Talk radio takes initiative

Joe Turner of the Tacoma News Tribune writes breathlessly today about the role of the Internet in the campaign for the incredibly myopic and cynically misnamed, “No New Gas Tax” initiative. [“Internet could play key role in No Gas Tax signature push“]

“With the short time span, we know how difficult it’s going to be,” said Brett Bader, a veteran political consultant and spokesman for the No New Gas Tax campaign. “The Web has certainly made it easier to organize. I don’t know what we would have done without it.”

On its Web site, initiative supporters can download copies of the petition, print them out and start collecting signatures. They also can make electronic campaign contributions with their credit cards and volunteer to do more campaign work.

All true… but so what? As Joe points out, “none of this is new”; the Internet has become an integral part of political campaigns of all sorts. Hell… way back in 2003, it was the focal point of I-831, my initiative to proclaim Tim Eyman a “horse’s ass.” (FYI… volunteers gathered over 50,000 signatures with little money and no organization during the few short weeks before the Attorney General got an injunction to shut me down.)

So by focusing on the Internet, Joe is kind of missing the point. It’s not the Internet that’s playing an special role in I-912… it’s right-wing talk radio. This is really the “John Carlson / Kirby Wilbur Initiative”, and I-912 would be absolutely nowhere without them. After all, a website is totally worthless if you don’t have a way of driving traffic to it, and the only thing special about NoNewGasTax.com is the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of free media promoting it… courtesy of John and Kirby.

The Internet is just a tool, available to all political campaigns, to be used on any candidate or issue. Likewise, local talk radio has become an important political tool… though for the moment, it is a tool only made available to the Republican Party and conservative causes.

It is time we even the playing field.

Yeah sure… I know the righties will yell back that conservative talk doesn’t even begin to balance the mythical “liberal media,” but that’s a load of shit not even worth arguing in this context, as it sets up a false comparison. You can’t compare KVI with, say… NPR, because John and Kirby are not journalists. They are propagandists… they are political operatives… they are GOP activists. And they are using their enormously powerful platform to execute a political agenda.

That is why now, more than ever, progressives need people just as shamelessly partisan as John and Kirby to promote their own causes and candidates on local talk radio. AM 1090 is planning to deliver local programming, but in choosing their hosts they can’t just choose any old liberal loudmouth. They need hosts who are willing and able to use their loud mouths as an organizing tool for local progressives. And not just because this will be good for Democrats or the progressive movement… it will also be good for 1090.

For politics aside, talk radio is still a business… and smart politics as it is, John and Kirby’s I-912 campaign is an even smarter business strategy. Launched as interest peaked around the election contest trial, the I-912 campaign is designed to rile up the faithful and hold as much audience as possible during the inevitable post-trial decline. Furthermore, volunteering time — and especially money — creates a much stronger affinity between listeners and the host than the mere act of tuning in. Supporters aren’t just giving to the campaign, they are personally giving to John and Kirby… and in doing so they become emotionally invested as part of the “KVI community.”

I would argue that the political activism coming out of conservative talk is not just a byproduct of the format’s success… it is an integral part of the format itself. There is a symbiotic relationship between the hosts and the causes they promote; in the minds of supporters, John and Kirby don’t just promote the campaigns, they become part of them. Their shows not only feed off of the emotional fervor and passion political campaigns create, they also become organizational focal points… an on-air gathering place for campaign supporters and like minded voters.

There simply is no liberal media equivalent. That’s why local progressives need 1090 to survive… and it won’t unless it does local programming, and it does it right.

UPDATE:
For those interested, blatherWatch expounds on KVI’s role in promoting I-912. Michael thinks their oughta be a law against such blatant abuse of the public airwaves for partisan political purposes. I’m not sure that you can write a law that could stop this, so I say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Comments

  1. 1

    righton spews:

    I read Goldy, not the article. Based on that I’d argue

    There’s a natural anti-tax constituency, aided by the KVI guys.

    But you miss the Gregoire factor; I think lots of fols sufficiently pissed by combo of bad election and then Gregoires about face on taxes, plus general left wing disrespect for voters in tax matters, to have us eager to say loudly NO MORE TAXES

    point is, its a unfortunate mix of anger over her electiton; its our only means to fight back.

    Whats the AM 1090 thing going to be? We want taxes? Man, that’s a narrow and boring constituency.

  2. 2

    JDB spews:

    When will KVI report their in kind contribution to the 912 Anti-roads initiative to the public disclosure commission? And will they give Dan Evans equal time?

  3. 3

    righton spews:

    JDB; same question to you about DAve Ross and all the lefty radio guys. And even bettter; will the TV guys give us equal time?

  4. 4

    righton spews:

    And for every Nicole Brodeur/Danny Westneat “article” does the anti tax crowd also get equal time?

  5. 5

    Jon spews:

    Goldy said: “That’s why local progressives need 1090 to survive… and it won’t unless it does local programming, and it does it right.”

    Would ‘does it right’ mean The HorsesAss Show? :)

    I would hope that local lefty talk would be more in the flavor of Dave Ross (meaning polite) than Rush Limbaugh/Mike Webb (not so polite). This is Seattle, after all, and we don’t need more folks with the swamp fever of either side.

  6. 6

    JDB spews:

    Rigthon:

    Please name the last time Dave Ross or the “lefty radio guys” ran an initiative campaign or gave it unlimited air time?

    Oh, you can’t? That is what I thought.

  7. 7

    proctologist Don has hand up sock puppets butts spews:

    And after Kirby and John had you on their shows so many times here you go slamming KVI. Goldy, you ungrateful little bastard.

  8. 8

    John spews:

    We want taxes?

    No, Totally Wrong all the time, you fool! We want solutions to problems that the “marketplace” isn’t providing like infrastructure maintenance, health care and improved access to education.

    Things aren’t going to progress very well until the dysfunctional tax system in this state is fixed – and it isn’t going to ever happen through an initiative.

    Instead of being a resentful SOB by cheerleading for initiative whores why don’t you try being part of the solution?

  9. 9

    John spews:

    proctologist @ 7

    Carlson and Wilbur promulgate lies and distortions – the election contest being a case in point – they and Sharkansky turned out to be 100 percent WRONG! They deserve everything they get!

    You on the other hand being a brown-noser expects Goldy to be just like you!

    If Goldy being on the air means better ratings they’ll put him on every time.

  10. 10

    Ivan spews:

    Righton @1 asks an honest, intelligent question (I am not being sarcastic here):

    “Whats the AM 1090 thing going to be? We want taxes? Man, that’s a narrow and boring constituency.”

