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November 12, 2007


One Who Knows

We should probably thank Chuck DeVore for Senator Harmon's change of heart on the 241 toll road. It is amazing what the fear of a potential primary challenge can do to one's previously held beliefs.

Is there anything else we need from the good Senator?

Now would be the right time to ask.

"Kudos to Sen. Harman for joining the side of the angels on this issue"

Jubal you have got to be kidding right? You arent serious about his quote are you? Seriously?


It's called a figure of speech. I don't mean the 241 completion is literally supported by angels.

Or at least, I didn't see "Heavenly Hosts" on the list of 241 supporters.

I knew it was a figure of speech. My point was to point out the "Jumping of the Shark" of it use. In this case the jump was accompanied by a double-Triple Lindy while doing the Moonwalk.

Another Issue Off the Table

Well the Devore poll showed this was a pretty big issue in the southern part of the district. Off the table.

Allan Bartlett

However Sen Harman came to his decision, it was the right one. South County and the entire county for that matter needs more capacity on our roads. This will certainly help when the 241 is completed.

What this shows is that Harman has no backbone. And he can be easily swayed by attacks from the far right. Exactly the same tactic that drove the GOP to the far right by the karl Rove spin machine and which has now backfired on the GOP and has turned even a majority of Republicans against their own party.

Harman won the Senate seat because he is a moderate Rep in a moderate Rep district. If Chuck Devore wants to take him on then Devoe will bite off mre than he can chew. The only reason Devore is in office is because a moderate Rep didnt challenge him in the primary.

People are sick of the type of slash and burn hard liners like the Devire ilk.

Allan Bartlett

The only reason Devore is in office is because a moderate Rep didnt challenge him in the primary

Christy Christich was a leader in Republicans for Bill Clinton. She was the classic "moderate/liberal Republican and she got beat by twenty points. She also outspent Chuck by two to one and he still whipped her.

Not a Party Hack

This is an important endorsement for the 241 extension plan. Unlike, other OC Republicans (Chuck DeVore) Harman doesn’t just do what the party tells him. He endorses projects or people based on their merits. I am sure Harman took his time to investigate this project before backing it. Thus, his endorsement has more value for the project.


The senator has opposed this freeway for years, but has "never actually toured the area" until now? Seriously? And he would admit such a thing in public? Seriously?

Dana Point Dan

Harman waved the bloody shirt of the 241 in his razor thin win over Harkey last year. He argued it would be like building a freeway in Yosemite, splitting a state park in half.

Last year's special election was an open primary so liberal environmentalists could vote for Harman in large numbers. Harman's opposition to the 241 was a signal to the enviros that Harman was one of them.

Harman does not need the environmentalists anymore as his next election is the closed Republican primary in June 2008.

Well, we now know, as if we needed any proof, that Harman isn't a brave, consistent, principled politician.

I hope the environmentalists who elected Harman last year feel good about the senator's betrayal of them.


I've got all the mail from the Senate race Harman v. Harkey sitting right in front of me. I don see ANYTHING about 241, although I see quite a bit on taxes and illegal immigration.

Just look at the mail and it's clear that Harman ran as a conservative.

Actually... you didn't look very hard

You must be a Republican, "Actually." Why would Harman mail a stand on a position unpopular with Republicans when the whole idea of opposing the 241 was to appeal to Democrats in the open primary election last April 2006?

The following is from an interview Harman did with the O.C. Weekly on the 241. In it, you will see that Harman insults the leaders of the Transportation Corridor Agency as he says, "To say, 'We're going to take this park and ruin it' - that's not right. Running this toll road through the center of the park would in fact destroy it."

Amazing how a little concern for one's political welfare (a possible primary challenge from a conservative) can cause a change in opinion.

