MTA wants to raise fares and taxes — more than legally allowed — so why not spend $4.1 million of your money to get what it wants
Even as the mayor and his pals are raising millions from contractors, developers, consultants, unions and other special interest that stand to profit, the MTA itself is spending $4.1 million in public money to promote the $40 billion half-cent sales tax hike on the November ballot.
Part of that campaign is using the MTA website which is topped with this promo for the sales tax hike and the text promising “traffic relief…rail extensions…reduce foreign oil dependence.”
You have a problem with that? Tough. They’ve got the power, the pols,
the lawyers, and the guns for that matter, so shut your mouth and pay
up.That’s pretty much the way things are these days. There’s not much you can do about except to get organized and work the grassroots to change L.A.’s political culture.
Troy Anderson in the Daily News puts it together, reporting the MTA risked violating state law by using its taxpayer-funded Web site to pomote
the sales tax but when told by the County
Counsel what they were doing, pulled back a little by agreeing to use more neutral language to advocate for the measure. The website now is supposedly neutral.
MTA spokesman Marc Littman insists the ads and mailers to every household in the county just contain “information that is fair, accurate and impartial” but then admits “we are asking voters
to approve a half-cent sales tax that will generate $40 billion for
transit and highway projects.”
Fair and impartial advocacy, you got to love that.
“The dust-up comes as the MTA earlier this week asked the
Registrar-Recorder’s Office to place the measure on the ballot even
though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
has so far not signed a bill by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles,
that would allow cities in the county to exceed the state sales tax
cap,” Anderson reports.
You got to love that too, print the ballot with this Measure R on it even though it isn’t legal. So much for respect for the law.
Of course, there is no law that applies to politicians or government agencies. The state Fair Political Practices Commission took note of that yesterday and voted unanimously to consider legislation to toughen the rules on what the MTA is doing.