    It’s a fair question, and it derserves a fair answer.

    Our roads and bridges need maintenance, upgrading, and in the case of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, replacement — NOW!

    How are we to do this with no money? The answer is: There’s no free lunch. The gasoline tax is a tax on people who use the roads. In case you didn’t get that, let me repeat: THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!

    Almost the entire business community in this state says we need to repair and maintain our highways and bridges, and that we need to raise the money to do it. Are they liars? They all tell us, from Boeing to the fruit packers in Eastern Washington, that if we don’t do this, business and jobs will leave the state, and the state will be less competitive. Are they liars?

    Do these KVI dummies want this state to lose business and jobs because we refuse to pay to maintain, repair and replace our roads and bridges? Let them answer that one. Does John Carlson think the business community in this state is a bunch of liars? Would he tell them so in public, on his show?

    Yet if you read (un)Sound Politics, which I do every day, you won’t see any discussion of the CONSEQUENCES of failing to implement the gas tax. No. All you see is a bunch of dumb rednecks chortling in glee about how they’re going to scuttle the tax.

    They have no alternative solutions for raising the needed revenue, except toll roads, which haven’t worked anywhere else and won’t work here, and won’t raise the needed revenue, anyway. You won’t even find very many people admitting that there’s a problem.

    Well, that’s fine. This is America, and if they get the signatures and get the votes, that’s just what will happen. Then business and jobs will leave the state, toe roads will get worse, and John and Kirby and the right wing will just say it’s all the fault of LEFTIST PINHEADS.

    Because they are the flat-earth, free-lunch party, and they have no solutions. I’ll be working like hell to defeat this STUPID initiative, pushed by these STUPID people who want to drive business and jobs out of our state. But it may be that voters will have to learn this lesson the hard way.

  11. 11

    Felix Fermin spews:

    AM 1090: We want RATIONAL THINKING!
    AM 1090: We want SCIENCE-BASED POLICIES!
    AM 1090: We want FREEDOM OF RELIGION!
    AM 1090: We want to do something about the POLITICS OF GREED!
    AM 1090: Because America can do better than TORTURE!

  12. 12

    Goldy spews:

    Chard/Proct @7,

    How was I slamming John & Kirby? They don’t claim to be journalists. I think they would agree that I pretty much accurately described what they openly do. Hell… I just came out and said that we on the left should do the same thing. Indeed, I pointed out that they are good political and business strategists. How is this slamming?

  13. 13

    righton spews:

    Ivan; finally a polite reply on this board.

    As one of the rednecks, i think if the left or our gov’t (sometimes the same) could a) spend wisely and b) honor the initiatives we pass/peoples will, you’d never get these initiatives. But I think the right, and even center fairly feels stepped on. That is, we vote for Sound Transit, that doubles in price and falls in scope…then we vote down Stadiums that get legistlated back in, then we get 90 odd emergency measures (tell me that isn’t a lie), etc. etc.

    I agree and I think most on the right might stomach taxes for roadways, transit. But yeesh, we get Sims and Sound Transit spending a billion for a train with 500 peole (sounder) then Monorail (with fake reve forecasts), then 520 drawn up to look like a fancy Disney ride, then the black hole called the viaduct.

    More than welfare waste, or KCRE ineptitude, I think the terrible public roads / transit this state has is what really pises off a lot of folks. We’ve gotten freeways w/ mismatched exits, sunken floating bridges, car pools that switch sides, variable people per, downtown tunnel screwups in the 80’s, million dollar buses, just crazy stuff!!!

    HOw can stupid Canadian socialists up in Vancouver do better than us on this??

  14. 15

    righton spews:

    Does claiming to be objective mean you are? Just cuz Ross claims to be a journalist, when he rails against some initiative, he’s just as biased as kvi guys.?

    yeesh; freedom of the press is tough isn’t it.

  15. 16

    herbalizer spews:

    I find it hilarious how these KVI fuck faces get all geeked up about a little gas tax but you don’t hear one word about a 40% increase in gas prices over the past 2 years. HAHAHHA! The bush energy polices have been great huh! Fuckin idiots.

  16. 17

    GBS spews:

    herbalizer @ 15.

    I absolutely agree with you. Have you noticed that each time Bush got elected the American public got screwed on energy prices? In 2000 the electricity producers got political contribution paid back 10 fold, now it’s the oil companies turn to get paid off.

    Introduce legislation to modernize our roadways to keep our economy moving @ 9 1/2 cents per gallon spread over 3 years you’ll catch hell, but when the cost of gas rises over a dollar per gallon, the crowd just shrugs their collective shoulders and proclaim free market enterprise and lack of oil refineries. “Wha’cha gonna do, Hick-A-Billy Bob? Vote fer uh liberal?” “Hell, no”

  17. 18

    bluesky spews:

    Michael thinks their oughta be a law against such blatant abuse of the public airwaves for partisan political purposes.

    It’s called the “Fairness Doctrice,” done away with by Reagan. Rightwing Fascist Radio started around then as they had the bucks and then they had the airwaves and the other media. And they still do.

  18. 22

    Donnageddon spews:

    Wrongagain @ 21 “Why should the left own PBS?”

    They shouldn’t. They haven’t. And they never will.

    Now, why should the right own PBS?

  19. 25

    DamnageD spews:

    Ivan @ 10

    That sounds amazingly like the argument I had with my mother-in-law at an Everett gas station when some yahoo came up to me with his friggen “no tax-free lunch” BS.

    Boy did they BOTH backtrack fast….

    and the ride home was quiet!

  20. 26

    JDB spews:

    righton @23:

    20 years of Wall Street Week and the McLaughlin Group.

    Wow, Actually fair and ballanced!

    Mate.

  21. 27

    Bax spews:

    What’s interesting about the nonewgastax.com website is that they seem to be complaining that not enough money is spent on certain projects, so essentially they’re saying that the gas tax wasn’t increased enough.

    Well, which is it? Is it that we shouldn’t have increased the gas tax at all (i.e. no new gas taxes) or that we didn’t increase it enough?

    Of course, we all know the real answer, which is that they want the state to do nothing so that the roads eventually fall apart and turn into complete gridlock. I guess my question is why?

  22. 28

    Chuck spews:

    Ivan@10
    You are wrong, we have answers but you dont want to hear them.
    for one scrap the prevailing wage. Another solution is make the state agencies that currently have “exempt” vehicles to begin paying tab fees and sales tax on the vehicles in their care and make this money come out of their budget. This would thin down unnesisary vehicles and save much in valuble state resouces that could be used more productivly. There are many more solutions from us if you ever listen instead of blindly making statements.
    One day your eyes will open and you will be a conservative!

