To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Do You Help Stop the 710 Tunnel? By Voting "No" on Measure J


Saturday, October 13, 2012


               Paying for the hangman's rope


As most are aware by now, Metro is the "lead agency" in the effort to ram the 710 Tunnel down the screaming throats of this part of L.A. County. That this bureaucracy blitzkrieg is being paid for with taxpayer money, and is being done so despite the overwhelming opposition of the people unfortunate enough to live in the path of this horrifyingly destructive boondoggle, is typical of how such things are conducted here. One of the chief features of bad government being the use of tax money to work against the interests of those who provide it. And with Metro we get just that, and so much more.

 But there is some good news here. That being we can deny Metro over $90 billion dollars and in the process likely stop their tunnel scheme dead in its tracks. How? By voting "NO" on Measure J .

In an excellent "LA Watchdog" article on the CityWatch news site (click here), columnist Jack Humphreville lays a few things down in a piece titled, "Do You Trust the Gang at Metro to Manage Another 90 Billion of Your Dollars? Say No to the Measure J Slush Fund."

LA WATCHDOG - “Would it be a good idea to see how Metro handles the first $40 billion of sales tax revenue before we give them an additional $90 billion?”

You bet it is. 
This is reason enough to vote NO on Measure J, the November ballot measure that proposes to extend the life of the “one-half cent traffic relief sales tax” for an additional thirty years to 2069.

If passed by two-thirds of the voters, this extension would provide the politically controlled Metropolitan Transit Authority (“Metro”) with an additional $90 billion, resulting in a 60 year total of $130 billion.  

While we have questioned Metro’s management capability and organizational resources to control so many complex, capital intensive highway and mass transit construction projects that will burden our grandchildren with tens and tens of billions in debt and interest payments, we have not focused on the allocation of 40% of these sales tax revenues dedicated to finance the massive operating losses of the Metro’s bus and train operations and to fund the “Local Return Improvement” program.

The article goes on to state that sales tax money already given to Metro through Measure R remains unaccounted for under its "Local Return Improvement " program. This money being difficult to trace, and with certain key portions of it functioning as a kind of slush fund.

Me? I just want to starve the Metro beast so they can't build the 710 Tunnel. And yes, I do know there has been some debate over whether Measure J money could legally be used for 710 Tunnel purposes, and therefore not be as much of a factor here as claimed. I myself question that, and ask you to consider the source. Besides, why take the chance and find out otherwise later?

After all of the disreputable nonsense we have heard from Metro on the 710 Tunnel , do you really trust anything coming out of that quarter?

By voting "No" on Measure J you will be putting yourself in a win-win position. You will help to stop the tunnel while also giving yourself a tax break. This cannot be too difficult a choice.

 Can Measure J Be Defeated?

According to an article on the LA Weekly's blog earlier this week, the matter is very (very) close. The post is called, "Measure J: Transit Tax Extension Holds Narrow Margin In Internal Poll, But Needs More Campaign Cash to Win" (click here). This is the gist of it:

A county sales tax measure to accelerate transportation projects has slightly more than the two-thirds level of support required for passage, according to internal polling from the Yes campaign.

Measure J is leading 68-22, according the poll. However, the pollster warns that after voters hear positive and negative messages about the half-cent sales tax extension, the margin narrows to 67-27 -- putting it on the cusp of defeat.

Measure J is an extension of Measure R, the half-cent sales tax measure voters narrowly approved in 2008. Measure R is set to expire in 2039. Measure J would extend the tax for an extra 30 years. That would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to borrow more money now to accelerate projects already funded under Measure R.

Opponents, including Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich, argue that the jobs figure is exaggerated. They point out that Measure J won't create any jobs that would not already be created under Measure R. A ballot argument against the measure, signed by the two supervisors, calls it "a blank check that our kids and grandkids will pay for the next 60 years."

 Let's just beat the damn thing.