Kochs Want to Kill Light Rail in Phoenix

Photo:  Nick Bastion/Flickr
Photo: Nick Bastion/Flickr

The Koch Brothers’ nationwide campaign against transit has a new target: Phoenix.

A $31.5-billion transit levy approved by a 10-point margin just three years ago is now under threat thanks to an anti-light rail group that portrays itself as grassroots. But records show it is being backed by — wait for it! — Koch-funded organizations and a wealthy developer.

The new group Building a Better Phoenix has launched a campaign to gather 20,000 signatures for a voter referendum to overturn the city’s light rail plans. The organization listed Mel Martin — a Phoenix business- and land-owner — as the chairperson [PDF]. Just a few weeks later, however, the organization changed the chairperson to Jadon Contreras, whose occupation is listed as student [PDF]. The address he provided is 4108 Central Ave., which is the business address of Tony’s Window Tinting. Contreras appears to be a relative of Celia Contreras, the owner of the business, who has been leading the charge to halt light rail expansion. He could not be reached.

The group hasn’t filed any financial disclosures yet — but it is receiving financial support from the Arizona Free Enterprise Institute, which is a “Koch-connected dark-money group,” the Arizona Republic reported. The organization paid for the domain name for Building a Better Phoenix’s website, which is clear from the domain registration [PDF].

Byron Waldrep, who is now listed as the treasurer for the month-old organization, told Streetsblog that, Martin, a multi-millionaire developer, enlisted South Central business owners for chairman and treasurer because “he couldn’t go further” with his proposition to kill light rail “without us.”

It’s clear why Martin would want locals fronting his organization. When the light rail funding measure passed soundly, it had even wider support in South Central, the center of the controversy, where voters gave it a 70-percent landslide.

Waldrep said he didn’t know anything about the Charles and David Koch or the Arizona Free Enterprise Institute. But he could not explain why or how the group had paid for the organization’s website.

It’s not the first time the Koch Brothers’ shadowy political network has played an outsized role in a local anti-transit effort. The New York Times highlighted the siblings’ successful campaigns to defeat light rail plans in Nashville and other cities. The billionaire industrialists made their fortune in oil and gas and have, since then, supported far-right political causes and have opposing local transit projects. In Arizona, their statewide action group is called Americans for Prosperity.

“They don’t want to be the face of this. They want to pretend this is a community group,” said Lisa Fernandez of the pro-transit Build South Central Coalition. “If they succeed, this could be the playbook that they use to kill light rail for cities that have approved it.”

On Wednesday, Phoenix City Council will vote on whether to proceed with the South Central light rail project as planned. Changing the design to accommodate Four Lanes or No Train’s concerns would be a death sentence for the $1-billion project, which is facing a November deadline to finish the design phase and move into engineering. The Trump administration — which is already holding up many transit projects around the country, as Streetsblog reported — may be looking for an excuse to withhold its $600-million share of the project, recently instructing Valley Metro to not submit paperwork until the City Council had voted again on the matter.

The Council may give Martin the delay he wants. Pro-transit forces suffered a blow when Mayor Greg Stanton, a key light rail backer, resigned in May to run for Congress.

The first line — and two extensions — of Phoenix’s light rail investment have been a success any way you look at them. Daily ridership is relatively strong and the investment in the initial line has spurred hundreds of new housing units in walkable, transit-oriented locations. South Central light rail was to expand it into an underserved area and help connect residents with more economic opportunities.

74 thoughts on Kochs Want to Kill Light Rail in Phoenix

  1. Why would they even do this? There are so many positive causes for which they could advocate. Why are they so sad and miserable?

