State to rename the Viaduct the Hershey Highway?

I’m wondering if now might not be the perfect time for the state Legislature to attempt to repeal Washington’s Defense Of Marriage Act, since political buggery appears to be all the rage in Olympia these days:

A bill co-sponsored by Senate transportation chair Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10) and North Seattle Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-46) would severely restrict Seattle’s say in major state construction projects like reconstruction of the SR-520 bridge and the deep-bore tunnel along the waterfront.

Essentially, the bill would exempt the state department of transportation from the requirement to get local government permits to build state highway projects—a clear swipe at Seattle, which has two major state highway projects—the waterfront tunnel and replacement of the 520 bridge over Lake Washington—in the pipeline.

Specifically, the state transportation department would no longer be “required to obtain local government master use permits, conditional use permits, special use permits, or other similar local zoning permits for staging areas related to the construction of state highways.”

Additionally, under the bill, any street use permits obtained by the state for major state road projects (i.e., the tunnel) would be “presumed approved as submitted” and could only be appealed in superior court, not to a local hearing examiner “or through any other local appeal process.”

So, let me get this straight. Under this proposed legislation, and last year’s measure funding the deep bore tunnel, the state could build whatever it wants, wherever it wants, whenever it wants, without any input or say from local governments, and then (here’s the punchline…) stick local taxpayers with any cost overruns.

Or, I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t we just give Rep. Doug Eriksen the billions of dollars the state has reserved for replacing the 520 bridge and the Viaduct, so that he can spread the money around throughout the rest of Washington like he says he wants to do, while at the same time we eliminate the state gas and MVET taxes altogether, and hand off such authority to cities and counties to levy these taxes locally, if they so choose, to pay for the local transit and transportation projects they want?

That way, the rest of the state won’t have to worry about Seattle stealing its money, while we in the Seattle area can address our own infrastructure needs without worrying about the rest of the state repeatedly fucking us up the ass.

I’m just sayin’.

Comments

  1. 1

    Michael spews:

    Yeah, that has about a snowballs chance in hell of passing. And if did pass it wouldn’t be on the books for long. Why do they insist on wasting The People’s time on such useless tripe?

  2. 2

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    With all due respect Seattle brought this on themselves. Not salting streets and closing down commerce to protect Puget Sound from salt was one way. Voting for McGinn another. The state DOT doesn’t trust Seattle to do the right thing and is trying to find a way around them. See, it isn’t just Seattle drivers using the highway system. This is true even if most folks living in Seattle don’t actually believe anyone else exists.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    #3 is analogous to the apochryphal college philosophy exam that contained only one word: “Why?”

    (If you went to college, you know what the punchline is: The only student who got an A on the exam was the one who wrote, “Why not?”)

  4. 5

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 3

    In Seattle the right thing is anything that harms people and ‘helps the environment.’ In the rest of Washington they have had to live with this for a lot of years and may just be getting fed up with it.

    By the way, if a tunnel is built Seattle will be the ultimate winner. I don’t even know how to guess at the huge bonanza in property taxes they’ll realize if those hundreds of acres of prime waterfront are opened up.

  5. 6

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 4

    I was at a debate tournament once. A student was given the word ‘silence’ to talk about off the cuff for 4 minutes. This student stood up, said “silence is golden,” and sat down. He won that round.

  6. 7

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 3

    Yakima county has huge storm water capacity, built at enormous cost to the county and its’ taxpayers. This isn’t because they need that capacity. It isn’t because they wanted it. They don’t get that much rain. They built to a code mandated by and for Seattle but applied by law to the rest of the state. If they didn’t waste millions of taxpayer dollars they wouldn’t get the money from the DOT to do the projects they did need.

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Sounds like a variation of a Calvin Coolidge story. A woman seated next to “Silent Cal” at a White House dinner said, “Mr. President, I made a bet with a friend that I could engage you in conversation for five minutes.” Cal looked at his watch for a while, then said, “You lose.”

  8. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Another Coolidge story goes like this. One Sunday morning, the president went to church alone because Mrs. Coolidge was ill. When he returned to the White House after the service, his wife asked him what the sermon was about. Cal replied, “Sin.” Mrs. Coolidge asked, “What did the parson say about it?” Cal replied, “He’s against it.” End of conversation.