  23. 29

    spews:

    27

    Bax– It is not that Republicans are against new roads… we just want to know how much waste there is before we give more taxes to the Transportation department. I would not support any new tax increase of any kind until Washington State has full independant financial and performance audits.

  24. 31

    Chuck spews:

    herbalizer@16
    Ok Ill bite…where in the Bush energy policy does it state “fuel will increase by 40%”, what chapter was that? You dont need a keboard, you need a purple crayon!

  25. 33

    Righton spews:

    jdb; how is wall street week conservative? its a finance show; Maria and Hillary mooched as much at the money trough as the republs..

  26. 34

    Chuck spews:

    Bax@27
    Why dont you listen, no ones solution is to do nothing. The closest thing to nothing is what you dems want to do by throwing more bad money after more bad money and accomplishing nothing. The WADOT is hemmoraging to death and needs fixed before we can go forward. They just got a nickel more a few years ago and pissed that away. The solution is to bring it to a screeching halt and FIX the thing.

  27. 35

    spews:

    It’s called the “Fairness Doctrice,” done away with by Reagan. Rightwing Fascist Radio started around then as they had the bucks and then they had the airwaves and the other media. And they still do.

    Comment by bluesky— 6/20/05 @ 3:06 pm

    The only reason the left wants the “Fairness Doctrine” back is to stifle conservative talk radio and free speech.. It just like what Jack Nicholson said ” You cant handle the truth”!!!!

  28. 36

    another Sock Puppet with Dons hand in my butt spews:

    when the left can’t win they pass laws. Wait until I-912 passes, the Dems next session will try to take away the peoples right to the inititive process.

    your message sucks like dons sock puppets and your leaders cannot deliver one word without looking like a radical (Durbin). Name one leftist country that is/was successful where people were/are free? exactly, you can’t.
    !! UPDATE UPDATE !!
    Gitmo temp TODAY 90
    IRAQ 110
    Isn’t it funny that despite every destructive thing the left does to undermine this country the people see right thru it and they end up being the laughing stock of the world.

  29. 37

    I'vehadit spews:

    Thinking of liberal radio stations, NPR comes to mind, which I have to pay for with my tax dollars! At least KVI is not subsidized by the government. And they never purported to be journalists. They are transparent in offering expression of conservative political opinion. If they are activists, so much the better. This state is probably about 80% liberal democrat, so what are you AFRAID of? Got your panties in a twist over someone expressing freedom of speech?

  30. 38

    Bax spews:

    It is not that Republicans are against new roads… we just want to know how much waste there is before we give more taxes to the Transportation department.

    So why don’t you look now? WA DOT publishes a quarterly “Grey Notebook” on their website that provides a lot of the information you’re looking for. Have you ever read it?

    go here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/accountability/default.htm

  31. 39

    Chuck spews:

    I’vehadit@37
    Big difference is KVI INVITES the opposing view to come in and change the audiences opinion. They invite the liberals to bring it on. John Carlson to my knowledge still has an open mike for the governor to come in and explain the logic in her thinking on the gasoline tax. She is thus far a no show…I am guessing her logic is also a no show.

  32. 40

    Bax spews:

    They just got a nickel more a few years ago and pissed that away.

    I know this may shock everyone, but once again, Chuck is wrong. Check out page 5 of the link below for more details.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/accoun.....k/lite.pdf

    Out of 12 completed nickel projects, 8 were completed early, 1 late. 6 were under budget, 1 over, and 5 at the budget amount.

    Looks to me like we’re getting quite a bit of bang for the buck, and projects appear to be being managed quite well. Of course, I’m basing my statements on facts that I’m presenting rather than information I’m pulling out of my ass, so I suppose most of those anti-gubmint types that often post in this forum won’t be able to relate.

  33. 41

    Chuck spews:

    Bax@38
    If you published a book on how efficiently you handled your families finances, I am sure you would give yourself very high marks. If we hired someone with no interest in your family matters I think we could get a much different answer. In other words WSDOT will lie on paper to make themselves look good.

  34. 42

    Bax spews:

    In other words WSDOT will lie on paper to make themselves look good.

    Okay. So why don’t you show us where they’re lying?

  35. 43

    Chuck spews:

    Bax@40
    Hate to let you in on a little known truth…those projects could have been completed without the nicle increase and just a little streamlining of the system (elimination of the prevailing wage and other such ideals)

  36. 44

    spews:

    Bax

    The audit board is comprised of:

    Five citizen members, appointed by the Governor, with private sector expertise in transportation-related disciplines.
    One at-large member appointed by the Governor.
    Four members of the Washington State Legislature, 2 each from the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee.
    The Legislative Auditor, who serves in an ex-officio capacity.

    Having the legistlature and governors appoint members to the audit board is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. Its not independant. The web site you gave means nothing.

  37. 46

    Puddybud spews:

    Bluesky: I see you navigated to the left’s favorite location, wikipedia. Why not just say: I am paraphrasing the wikipedia definition. Amazing how wikipedia always says them wascally Republicans are the bad guys. In 1986, a federal court ruled that the Fairness Doctrine did not have the force of law and could be overturned without congressional approval.

    Fast forward to January 2005. Louise Slaughter (D-NY, my old congresswoman) introduced legislation calling on broadcasters to provide balance and diversity in their news coverage. H.R. 501, or the Fairness and Accountability in Broadcasting Act (the FAB Act)was submitted. Golly, I suppose PBS would be forced to have balance? Hmmm…? I bet few of you knew that ex-New York Governor Mario Cuomo was an opponent of the Fairness Doctrine.

    It is always blame Republicans: In 1984, the Court concluded that the scarcity rationale underlying the doctrine was flawed and that the doctrine was limiting the breadth of public debate (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364).

    Who was on the 1984 Supreme Court? I did a little Internet research: Chief Justice Warren Burger – Harry Blackmun – Lewis Powell – William Rehnquist – Byron (Whizzer) White – Thurgood Marshall – John Paul Stevens – William Brennan – Sandra Day O’Connor. Seems to me a mostly liberal court.

    Pudster

  38. 47

    Chuck spews:

    Five citizen members, appointed by the Governor, with private sector expertise in transportation-related disciplines.>>>>

    When a jury is appointed to a court case the lawyers attempt to appoint a person of intelligence with NO EXPERIENCE in the matter brought before them. This stops obvious slants from people with “expertise in transportation-related disciplines” from polluting a good trial or inquiry.

