Letter to the Editor

By Josh Feit July 21, 2009

[State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz responds to yesterday's post where I gave former Republican King County Council Member and former Sound Transit Board Member Rob McKenna (now Washington state Attorney General) props for watchdogging the light rail project back in the late '90s and 2000. Take it away Dwight Pelz ...]

The Latest Lie

by Josh Feit

Josh, this is a near criminal piece of journalism on your part.  You have taken the concept of "contrarian",  morphed it with "apologist", to arrive at "deluded revisionist".

Yes, Josh, man did walk on the moon, and there was a Holocaust, and Elvis is still dead.  By your reasoning we should thank George Bush, for without him we never would have known what a bad idea it would be to invade Iraq.  Thanks to Lee Harvery Oswald, LBJ got Medicare through Congress.

Rob McKenna did not just criticize light rail, he agressively, actively, and consistently tried to kill it. – before and after the arrival of Joni Earl.  He frequently flew to DC to get his ideological and partisan pals in Congress (Rep. Istook) and the FTA to kill the project.  He backed nearly every bill in Olympia designed to cripple the agency, and every measure to build more roads instead of transit.  McKenna was never a watchdog, just another self-promoting politician serving his pro-sprawl patrons.

You are empathetic with McKenna because at the same time (2000 – 2005) you were agressively, actively, consistently, and irrationally criticizing the agency, while asking tough questions about the Monorail, like, "What color will the seats be?"  Josh was a Sound Transit watch dog and a Monorail lap dog.

You were outraged in 2002 when Ron Sims did not re-appoint your anti-transit ally Rob McKenna to the Sound Transit Board.  Sims was clear, it was one thing to have a critic on the board, another to re-appoint an active enemy of the agency.  That is when the Attorney General's intensified his quest to kill both light rail and Sound Transit.  You were dismayed because your ally on the inside now had to join you in the fight from the outside.

You write, " But had the crisis in 2000 gone undetected", claiming that only Rob McKenna was pointing out that light rail was over budget and behind schedule.  The fact is that by this time a dozen reporters, armed with the 1996 Sound Move plans were writing about the agency's failures.  It was the easiest story in town to write, and reporters were delighted to get the assignment.

I think you should give a similar shout out to about a dozen other anti-transit stalwarts who consisently tried to kill light rail.  Why choose Rob McKenna over Maggi Fimia, Nick Licata, Kemper Freeman, Jim Horn, John Niles, Emory Bundy, and Josh Feit?  Why not also give them credit for Saturday's ribbon-cutting?

Where's the love?

Dwight Pelz

former Sound Transit Board Member

Filed under
Show Comments