buying?

Independent audits CAN be useful, but they are a limited and blunt object.

Depends on how detailed the audits are.

The fewer folks who make a livable wage, the fewer who can buy the private sector’s goods and services.

Socailism has never worked.

Old Fart what wrong with holding our government to same verification standard we hold for businesses.

Trust and Verification are not mutually exclusive terms.

62. EvergreenRailfan spews:

I wished Sound Transit had brought in the guy from Denver BEFORE all the problems started. Denver built a 5 miler with a $100 million on time and on budget. A plan for 6 more was defeated around 1997, but that was just jittery voters, as in 1999 they passed two measures, one to widen I-25 and I-225, the other to build a 19 mile LRT line in the same corridor. Both are on time, on budget. In 2004, the voters felt the RTD could deliver on the plan they said no to in 1997, and passed FasTracks, a plan for 120 miles of Light and Commuter Rail, plus 30 miles of Bus Rapid Transit. Denver is in a conservative, Red-State.

After the problems with Link surfaced in 2000, then SOund Transit hired the director of Light Rail at Denver RTD to oversee Light Rail at Sound Transit.

63. W. spews:

Are you that much of an idiot that you cant figure what is wrong with that list

Are that much of an idiot that you think you can just give a list of names and make some vague accusations without being asked to back them up?

64. RUFUS spews:

W

I’am not accusing them of anything. W you obviously dont know enough about auditing for you to understand. JLARC for all intensive purposes is a waste of money.

65. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 2

You seem awfully familiar with Northwest hiking fashions (wand hwere to buy them), Mr. Righty Pinhead! You wouldn’t be a closet granola, would you? What’s your REI member number? I’ll bet mine is lower than yours.

66. Roger Rabbit spews:

geez i can’t even type straight – must be this new Rx I’m on — that should say (and where to buy them)

67. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 4

I fail to see how conservatives are in a position to “educate” anyone when they can’t even get evolution straight … and here’s an example of why no one takes rightys seriously:

“Comment by Goldy Loves Terror”

68. Roger Rabbit spews:

Con Job @ 11

I personally forgave Kerry’s “monstrous gaffe” and voted for him anyway because he made only one … Bush averages 2 or 3 a day.

69. Roger Rabbit spews:

Query re 12

“The current debate about Southwest and Boeing Field just further emphasizes why we shouldn’t be reliant on fixed-rail solutions. They become obsolete almost before they are built.”

What in hell are you talking about? Sea-Tac isn’t going away … and Southwest Airlines won’t be moving to Boeing Field.

70. Roger Rabbit spews:

Comment on 13

“Your sophomoric comments about SP on this thread reek of petty jealously to me.”

So what? Your sophomoric comments on HA reek of massive ignorance. At least Stefan can occasionally make a half-assed argument, except when he’s ranting about public records, a subject about which he knows less than nothing.

71. Roger Rabbit spews:

To clarify my last post, I probably should say “at least Stefan can occasionally make a half-assed argument worth criticizing.”

72. Roger Rabbit spews:

Query re 15

What has Eyman crushed? All of his initiatives have either been thrown out by the courts or rejected by the voters.

73. Roger Rabbit spews:

P.S. to 15

How does trying to bring casino gambling to every street corner, in order to line Eyman’s pockets with fees from the gambling industry, constitute crushing “oppressive government?”

Personally, I consider a government that keeps gambling interests at bay to be beneficial, not oppressive.

Also, I don’t respect (let alone worship) people who lie like Eyman does. He tried to sell gambling to the voters of our state telling them his initiative would cut property taxes by $400 million a year. Assuming the state gets a 10% cut of gambling revenues, that means his initiative would have to produce a net increase in state-taxable gambling revenues of $4 billion a year, which when divided by our state’s population of 6.2 million, means that every man, woman, and child in our state (including infants, those confined to nursing homes, and prison inmantes) would have to spend an average of $645 a year in non-tribal gambling parlors that they aren’t spending now — a proposition that is patently ridiculous.

Maybe if Eyman hadn’t gotten greedy and overstated the revenues his initiative would produce by a factor of 10, and had told the voters this would raise $40 million a year, and had earmarked it for school textbooks, he might have got another 10 percentage points.

74. Roger Rabbit spews:

But then, if Eyman was that smart, he wouldn’t be a horse’s ass, would he?

75. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 31

Rufus, how many more layers of audit beyond those that already exist do you need? You are transparent as glass — no amount of audits would ever satisfy you. This is just an excuse to say “no” to taxes for infrastructure, no matter how badly that infrastructure is needed. You would rather let our state’s economy collapse than pay a few more pennies of gas tax.

I have a solution for you: Get rid of your car and ride a horse.

76. Roger Rabbit spews:

Comment on 33

Oh, I get it now Bob — you want other people to pay for the roads you want to drive on, but you don’t want to pay for the Sound Transit they ride on. You must be another one of those fucking Republican freeloaders.

77. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 34

Nothing “cute” is intended, asshole — I’m fed up to here with jerks like you who want other people to pay for highways, schools, and other public facilities so you can use them free.

Guys like you are all about OPM — i.e., lining your own pockets with “other people’s money.” Where do you get that shit from — watching TV infomercials at 3 AM?

78. Roger Rabbit spews:

Jackass @ 41

You want to see waste? I’ll show you waste. How about U.S. government officials handing out duffel bags full of money from the backs of pickup trucks to “contractors” (a.k.a. mercenaries) in Iraq? How about the Bush administration paying Halliburton $98 a case for Coca Cola for the troops? How about $300 billion squandered on a war we didn’t have to fight, against the wrong enemy, that we’re going to lose? There you’re talking real money. Or, on a smaller scale, the $70 million of TAXPAYER MONEY that Kenneth Starr spent to prove Clinton lied about a blow job? That’s what Republicans do with MY money when they get their hands on it.