  39. 48

    righton spews:

    bax; you’ll lose big time if you try to defend DOT and trans projects in Wa state. Really. Argue on something you have facts (even Gov race). On transit, whoa

    Best from way back was Seattle Weekly, Rick Anderson expose of the bus tunnel; trust me

    also, S curves in Renton; what 12 years of construction, finally ended

    Go look for Hood canal bridge (underwater) or old/new I90, also at the bottom. oops, left the hatches open, duh…

  40. 49

    spews:

    Bax

    I agree… stay away from this or you will end up like Donnageddon a couple days back when GS drop kick his ass off an “open thread”.

  41. 50

    zip spews:

    Goldy and choir of agreeable responders:

    The initiative is a backlash against the governor and the arrogance of the legislative session. The gas tax is the most easily targeted “emergency” bill passed this session. They failed to set priorities. Whether we need the road money or not is a moot point: if the “powers that be” in Olympia had not run so many spending increases through, as emergencies, this initiative never would have happened. Now that an organized vocal group calls them for it we hear “Oh but the viaduct will fall” as a further example of the arrogance coming out of Olympia.

  42. 51

    I Smell A Fart - Oh donnageddon spoke spews:

    Donnageddon, have you ever listened to PBS? I didn’t think so. Didn’t Bill Moyers call Sean Hannity a freakshow of political pornography. Well if that isn’t liberal; what is?

    Donnageddon’s smelly brains are really her bad breath!

  43. 52

    Bax spews:

    you’ll lose big time if you try to defend DOT and trans projects in Wa state.

    Okay.

    Best from way back was Seattle Weekly, Rick Anderson expose of the bus tunnel; trust me

    DOT had nothing to do with the bus tunnel. So far I’ve given us recent examples of DOT’s ability to complete projects on time and on budget; you’ve given us “trust me.”

    I’ll take my data over yours.

    also, S curves in Renton; what 12 years of construction, finally ended

    Okay. Was it over budget? Under? Actually 12 years of construction? So far you’ve provided no information.

    Go look for Hood canal bridge (underwater) or old/new I90, also at the bottom. oops, left the hatches open, duh…

    I agree, DOT deserves blame for these incidents…that happened 26 and 15 years ago, respectively. That was a long time ago. I fail to see how that has anything to do with what is going on now.

    So far I’ve seen lots of anti-government sentiment and claims that DOT is wasting money with little to no evidence to back up those assertions. Look, I’m willing to look at it with an open mind. If you can show me information (cited, like mine) showing they’re throwing money away, I’ll be pissed. But right now, with the new leadership they have, I just don’t see it.

  44. 53

    Bax spews:

    if the “powers that be” in Olympia had not run so many spending increases through, as emergencies, this initiative never would have happened.

    Who really ran spending increases through? Was it “the powers that be,” or us? I’ve seen a ton of initiatives pass in the last 10 or so years that mandate increased spending. Is that the legislature’s fault? Is it really fair to blame the legislature for increased spending when the public has demanded increased spending by its votes?

  45. 54

    zip spews:

    Bax

    1. Hood canal bridge graving dock (Port Angeles): over $50 million down the drain plus over a year delay.

    Citations should be easy enough for you to find yerself.

  46. 55

    DamnageD spews:

    Gee Chuck, I must live up to my moniker since I voice my opinion when you damn repubs try to tag team me to sign your retarded, vindictive petition, is that it?

    I guess i’m truly damaged…which is a far cry better that being in denial, complacent or a friggen clone.

    Oh, and by the way, maybe you and your ilk should get your fucking facts straight before ya try to bully people into signing your damn petition. Even better…take your passion, anger, motivation…whatever ya call it and push for A REAL FIX…say a state income tax!

  47. 56

    headless lucy spews:

    Chuck: What’s the big hardon you have against the working man? Don’t you know that if you make products someone has to have enough money to buy it? Why does it have to be 1929 all over again because it makes you feel good to hate people that are smarter and more humane than you are?

  48. 57

    zip spews:

    Bax 52

    Yes when it requires a 12+ percent spending increase PLUS a big jump in the gas tax when the gov. “implied” during the campaign that she was not ready to raise taxes. And calling all these bills “emergencies” was a no-class in-yer-face move by these arrogant folks.

  49. 58

    Bax spews:

    1. Hood canal bridge graving dock (Port Angeles): over $50 million down the drain plus over a year delay.

    Citations should be easy enough for you to find yerself.

    Oh, you mean the gigantic archeological site (the biggest on the west coast, if not the nation) that nobody knew existed? Tell me, what should DOT have done differently?

  50. 59

    spews:

    51

    There is no way to get hard evidence until INDEPENDANT audits are performed. I cant prove that the DOT is wasting money just as you can prove that it isnt. I still stand behind my initial argument. NO NEW TAXES UNTIL INDEPENDANT PERFORMANCE & FINANCIAL AUDITS ARE PERFORMED. Independance as difined by Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.

  51. 60

    zip spews:

    Bax @ 57

    They should have done their jobs, Bax. They spend million every year on EIS work, federally mandated to include investigations for cultural resources.

    I hope you’re not seriously trying to say they did not screw up here. They did not do what they are paid to do. Look it up. (start with NEPA and SEPA).

  52. 61

    zip spews:

    Bax @ 57

    Are you serously saying “nobody knew it existed”???

    Read the Seattle Times articles on it. Cursory historical research (as required under NEPA and SEPA) would have given them “a clue”.

  53. 62

    Bax spews:

    I cant prove that the DOT is wasting money just as you can prove that it isnt.

    Here’s where we disagree. I think you CAN prove DOT is wasting money, if that is indeed occurring, with the data I’ve provided you. DOT has a ton of data available on their website showing how much money they thought things were going to cost and how much they actually spend. By and large the data I have read seems to indicate that DOT is doing a pretty good job of keeping spending within budget and delivering projects on time.

    I think that when you say you can’t prove DOT is wasting money, you’re right, but for a different reason than what you’re implying. It’s simply because you can’t come up with any evidence to back up your assertions. And that’s fine. You’re welcome to hold your opinion. It’s just that: an opinion, that isn’t supported by the facts.

  54. 64

    DamnageD spews:

    RUFUS…

    NO NEW TAXES UNTIL INDEPENDANT PERFORMANCE & FINANCIAL AUDITS ARE PERFORMED.
    Now THATS a petition i’d sign!!!

