Measure J: Why you should vote ‘no’

This piece was written in response to 'Measure J: Moving today for tomorrow'

Clearly Measure J is, in reality, a magician’s slight of hand trick.   If I remember correctly Measure R, the predessor to Measure J, was a detailed proposition consisting of 34 pages describing the implementation, oversight and accountability procedures of the bill and what it was for?   However, Measure J is a one paragraph, non descriptive, non definative request for $90 billion from the taxpayers.  I have trouble understanding how it took 34 pages to definatively describe the request for $40 billion.  In Measure J the request consists of one paragraph that has no definative procedures for accountability, oversight or implementation.  Simply put it is one paragraph asking for a $90 billion slush fund to cover the hidden costs of Antonio Villaraigosa’s “Subway to the Sea” and in the process disrupt cities and communities with impunity and disregard.

This article does not state how much Measure J, $90 billion, is for or Measure R, $40 billion?  Together they total $130 billion.  When the interest is added Measure R and J will total at least $300 billion.  Only two budgets in America are significantly larger:  the total education budgets for all states combined and the Federal Department of Defense Budget. 

This is a tax increase as it is the “Permatax” until 2069.  Being a tax measure this requires a 2/3 majority for passage.  Currently this measures support is under 60% and is being promoted as a vision for the future.   This measure is actually a wellfare program for the current devolupers, real estate moguls and all of the current wealth holders and big money interests that traditionally have raped communities by putting rail lines in that did not provide needed access to address community needs.  The access that it does provide is to new projects that they control so that service services them and not the people.  Understanding that this bill is faltering in support,  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is now attempting to court black leaders to support Measure J by telling them that they will be allotted $300 million for the Liemert Park station in return for their support on Measure J.  This black leader is not going for the hokey doke.  This mayor wants to bribe us with $300 million out of $90 billion?  I guess we come real cheap.

Does anyone know what the real transportation needs will be until 2069?  This money will be spent and when most of us are long gone you can bet your bottom dollar MTA will be back for more money.  And if you think I am wrong just look at the history that started with Proposition A in 1980 and followed up with more in 1990 and then came in with Measure R and now for Measure J.  Remember it has always been the same mantra.  This is the same message and request for more money.  They are insatiable.  And then to cap everything off they consistently reduce access to all parts of the community and then of course they raise rates.  Less service with more cost and that is efficiency?  Let’s assume that some miracle takes place and they finish these lines, do you notice something is missing here and it is glaring.  That is that there is no money set aside for operation or maintainence of these new lines. 

A perfect example of this is what is in the “Subway to the Sea” EIR where they do not include in the budget figures what they will have to do which increases the cost by $10 billion or double the stated amount.  Is should be very clear to all of us now why we are looking at a one paragraph request for $90 billion dollars without accountability, oversight or implementation parameters.

It should be noted that organizations and government entities are coming together in strong opposition to Measure J.   The diversity of the opposition to Measure J is like a true Rainbow Coalition that extends across the breadth of L.A. County.   Recently the chairman of the MTA, Supervisor Michael Antonovich along with his collegues Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas, all members of the MTA Board, have expressed strong opposition to Measure J.  Assemblyman Mike Davis, Chairman of the Select Committee on Transportation, has reassessed and is now in opposition to Measure J.   The City of Beverly Hills has passed a resolution to not support Measure J.  The Beverly Hills School Board is in strong opposition to the tunneling underneath their school campus as a result of Measure J.  Organizations from South L.A., East L.A., San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley, Beach Cities, as well as the Bus Riders Union and the Congress of Racial Equality of California (CORE-CA) have joined together with a collective voice “VOTE NO ON MEASURE J.”