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Congestion Pricing

San Gabriel Members of Congress Still Clamoring for Gold Line Extension

8_29_08_gold_line_jeremy_.jpg

Earlier this week, members of the San Gabriel Valley Congressional Caucus reignited their push to get funding for a Gold Line extension to east San Gabriel and the Inland Valley. 

First, Congressmembers David Dreier, Grace Napolitano, Adam Schiff and Hilda Solis, the same people who successfully steered over $100 million of federal funds to improve transportation alternatives away from the I-210 corridor, released a video discussing all of the great things that a Gold Line Extension would bring.  The video got scant coverage in the mainstream press but the Times' Steve Hymon blasted the video's style and substance:

They titled it -- seriously -- a "Special Congressional Report."...

...The show features the four of them sitting around in a circle beingasked questions by a moderator named Jo Maney. Here is her firsthardball question, addressed to Dreier:

"Can you tell us a little bit about the Gold Line Foothill Extensionand how it will help reduce traffic congestion and save energy?"

Maney then goes on to forget to tell viewers a crucial detail: shehappens to work for the guy she's interviewing. Maney is Dreier's presssecretary.

As for the rest of the 25-minute video, there's nothingearth-shaking. All four members of Congress reiterate their support forthe project. Dreier, in a meeting with the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's editorial board,also urges readers to plead with the MTA board to provide seed money infunding so the project can seek federal funding from Congress.

I watched the video.  At no point do the Congresspeople encourage people to vote for Metro's sales tax, a tax who's passage would dramatically increase the chances the project would be funded.  Given that this same group helped steer federal funds that would have been spent to improve transit options along the I-210 corridor because they were scared of congestion pricing, you have to wonder where they expect the money for the Gold Line Extension to come from.  In short, they oppose all plans to raise funds for Metro, but want more money spent in their region.

One of the most powerful lobbies in America, is the un-official "Something for Nothing crowd."  I can think of some Members of Congress they have in their back pockets.

Photo: Jeremy!/Flickr

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