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Coolidge was the very last politician of any consequence who knew when to keep his mouth shut.

  10. 12

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    I read somewhere that the ‘you lose’ story is an urban legend. Too bad if true.

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 I don’t know anything about that, but I do know the good citizens of Yakima want urban taxpayers to fork up $4 billion to build a huge water storage reservoir so they can grow more crops and put more money in their own pockets.

    And having lived in Yakima for several years, more or less at the intersection of the two rivers running through that city, I know that snow melts and rivers flood in Yakima like everywhere else, and I’ve seen city streets under water. So I know for a fact they need their storm water system, even if there is such a thing as forcing storm water systems on local communities that don’t want them, which I’ve never heard of.

    It would also seem to me that municipal stormwater systems all are built to national engineering standards and codes.

  12. 14

    spews:

    lost @7,

    So I guess you wouldn’t mind if the rest of us took back the hydro system we built out there, at tremendous expensive, whose irrigation and electrification made the existing Eastern Washington economy even remotely possible? ‘Cause it sure wasn’t built with Eastern Washington tax money.

    And neither were your roads. So I guess we’ll just take those back too.

    The point is, rural Washington has long been subsidized by urban wealth in the form of state and federal government investment and spending. And I’ve got no problem with that. I just don’t appreciate being abused for it.

  13. 15

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 13

    All construction is built to national standards, and now to the IBC. I’m sure municipal has other hurdles to jump in terms of standards as well. Standards, not capacities.

    Having said that my sister was on the county council when all this happened, and she isn’t a lying person.

    Re 14

    Frankly, I think Eastern Washington should secede. The mountains form a political as well as a geological barrier no amount of conciliation on either side will bridge. But as things stand Eastern Washington citizens get no representation at all in state or federal government.

    But you are right in part. The scale of agriculture that goes on over there requires a huge investment in transportation capacity and irrigation. The option is to let the land go back to waste land no-one has any use for whatsoever. Or we can grow some of the best fruit in the world, raise some of the best beef and make wine that’s beginning to be recognized all over the world.

    As for hydro King County benefits just as much as Benton or Yakima from that. More, really. You’ve lived on the East coast. Do you want to pay the kind of utility rates they do?

  14. 16

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    I’m unsure what you mean by abused. Is Seattle somehow not going to get the main benefit of whatever replaces the viaduct?

  15. 17

    Michael spews:

    Goldy, People held up Hwy. 395 “improvements” in Spokane. People fought the new Narrows bridge. People fought against (and won!) the stupid cross base Hwy and expanding Hwy 410.

    In the narrow, immediate, sense this bill is about Seattle, but it’s about a lot more than Seattle.

  16. 18

    Michael spews:

    @16

    The annoying thing is that people in Seattle can’t seem to see that this is about more than just them.

  17. 20

    Michael spews:

    @13
    The Black Rock Reservoir would flood downstream farmers, and a big chunk of the Columbia Wildlife Refuge, in order to give water to upstream farmers.

  18. 21

    spews:

    And this is why putting the state’s highway below the earth in a tube for 100 years would be a good move to get the state out of the business of telling Seattle what to do with its surface.

    They have a right of way, bury it.

  19. 22

    Empty Suit Obama spews:

    Irony?

    11. Roger Rabbit spews:
    Coolidge was the very last politician of any consequence who knew when to keep his mouth shut.

    …exchange the phrase “politician of any consequence” with HA commenter of little consequence, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  20. 24

    Max Rockatansky spews:

    the urbanites in seattle seem to think that their food and electricity appear out of nowhere…..

  21. 25

    Michael spews:

    I’m not in Seattle and much of my food comes from my back yard.

    Most people everywhere seem to think that food comes from the store and never wonder where their electricity comes from.

    The Black Rock proposal is a dumb idea.

  22. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 “Frankly, I think Eastern Washington should secede. The mountains form a political as well as a geological barrier no amount of conciliation on either side will bridge.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “conciliation.” Western Washington has 80% of the state’s population, so naturally the state is run by pols chosen by western Washington voters. Why should eastern Washington’s 20% be able to out vote western Washington’s 80%? That wouldn’t be fair.

    “But as things stand Eastern Washington citizens get no representation at all in state or federal government.”

