Next to a politician, a car salesman ranks as one of the shiftiest occupations someone can take. They will lure, lie, mislead, con and deceive people into buying a car. This is especially true when it comes to used cars.
It also appears true when elected officials desire to sell taxpayers on an unneeded and unwanted project like the Columbia River Crossing light rail project from Portland, Oregon into Vancouver, Washington that voters have repeatedly expressed their opposition to, once directly and three times by proxy.
49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller seems to be the head salesman for this lemon as he tries to mislead voters with his campaign of disinformation exposed at Rep Jim Moeller’s Latest Act of Desperation, Lie.
Acting much like Car Fax, revealing the history of that cherry the salesman is trying to push off on you as really a lemon, concerned citizens began seeing the claims and numbers cited simply were not adding up and formed groups like StopCRC.com and CRCFacts.info adding to the revelations seen from Couv.com, opening citizens eyes and growing opposition.
That was the motive behind Jim Moeller’s effort revealed in the post linked above as he began engaging in the typical car salesman tactics of slick sales trying to talk you into buying something not needed or really wanted.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 saw what can only be described as a “Kangaroo Townhall” where the three Democrats from the 49th, Moeller, Sharon Wylie and Annette Cleveland stacked the audience with what appeared to be paid union attendees to cheer, whoop and clap as any one of the 3 spoke claims long ago disproved.
Opponents armed with facts were relegated to a short time towards the end of the meeting to speak or ask questions, audience comments first having been screened by proponents.
Joining in with Jim Moeller’s hard sell tactics saw rookie State Senator Annette Cleveland submit an Op-Ed to the Columbian where she tried to “Separating CRC fact from fiction,” but in reality, parroted the same disinformation being spread by Moeller.
Now comes fellow Democrat Sharon Wylie circulating the same list of disinformation Moeller drew up and spreading to other legislators’ in hopes of gaining their legislative votes. She includes in her cover letter accompanying the Moeller effort the same tired claim often heard from a slick used car salesman of,
“If we don’t fund this project now, the dollars in this year’s federal budget ($850 Million) will go to other project we are competing with elsewhere in the country.”
Republican State Senator Ann Rivers of the 18th Legislative District summed that tactic up as,
“It’s almost been like a timeshare sales pitch: ‘If you don’t buy now, by God, you’ll never be able to get it at this price!’ We need some sanity on this.”
Car salesmen usually put it as, “If you don’t buy it now, there is someone standing outside wanting to buy it, but you were here first.”
“The CRC is a complex, contentious project and there is much distorted, partial and inaccurate information going around.”
That claim ends up being 100% truth, except she doesn’t say that is the CRC itself and supporters like her, Moeller and Cleveland spreading it in an effort to rebuild some public support that has been steadily deteriorating.
CRCFacts.info refutes the claims in Wylie’s misinformation, but I would like to correct some of them myself.
First off is the claim of “We’re currently averaging about one collision per day.” As anybody who frequently crosses the I-5 Bridge can tell you, this claim is very misleading. While there are collisions on the bridge, most collisions occur well before the bridge where the back-up caused by poorly designed on ramps from Hayden Island causes afternoon congestion to build, on the Oregon side.
Congestion is seen thinning and traffic returning to normal about mid-span and is flowing smoothly exiting the bridge on the Washington side.
In the morning, congestion begins well inside Oregon, again due to a poorly designed freeway that is too narrow and has been for decades.
Most collisions occur off the bridge on the Oregon side, all too often due to an impatient driver jockeying for lane position.
Then too, as we recently saw with an intoxicated semi-truck driver going the wrong way on the I-205 Bridge, the real need is more crossings, not light rail.
Secondly is the claim of “earthquake risk” where it is said, “If a significant earthquake were to hit the area, there is a real risk of structural failure. We live in a seismically active region: a 1962 earthquake was 5.5 magnitude, and a 1993 earthquake was 5.6 and caused $28 million in damages.”
Grossly overstated as a study released by ODOT showed on pages 45 – 48
“the I-5 Bridges are vulnerable to damage but not imminent collapse. Page 46 has a chart which displays slight to moderate damage from an earthquake at 8.3 on the Richter scale on the I-5/I-205 bridges. Page 48…at a 9.0, only moderate damage to Portland bridges as well as the I-5/I-205.”
Not stated in the Moeller / Wylie misinformation paper, the damage amount claimed for the 1993 earthquake was not to the I-5 Bridge or even the Clark County / Multnomah County areas, but was a little further south. It also remains the “the most destructive quake in terms of property loss in Oregon’s history,” yet both spans of the I-5 Bridge escaped heavy damage or collapse and still stand.
We also saw from the CRC claims of the feasibility of upgrading both spans to meet current earthquake standards for a fraction of the cost estimated to replace the current spans to suit light rail.
I urge you all to visit the links above where refutations are actually documented from many official documents proponents do not wish for you to see and educate yourselves before you get us all stuck with a major lemon we’ll be indebted to for several decades that will not resolve the problems seen.
Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by a slick polish job to make this lemon appear like new.
Call your legislator and demand an end to this folly and a project we can afford and that will really resolve our problems, not drain the middle class to benefit a few proponents getting rich off of our tax dollars.