From the OC Weekly:

35th Senate Race - A Road to Nowhere?
Posted by Alex Brant-Zawadzki in Main
April 6, 2006 4:04 PM
Permalink | Comments (9)
Diane Harkey and Tom Harman are both running for the 35th District Senate seat. Harkey is the Republican's Republican, toeing the party line in her Dana Pointed way, while Harman has the misfortune of being a from-all-appearances honest politician in Huntington Beach (unlikely enough) as well as a fairly weak environmental voting record, versus the Republican-preferred nonexistent environmental voting record. Power to the people, as long as those people drive bulldozers...

Still, it's not up to me to tell you for whom to vote. It's up to you to listen to what I tell you. And since my major concern is the Transportation Corridor Agencies' plan to extend their 241 toll road through San Onofre State Beach, I'm going to tell you what each of these Republicans think about the Foothill-South (241) toll road, based on what they both graciously took the time to tell me today.

(candidates in alphabetical order)

DIANE HARKEY - "Right now we have a road to nowhere."

Supports The 241 Extension: "We need this road. It's not a matter of putting it in so we can build more; we can't get around now."

Doesn't Think the State Will Buy Out the Toll Roads: "North County doesn't think it's necessary; South County thinks they [the toll roads] would be too crowded. It's a shame because I think it sounded like a great idea."

Understands Indirect Benefits of Roadbuilding: "Our property values went up enormously once we had the toll roads. We were finally connected. The tolls are just an extra tax of living in South County."

Can Perceive Alternate Realities: "Imagine North OC without the 405--that's what it's like down here."

TOM HARMAN - "This is one of the five most heavily-used state parks in the system."

Opposed To The Road As It's Proposed: "I think there's a need for the 241 toll road extension; I just don't think it's right to route it through San Onofre State Beach."

Believes Other Options Exist: "My sense of it is, the toll road authorities got together and said, 'This'll be an easy way to do it, through the state park.' I don't think they've given serious consideration to other alternatives."

Likes Children: "When we dedicate a state park, it's with the understanding it'll be there for many generations to come. It's for our children - our grandchildren."

Understands Effects Of Highways On Nature: "To say, 'We're going to take this park and ruin it' - that's not right. Running this toll road through the center of the park would in fact destroy it."

Actually... you didn't look very hard

And then there are these choice comments from Harman comparing the muddy vegetable patch a few yards east of the I-5 to Yosemite (commentary from the FlashReport as first reported on this blog):

Tom Harman Opposes 241 At New Majority Candidate Forum

OC Blog reports that 35th Senate District special election contenders were hosted by The New Majority at a candidate forum last night -- no doubt part of the TNM's endorsement decisionn-making process.

According to Harkey campaign manager Scott Hart:

There was one moment that I think clearly illustrates the real Tom Harman.

Both candidates were asked their position on the 241 toll Road extension. Diane answered that she was absolutely in favor of the extension. She sits on the TCA, the extension has been planned for over 20 years and the issues have been studied to death.

Harman answered that he was opposed to building a freeway through a state park. Then he made the following statement "It would be like building a freeway through Yosemite (National Park)." He made this statement only 2 minutes after he told the audience that he was the experienced conservative candidate to vote for.

I think that Tom Harman showed his real stripes last night.

Joel Bishop

Hooray for Senator Harmon. Let's get the 241 completed. It is essential to South County for transportation and security! Thank you Senator!

Joel Bishop has a contract with the Toll Road agency

Isn't it a little over-the-top for someone who has a contract with the toll road agency, like Dana Point Councilman and former Democrat Central Committee member Joel Bishop, whose company is involved with the technology used to collect tolls, to comment on this blog and cheer Senator Harmon's decision, when they stand to make personal money on it? Isn't that more than a little self-serving?

DP Resident

Actually, what cost Harkey the election was her COLLAPSE of support in Dana Point. The difference in votes Diane received when she ran for the City Council vs those in the Senate Race would have put her over the top. Those who knew Diane best failed to turn out and support her. Why? Because they got to KNOW Diane. Many of those who supported Diane in the first election, are now supporting her Recall.

To get back on topic, the sooner the 241 is built, the better!