  2. Well, well, well, Schmitt your “tone” and the “discretion” given this group, the way you insert the Koch Brothers into Arizona politics, as sinister. Let’s take a look at another billionaire interloper, shall we? Tom Steyer from California has managed to use the initiative process to put a proposition on the ballot to force a RPS of 50% for alternative energy by 2030. You “talk” of a Koch Brothers campaign, but with Steyer his NextGen group is actually using the voting public to shove HIS group’s agenda past the Legislature, the ACC by using the initiative as leverage. Is the “Building a better Phoenix” (more) surreptitious than prop. 127? Perhaps the WRONG questions have been asked? Perhaps the question is why do these billionaires think that Arizona NEEDs their input for any problems Arizona may have now and in the future? There have been Pontius Pilots, “mining” for their 30 pieces of silver for millennia. The question is Arizona and the citizenry able to process the outside agenda and apply it to their lives, their future, their legacy?

  3. You’d be the one Alex. Take a good look at what other cities in the nation have done when the same “battle” for public transportation has been “offered” as the de-facto people mover in any community. You might find some examples of functioning, money making enterprises providing transportation for the public good. In other instances, you may find an eternally taxpayer subsidized transportation system, that takes tax monies away from one’s more “critical” public needs. Recently we have witnessed the teachers walk ins and walk outs to prove the point of underfunded education in the State. Education is a State wide problem, light rail is a “local” issue in this case. IF you’re going to be taxed for bonds and interest to construct this project, where would YOU rather your tax money go?

  4. Is it possible to have a well-educated citizenry and a mobile one that doesn’t have to sit in traffic? It’s anybody’s guess in Trump’s America.

  5. /sigh… Isn’t more a matter of which team you’re on? Are you a Giants fan or are you a Jets fan.

    His last sentence is the operative one.

  6. Their = Belonging to them
    There = A location or direction away from here
    They’re = Contraction for ‘they are’

  7. We as americans have to see through the Kochs and there bogus groups. Dont sign the bs petitions, You cant relize the politicans power they have in there pockets. The Kochs want to destroy our democracy. Right now the GOP is trying to install the supreme court judge that will slowly start to take our rights away. This is how the nazis took power. The GOP is following it to the letter.

  8. It has a lot less to do with Trump or the Koch brothers, than you give them credit for. MY point, is why do these (groups) feel that in this case Arizona need their input for local State issues? How is it the State AG and even the DOJ allow the misuse of a VERY powerful process like the initiative for political gain, bargaining. Is this the next evolution of controlling interests? You can spend millions of dollars on lobbyist firms or you can just “hire” some “locals” in a target State to sign up valid voters for an initiative on the next ballot cycle? Steyer did this same initiative in Michigan, the RPS of 50% by 2030. One of the major utilities in the state caved and “cut” a deal with Steyers NextGen. Utility DTE made a deal to “reach” an RPS of 35% by 2030. Steyers pulled the initiative off of the ballot, the people that “believed” in the initiative were disrespected by NOT being able to vote on the RPS they signed up for.

  9. Let’s see if I’ve got this right. YOU have “worked” for the Koch’s and know they are heartless and greedy. What was your compensation while working for them? Yet what I have said is “spoken” like a Koch loyalist? Young blood, you don’t know what you are talking about, find an interpreter and get back to US with the real meaning. Stephanie, could you help us out here?

  10. 1) They don’t believe in taxes

    2) They don’t believe in taxes being spent on public services

    3) They don’t believe in taxes being spent on public services that benefit the public

    You can find them also involved in fighting against public education and promoting charter schools, and trying to privatise the VA

    4) Public transit would compete with their OIL interests

  11. Public Transit works everywhere on Earth it is properly designed and laid out. Why is America uniquely incapable of doing this and creates a clusterfuck of an unusable mess? Why is it left to local counties to make a hodge podge of little isolated unconnected bits and pieces of different systems? Is there something unique about America, or is it bureaucratic/business vindictiveness?

    Public transit is a state wide issue not simply a local matter, why is it left to local counties and not state wide planning?

    What you should be doing is come up with a comprehensive transit system of regional and inter-urban rail, commuter rail, and lightrail/streetcars. You can catch the commuter from the suburbs to the city, ride around the city on the lightrail, and catch a regional or inter-urban train out into other towns. Maybe in time as density increases a metro might even be added to the commuter.

