Eyman: The CRC isn’t dead

The Columbia River Crossing may be dead, but an anti-CRC group still is trying to raise money for an attorney who will represent them in a lawsuit against the city of Vancouver. So that’s a problem. If CRC opponents are celebrating the death of the project, why would they be bothered to donate money to try and kill it? Exactly. And what attorney wants to give up the chance at more money? (Other than Bronson Potter, who gave up $15,000 a year to go work for the city of Vancouver so he no longer had to be chief counsel to the county commissioners.)

I digress.

Here’s an email that went out today from Tim Eyman:

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

From: Tim Eyman, advisor to Vancouver’s Stop Light Rail Initiative, tim_eyman@comcast.net, cell: 509-991-5295
To: Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and Vancouver councilmembers Jeanne Harris, Jeanne Stewart, Larry Smith, Jack Burkman, Bart Hansen, and Bill Turlay
Cc: Local Vancouver citizens, 75 Plaintiffs in Patella v Kimsey, Clark County’s Board of Commissioners, House and Senate members & Governor, and members of the media

RE: Vancouver Mayor and City Council: the CRC isn’t dead and neither is the vote on the Stop Light Rail Initiative

The CRC is dead, its proponents claim. Don’t believe them. Does anyone believe Governor Inslee has given up? Does anyone believe Rep. Jim Moeller has thrown in the towel? (from today’s Seattle Times: “Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver says a new project should be developed that includes both a bridge and light rail.”). Does anyone believe all the monied special interests who will profit from this boondoggle have abandoned the effort? No government project as corrupt as the CRC ever dies.

Today’s Seattle Times reported that the CRC is still in operation and will continue through the end of this year (“We expect it to be completely shut down by the end of the year,” said Mandy Putney, spokeswoman for the project, which employs 96 public employees and contractors.”). This is significant because in a separate Seattle Times article, the leader of the Senate talked about a December special session. December is before the end of the year.

The CRC is down but not out. Like a zombie, it will rise from the dead and terrorize the taxpayers again unless the voters put another stake in its heart. That’s what the November vote on the initiative will do. Vancouver’s Stop Light Rail Initiative provides the voters with the opportunity to pass judgement on the Legislature’s decision to not fund the CRC. Do the people support or oppose the Legislature’s actions? The vote on the initiative will tell us. November’s public vote will tell the Vancouver City Council, the Legislature, and the Governor what they can do with the CRC.

Vancouver’s Stop Light Rail Initiative is an officially qualified and certified ballot measure. Its’ supporters and local citizens succeeded in collecting and submitting the required number of signatures in the required amount of time. Even though the City Charter mandates that qualified initiatives be put on the ballot, Mayor Tim Leavitt and Councilmembers Jeanne Harris, Larry Smith, Jack Burkman, and Bart Hansen refused.

If city officials get away with blocking this initiative from a public vote, they will have gutted Vancouver’s initiative process for all time. This lawsuit holds them accountable for their lawless behavior and ensures the initiative process survives so Vancouver citizens can use it in the future .

Finally, having the initiative on the November ballot puts a bright spotlight on the Council’s anti-vote decision at the exact same time when the Mayor and city councilmembers are asking to be re-elected. The vote on the initiative is a timely reminder about who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. That is an invaluable benefit to the voters of Vancouver.
On June 30th (editor’s note: the hearing is July 30) at 1:30 pm before Clark County Superior Court judge John Nichols, pit-bull attorney Stephen Pidgeon will face off against the city’s attorneys. He’ll defend this initiative and the people’s right to initiative. Both are important. He’ll make the case that the city is not harmed in any way by letting the people vote on a qualified, certified initiative. I firmly believe we will prevail and the initiative process will be affirmed and the voters of Vancouver will vote on this initiative in November.

Sincerely, Tim Eyman, advisor to Vancouver’s Stop Light Rail Initiative
Earlier, Larry Patella sent out his own plea for money, one of many many many many many pleas he has put out for donations to pay Pidgeon. “Please make your most generous Tax Deductible Donations that will help us pay for our Attorney’s (Mr. Stephen Pidgeon’s) services,” Patella wrote. “The non-profit Citizens-In Charge Foundation has agreed to help us. They will protect the anonymity of donors so any person, business, or organization that donates to this effort does not need to be concerned about government or private retaliation for their support.”

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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