Inslee, Seizing McKenna's Opposition to Rail, Urges Light Rail Foes to Drop Suit

May 9, 2012

Seizing on an obvious opportunity today (no, I'm not talking about Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage), Washington State gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee released a statement this afternoon urging Eastside megadeveloper Kemper Freeman to drop his lawsuit against Sound Transit.

Freeman sued Sound Transit over its plans to build light rail to the Eastside across I-90, arguing that the state constitution prohibits using highways built with state funds for "non-highway purposes" like light rail. He lost in Kittitas County Superior Court. Today, his group, the Eastside Transportation Association, appealed their suit to the Washington State Supreme Court.

Freeman and his wife, Betty, have maxed out to Inslee's Republican opponent, state AG Rob McKenna, a foe of light rail since his days on the Sound Transit board, in the early 2000s. Earlier this year, McKenna told the Eastside Transportation Association that he wasn't "sure how light rail is going to work" on I-90 and expressed skepticism about the project.


“As the majority of businesses throughout the region have made clear, we need to move forward with transportation projects, not second guess, or question with additional public votes and ongoing litigation," Inslee said in a statement. "Armchair engineers like Rob McKenna and Kemper Freeman have other ideas, repeating tired arguments and causing disruptions that waste money, postpone job growth and keep our freeways clogged. Freeman should drop the lawsuit and let the region move forward."

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