  55. 68

    righton spews:

    Bax; to brag about the gov’t being “on budget” is the stupidist argument around; don’t you ever do budgets at work? Let me set the budget and I’ll beat it every time.

    I’m not solely focused on DOT; there’s not a transit thing in this state worth a darn; tunnel, metro (ever see a bus on time?), s.t., monorail, bridges

    Wierd that we’d see Portland or Vancouver as having decent transit when this city full of socialists, but also Microsoft and Boeing couldn’t pull off sophisticated transit. Fanciest thing we got is a Spanish high speed train car pulled by a freight locomotive (sounder)

  56. 69

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Gee, it appears you LEFTIST PINHEADS will soon be picking concrete dust out of everyone of your orifices. The VIADUCT is going to fall immediately per MR. ED Murphy. A horse is a horse of course of course. Never mind all the work they did after the Nisqually quake and oh by the way, it’s still standing assholes!

  57. 70

    DamnageD spews:

    Cyn-irr…

    You know better than that!! That POS is being held together with the equivalent of bubble gum and duct tape! The friggen thing is listing for crying out loud! And if it weren’t for “all the work” after the quake, it’d be a bigger pile of crap than it is now!

    So what’s your solution?

  58. 71

    callingtheirbluff spews:

    The wingnuts have been screaming for these audits for years. Call their bluff. Give them their audits. This group seems to be math challenged, as they seem to be under the impression that these audits are going to uncover $50 billion+ of waste to cover the cost of the road projects that we need to just to MAINTAIN our EXISTING level of infrastructure. But hey, let’s go easy on these guys, they’re the same people who scream into their cell phones on KVI when a highway worker takes a lunch break but don’t seem to care about the $9 billion missing and unaccounted for in Iraq.. It probably has something to do with the letter next to the manager’s name – critical thinking long ago disappeared in right wing radio land.

    So assume you get your audits, I pose the following questions to you:

    1) It seems as though everyone agrees that the viaduct and 520 bridge are dangerous. Can any KVI-acolyte specify where the money is going to come from to replace these bridges if we don’t raise taxes? Performance audits are nice, and there’s a good chance they will uncover some waste in the government. But let’s be realistic here, do you really think an audit is going to uncover enough money in waste to pay for a new viaduct and a 520 bridge? Granted John and Kirby haven’t covered this topic much in class, so you may have to read the textbook and think on your own to answer this one… I’m curious to see what comes out.

    2) How does one determine what the mythical “will of the people” is? Based on the past ten years of initiatives the will of the people is to have free health care, small class sizes, lower cost university tuition and not pay any taxes. Again this isn’t something that John and Kirby cover much on KVI, but GOVERNMENT SERVICES AREN’T FREE. (One of my all time favorite quotes is “The best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter.”) Yes, the Bush adminstration is attempting to prove otherwise, but the bill for that will eventually come due and I’m glad to know I’ll be stuck paying for Paris Hilton’s tax cut for the rest of my life. It seems to me the will of most people in WA state is to not sink on the 520 bridge or be at the center of a viaduct sandwich. We’re really good at agreeing that a problem exists. Some of us think the solution will be free. Unfortunately it seems to me that this is not the case. I’d like someone to demonstrate to me I’m wrong.

  59. 73

    Chuck spews:

    headless lucy@55
    What’s the big hardon you have against the working man? >>>

    You have to be joking me. I harbor no ill feelings against my fellow working man. Possibly you should climb off of your high horse and meet a few of us that bust our asses only to see our hard earned money stolen by the government to be pissed away by inefficient projects.

  60. 74

    dj spews:

    I’vehadit @ 37

    “Thinking of liberal radio stations, NPR comes to mind, which I have to pay for with my tax dollars!”

    Oh, please, you fucking moron. NPR has had no direct government subsidies for quite awhile.

    From NPRs annual report (2003):

    NPR receives no direct federal or other governmental funding for general support. Less than 2% of NPR’s annual budget comes from competitive grants sought by NPR from federally funded organizations, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the
    National Science Foundation.

  61. 75

    Puddybud spews:

    If there is identified waste what will you say callingtheirbluff? I hear it now, it depends on the level of waste. Will you be the first in line to say clean it up? I already said if there is no waste I will support the extra gas tax. I said it earlier this month. No I have not signed a petition. I have been out of town.

    Pudster

  62. 76

    Chuck spews:

    callingtheirbluff@69
    “1) It seems as though everyone agrees that the viaduct and 520 bridge are dangerous. Can any KVI-acolyte specify where the money is going to come from to replace these bridges if we don’t raise taxes? Performance audits are nice, and there’s a good chance they will uncover some waste in the government. But let’s be realistic here, do you really think an audit is going to uncover enough money in waste to pay for a new viaduct and a 520 bridge?”>>>

    In short yes I do, and longer if you look at the state for wast in WSDOT, look at Seattle and King County for waste (with an independant audit) put the money in a pile, eliminate prevailing wage, you should be able to build both bridges as well as pave them if not with gold, at least silver.

  63. 77

    dj spews:

    Paranoid wingnut whiners,

    Gee. . . the State of Washington is so fucked up. The only thing they seem to be good at is convincing outsiders that they are one of the best managed state in America.

    A recent Pew Charitable Trust study ranks them here as the third-best managed state government. What were they thinking?

    On top of that, the performance audit package recently passed was developed by and passed in the house with bipartisan support (75 to 22). What the fuck . . . did somebody slip mickeys to a bunch of Republicans?

    Maybe you paranoid wingnut dolts should start questioning your sources of information!

  64. 78

    dj spews:

    Chuck above,

    Pardon me for saying so, but the prevailing wage thing seems to be your own private battle.

  65. 79

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    dj–@75
    The “PEW” Charitable Trust??? Well that stinks!

    Callingyerbluff–
    If we have a real transportation emergency, I would suggest the following:
    1) Eliminate prevailing wage on all transportation projects.
    2) Eliminate the 1 or 2% for the Arts.
    3) Reduce all state employee salaries and benefit packages by 10%.
    4) Impose a statewide spending freeze.
    5) Freeze all state outside travel…starting with Gregoire’s European Vacation.
    6) Repeal the Growth Management Act

    That’s just for starters.

  66. 80

    Chuck spews:

    dj@75
    I can find nothing to back up this claim exept a Pew report that puts Washington as 3rd in campaign finance reform….

