Friday, November 21, 2008

Campaigning brings out the worst in politics

It is all too common. From the presidential politics and local politics, campaigning generally brings out the worst. In a desperate move trying to win, a lot of campaigns present false accusations, make unfulfillable promises, and hide crucial information.

The Measure B campaign brought the worst in the South Bay politics. From the beginning to the end, the yes campaign made false promises. Crucial information about the cost of the project was hidden by the transit agency and the San Jose Mercury News. VTA did all they could trying to separate itself from the tax, even though VTA would collect the money and build the project. There was virtually no room for substantive debates.

As we already experienced in 2006, regardless of the election outcome, things generally tend to stay the same. The downtown delusionals will continue to advocate to build the project at the expense of everything else. Bus and light rail service will still be at risk. The economic reality at VTA will remain the same.

Even though most voters can't connect the dots between declining VTA service and Measure B, it does not mean that they don't care about the bus service and other VTA priorities. Measure B never directly asked them to de-prioritize these important needs. However, the downtown delusionals have their own interpretation. Expect them to demand VTA to defund these needs.

VTA could hide crucial information during the election, but VTA will not be able to hide it forever. Very soon, VTA will have to face reality. By that time, the dots will be much more easier to connect.


sj native said...

Why isn't there outrage to the point of a lawsuit against the ballot publisher for the subjective phrases leading the language for Measure B? If the language had merely accurately stated a yes vote would approve a tax for BART the it would have lossed, period. Instead it stated "In order to" solve the energy crisis and eliminate greenhouse gases etc.. We all know too many voters have only a cursory clue as to what these measure are about and will swayed by this abuse. Transit Corridors are the actual political impetus for BART, facilitating unbrideled housing development lining the BART path, likely resulting in zero net gain. The suggestion the tax will solve what the ballot claimed is merely editorial and thus illegal.

Anonymous said...

Give it up, people aren't going to choose to tax themselves unless its something they deem worthy, 2/3rds of people weren't tricked. BART is the best option for building transit along the same route as the most congested freeway in the area. "Caltrain Metro East" is a joke, its called the Capitol Corridor and it runs about 7 times a day.

accountablevta said...

Measure B was actually one of the most deceptive measures on the ballot. Because it was so deceptive, voters shouldn't be deciding on this until VTA answers important questions.

If BART is that popular, why VTA didn't go for a 1/4 cent or a 1/2 cent like LA and the North Bay did? They all passed by a larger margin, and they all have a better financial plan than VTA, which has none. VTA can't even show anyone how it could build BART with just that money.

Carl Guardino may know how to campaign and manipulate the media, but he's just a valley's version of Karl Rove. Bush got elected twice and he still couldn't govern.

If BART is really the best option, why does it need another tax? Why can't VTA build a shorter line first with what they got now?

Capitol Corridor and Caltrain Metro East (which you got confused) were never the issue in the campaign. The issue was whether VTA was honest about its ability to build the project and operating local transit. Do you think local transit is a joke too?

Jeremy said...

Complain, complain, complain. You probably live in Palo Alto, take caltrain or the bus, and never go to the east bay so BART will do nothing for you. I thank you in advance for your estimated 13 dollars a year to support BART.

Yes, your website does repeatedly say the vta should build "caltrain metro east" instead of BART. Not surprisingly that route would have rail service from palo alto to fremont. I'm glad most of the population is in the south bay and that you and the people who run the bay rail alliance website failed.

accountablevta said...

Actually the BART project will do nothing for most people, and that whatever $13 they claim will never be enough. It is like one of those sub-prime loan deals that got a lot of wannabe home owners into trouble and got us into this economy.

$13 is based on taxable purchases. Do more shopping in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. At least their sales taxes are actually well planned and better spent. Save that $13 to pay more on Caltrain fares. You're more than welcome to pay $26 to VTA. You're already paying hundreds on light rail and buses.

Why don't you ask VTA whether B was enough? Rather than pretending and lying about it.

People who run the BayRail Alliance does more to advocate public transit than SVLG does. They use transit daily and analyze policies based on what's good for transit riders. They don't care about the brand of the trains. They are the ones who fought bus cuts and warned about the last BART project to SFO. BayRail Alliance does not have financial gain from the things they advocate.

Do you think it is better off for Caltrain riders to pay $1.50 for two train rides on BART when they only one free shuttle ride before the SFO project opened? Isn't BART supposed to be so much better than any other kinds of trains.

Jeremy said...

Same old story, "I ride caltrain and the transportation network would be better for me if blah blah blah." You are thinking only about yourself, not about regional benefits. The majority of people who ride a train to sfo do not transfer from caltrain, they originate at BART stations. Yes you used to ride a bus for free, but the majority of people are better off now. The same goes with bart to san jose, you should think about what benefits the entire region and the majority of people.

accountablevta said...

Most people don't transfer from Caltrain to SFO because it sucks. You know that. It used to be better. The shuttle only cost a fraction of what it takes to run a train.

If this is the best that we can do (i.e. cutting one form of transit to support another), then our region has no hope.

There's no justification for people living in an area served by a different brand of trains or transit to have inferior service. It is all because of funding priorities. It has nothing to do with technology, etc.

So you think it is ok for someone who won't get any benefit to pay while having their service cut back? If BART is really that popular and really that effective, cut backs won't be necessary.