Only One Seattle Legislator Is Vowing to Take on the Tunnel Cost Overruns Language: Jeanne Kohl-Welles


Maybe Fitzgibbon is not aware that the House put the provision in, that Ed Murray stated at the tunnel "debate" that the issue is not on the Senate side, and he (Fitzgibbon) is being a weasel.

I guess the Senate will have to force the issue on the House since the House is incapable of leading on this issue.
Pedersen didn't get an invite? Why not? He's such eye candy. And an amazing legislator.
So Kline is saying he'd like to help the little people, but he's too afraid to, so he'll let Eyman have his way with us.

How'd you get "vows" out of Jeanne's "I would"? Anyhoo, someone's going to have to, since (as you pointedly don't mention) McGinn's either been lying about trying to find a legislator to do it (since as Jeanne noted, following through on his promise would rob him of his favorite hot button), or else he truly has been trying super hard and just can't do it.
@2, I know, especially since isn't his and Eric's house literally around the corner from Liberty? Maybe they took the kids out of town for the hols.
@4 It's no surprise McGinn is a liar. He lied his way into office by saying he wouldn't oppose the Viaduct replacement yet he's done everything he possibly can to block the project since getting into office. I'm glad to see more and more politicians standing up and calling him on his BS.
Dear legislators: if it's unenforceable, then aren't you idiots for putting it in the bill in the first place?

If it's unenforceable, then what's the big deal about taking it out? If you don't want McGinn making an issue of it, then take the issue away from him.

This feels an awful lot like the mortgage broker in 2006 saying, "That language? It's not important. Nothing to worry about!"
@7, none of these legislators put the language in, but were given it to vote on as a condition of the bill passing, on the understanding it was bullshit meant to convince and quiet the rubes out of town.

Funny how the one most eager to convince everyone of its validity turned out to be our local fellow...
This is the Olympia process, which is to stonewall, blame others, dither and do nothing for as long as possible to prevent Seattle voters from having a say on major projects. Removing harmful provisions off our back is easy, but Olympia keeps stalling and delaying, it's like Olympia stalling and pushing back domestic partnerships and marriage equality year after year. They just don't care to get this provision removed. They keep saying it's unenforceable but, again, why won't they just remove it? If they "know" that this is Mayor McGinn's "hot button" then why don't they remove him from the equation by deleting the provision?

I think the most interesting thing about the debate is that Rep. Carlyle wasn't willing to strike the provision even after attacking the Tacoma News Tribune over their "enforce the cost overruns provision" op-ed:…

If the unfair and unwise Seattle cost overrun provision is ultimately ever implemented, the journey would be swift to include similar provisions in every category of public projects such as school construction, college building projects, highways statewide, prisons and so much more. This path would lead to division at every level in every community.

Requiring a city or community to pay for potential cost overruns for a state project is unprecedented in the history of Washington. It would signal the most profound structural shift in policy in generations in the area of public expenditures.

Nowhere in his article does Rep. Carlyle insist that it wouldn't be enforced, but he sure does spend a lot of time predicting that it would be and begging our other regional partners to not screw this up for the state. His only token gesture to voters actually in Seattle is calling it "unfair and unwise".

So if it's "unfair and unwise" why isn't he agitating to offset it? If you read the rest of the article it appears that in the realm of the Olympia Process, Rep. Carlyle is playing the role of Squealer to Gregoire and City Council's Napoleon.

Meanwhile, every tunnel-loving dittohead piles on ol' Snowball and says he's obstructing something that's for the good for the city and on and on about how he'll implement gridlock and destroy freight and ruin the waterfront and cause cars to idle and increase pollution and on and on, just to keep the air so full of meaningless pap that the average Seattle voter's voice is rarely a murmur among the chant of "two legs good, four legs bad" coming out of Olympia.

As far as 1053 goes, it's in line with my prediction that the democrats in this state are headed for major losses in the near future. And why would that be so bad? Very few of them have the gumption to fight for what's right (scattered and useless response to 1053, slashing all progressive gains from the past 5 years from the budget) and at least socially Washington State is moving in a direction that makes legislative roadblocks to progress easily toppled. Do we need them? Not as much as they'd hope.

If you'll recall the political blogosphere's Pollyanna view of this election, the progressive coalitions remained almost completely untouched, but pandering blue dogs were run out of office. We have a few blue dogs in our Seattle coalition, they should probably start buying some moving boxes if they're going to keep this up. Nobody wants to vote for a DINO.
@8: So you actually believe the legislature approached it as a meaningless gesture to quell discontent outside of Seattle? Oh, gus. Honey, no.