  67. 81

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    If the State has a Transportation “Emergency” and how many other “Emergency clauses” attached to Legislation this past session…it would be prudent to re-prioritize government and eliminate ALL non-essential services. Get back strictly to the BASICS of government….Public Safety and Infrastructure.

    You LEFTIST PINHEADS refuse to get off your TAXTAXTAX mantra. No problem…we’ll show you how thru the power of Initiative. The only way to truly reform government and get back to the basics is to take away the money. It’s fundamental.

    For some, this Gas Tax repeal is all about reforming and reprioritizing government. For others, it’s about punishing Seattle. I drove from Edmonds to take my sister to the Airport this AM. Northbound traffic was horrendous. She lives in Minneapolis and was horrified. Other states have reprioritized government and dealt with transportation without such a massive tax increase. “Why can’t Washington”, she asked. “Don’t they have the will to make bureaucratic sacrifices and cut government in other areas to deal with this mess”??

    All I could tell her was to check out HorsesAss and she would quickly understand we are dealing with a bunch of fucking LEFTIST PINHEADED MORONS who love big government more than life itself!!!

  68. 82

    Chuck spews:

    dj@76
    Nope prevailing wage isnt only my battle. Why should a roofer make $36.00 per hour just because his comany was lucky enough to be a minority owned company that got a state contract? (not the winning bidder mind you but the one the contract was awarded to)

  69. 83

    DamnageD spews:

    Cyn-irr

    Good points, except of one. What is going to constitute a “transportation emergency”? The Alaskan Way pile of rubble? The 520 sunken bridge? I-5 to Bagdad? I’d love to see peoples anti-tax passion focused towards something CONSTRUCTIVE (pardon the pun). All this activism could get some REAL work done…insted it looks vindictive and petty.

  70. 84

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 78

    The study was published in the Feb issue of Governing Magazine. The article is here . Specifics about Washington can be found by scrolling down on the left.

    My apologies . . . I should have linked directly to the source.

  71. 85

    dj spews:

    Mr. Cynical

    ‘Other states have reprioritized government and dealt with transportation without such a massive tax increase. “Why can’t Washington”‘

    So, what states have done this? As you are well aware, Washington ranks right smack in the middle of all states in terms of tax burden.. Also, given that transportation funding had its nuts cut off in 1999, it seems totally unsurprising that our transportation system is a little . . . well. . . impotent right now.

    Personally, I want the car tab tax back, even though it will cost me big bucks (I’m something of a car enthusiast, so I would get hit much harder than I will by the gas tax).

  72. 86

    DamnageD spews:

    Cyn-irr

    If “we” have a TAXTAXTAX mantra, then you must have a FORFREEFORFREEFORFREE chant to off set it. So again, insted of crying about having to pay for something, come up with a friggen solution. One that dosent look vindictive. Something constructive.

    Paying more for fuel is killing me as much as anyone else. But I see two problems; 1)our highway infrastructure is shit and in need of a serious repair, and 2)ACCOUNTABILITY of the DOT for the $$$ thaty get.

  73. 87

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    DamnageD–
    Tax increase as a last resort…you LEFTIST PINHEADS are addicted to tax increases as a first resort.
    Do EVERYTHING you can to cut the cost of government in all areas first.
    Then do EVERYTHING you can to reduce the cost of these “emergency” transportation projects.

    Go back to the drawing board quick DD–and come back with smaller, more cost effective government that focuses on Public Safety and Infrastructure….and transportation projects that aren’t all puffed up with prevailing wage, environmental mitigation up the ass, Artwork etc. You’ll never do it because you are addicted to big government.

  74. 88

    DamnageD spews:

    Are you capable of reading a persons response, or is it all you do to bash the shit outta sombody that MIGHT ACCUALLY AGREE WITH YOUR POINTS!

    Damn dude…ya dont need to be a complete prick all the time. We expect it normally but for fucksake, RELAX!

  75. 89

    Puddybud spews:

    DD: Good point about activism getting work done. Priscilla posted a week ago that it was mixed legislature that caused the road work to be killed. Democrats said spend Republicans said no, per Priscilla. Maybe it was that no one trusted how the monies were spent. Someone needs to ask about that. I moved here in the early 90’s.

    That being said, why not tax those who use it the most, the city dwellers or King County dwellers. I have used the Viaduct 4 times in 12 years. Why? It scares the hell out of me. I think of Oakland 1989 and how 880 pancaked on those poor people during the World Series earthquake. I was on that elevated road many years before visiting friends parents. Thinking back I never contemplated the destruction seen after the earthquake.

  76. 90

    DamnageD spews:

    WOW, see CYN-IRR…it’s possible that i’m not “chicken little” after all…or are ya gonna bash your righty friends too.

    The activism movement could do alot of good, especially in this case. Too bad it’s just malicious. And yes, good ole’ fashion COMMUNICATION would do us all some good.

    And as far as driving on that POS viaduct…i’m right (no pun here)there with ya…scares the hell outta me.

  77. 91

    DamnageD spews:

    …oh, and I almost forgot, CYN-IRR, i’m as addicted to big gov’mnt as you are to my cock.

  78. 92

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    DD–@89
    YUCK!! Yer grossin’ me out.
    OK, OK…so how do we get the Legislature to enact emergency measures to lower the construction costs…like eliminating prevailing wage and Art. How do we get the Legistlature to repeal the Growth Management Act so rural counties can develop a tax base and contribute to these huge tax increases? How do we get the Legislature to enact “emergency measures” to cut the size and cost of government and reprioritize existing dollars to transportation??
    Listen, I’m all for Infrastructure dude. It’s just that it’s my top priority with EXISTING TAX DOLLARS!

  79. 93

    DamnageD spews:

    Point made and taken!
    See, those are excellent ideas that pushed with the enthusiasm that this Gregoire-is-a-bitch-cause-she-taxed-us is using could possibly get some GOOD progress made. You know as well as I do that the gas tax won’t be repealed. It’s a nice try, but I’m sure its gonna miss the mark. Why…dunno, I have ZERO faith in our “leaders” to listen to us.

  80. 96

    DCF spews:

    WOW! This place has really gone down hill in the language department since I last visited.

    1. Toll roads do work, just visit Okalahoma, Colorado, and Kansas.

    2. Washington has the best highways I’ve driven on, and I made a driving trip from here to Tennessee and back, rolling over the roads in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California!

