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November 06, 2006


Jeff Flint


Listen, I don't think any postings on the Blog tonight are going to change anyone's position. We all know that blogs are an opinion-leader and insdier medium, and their content eventually filters into the mainstream, and that takes time. I expect the couple thousand or so people who will read this post tonight already know how they are voting on M, or indeed have already voted by mail.

There are plenty of intelligent and thoughtful people on both sides of the Measure M debate. But please, don't pretend that you just decided you were opposed to M. You've been opposed from the start.

And at least pretend to be factual when you state your opposition to M.

FACT - There are more general flow lanes (134) in the Renewed Measure M plan than the original M (74). There are at most a very few carpool lanes in the new plan, in the completion of the I-5 far south widening, while there was nearly 200 lane miles of carpool lanes in the old M. The original M was about 60% HOV lanes and 40% general flow lanes. The new plan is about 90% general flow lanes, and could be all the way up to 100%

FACT - The old M and the new M have EXACTLY the same allocations for freeways, roads, and transit.

FACT - The old M explicitly contemplated a countywide light rail system as the trasnit component, while the new plan explicitly avoids it. It is built around expanding a commuter rail (ie, heavy rail) on existing right of way.

All the opponents of renewing M who claim they supported the original plan but opppose this one because it "has too much transit" or "too many carpool lanes", etc etc, are wrong at best and disingenuous at worst. I would much rather have an opponent who claims they opposed M 16 years ago and still oppose it. At least that's intellectually honest.

Elroy El

Hey Lurk. You want more pavement? I hope you have the emminent domain legal machines oiled and ready to go. That's the option. The easements required for more pavement have to come from somewhere.

Jeff's right on this one. You're not going to actually try and convince us with a straight face you were waiting till today to make up your mind.

Keith Carlson


Not sure I'm intelligent or thoughtful on this issue, but why couldn't someone have thought M1 was right on HOV or mass transit, and that the time is now right to change the focus?

For example, if you liked X% years ago, and it met the need--or was proven not to work and should therefore be scrapped--wouldn't it be intellectually reasonable--even honest--to say x -25% is right today?

The "FACT" (the all-caps always make it factier, doesn't it?) that M2 doesn't change the percentages for transit, but does run for a longer term than M1, raises serious questions about its usefulness, flexibility to changing needs/circumstances, and wisdom. It doesn't seem like M2 has learned from the mistakes of the past.

FACT- We pay too much in taxes and need to stop bailing the politicians out of their mistaken spending priorities by ballot-box budgeting, bonding, and taxing. The Measure M's and bond proposals of the world generally reinforce bad political behavior. That is, politicians don't spend the (already excessive) tax money they get where it should be spent. That "forces" the voters to make the hard decisions for themselves. The polticians get to walk away saying they didn't vote for a tax increase, the people "wanted it" and brought it on themselves. They then can claim Measure M takes care of OC's transportation needs, and therefore they can go on spending the general fund dough elsewhere.

Jeff Flint

My point, Keith, is I don't see how someone who is a conservative can say they liked M1, and don't like M2. I can see the conservative case for being opposed to both, and I can see the conservative case for being against M1 and for M2.

Lurk said that M2 builds only 36 lane-miles of freeways, which is wrong (it's 134), and that it has too many car pool lanes compared to M1.

Other opponents have said that it has too much transit, will allow for Centerline, has a bunch of flyovers, etc etc.

Those are all just plain wrong.

I do give your opposition more credit, and I have no reason to suck up about it. You have said (essentially) you would rather the sales tax rate go down by 0.5% and trust state and federal politicians to fund infrastructure improvements in the county. I may disagree, but I can understand your position.

larry gilbert

Good evening Jeff.
I was thinking about you as I stood on a major Mision Viejo intersection, in front of our city hall, holding our vote NO on Measure M sign. Passengers and drivers in the passing cars were very supportive.

We will see if the public buys your massive full court press within 24 hours.
Isn't it interesting that the $100,000 donation from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians arrived too late to appear as a major sponsor on your mailers?
How about the four major developers who kicked in $98,000 to $99,800 to be under the radar screen of full disclosure. The Irvine Co., RMV Entitlement, Heritage Fields-El Toro LLC, and Lenar Platinum Triangle LLC. Couldn't they kick in the additional $200 to $2,000? Are they ashamed of their names appearing on the numerous mailings? Normally it would be good P.R. Not really. Not to those of us who follow the money, which to date exceeds $1.5 million dolars.

All perfectly legal. But whose the real benefactor of Measure M passage? And does Flint Shubert get a bonus if you prevail?
See you at the Hyatt tomorrow.

Keith Carlson


If you think I said (ever in my life) I "trust state and federal politicians to...[fill in the blank, in this case] fund infrastructure improvements" then you don't understand my position.

I don't. And that's not the point.

They don't give us a fair shake. This encourages their behavior. Without M2 will they behave well? I doubt it. With M2 are we sure they won't? Yes.

