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Thursday, November 3, 2005

Vote No on I-912

Posted by on November 3 at 11:45 AM

The campaign against I-912 - an initiative that would repeal a 9.5-cent gas tax passed by the Legislature last year - has sent me no fewer than eight pieces of mail in the past two weeks. In an election season that’s lousy with bad political propaganda, the anti-912 literature is some of the best mail I’ve ever seen. It plays down the fact that 912 would repeal a gas tax (because who likes taxes?) and emphasizes the fact that the initiative would “CANCEL 274 road and bridge improvements across Washington,” including 520 bridge expansion, seismic retrofitting of bridges throughout King County, and Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement. (The mail is also targeted by county, which is why my mail all focuses on Seattle-area projects. Folks in Spokane learn that 912 would cancel replacement of the Spokane River Bridge; those in Yakima learn that it would eliminate a project designed to improve emergency access into downtown.)

I hope it works. 912 is a short-sighted, reactionary law that would set transportation improvements in Washington State back a decade and perpetuate the state’s moronic tradition of overturning taxes with no regard for consequences (particularly for Eastern Washington, which has received a huge tax subsidy for roads from Puget Sound-area residents for years.) Defeating 912 would also be a defeat for the two right-wing radio hosts behind the campaign, who oppose the gas tax mainly because, in addition to building miles and miles of new freeways, it would fund 19 miles of HOV lanes and a few new freeway onramps. (Typical quote from I-912 spokesman Brett Bader: “It’s all designed for mass transit and to make our individual commutes so horrible we’ll consider a train or a bus.” Oh, so that’s what those 115 miles of new general-purpose highway lanes are for!)

To learn more about why you should vote against 912, go here.