Fact-checking Councilor David Madore


I made a choice this week that I think is worth explaining.

I didn’t report on all the evidence Councilor David Madore provided to make the claim that the Columbia River Economic Development Council has been lobbying for the Columbia River Crossing.

By the way, have we mentioned the CRC is dead? It’s dead. Moving on.

Madore assumes that the Interstate 5 interchange at Mill Plain Boulevard improvement project has the CRC’s prints all over it. There’s a twinge of validity to that assumption, especially if you were opposed to the CRC.

The project, among several other interchange improvements, was included in the CRC, after all, and the most recent plans or environmental impact statements available about the project were completed during CRC developments.

Madore presented a slew of public documents at the council’s board time Wednesday, complete with his own highlighting and notes, to try to prove that point. The issue is that much of what he said wasn’t the full truth.

For example, a letter went out on April 3 to a number of lawmakers explaining why the project, along with improvements to the Mill Plain/SR 501 corridor project, is so important to the region. That letter was signed by CREDC President Mike Bomar.

The letter explains that the interchange was considered and studied as a part of the CRC process, so there are possible cost savings that could result from using some of those leftover materials.

I imagine Madore saw that and said “Ah-ha! Here’s the evidence I need to prove this the CREDC’s attempt to revive the CRC!” That’s exactly what he tried to do Wednesday.

The problem is, Madore did not highlight or point out some key things.

That letter was also signed by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Kelly Love, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Robert Bernardi, president of Kokusai Semiconductor Equipment Corporation, Port of Vancouver CEO Todd Coleman, and Identity Clark County CEO John McKibbin. So yeah, Bomar is an interested party, among six.

Madore also failed to point out this line:

“While we support other projects in our region equally, we are calling out our support for these two because of what we believe to be a number of misleading or misinformed comments being made about them,” the letter said.

So, again, the CREDC supports all infrastructure projects identified by the Clark County Transportation Alliance equally, but for some reason had to single this one out due to misinformation circling around Olympia. Who possibly could have made those misleading comments?

According to Leavitt, it was Madore himself.

When Leavitt first saw the letter, he said he asked around to figure out why it had to go out in the first place.

“(It was) in response to much of the rhetoric that was being spread around Olympia by Madore,” Leavitt said. “It was determined it would be important to counter some of that crap with factual information.”

So, not only is Madore claiming the CREDC has been lobbying—which it doesn’t—he claims it’s lobbying for the CRC—which the CREDC’s official stance on is that it’s dead—and he’s backing those claims with a letter that was signed because of misinformation he was spreading.

Do you see why I didn’t include the letter in the first place?

To see the full evidence file Madore provided Wednesday, click here.

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at kaitlin.gillespie@columbian.com or 360-735-4517.

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