Study up on the history of the original construction of the AWV. Seattle residents were promised access to the core of the city via the viaduct, but the state didn't fund it. Seattle's legislative delegation was supposed to get that money since it was a state road, but they didn't because those "rubes out of town" wouldn't let them.

Do you know what happens next in this story?
Yes, "removing harmful provisions off our back is easy", but the mayor said he'd take the lead by seeking a legislative sponsor to do that with.

Why, when said legislators respectfully sat around waiting for the mayor's promised call, should they now be criticized for not having disbelieved him from the moment he spoke and just done it themselves already?

Ask for time to do it, then pick on those who give you time to do it. Sweet. Almost as if it were part of a strategy that cares not a good goddam about overrun provisions or transportation policy or whatnot, but simply seeks every opportunity to press whatever buttons are handy to find advantage over perceived political enemies of a vanguard claiming a lock on progressive values.

Almost as if.

P.S. What is this "two legs good, four legs bad" of which you speak? Is it something new, or something old?
@11: It's funny that suddenly the Mayor's word matters when from the get-go Olympia said it simply would not budge. From Gregoire's endorsement of Mallahan, Senator Murray's near-decision to run to counter McGinn's tunnel position to frequent accusations of the Mayor being an unyielding opponent and smug mocking claims that nobody in Olympia takes his calls, it's rather staggering that anyone would suggest that legislators in Olympia were actually going to hold off and wait for McGinn to come up with an idea for dealing with the overrun provision.

It's not Olympia's fault! It's clearly McGinn's because you know Olympia doesn't like this unenforceable provision they've done nothing to remove and have expended no political capital on working against, they were just waiting for him to act.

Of course, I suppose my opening comment about the Olympia process very snugly predicted your reply.
I know you're joking because Slog is full of literary and cultural references, rosebud.
I did the self-LMGTFY finally - Animal Farm, eh? Embarrassed to have missed your "Snowball" hint. But no, you're not overreaching, and I wouldn't give the time of day to anyone who'd suggest such a thing.
If both initiatives pass, all this scapegoating will ricochet back on elected tunnel supporters. There's no way they can expend so much political capital and not suffer consequences when voters disagree with them. There are too many election cycles that end and begin before the TBM gets beneath Pioneer Square to assume that there will be no backlash to the acidic rhetoric coming out of supporters of the tunnel.

We're in a climate where, if Dom and Cary Moon had a few people block the viaduct with cars and marched a few hundred or a couple thousand people onto the viaduct, the Times would still manage to put McGinn's name in the headline, even if he was in Hawaii at the time.

If both fail? McGinn still has 2 years to furiously scramble to save his job, and since there's no pressing reason to talk about a project moving forward that voters have supported, his opposition can easily be downplayed.
With local government resigned to tunnel delays and cost overruns for which the public will pay one way or another, where's the incentive for contractors to finish on time and within budget? I can't see any compelling reason for them to not drag out the billable hours as long as possible.
It doesn't bother me to pay my fair share of taxes, so why should it bother you? Unless of course you're using it as a very transparent excuse to get what you want and haven't been able to finagle any other way: tens of millions of deceased middle-class and poor people.
I make $13k/yr. My IRS taxes are $368; that's about 3%. Extrapolated to an income of a million dollars with all its loopholes and deductions, that same 3% yields taxes of $30,000, which is probably more than the person will actually pay. It's a lot easier to make it on a net of $970,000 that it is on a net of $12,632.
For me, that 3% is barely subsistence for a month's worth of medical care, or heat, or housing, or food, or other absolute necessities of life.
For the millionaire, that 3% is a year's worth of espresso drinks and $100 lunches, or a luxury vacation, or riding around in a piggish, gas hog SUV.
So you see, forcing a millionaire to pay more makes very good sense. How about leaving her with only $750,000 to scrape by each year; that sounds fair to me.
Gregoire says the clause is unenforceable. McKenna says the clause is unenforceable. Legislators who are lawyers say the clause is unenforceable. How many other legal opinions do you want?

Why on earth would legislators think it's a good use of their time to dither around trying to "unenforce" an unenforceable clause when they will have to spend all their time trying to cut billions from the budget?
"Pedersen is an amazing legislator"... lawlz! You must be a lawyer!