Separately, on the sytle front:

No all-cap facts, but a nice use of a tiny-weeny figure "0.5%" tax reduction to divert from the less tiny-weeny actual amount. Very clever. If you translated 0.5% into actual dollars over the life of M2, what would it be? (I don't know, but my hunch is that it would strike readers as slightly more significant than a 0.5% tax seems on its face.)

Style point 2, "essentially"--paraphrase to the ridiculous. Nice touch. Let me try to rehash your point: (Essentially) you are saying we need to force upon people a massive socialized transportation system, that clearly does not work in a county like ours, because people are too silly to voluntarily give up the use of their cars--and .5% of whatever they buy--for the common good. I understand your position, but don't really agree...

How'd I do with the use of "essentially"? It's kinda fun once you get the hang of it!

Jeff Flint


Take a look at the OC Punch blog on the Register website, where I already responded to this. Your statement of the law is just not right. There is not magic reporting threashold at $100,000 that requires extra disclosure.

The law requires the top to donors of greater than $50,000 to appear on on campaign advertisements. Our top two donors are the Auto Club of Southern California (just over $200,000) and the Orange County Business Council ($175,000 or so).

The law further states that if the top two donors change, you have to change on all new printed materials and change electronic ads within 5 days.

The Agua Caliente contribution in size or timing has nothing to do with disclosure rules. Same with all those others. They would have to give more than the OCBC to have to appear on the mailings.

But since we are asking about campaign finance disclosure rules, you bragged about a poll that showed Measure M being below 67%. You are quite proud of your signs. And you promoted a paid position for No on M on a slate over on Art's blog.

Did all those cost under $1,000?



As a bus rider, I'll just come out and say that I would like to see OCTA try a roads-only measure next time around. No carpool lanes, no money for buses, no money for rail. Just roads. It will get organized opposition from the Democratic party, the environmental lobby, the aforementioned soccer moms, and lots of other people, and will probably go down in flames much faster than this version of M. But at least this time, the DHS crowd and the Larry Gilberts of the world can win or fail on their vision of pave-OC fair and square.

Jeff Flint

Well, Keith, the tax rate is the tax rate, after all.

Just for fun, cause I have nothing left to do on all my campaigns, what exactly is a "socialized transportation system?"

Keith Carlson

Give me a total amount, in dollars not percentages and I'll tell you about socialized transportation...

Jeff Flint

Measure M? It generates $11.9 billion over 30 years. That's been in just about every piece of mail we've done on the campaign.


I'd like to chime in on a few things.

Jeff, this is an old point, but M1 didn't "explicitly" contemplate a county-wide light rail system. M1 talked about "commuter rail" -- I don't believe the words light rail appeared anywhere in M1.

Larry, so what if developers are giving a lot of money to the pro-M campaign? I mean really: so what? Should we vote against an initiative simply because developers are donating to it? last I checked, conservatives considered developers to be good guys, because they build useful things like homes, commercial/industrial complexes, and such.

There seems to be this weird trend among certain elements of the OC conservative activist scene to be anti-developer. For example, I'm told elements of the Principles Over Politics crowd is supporting Greenlight II because it would hurt developers, who apparently support politicians these POP people don't like. So, using enemy of my enemy is my friend logic, these so-called conservatives are a supporting a Soviet-esque assault on property rights.

And Larry, exactly what is the point in razzing Jeff about -- horrors! -- making money running the Measure M campaign? Last I checked, Jeff is running a business, and running campaigns like Measure M is part of that business. And if he and the rest of the Measure M campaign team manage a campaign that garners two-thrids approval, they deserve a bonus.

Allan Bartlett


What do you think of the county Sample Ballot that went out? Over half of it was propaganda for Measure M and hardly any space for a rebuttal save for the standard page of boilerplate of who's against it. How did this come to be and what would you think if over half the Sample Ballot was devoted to arguments against Measure M?

Powder Blue Report


I think the main problem the few critics of Measure M have is not necessarily with the measure itself. Instead, their problem has to do with their own perspective on getting anything done in government. There are a handful of critics and opponents, but no major organizations are against Measure M.

Two individuals who are staunchly opposed to M are Mr. Gilbert, and Greenhut from the OCR. Let me just say that I respect both these men's efforts to make Orange County a better place. However, I think they are too out of touch w/ the realities of our county. Both men do a wonderful, extraordinary job at criticizing policies. However, both men have actually worked on developing and formulating policies for a very little period of time. The bottom line is that they are too out of touch w/ what it takes to actually develop, pass and implement good public policy for OC's transportation needs. To them, if it's not perfect, it's unacceptable. But the reality is that a perfect Measure M will never exist. The current M renewal package is as good as it will get. Unfortunately, those sitting on the sidelines watching the policy makers make the policy have no idea how difficult the process is, and can only criticize.


Jeff Flint Said: I would much rather have an opponent who claims they opposed M 16 years ago and still oppose it. At least that's intellectually honest.

Me. I was against measure M 16 years ago, and I am against it now.

Keep in mind Jeff is advocating for his clients, he may or may not actually believe what he is saying. Like when he was advocating taking money from the OC sheriff and giving it to the OC fire authority. Geez. That was just ridiculous.

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