    3. Many of us Dems in my local county–are very upset about the gasoline tax increase, and voiced our opinions about it to our local legislators when they visited our monthly meeting to brag about all they had accomplished in the recent session. They tried to calm us down by saying that we rural counties will be getting back more of the gas tax than we will pay in. I think this is a ridiculous justification! I don’t go to Seattle–I don’t drive on the sections of infrastructure Seattle needs replaced. King County has a much better transit system than we do here in my county, and if people living in King county don’t want to pay the gasoline tax, they can ride the transit to work–most of our county’s employees can’t. If the rural counties get more of the gas tax back than they pay in, why not just let Seattle keep more of the current gas tax and fix their roads–why do we need a tax increase?

    4. NPR; PBS; KVI; and Air America–I don’t listen to NPR much anymore, nor do I watch PBS all that much, and I don’t listen to KVI at all, Air America is my choice. Now that there is a counter to Conservative radio, I think all is balanced and fair on the airwaves–I can listen to the right or the left. NPR is pabulum, and PBS without Bill Moyers is un-interesting. The McLaughlin group is skewed to the right, but interesting–however, it is hard to understand what is said most of the time because everyone is talking at the same time. I prefer Charlie Rose for good balanced interviews, or the BBC for balanced news reporting.

  81. 98

    Janet S spews:

    If NPR is such a fine organization, why is there all the caterwauling over a “small” cut in such “small” subsidy? They money is going to CPB, and then funneled to NPR.

    Why do we need two public stations in the Puget Sound area? We don’t have two ABC stations. It is a waste. But it will stand, because the rich in the area feel good about their tax-deductible donations to KCTS, and hang out at sponsor parties with all their other rich buddies. These stations do not serve the poor. They are vanity vehicles for liberals and millionaires.

  82. 99

    Chuck spews:

    DCF@94
    “Washington has the best highways I’ve driven on, and I made a driving trip from here to Tennessee and back, rolling over the roads in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California!”>>>>

    You have got to be joking me. I am a professional (CDLA) driver and I drive the very states you referred to. Every listed state has superior roads and freeways compared to Washington. In my opinion the only state that is worse by comparison is Utah…they have some rough stuff there! Perhaps next time you make the trip you should actually do the driving instead of sleeping in the passenger side sleeping!

  83. 103

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 82

    The article in Governing IS the report. You can learn more about its origins by clicking on the “message from Governing’s publisher” link. The project is funded by Pew, but the primary dissemination of the report was through Governing Magazine, not Pew’s web site. All the appendicies are available on the project’s web site at http://results.gpponline.org/

  84. 104

    dj spews:

    Janet S @ 96

    You are mistaken. NPR has no government subsidy. About 2% of their revenue does come from NPR writing competitive grants(and the competition is open to many organizations besides NPR), but those are not subsidies—they are payments for a specific (i.e. targeted) products.

  85. 106

    headless lucy spews:

    Re 80, Chuck: If you can’t win this battle, then adapt. Do you have an 18 year old daughter that you can name as the “owner” of the business? Then you can get these bidding advantages, too. You wouldn’t be the first or the last to do this. Sometimes a word to the wise is sufficient. But if you want to spend your life beating your head against the wall, be my guest.

  86. 107

    Ivan spews:

    Chuck @ 98:

    If they can get $37 an hour for installing roofing, yeah, that’s fine with me, considering that if that’s what you do, you can do it for only several months of the year.

    That’s called competition. Collective bargaining is part of the competitive economy. That may sound like blasphemy to people who live in your right-wing dream world. But there it is.

    I don’t like that the Monorail is paying Joel Horn $125K per year. IMO Joel Horn is a snake-oil faker. But he had the votes on the commission, and there we are. Neither you nor I get to decide what somebody makes. Maybe you would earn more if you worked under a Union contract.

    Besides, what does installing roofing have to do with replacing the Viaduct? Connect the dots for me if you know so damn much.

    Tell me what will happen to the Port of Seattle’s ability to move stuff in and out if we don’t fix these traffic problems. Or maybe you and the other right-wing schmucks really do want to drive business and jobs out of the state.

    Here’s a clue for you: Lower wages will do that, too.

  87. 108

    GBS spews:

    Ivan @ 105

    Your point regarding the Port of Seattle is really the priority here. This state DEPENDS on the revenue that is generated through our port system. I have first hand knowledge of the shipping industry and I can tell you Seattle is facing fierce competition from the Port of Tacoma, Port of Portland, Port of Vancouver and the usual suspects down the coast. If we let our highway and rail infrastructure lapse, then other ports / states will pounce on the opportunity to snag this business away from us. We will lose thousands of jobs across the state for a very long period of time – perhaps decades. Every county in this state depends on the commerce that flows through the Port of Seattle. No matter how much the righties hate this bastion of Liberalism, it doesn’t change the economic impact Seattle has on the entire state.

    Most residents of this state don’t drive on the via duct or the 520 bridge, but they do depend on the infrastructure. And, maintaining the infrastructure is a basic function of government. As a region we cannot afford to ignore this problem because the KVI crowd wants payback for losing the election.

  88. 109

    GBS spews:

    I’d like to see a Republican Representative from Eastern Washington sponsor a bill that simply states gas taxes collected for road improvements can only be spent on transportation projects only within the county it was collected.

    That ought to cool the rhetoric of all the red county Republicans who very much enjoy the benefit of wealth redistribution from the very blue King County Democrats.

  89. 111

    Chuck spews:

    Ivan@107
    No Ivan it isnt collective bargaining, that is when a union activly negotiates a contract, it is called “prevailing wage” where the state dictated the amount a contractors employee will earn. Get educated on this as it is a complete waste.

  90. 112

    Chuck spews:

    “Besides, what does installing roofing have to do with replacing the Viaduct? Connect the dots for me if you know so damn much.”

    Because any contractor involved in working on the viaduct will have to pay the state “prevailing wage” to their employees instead of a negotiated wage. It is a falsly exorbantly high wage.

  91. 113

    Ivan spews:

    Chuck at 111, 112:

    The prevailing wage is based on what unions have negotiated in collective bargaining, which you know perfectly well. I don’t need you to “educate” me on this; I have negotiated Union contracts for a living.

    The prevailing wages are neither high, falsely high, nor exorbitant. They assure a certain standard of living that has made our state a better place to live than the “right-to-work” states that you and the BIAW and the Evergreen Fascist Foundation scum would want Washington to be.

    If people make more, they can buy more, and the economy benefits. Your “exorbitantly high” bullshit doesn’t fool me, and shouldn’t fool anyone else. If you righties got rid of the prevailing wage, you’d be going after the minimum wage, and you know it full well. You’re going after it anyway.

