No light rail! Capisce?

Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, is working hard to build political alliances to address the Interstate 5 corridor this legislative session.

Earlier this month, Southwest Washington lawmakers surprised even themselves when they found a modicum of common ground on the region’s most divisive issue.

Pike joined forces with Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, to carve out $100,000 from the state’s transportation budget to hire neutral facilitators to help Oregon and Washington work together.

The Republican from Camas recently met with Gov. Jay Inslee to discuss the corridor. And earlier this week, she sent a letter to Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, asking for a meeting.

But there is one local conservative activist who isn’t having any of it.

In his somewhat legendary email blasts, conservative activist Larry Patella has been keeping people posted on Pike’s efforts.

Recently he wrote to his friends and neighbors, “Good morning.”

Then he rethought that opening.

“I only wish that it was a good morning …”

“Today I received my copy of Liz Pike legislation that is hell bent … to revive the Columbia River Crossing,” Patella wrote.

Later, he said, “I could have sworn that we had on several occasion voted no to the Columbia River Crossing and Light Rail.”

Pike responded to his email, addressing other issues he raised, and added, “There will be a new light rail train coming into Clark County OVER MY DEAD BODY. Capisce?”

Pike said she’ll keep pushing for her amendment to be part of the final transportation budget expected to be passed in the upcoming special legislative session.

Then, she said, maybe she shouldn’t have written that email to Patella.

“I hope nobody sees that as a challenge,” she joked.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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