We received this e-mail note from Kastama after the first mailing went out to voters.
The first hit piece from my opponent landed on Friday (Oct. 3). It shows me riding a Segway and says “Jim Kastama’s idea of transportation might be using a high-tech Segway scooter, but the rest of us use our cars to commute.”
Unfortunately, the facts are bad, or misleading.
1. “Kastama voted against a plan that would have provided $640 million to extend Hwy 167…” (HB 1396, Amdt. 424, 4/10/07)
HB 1396 was the bill that required both transit and roads be on a single ballot title for Proposition 1. This was the RTID vote last year. This bill was supported by most Republicans and Democrats. The amendment would have prevented a vote on light rail across Lake Washington and would have funneled transit money into roads. It failed. Senator Pflug, from Issaquah, has fought against light rail for years and this was her amendment. This was the first time I had heard of her “plan.”
2. “Kastama voted against funding for vital transportation corridors.” (SB 6091, 4/24/2005 and SB 6103, 4/20/2005)
SB 6091 was the 2005 transportation appropriations bill. Initially I opposed it because it lacked key projects in Pierce County. After working with House members (and adding back projects), I supported the bill on final passage. Ironically, the majority of Republicans opposed it.
SB 6103 was the 9.5 gas tax, which I opposed because it returned to our county 35% of our gas tax dollars. Although it was called a Central Puget Sound package, it left us out. Again, I worked with House members to change the appropriations. Just as above, however, most of the Republicans voted against this, including Luke Esser, the current Republican Party Chair who is responsible for the mailer.
3. “Kastama did vote for letting the state add tolls onto critical highways…whenever it wants.” (HB 3096, Amdt. #6, 3/3/2008)
HB 3096 was a bill that requires DOT to develop a plan to finance the 520 bridge, including the use of tolls. The plan must be approved by the legislature. I’m not familiar with Amendment #6 (it was in committee) but I can assure you I would have not let the state impose tolls “whenever it wants.”
I’m sure there’s more on the way.
P.S. For some reason, my opponent really dislikes Segways. Check out Joe Turner’s blog posting about a push-poll which tried to use the fact that I use a Segway against me. Go figure.