If you harbored any illusions about Oregon Democratics and their overall level of corruption, you'll be interested to know that they're still pushing the "Columbia River Crossing" - their cute name for a light rail project that would fulfill Porkland's decades-long vision of jamming light rail into Vancouver, Washington. Oh, it'll also have a few traffic lanes for freight and, unfortunately, private vehicles, but the main thing is to stuff light rail down the throats of Clark County residents who've repeatedly voted the idea down.
Their latest and greatest plan, since Washington legislators refused to fund the "project", is to have Oregon taxpayers pay for it all - ideally, with some $850 million from the feds kicked in. So Oregonians would only be on the hook for around $2 billion, according to their latest liars' budget:
But officials say a single-state highway, light-rail and bridge replacement project could be easier and more efficient to run.
Kris Strickler, de facto director of the project since the departure of his Washington counterpart, described the retooled proposal in detail Tuesday during an interview with The Oregonian that also included Patricia McCaig, CRC head of intergovernmental affairs and government relations.
Don't let the fact that long-time buddy and founding member of the Friends of Neil (FON), Patricia McCaig, has already collected well over half a million dollars in taxpayer cash for PR work related to the project - nor the fact that she's under investigation in both Oregon and Washington for ethics violations, failure to register a business in Washington, failure to register as a lobbyist in Oregon, failure to pay taxes and business fees to Washington, and a few other issues - bother your little head. It certainly hasn't bothered long-time FON, governor Retread. She knows how to make this turkey fly. Really.
Never mind that, if built, TriMet's spiffy new light rail line is optimistically projected to yield an annual operating loss of between $2 and $3 million. Hey, as the late, great, Representative Everett Dirksen noted, "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money". Why, Oregon scammers are only talking millions. Pikers.
The Oregon constitution prohibits auto-generated funds such as gas taxes and tolls from being spent on transit projects. But Strickler said such revenues could be spent on the bridge because the span would carry vehicles as well as trains.
They won't actually divert any auto-generated funds, because that would be wrong. Isn't that nice?
And as we all know, folks who live at the coast, or Medford, or Springfield, or Bend, or Joseph will all jump at the chance to tax themselves more in order to pay off bonds for a crucial light rail line between the Portland Expo Center and downtown Vancouver. Because it's an excellent use of scarce dollars, and sustainable™!