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My Sunday Column: Measure J loss is a victory for the people — a chance to demand a real public transit system

We can’t keep on destroying the public transit system in order to save it — that surely is the lesson we need to learn from the defeat of Measure J on Tuesday.

We all want a real public transit system. We want to park our cars and ride comfortably to where we want to go. But Measure J was phony, a taxpayer rip-off that was brought down by an extraordinary coalition of the rich and poor and so many from virtually every corner of the region. It was historic and offers a blueprint of what people can do in defense of their own interests if they respect the interests of others.

For more than a century, the rich got richer profiting from sprawling development of this giant county. The demographics may have changed, but greed knows no racial or other boundaries, and so they are seeking to profit from vertical — rather than horizontal — development without building the kind of public transit system that is needed.

The King of Greed in L.A. today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — in a desperate effort to salvage his own political legacy — drove support for Measure R four years ago knowing full well the $30 billion from a one-half-percent sales tax hike over 30 years was a fraction of the cost of building the subways, light rails, freeways and bridges he sought.

The transportation lobby — with generous aid from contractors, consultants, construction trades and naifs, like cyclists — managed to fool two-thirds of voters.

Needing a lot more money, they lobbied Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — for billions as if the largest city in the largest state that always votes Democratic has any real leverage. The result was they got far less than needed, so they came up with Measure J to borrow against another 30 years of sales tax revenue — as much as $90 billion — to have a chance to deliver what they had promised.

But there were issues.

Since 2008, bus service was gutted by 1 million hours, persecuting the transit-dependent and making their lives so much harder with fewer routes and longer waits for service when everybody everywhere knows it isn’t a “transit system” without high connectivity and high frequency of service.


This entry was posted in 2012 Election, City Hall, Glendale-Burbank, Hot Topics, Los Angeles, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to My Sunday Column: Measure J loss is a victory for the people — a chance to demand a real public transit system

  1. Teddy says:

    Indeed. you are correct, Ron. We need ordinary people not
    professional politicians to run our city. March 5 is our next
    election. We need many volunteers for just one term of office
    to give this as a civic duty and not a source of A BIG income for themselves
    and their good buddies. If elected they will be paid for their time
    of course but there is a real benefit – the opportunity to corrrct
    the many laws that have ruined our city. Yes, I wish I were a lot younger.

    I would do it myself.

  2. Teddy says:

    I know, Ron, you have been asked, but you are correct, we need you to
    let us know what is going on. Thank you, Mr. Retired Editor. You have the know-how
    that is so important.

    We all appreciate you.

  3. anonymous says:


    You know I love you, but, based on your paragraph about the rich getting richer, I hope you are not buying into the deflect the blame game. Yes, there are a few who have made a profit off of continued development when development is no longer the economy to count on. Those that did in the past are not necessarily the few that do now. Many of those “rich” have also lost thousands to millions in today’s economy. So, before you assume the rich are getting richer, please ask a few about their portfolios. It might be a bit eye opening. This isn’t to solicit sympathy. It is to ask that you take heart and not join the masses in hating those who made an honest and fruitful living in a country that was suppose to support the premise of free enterprise.

    In today’s tough economic times, people want someone to blame and the rich are easy targets. Their wealth was had in different ways, honest hard working ways, as this country was diverse in its opportunities to advance once upon a time. To paint them with one fell swoop is to buy into the blame the wealthy game. I see this as a new discrimination.

    We are powerless over the unions, favored corporations, banks and their purchased elected officials who, allegedly, bussed in thousands to vote and managed to stop Prop 32 and those pipe dream new taxes for better education. So, who can we target next? The wealthy. Let’s just keep chipping away at their earned wealth by voting for them to pay more and more taxes. Never mind the thousands of other loopholes that also exist like the Tax Identification Forms that allows undocumented residents to be paid for dependents (including nieces, nephews, cousins, etc) in other countries. That adds up to billions. And, no, I am not racist. I also know many of the undocumented workers are taken advantage of, which is why I’d just assume see it be easier to grant citizenship than to see our laws chipped away to enable the present status quo. This is merely an example of wasteful spending on our dime that allows for endless hand outs versus a helping hand to stand one’s own. There are those who need such help for the remainder of their lives. There are far more that do not and they know how to work the system. Then there are those who file bankruptcy not once, not twice, but many times. They intentionally max out their cards and file bankruptcy again and get it. They leave the court house and are immediately offered new credit cards. They know they can do it and it’s theft. They may not be the “wealthy” ones but they are costing us millions, perhaps more. But, because we seem to be powerless to stop such abuses, we need someone else to target.