Sorry guys... AGAIN... you talk and talk about Harman making this road the centerpiece of his campaign. I have the mail. I dont see it. Please provide it or shut it. An interview or position is HARDLY the centerpiece of his campaign.

Actually, why dont one of you post any of the mail Harman sent to Democrats in the last election...


I am looking forward to having the toll road completed. This was a courageous move by Senator Harmon.

Orange County Resident

Thank you Senator Harman for supporting the completion of the 241 Toll Road. We sit in gridlock on the I-5 freeway much of the time and need this additional route of travel. The completion of the 241 Toll Road is also important for public safety reasons and could have provided another evacuation route during the recent wildfires. Keep up the good work and we support you in your re-election!

Toll Road Supporter

Look at the facts- the 241 toll road does not go through a state park or Trestles Beach. I checked out the facts and the alignment is outside the park and connects at the end with the I-5 freeway. The park land and beach are not adversely affected in any way.

Senator Harman realized that after looking at the facts and taking the helicopter tour, he could see for himself that the 241 toll road needs to be finished and that the environment is protected through extensive mitigation measures. Also, the toll roads are paid by the toll users now and will become free to the public when the bonds are paid off.

I travel the toll road daily and it saves me time and I am not sitting in traffic on the freeway which would further add to the air pollution.

Senator Harman your efforts and commitment are much appreciated! Thank you.

Martha M.

Yes, I agree that the completion of the 241 toll road is essential for greater mobility in Orange County and it is wonderful to have Senator Harman's support to get this road finished. It took Senator Harman some time to come out and support the toll road completion but he wanted to thoroughly review the facts from fiction and in the end made the right decision. Thank you from your supporters in the "Southern" part of your Senate District and we also support you in your re-election.

Briana Madden - Orange County Coastkeeper

Reading this blog led me to a quote from Jubal's earlier blog, "Flying Over The 241 Completion Route-Part 2":

"It's another road through countryside that looks like every other part of Orange County. It's nice, but let's face it -- it ain't Yosemite."

Correction: It's another road through countryside like every other part of Orange County USED TO LOOK LIKE before we paved through most of it.

And you're right, San Onofre "ain't like Yosemite." Orange County actually has a completely different set of habitats that are adapted to the dry, coastal climate in Southern California. But you don't put a toll road through Yosemite because it "ain't Yellowstone."



But I prefer to take a rational approach to the matter, rather than approaching it with the quasi-superstitious mentality with which you enviros approach things.

And you should get around more -- there is still lots of Orange County that looks like San Onofre.

Tell you what -- why don't we pass a law saying no one else can move to California and not a single additional house can be built nor car sold? Then we'll put a wall around the state to keep everyone out. Then we won't have to make a single, solitary additional alteration to the surface of the Earth.

Briana Madden - Orange County Coastkeeper

Another gem of a quote from Jubal's earlier blog, Flying Over The 241 Completion Route-Part 2:

"When the road is completed, people will continue to enjoy San Onofre State Beach as they have for decades."

Bisecting 4 miles of the Park, this proposed route just might affect the "enjoyment of San Onofre State Beach," not to mention the wildlife living in the impact zone. Check out the map linked below, with areas of impact identified in TCA's own Environmental Impact Report (Please note the yellow line, which marks the boundaries of San Onofre State Beach):


In the current blog (Sen. Harman Embraces Toll Road Completion), Jubal states that TCA's helicopter tour "made it clear to him"(Harman) that the proposed route "joined with the I-5 some distance from the beach and wouldn't impact the water and wave action." Jubal and Senator Harman might want to look up the definition of a watershed to better understand that impacts to a nearby beach are determined by more than just distance. In the Santa Ana River Watershed, for example, water carried from Riverside and San Bernadino Counties discharges at Huntington State Beach.

The following links could provide Harman and "Jubal" with more information about the proposed 241 route's potential impacts to San Onofre State Beach than a helicopter ride:

-TCA's Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report

-Coastal Commision Staff Report

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