    Well, they have, ahem, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Doc Hastings. I agree that’s “no representation at all,” but eastern Washington chose ‘em, so eastern Washington owns ‘em.

  23. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @24 Well, we built the dams with our money, and the bulk of the food in Seattle grocery stores comes in through the port, not over Snoqualmie Pass, so I don’t think you can say eastern Washington is feeding us. Haven’t you seen the “China” labels on the apples in the produce department?

  24. 31

    Max Rockatansky spews:

    @30…LMFAO @ “our money”…you clueless twit.

    so you see a few apples from china, and all the sudden eastern washington doesnt make food anymore

    nevermind, your a lost cause anyway…..

  25. 32

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    I miss the old days when we wouldn’t let eastern washingtonians share our drinking fountains, our buses, or let them sit next to us in our diners and movie theaters.

    Actually, their ignorance could be endearing at times (cf. @31 above–most of our agricultural crops are exported, you twit), but their non-stop right wing hysteria verges on rudeness, and the admonition to not bite the hand that feeds you does not appear to be one of their social mores.

  26. 33

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “the urbanites in seattle seem to think that their food and electricity appear out of nowhere…..”

    Yes, very droll Max, and rural folks think their roads, dams, and schools fall from the fucking sky; that agricultural subsidies are a right, but food stamps a sin; that only blacks and ‘mexicans’ have children out of wedlock; believe the absence of all regulation will significantly increase their chances of becoming a millionaire; that ‘family farmers’ squatting on federal land stolen from the indians built this country all by themselves; and that all taxes are ultimately somebody else’s responsibility.

    But what is most delusiional is the assertion that they are ‘not represented’, a claim that is patently absurd if you just look at a legislative map of the state. So tell me Max–what is the basis of such a claim? Mendacity or ignorance?

  27. 34

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 33

    Max did state the ‘urbanite’ quote, which is born out in the behavior of urbanites everywhere, not just Seattle. Most denizens of large cities come to believe that anyone who chooses to live elsewhere is somehow a redneck hick. Not all, most.

    “But what is most delusiional is the assertion that they are ‘not represented’, a claim that is patently absurd if you just look at a legislative map of the state.”

    I wrote that, and you’ve missed the point. I don’t care that there are specifically Eastern Washington legislative districts. When they’re overruled on every issue important to them they may as well not exist. So maybe a clarification is in order. Functionally if not structurally the US citizens in Eastern Washington get no legislative or executive reprsentation in our federal or state governments.

    Rabbit had it right, this is because 80% of the population lives over here. Therefore secession is the only way for those citizens to obtain representation in a state or federal government. This isn’t meant to be rude or inflammatory, just true.

  28. 35

    spews:

    loserinaseaofblue @34:

    I don’t care that there are specifically Eastern Washington legislative districts. When they’re overruled on every issue important to them they may as well not exist. So maybe a clarification is in order. Functionally if not structurally the US citizens in Eastern Washington get no legislative or executive reprsentation in our federal or state governments.

    They used to, but the damnfools voted out the Speaker of the House.

    The solution to this alleged “functional” lack would be to elect functional, and functioning, representatives. IOW, Democrats.

  29. 36

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    With respect, you’re still missing the point.

    The issues and points of view important to Eastern Washington are antithetical to those of Western Washington.

    It isn’t that the evil liberals are running roughshod over the white hatted conservatives. It’s simply that the two sides don’t and can’t agree on the most basic issues. Voting for democrats would only inflame the problem, as it would give more power to the state democrats and less voice to those living on the other side of the mountains. Jim McDermott for instance, is an appalling person politically. In my view. But in the view of his constituents he is a stellar representative of their views and desires. That is how politics is supposed to work. But when one district or set of them has no chance of representation maybe it’s time for them to form a new state or ally themselves with one that does have similar politics.

  30. 37

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 35

    One other quick note- That ‘loserinseaofblue,’ hilarious. I just wish some of the folks on the left gave as much thought to the long term effects of their policies as to quick witticisms.

  31. 38

    ArtFart spews:

    9-12 Dunno about that one, but I’ve seen the filmed interview of Will Rogers after he’d returned from a trip to Egypt. Someone asked Will if he’d gone to see the Great Sphynx, and he replied, “No, I’d already seen President Coolidge.”