Don’t preach to me about waste, you fucking hypocrite.

79. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 42

I have a better idea — like, how about the voters getting my confidence back by throwing the lying, thieving Republicans out of office? I believe in democracy and all that, but there are times when I have to wonder what in hell the voters were thinking, and these are such times.

80. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 46

“That is the point K… no one know since there is no independant verification of financial information.”

Rufus, this is total bullshit! Get off your lazy ass and go to DOT’s web site, where you’ll find all the information you could possibly want about transportation projects and funding. It’s painfully apparent you haven’t spent even 5 minutes researching the subject about which you pretend to know something. You know NOTHING about it.

81. Roger Rabbit spews:

49

So, Rufus — are you suggesting we spend even more taxpayer money by hiring Ernst & Young to audit public projects after the elected state auditor and his taxpayer-supported staff have already audited them? What for? To create some more “waste” for you to complain about?

82. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 51

If these elected legislators are not independent just who do you think is pulling their strings? Every time you post, you prove yourself to be an ignorant jackass with nothing to say.

83. Roger Rabbit spews:

Comment on 57

“Do you have so little faith in our democratic form of government?”

BINGO

84. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 58

Oh — so now you want a bunch of Wall Street accountants to audit our state’s public works projects — the same folks who recommended we buy stock in Enron and World Com?

85. Roger Rabbit spews:

Comment on 59

Nice analysis but you forgot to mention that corporations are the biggest pigs at the public trough. In the U.S., corporate welfare eats 5 times as much federal budget money as individual benefits.

86. Roger Rabbit spews:

Oh yeah, I should also mention that Bush’s cabinet is made up of ex-CEOs who specialized in slurping at the aforementioned public trough — none of them ever ran a company that had to survive in a competitive market on revenue from private customers.

87. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 60

Sounds like responsive government to me — as opposed to the arrogant kind that doesn’t listen to citizens.

88. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 61

“I dnot think anyone know how well government is doing.”

Just because you don’t, doesn’t mean nobody else does. There are plenty of audit functions and performance measures by which to gauge how well our state and local governments are doing, for those who bother to get informed. And there are plenty of people who ARE informed, and plenty of watchdog groups keeping an eye on government’s performance.

Just because you choose to be ignorant doesn’t mean everyone else is.

89. Roger Rabbit spews:

Before any of you trolls bitch about my serial posting, I just want to say: I considered smothering you with a pillow, but decided it’s too slow.

Good night. :D

90. Roger Rabbit spews:

Oops, I meant “it’s too quick.”

91. ConservativeFirst spews:

RR @ 70

“So what? Your sophomoric comments on HA reek of massive ignorance.”

Now that’s funny. Also ironic, considering the source. Sorry to see you are back to “nasty rhetoric” mode.

K @ 45

“They are certainly a piece of the puzzle.”

My point is that they should scrap light rail altogether and spend the money on something that isn’t an end to end fixed line,that will move more people. I thought the idea of mass transit is to move people. Light rail is a boondoggle, plain and simple.

The people running Sound Transit are clearing “fixing” the numbers to make themselves look good. If honesty in government is so important to the left, there would more outrage here over the dishonesty of Sound Transit. Calling Sound Transit to the carpt would require real leadership, not the phony, “let’s spend more money” kind of leadership Goldy is claiming for Ed Murray.

CF @ 7:

“I hope the Port has the money, if Southwest and Alaska move to Boeing Field, I believe that money will be in jeopardy. ”

The 7/27/05 edition of the Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002404223_seatac27.html

“In a move that could delay or scuttle efforts to connect Sound Transit’s light-rail line to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Port of Seattle said yesterday it is putting about $580 million in airport-expansion projects on hold until it knows whether Southwest Airlines will decamp to Boeing Field.”

92. Libs_Wear_Bibs spews:

@ 23: Everyone in Seattle has an $800,000 house J.O. and Goldy does not need Sound TRansit, he can just ride his B.O.B. to work.

93. Goldy spews:

Bib @92,

I don’t own an $800,000 house; mine is less than half that. And what’s a “B.O.B.” …?

94. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 91, item 2

Why should we waste our time on Sound Transit squandering only Two Bil when Bush is squandering Trillions? So much waste, so little time …

95. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 92

I’ll sell you mine for $800,000.

96. Donnageddon spews:

I don’t even own a house.

97. righton spews:

can:t resist while travelling; how many cars come from/to first hill; don:t we have more than that at say montlake, or factoria, or other un served locations

sound transit remains a animated corpse of sorts; sucks money but does nothing

98. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 97

“sucks money but does nothing”

Sounds like most right wingers. They don’t fight wars, work, pay taxes, or contribute a damn thing for the good of society. They’re all about self.

99. Donnageddon spews:

RR @ 98 That is fantastic! Brand new right winger definition!

100. RUFUS spews:

You know the more I think of it, if we can get some of these donks on HA on the SEC it could have some benefits. The first thing I am going to do is file as a C-Corp. Iam going to appoint an internal audit committee headed by my brother and start pumping out financials. My business will have very little overhead and all the employees will be leased out. I have a feeling the financial will look killer. I am going to be raking in the dough selling all the stock. I am also be working on getting out a lot of good reviews from all thoses third parties that will be looking over my self audited financials. Ah life would be so good. Rabbit have you ever thought of becoming the director of the SEC.

101. righton spews:

ok rr, what has sound transit (not) done

a. taxed us
b. set up fleet of buses (yipee)
c. way overpaid to use a freight line for commuter rail to seattle
d. paid millions for studies
e. started building a light rail that will remove, what, about 1000 cars from the freeways?