    It reminds me of the Big Lie. If y’all keep saying it long enough, you might even think it’s true. I know of several well to do families considering the move to Nevada. They do not want the government to take their wealth for they know it doesn’t reach the promised targets. They’d rather chose who to give to, knowing that it can better impact the worthy causes. They are good people who give hundreds of thousands to worthy causes. Sadly, California is no longer one of them. In fact, my guess is many of those charities will suffer too given the retroactive portion of prop 30–which seems rather illegal but I doubt any court will over turn. Even judges need their pensions.

    I doubt folks will agree with what I say. It’s easier to blame the wealthy than the truly guilty ones. But, if you keep on taking from them, which seems to be the trend, you will see the ill effects. You will also see that it won’t make a dent in the every growing debt because it’s akin to scooping water out of the Titanic with a teaspoon.

    And, by the way, when they drive off to NV, they will know when they left LA. The pot holes seem to disappear just a 1/4 mile beyond the city limits.

    • ex valley says:

      You are exactly right but this is contrary to the prevalent groupthink in LA so I doubt you get any serious discussion.
      Will be amusing to see all those dem voters making exactly 250k with kids in private schools and a mortgage on McMansion — when their taxes go up.

  4. Wayne from the Encino Soviet Gulag of Paul Koretz (the ESG for short.) says:

    California has nothing left in the tank! It is gutted, rotted from within, and a throw-back Soviet-style gulag that entraps and defeats every effort to bring wealth into the state and shed the job losses and brainpower drain. California is simply a set of beach communities worth the while to live in (assuming you can afford it) and the rest of it it is pot-hole ridden, EBT card-carrying welfare mooches, public sector union hogs, and a small private sector taxed to death.
    On Huffpost, a story shows no less than 12 state petitions to SECEDE from the Union have been sent to President Obama. Not that it will have any outcome, but it shows the growing frustration with the 1/2 of the STUPID side of the electorate with the 1/2 of the INFORMED electorate.
    Fortunately, California in the next census should finally (thank God) shed some house seats (and loose electoral votes.) Same will go for N.Y., PA., and the East Coast. The States that vote red will continue to pick up seats and power.
    Obama’s plan is far different—he wishes to swell the welfare lines with more tax-takers and plunge the Nation into a 3rd Great Recession to thus up his hand and his party’s hand over the elections.
    In 2014, the Republicans will hold on to the House AND CAPTURE THE SENATE as 20+ Dumbo-crats are up for reelection and many are very shaky while the Republicrats are safe for that one. As well, the President’s party ALWAYS LOOSES SEATS IN CONGRESS in midterm elections and for a 2nd term president GREATLY LOOSES seats. This one will be a doozy.
    Thus, the Republicans have the easy job—just fillibuster, lie, cheat, and extract broken promises (you know, like the L.A. City Council and its politics) and Obama and the Nation will sink each other for a 2016 Red State victory celebration.
    That’s what all you Liberal IDIOTS voted for—more economic downturn, more failed policies. Mitt Romney was a great choice for President, but so many of you are so STOOPID that you couldn’t get that.
    So enjoy your employer notice that reads”
    ‘PART TIME SHIFT—as of December 2012, your hours will be cut back TO A MAXIMUM 29.5 hours per week. This is in response to changing company policy and changing and uncertain laws regarding health care insurance.”
    Yes, you the FUCKING ILLITERATE will read that notice (those of you at 35 to 40 hours a week) and not HAVE A CLUE JUST WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?
    So to feed your family, you’ll need 2 SEPARATE JOBS at REDUCED PAY to just keep even or a little down on your bills. Watch your DWP bills TRIPPLE, watch the price of gas go to 5 or 6 bucks a gallon again, watch as every damn thing GOES UP UP UP and your pay DOWN DOWN DOWN.
    That’s what a billionaire like Romney tried to stop. He had a solution for this mess, but you didn’t learn how to read, or ever study history. Nope. nada. No.
    Back in the 80′s, Berlin was broken into EAST AND WEST. You should have seen the number of times people were shot in the back just TRYING TO CROSS THE BERLIN CHECKPOINTS TO ESCAPE COMMUNISM. You fools could do it BY SIMPLY VOTING. Many of you fools never visited places like that or have seen the ravages of dictatorships and socialists. You’ve all had it too damn good for far too damn long. You’ve been sucking the taxpayers dry to the point they can’t give you anymore and what is left is too small to print over with budget deficits.
    WHY DOESN’T L.A. COUNTY PASS A COUNTY INCOME TAX? New York City has one—shouldn’t we all share more sacrifice? As long as every fool pays it, I’LL VOTE FOR IT! Then I’ll move away where it doesn’t apply. See—it’s the SHELL GAME.
    In 2013, you have more elections—TRY WAKING THE FUCK UP and maybe you can save someone from losing their home with more taxes and fees the Clowncil is set to put on the ballot. YOU DECIDE—I KNOW WHAT MY PLAN IS….