  32. 39

    countrygirl spews:

    Again – annexation to Idaho would afford the population representation in a legislative body that is more reflective of their values than one dominated by Western Washington. However, the people in the 3rd LD might disagree with that portrayal. Perhaps we could have a vote in the affected areas, those districts voting for cessation could join Idaho and those that didn’t would remain part of Washington.

    It makes no sense to afford Eastern Washington 2 additional votes in the Senate when that body is already woefully diluting the voice of the majority. Don’t forget the segregation of the votes in the Electoral College as well. Not that it would have made a difference in Obama’s election.

    And a point I didn’t make in the last discussion, what on earth makes you think that the Washington ports only handle cargo from within the state? Goods come from all areas west of the Mississippi to be shipped across the Pacific through Washington’s ports.

    Go Wash-a-ho! Then those of us on the west side would no longer have to subsidize their infrastructure.

  33. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @34 “Most denizens of large cities come to believe that anyone who chooses to live elsewhere is somehow a redneck hick.”

    Well, maybe there’s a factual basis for it. After all, rural folks litter their property with junk cars, listen to country music, and vote Republican.

  34. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @34 So you think everywhere a voting minority exists, they should secede so they can have their own voting majority? Great, let’s balkanize the entire U.S. into red enclaves and blue enclaves! Then the portion of North America formerly occupied by the U.S.A. will look and function just like the West Bank.

    But wait! When we create these little red enclaves, there’ll still be “blue” voters in them! After all, about 1/3rd of eastern Washington voters are Democrats. So, after the secession, they’ll have to secede from the new red state, and form their own little blue states inside the new red state …

  35. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s easy for eastern Washington voters to become part of a voting majority. All they have to do is get some sense and join the Democrats. It isn’t that hard; a third of them already have.

  36. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 “The issues and points of view important to Eastern Washington are antithetical to those of Western Washington.”

    Whose fault is that? They’re the ones who are out of step. But despite the fact they’re only 20% of the state’s population and their wackamole politics have made them and their representatives a laughingstock, they’ve done quite well for themselves, in no small part because of the willingness of urban voters to bend over backwards for them. Personally, I think it’s enough that we throw money at them; I’m not willing to let them dictate my religion or personal beliefs, too.

  37. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 “It’s simply that the two sides don’t and can’t agree on the most basic issues.”

    Urban voters have different needs, so naturally they have different politics.

  38. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 “Jim McDermott for instance, is an appalling person politically. In my view.”

    Well, your view is all wet. Jim McDermott, throughout his legislative and congressional career, has championed universal health care — something every other developed country has had for years. Doc Hastings is an appalling person politically. He eagerly accepted the assignment of sweeping his party’s ethical lapses under the rug at a time when congressional Republicans were not merely corrupt, but criminally corrupt, and going to jail for it in dozens. At an ethical level, that’s roughly equivalent to helping a cop killer escape so he can continue to prey on society. You have a twisted concept of what “appalling” is, my friend.

  39. 47

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re Rabbit generally

    The arrogance with which you say “whose fault is that? They’re the ones who are out of step” is typical of the left.

    Most people in this country aren’t progressives. Most of them aren’t die hard conservatives. Most of them are just working folks who want the government to do what it must and leave them alone as far as possible.

    Voters in Eastern Washington aren’t out of step, except with you and the far left leanings of Seattle. With most of America they are in step.

    And so you know, I’m not saying every time a minority exists we split legislative districts or secede. But when adequate representation is absent for a couple of decades and the structural causes of it are intensifying maybe it is time.

    I’ll answer all the rantings about elk in Woodland Park when you answer the points raised in post 15, which anticipates your argument.

  40. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 Have you given a moment’s thought to what the long term effect of Republican policies has been? Are you so completely oblivious to reality that you can’t comprehend why America went from Republican control of all 3 branches of government to a Democratic president and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of Congress in only two years? What dream world are you living in?

  41. 49

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 48

    Obama won solely because of the recession. Had voters not panicked they never would have elected him, just as Roosevelt swept in on panic.

    The recession was Republicans’ fault. It also was that of Democrats established in power and failing in their duties. I know, you’re going to say it’s Reagan or Bush, but you know where it counts that most politicians in Washington DC for any lenght of time are more loyal to lobbyists than constituents.

