(November 6, 2006) -- LBReport.com urges voters to say NO to Prop 1B...which would inflict its worst, long-term impacts on LB, southeast L.A. County, OC and Inland Empire families.
Prop 1B would expand port-related infrastructure capacity expansion without meaningful legal protections in place for residents and taxpayers who will bear the impacts.
Prop 1B would incur $20 billion debt (costing nearly twice as much in taxpayer paid interest, the largest taxpayer debt measure on the ballot) that would go in large part to expandg port-related "goods movement" infrastructure capacity. It's another public subsidy for the "goods movement" industry...and like any subsidy, it invites more of what it subsidizes. It will invite dumping more containers on us...from port-related interests that worked to defeat real legal protections (not non-binding hyped "plans") to protect us from the resulting damages.
As LBReport.com reported months ago (and some others still haven't), the "CA Ass'n of Port Authorities" -- in which the Ports of LB and L.A. are both members and in FY 06 paid a over a quarter million collectively in dues -- worked to defeat those legal protections and helped kill SB 764 ("no net increase in Port-related air toxics) and SB 760/927 (cargo container fee for clean air, security and port rail projects).
Sen. Lowenthal has called the "no net increase" bill the most important he'd introduced in all his years in Sacramento. In July 2006, he told a hearing of L.A. and LB Port reps that their non-binding, self-generated "Clean Air Action Plan" required BOTH measures -- the "no net increase" bill to provide a legally enforceable guarantee that conditions won't get worse (with the expansion that Prop 1B invites) and a container fee to pay for long term environmental clean up the consequences.
Sen. Lowenthal was exactly right then. The San Pedro Bay ports smiled at him and the public with their draft "Clean Air Action Plan" while their paid lobbying mouthpieces worked with private industry corporate interests to kill both of his bills.
This was high visibility contempt for the public and the City of Long Beach...which endorsed both bills. Killing those bills showed exactly why port-impacted residents should vote Prop 1B down.
LB Mayor Bob Foster and Sen. Lowenthal (who continue to support 1B) promise they'll press for legislative conditions on Prop 1B's money if it passes. But if Prop 1B passes, Foster, Lowenthal and others likeminded will be in positions of weakness. Their opponents -- who showed they could defeat them already -- will now claim "the voters have spoken" and will cite Prop 1B to claim the public doesn't want port expansion stopped, delayed or conditioned. Prop 1B.
Those who killed Sen. Lowenthal's "no net increase" and container fee bills figured they could get Prop 1B passed without us. That's why we need to vote Prop 1B down. If port-related interests can get Prop 1B passed after what they did to us before the election, they'll do even worse to us after the election.
Fortunately, recent polls show the measure with thin support and many voters undecided. It's a free country...and you can email your friends and neighbors a link to this page to alert them to what's really at stake.
Remind them that contrary to misleading propaganda, Prop 1B won't fix gridlock. Trnsportation bureaucrats have already publicly indicated they plan to use local freeway money mainly to add "carpool lanes"...while building real capacity increases for containers.
Prop 1B proposes to hand out roughly twice as much money to expand "goods movement" infrastructure as to clean up its impacts. Its so-called "mitigation" money is a real sucker punch -- one time funding -- and that money will be depleted once we're saddled with decades of negative impacts. The Coalition for Clean Air DOESN'T support the measure (it's neutral). Prop 1B effectively leaves taxpayers holding the bag for ongoing environmental clean up AND to pay interest on the massive debt. The Coalition for Clean Air DOESN'T support the measure (they're neutral).
Don't be fooled by misleading claims that Prop 1B won't raise taxes. Its massive interest debt will have to be paid from state taxpayer money in the budget OR (if the budget falls short) budget cuts to services OR future tax increases. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Ass'n DOESN'T support the measure (they're neutral).
And no, Prop 1B didn't gather petition signatures. It was put on the ballot by politicians in Sacramento who listened to special interests, not the public.
We acknowledge that the Ports of LB and L.A. -- under pressure -- are trying to clean up their act. We support them in this...but we also apply the Ronald Reagan principle here: "Trust But Verify." The public deserves real legal protections in place, not promised for future discussion, before handing taxpayers a billion dollar bill that will invite more harm for us and our families.
As LBReport.com said in August: "No bills ("no net increase" PLUS a container fee legal guarantees in place), no bonds."
We reiterate this now. Send them a message: Vote NO on Prop 1B.