Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

NPI on TV Opposing Initiative 912

Yesterday's Viaduct Hazard Demonstration got some decent airtime: KIRO put it in the first fifteen minutes of their broadcast (the sixth or seventh story in) and chief political reporter Essex Porter did a two to three minute segment with great footage from the event.

Additionally, KCPQ had a 30 second clip showing the demonstration, as well as some cracks in the viaduct near where we were set up.

(Darryl of Hominid Views, Dan of On the Road to 2008, and Walker of Choosing Hope have also blogged about the demonstration.)

And this evening at 6 PM, I went on Moral Politics to talk about Initiative 912 with host Eric Oemig. (Moral Politics, A SCAN TV Primetime production, cablecasts live on channel 77 or 29 in King County.)

So in the past few days we've had a lot of great exposure. The campaign to defeat Initiative 912 continues. And, of course, the P-I has continued its great series against Initiative 912:
We saw something interesting in a brochure promoting the repeal of the gas tax increase, Initiative 912.

"The New Gas Tax should have improved our commute. But it's a road to nowhere," a red and black I-912 tract says. "The New Gas Tax gives us the nation's highest gas tax."

The highest gas tax? Just a few weeks ago, a "myth versus fact" document from the same no new gas tax crowd declared, "We already pay the fourth-highest gas tax in the country."

OK. Which is it? The highest gas tax -- or the fourth-highest gas tax?

The answer is neither.

Sure, a lot depends on how you slice the numbers. The highly regarded Tax Foundation measures gas taxes by the "effective" rate by combining all local, state and federal taxes because this reflects the money that comes out of your pocket when you buy a gallon of gas. And that gauge shows Washington's gas tax (as of August 2005) is not even in the top 10. In fact, our current gas tax is less than a nickel higher than the national average.

Where will Washington rank after the full gas tax increase? Well, that's where the "fourth-highest" figure comes in. But even that placement will remain true only if no other state raises its gas tax.

And which state is No. 1? It's going to be hard to top New York (62.9 cents), Hawaii (60.1 cents) and California (60 cents).

So there you have it: We're not No. 1. Another reason to vote no on I-912.
It's not surprisingly that proponents of Initiative 912 have literature that has them contradicting themselves. The reality is that they just want to cut taxes and strip down government. The attacks on DOT and the talk of "we need a better plan" are merely a smoke and mirrors maneuever. They don't have a concerete plan. What they would like to do is divert existing funding to build more pavement (which does not solve traffic congestion). That's not going to work.

Voters should put safety first and reject I-912.

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