  42. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    How to explain people like today’s wingnuts? It was done years ago, for there is nothing new about them.

    “In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first. We see one nation suddenly seized, from its highest to its lowest members, with a fierce desire of military glory; another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a religious scruple; and neither of them recovering its senses until it has shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by its posterity. … Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, … which seem to defy the knowledge of progress to eradicate them entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. … Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” — Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Preface to the 1852 Edition

  43. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @49 “Obama won solely because of the recession. Had voters not panicked they never would have elected him, just as Roosevelt swept in on panic.”

    Are you stupid, deluded, or both?

  44. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You can’t do anything with that mentality. You just can’t. They’re basket cases.

  45. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I guess in that sense you could blame it on Gore and Kerry for losing to Bush, but if you do that, then to be consistent, you’d have to praise Gregoire for not losing to Rossi and saving Washington from what befell America as a whole.

  46. 55

    Michael spews:

    @49

    Um… There’s no shortage of polling around to refute that argument (the Obama one).

    I agree with you about the Dem’s, but I doubt we’d agree on what they should have been doing.

  47. 56

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 50-54

    The quote from McKay is apt, although I don’t think I interpret it quite like you do.

    The democrats failed in their oversight duties just as the republicans did in theirs’. Banks used instruments for specific investment purposes as general purpose mortgages. They lent money to people blatantly unable to pay it back knowing they’d sell the note in a package of other bad notes to someone else. Homeowners bought homes on speculation and wishful thought rather than the strength of their financial position.

    And this is all because Al Gore lost in 2000?
    I don’t think so.

  48. 57

    Steve spews:

    @15 Where in IBC can I find prescriptive or performance-based requirements for municipal stormwater systems?

  49. 58

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Lostinna': “And so you know, I’m not saying every time a minority exists we split legislative districts or secede.”

    Well, yes, you are saying exactly that. Oh, I know, you put qualifiers on it like “adequately”, but this just masks your frustration that you are not getting your way. The City of Spokane has several progressive members of the state legislature. So I guess they, too, are overbearing urban liberals, and when freedom rings guys like you would make them trek over the Cascades and burn Pullman to the ground.

    However, absent seccession, your only hope is to convice us urbanites as to the justice of your cause or convince more folks to share your bizziare political philosophy. So far you are failing on both counts.

    Perhaps you could explain why, eh?

  50. 59

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @57: You won’t find that. The IBC is a building code mandating construction (materials, testing, standards, etc.). It does not mandate whether or not a municipality has to install a storm water system. That is a political decision (federal, state, local).

    Or you could try p. 1366, Appendix IIIa (kidding).

  51. 60

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 58

    Either you can’t perform basic reading comprehension or don’t understand English.

    The ‘qualifiers’ are structural issues. For decades Eastern Washington has had no representation in Washington or at the Federal level. This isn’t a temporary political minority. This is long term inequity needing addressed.

    So there are a couple liberals in Spokane? Who cares? They can play politics like the conservatives in eastern Puget Sound must do. That’s a bit different than 2/3 the geographical area of a state having no voice in how that state is run.

    And, so you know, ‘my side’ isn’t losing. It may be in New York and LA and Seattle. But over most of the US repugnance for progressive ideals is the rule, not the exception.

  52. 61

    Michael spews:

    For decades Eastern Washington has had no representation in Washington or at the Federal level.

    Um… Spokane had the speaker of the house for a while there and has the head of the State Senate.

    So there are a couple liberals in Spokane?

    105,000 People in Spokane County voted for Obama. 51.7% of Whitman County voted for Obama.

    That’s a bit different than 2/3 the geographical area of a state having no voice in how that state is run.

    WTF??? The folks from Green Acres have a voice in how the state is run. That they choose to send a complete fucking lunatic to Olympia is nobodies fault but their own. Geography can’t vote, people can, btw.

    Spokane and Pullman get plenty of money for WSU, EWU, SCC, SFCC. Spokane should be getting an MD program within a few years. The state is helping pay for a biodiesel plant in Lind. The East side has all sorts of say in state matters and gets all sorts of stuff. What they don’t get is crazy shit.