    I read a post on (un)Sound Politics where some guy named Andy, probably a friend of yours, actually stated that it was a MORAL IMPERATIVE to pay for labor at the lowest rate allowable. Why not use that for a campaign talking point. See how many votes you get then.

    The Union scales in this state are keeping nonunion private sector wages from dropping theough the floor, too. But I guess you want more for yourself and less for everybody else, right?

  92. 114

    dj spews:

    chuck @ 100

    “Does $37.00 per hour to install roofing sound like a decent wage to you Ivan?”

    Your wages are exaggerated a bit, Chuck. The prevailing wage for roofers is $34.53. It is $37.53 only for roofers working with irritable bituminous.

    Additionally this rate is for the combination of both wage and fringe benefits, so the hourly wage, by itself, is lower.

    For example, fringe benefits can range somewhere from a minimum of 10% to as high as 51%. So, the actual hourly wage falls somewhere between $22.90 to $31.40 per hour, depending on the fringe benefit package.

  93. 115

    Chuck spews:

    Ivan@113
    You are a typical union hack and your smokescreen doesnt wash anywhere but at union meetings. Some years ago I worked for the plywood mills, union and non union alike. You know who made ehe best money in those mills? The non union spreadermen, whether the mill was union or non union the non union spreadermen made at least double and usually more than even the mill foreman. They worked piece work. If you eliminate prevailing wage the people with skills arent going to “drop” to minimum wage (I hope you arent stupid enough to think that), no they will still garnish and demand a fair wage and at the same time stabilize the rest of the state in fairer use of tax money.

  94. 117

    dj spews:

    Chuck @ 116

    That would suggest that they were being paid above the prevailing wage–or they got no fringe benefits whatsoever and worked with bituminous materials.

    (Disclaimer: I didn’t know the rates from 2 years ago, so it is possible–if improbable–that rates declined last year).

  95. 118

    Chuck spews:

    My future (possibly) son in law worked the job., when the job was complete it was a hardship on everyone involved because they had to go back to normal wages that the real world pays.

  96. 119

    spews:

    I am calling you out Bax… where are you

    62
    I think that when you say you can’t prove DOT is wasting money, you’re right, but for a different reason than what you’re implying. It’s simply because you can’t come up with any evidence to back up your assertions. And that’s fine. You’re welcome to hold your opinion. It’s just that: an opinion, that isn’t supported by the facts.
    Comment by Bax— 6/20/05 @ 10:04 pm

    63

    You maybe right… Then you would be willing to spend a few extra bucks and support independant audits? Yes??

    Comment by RUFUS— 6/20/05 @ 10:08 pm

    Bax you disappoint me son… come on and put some money where your mouth is. You had me believing in the DOT… I was gonna go out and buy a “I support the gas tax” bumber sticker and what do you do…you dont even step up to the plate. The shame!!!!

  97. 120

    headless lucy spews:

    Well, Chuck, what can I say to you. Why don’t you move to Colorado or Az and you can hire all the illegal aliens you want for 9 dollars an hour. It’s not as if your dream is out of reach in this big land of ours. If you don’t like it here, move.

  98. 121

    Chuck spews:

    headless lucy@120
    Big difference between paying a roofer almost $40.00 per hour and $9.00 per hour for a wetback, if you cannot see that I cannot help you. You libs cannot see a happy medium of letting the contractor pay his people as they are qualified so that when the state project is over it doesnt kick the hell out of their finances when they move on to a job in the real world. This means these people will make a respectable wage at all times and not be up and down constantly…you know stability, what everyone shoots for.

  99. 122

    headless lucy spews:

    Boeing doesn’t seem to mind the big ups and downs. And that is just really precious, Chuck: You want to pay people less money so they don’t get too used to having a living wage. You’re just HELPING!!! Gee, Chuck, You’re swell! But, if you get less money for what you do, is that good for you as well? I can’t wait to hear your BS on that.

  100. 124

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Chuck–
    Most excellent comment “highway robbery”….a PERFECT one-liner for the 9-1/2 cent Gas Tax!

  101. 125

    Bax spews:

    You maybe right… Then you would be willing to spend a few extra bucks and support independant audits? Yes??

    I’m fine with having independant audits done, because based on the DOT data that I’ve seen, I’m pretty confident what they’ll show: that there’s probably some room for improvement in spots, but by and large, DOT is doing a good job with the money we’re given, and generally gets its projects on on time and on budget. I just don’t think that they’re absolutely necessary before we build more roads. The thing is, that I know the demand for “independant” audits are really just a red herring. Because when they show what I know they’ll show, you’ll have some other demand, and the goalposts will have shifted.

    GOP types have been demanding audits of DOT for years and have claimed all sorts of waste can be found. But when you ask them what that waste is, like I’ve asked you, you don’t get any examples. Which is fine. Because as I posted above, DOT has data available showing their on time/on budget track record, which is pretty good. The bottom line is that I can back up my claims. You can’t back up yours.

  102. 127

    spews:

    GOP types have been demanding audits of DOT for years and have claimed all sorts of waste can be found. But when you ask them what that waste is, like I’ve asked you, you don’t get any examples.

    Bax–
    All the people want is the same accountability applied to government that government requires from the people (ie corporations,business ect). Again if you feel so confident that there is no waste then independant audits should not worry you. The fact that Republicans have been asking for audits for years and yet we do not have them should tell you something…. shouldn’t it? Maybe not. Well anyways I will repeat my mantra- NO NEW TAXES OF ANY KIND UNTIL INDEPENDANT PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL AUDITS ARE PERFORMED!!!!

  103. 128

    spews:

    The bottom line is that I can back up my claims. You can’t back up yours.

    Bax–

    In accounting the “bottom line” doesnt mean anything until there is an auditors report attached to them. You can give me all kinds of data regarding the DOT or any other branch of government but until it is independantly verified all they dont mean anything…period.

  104. 129

    Bax spews:

    In accounting the “bottom line” doesnt mean anything until there is an auditors report attached to them.

    You mean like when Arthur Andersen audited Enron? That worked out pretty well.

  105. 130

    spews:

    129

    I know… and yet the government doesnt call for an end of SEC audits .. if anything they are calling for tighter standards on financial reporting. It sure makes them look like hypocrits when they dont want their own books audited doesnt it!!!

  106. 131

    DCF spews:

    Chuck @99–maybe you need to get off the beaten paths in the states you drive through to see what their highways are really like. Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma really stink. I still vote for Washington being the best overall–and I don’t sleep and drive.