  5. anonymous says:

    As England’s Lady Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money.”

  6. Tyndon Clusters says:

    Hey tin foil hat wearers, you idiots said the same trash four years ago, – how the black guy would ruin America, how the terrorists will take over, how he will destroy capitalism.

    And now, four years later, same batcrap crazy flatulence emanating from the stupid wing of the moron party.

    Grow up and put down the prescription meds and see life more clearly and not from the paranoia haze of your prozac induced delusions.

    • MissAnthrope says:

      Thank you, Mr. Clusters!

      What the Ornery Mayor of Encino didn’t say was that Romney lost because people finally woke up to the fact that Romney was the Teabaggers puppet and they voted for freedom — personal freedom!

      Freedom from a party that keeps spouting ‘smaller government,’ yet when it comes to personal decisions over women controlling their own bodies, or who can marry whom they want a gorilla government stomping on everyone’s civil right.

      Wayne needs to wake up to the smell of America’s version of the Taliban; the Christian Taliban that destroys everything and everyone who doesn’t believe the way they believe.

      • anonymous says:

        mr. wayne is a welcome alternative
        to the p.c. narrative some posters espouse…
        and every now and then…some posters…
        by their cruelty…reveal so much about themselves
        and say so little about the object of their derision…

  7. Tyndon Clusters says:

    P.S. Please in the future, the moniker should read, “Wayne, the gassed up delusional windbag from wherever his car is parked overnight”

    • anonymous says:

      mr. wayne is a welcome alternative
      to the p.c. narrative some posters espouse…
      and every now and then…some posters…
      by their cruelty…reveal so much about themselves
      and say so little about the object of their derision….

  8. dntn observer says:

    We`d like to know who and how much got from the $3mm campaign. Well, it`s all in the family………..

  9. anonymous says:

    Hey-I agree that the Republican social agenda is their demise. Their take on women, freedom of choice, no abortion but no help avoiding pregnancy, gay rights, etc is their demise. They failed at addressing the real problem in this country–the debt. That keeps the stage set for the likes of the social democrats to continue to take and take.

    So, those who succeeded and made money are being punished and those that did not have voted to take their money with no real solution on sustainability. The impact is already happening; but as long as the wealthy are taxed at ever increasing/higher percentages there will be an illusion that all is well. Time will tell.

  10. Wayne the Independent-Liberal says:

    Damn good posts!!!! Romney would of made a great President; but mediocrity, cowardice, and over-taxation are the “fad” these days in Dummy-California! Kevin James would win by 20% if the People would put down the Meds and Pot for a 2 week period next March! So we have the Dummy President for the MAJORITY of the MINORITY of registered and eligible voters who bother to vote. Romney showed signs of an intellect—that was too SCARY for far too many. But come 2014, and everyone will be running like scared rats being chased by the big fat cat to the Republicrats and Independents who say two things: LOWER TAXES and LESS REGULATIONS.
    Wait till Sacramento passes the “Services Sales Tax.” Hmmm, what is that? You’ll see! You Dummies WILL SEE, LEARN, AND BEGIN TO GET IT.

    • El Quixotian says:


      Just wondering if you were in the no-burn zone yesterday? “We have protocols in place” to bar folks using their fireplace at the end of the long Thanksgiving holididay, if the AQMD in its warm, global opinion, determines that it’s an appropriate smow-averse measure.

      There are exceptions of course…medicinaly no doubt?

      Maybe we can vote for a fireplace fee in March!

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