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BART smackdown… 57% of voters reject BART-to-San-Jose

Victory … the night started of well for the pro-good transportation people and stayed excellent.

Non Partisan MEASURE A
1115/1115 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
NO 121,120 57.62%
YES 89,075 42.38%
Total 210,195

In spite of being outspent 100-1, the No On Measure A folks had a HUGE 30,000-vote margin of victory. The pro-measure A folks got spanked.

The Mercury News had this to say about the one and only one mailer we had the money to send:

This is the time to be especially wary of political mailers or telephone calls. Campaigns prone to misleading innuendo or outright lies often wait until the last minute.

Notice the implication, that our mailer is spreading an outright lie, when in fact it was 100% accurate.

Anti-BART activists have mailed a last-minute hit on Measure A, the half-cent sales tax for transportation and health care. It implies the measure would make the tax higher than anywhere else in the state, when Alameda County and other locations are already at that level.

Actually, what the flyer said was this “would make our taxes the highest in the state”, which is 100% true ( or rather would have been).

And it implies businesses supporting Measure A are trying to get out of paying sales tax, based on a proposal now stalled in the Legislature that would exempt only the purchase of manufacturing equipment — a break most of California’s economic competitors offer. It’s usually negative pieces that mislead.

Whether or not other states, offer or don’t offer the same tax break has no bearing on whether or not the Measure A proponents (Silicon Valley Leadership Group) are trying to cut themselves a sales tax break at the same time they were trying to raise everyone elses’ sales tax.

Today the Mercury said this:

Santa Clara County voters soundly rejecting a proposed half-cent increase designed to rescue the financially imperiled BART extension to Silicon Valley and restore health services for the poor.

It was a stunning result for much of the county’s political, business and labor establishment, which joined forces to promote a tax increase to address a variety of transportation and social service needs.

The $4.7 billion BART extension, the centerpiece of county transportation planning, is now in serious jeopardy, as politicians from Gilroy to Palo Alto will have to confront how to pay for a list of scheduled transportation projects far larger than they can afford. VTA lacks the money to operate the 16.1-mile extension, and federal officials won’t approve a $750 million contribution to the project unless VTA comes up with a stable financial plan.

Tax opponents said VTA now has to consider scrapping BART, which would serve Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara, in order to spread existing funds more equitably around the county.

“We have to rethink BART, which is good because there are other things we can do which are great transit projects,” said Mountain View Councilman Greg Perry, a VTA board member and leading BART critic.

Like improving ACE and Capitol Corridors service incrementally.

Supervisor Don Gage said, “We’re going to have to layoff a significant number of people and cut a lot of services. We may have to close the county airports, cut off alcohol and drug services.”

Well maybe if the county hadn’t so foolish tied their sales tax request to that of the golden BART rescue plan, they wouldn’t be facing this problem.

And the Mercury finally admits to the pro-Measure A’s self-dealing:

The forces supporting Measure A outspent opponents by more than 100-to-1 after raising more than $1.7 million. Labor unions and members of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the county’s major business lobby, each contributed about $650,000 to the campaign.

An additional $160,000 came from development interests, many of whom have property in San Jose’s Coyote Valley and want it opened for development. An additional $130,000 came from contractors who work on Valley Transportation Authority projects, including companies working on the design of the planned BART extension.

Leadership group members have made BART their leading political cause since 2000, while most of the labor money came from the unions representing county employees.

Posted in 2006-06-06-measure-a, political, transportation.

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