  12. What a moronic statement. Government isn’t there to make a profit. It’s designed to provide society certain goods and services to benefit the citizenry. Same way you have cops that protect your house and belongings, firefighters that save your house and business from destruction, same way you have roads that allow you to go from your house to church to work, etc.

  13. IF you weren’t such a knee jerk fool yourself, you could have bothered to read and comprehend that all of this is “tax” money, YOUR tax money MY tax money. So, now in YOUR communist world, WE don’t have a say as to how we are taxed and where it is to be used? Wow, you want moronic, look in the mirror. LOL

  14. Yeah, don’t see the magic of such “projects”. IF having a “city” that is multi-story buildings becoming the “living culture” of stacked human cubicles to live and work in, that’s fine for YOU, not for me. It’s not a STATE issue, it’s a density issue, if it works for you then pay the taxes that will be levied to pay for the bonds and interest or loans and interest to build your “people movers”. IF when built it doesn’t “meet” expectations, then it’s back to driving to work, and you still get to pay the taxes. So, why should it be left to local counties and not State wide planning? Really you want to tax those little towns and cities throughout the State so YOU can pay less taxes on YOUR local public transportation? Really, REALLY? Representative Republic, NOT Communism.

  15. YOUR lack of anything but a staccato tweet without understanding as to why the quotations would be used is disturbing. When you’re not trolling and off topic, do you wear that pot on your head there general? If you’re the best interpreter there is for Schaefer, then there is no hope for clarity. LOL

  16. Yeah, I get it, the rich have the means to “nudge” public policy at many levels. If you buy it, they “win” if not you “win”. In this case it seems to be a moot point. Since the city council voted to go ahead with this particular project. Now bonds will be sold and the citizenry will be taxed to pay for the floating of the bonds and interest to pay them off. IF this turns out to be another “bridge to nowhere”, you still get to pay for the bonds and interest. Good luck. MY point from the beginning, is WHERE do you want your tax monies to go? Education? Healthcare? Transportation? Infrastructure? Once you’re there, how much taxation are YOU willing to take? There’s more to society than (Lamont Cranston or SC or nrojb or even solarman). It’s NOT about what YOU want, it’s about what the majority of taxpayers who fund this “transportation” want. This is why it is good to always find out about the particular groups who promote or oppose the project. Follow the money and you will find one corporation or another funding the fight.

    The example in Arizona, proposition 127. Interloper billionaire Tom Steyers is doing the same thing the Koch brothers are doing. Throwing monies around at campaigns to change societal norms to their belief systems. Steyers says an RPS of 50% by 2030 in Arizona will bring power prices down by the use of alternative energy. APS one of the largest utilities in the State says that RPS will cost $1,000 a year more for ratepayers in Arizona. To many in Arizona $83 a month on every electric bill will be onerous. Back to the original point, how many and how much taxation are YOU willing to take? You can take the California standard of creating a bureaucracy to collect and monitor some “new” program or infrastructure. When you personally are not using the particular program or infrastructure, the taxation becomes a burden on YOUR lifestyle, your family.

  17. “Unnecessary” in “your” mind, “Monk MCFunk”? “Aside” from your “off topic”, “asinine trolling”, anything about the actual story? Yeah, didn’t “figure” you would or “could”. LOL

  18. Solarman (ah-ah-ah)
    Fighter of the Sanemen (ah-ah-ah)

    Enemy of the Fun (ah-ah-ah)
    Not a Master of Quotations
    And friendship
    For No one.

  19. THE solution to killing light rail transit in America outright, will be to make even advocating the building of it a Federal Crime Against Society, punishable by time served in a Federal Penitentiary, by anyone whe even so much as DARES to MENTION this mode of transportation. Next is to Amend the United States Constitution to strictly forbid the construction of Light Rain in any form.

  20. As was stated previously, it is a local issue and has been handled as such. A day or two ago the city council voted to proceed with the project, so the “paid” influence was pronounced null and void when the council made their vote. The next Arizona “battle” comes November with the vote on Proposition 127. The proposition was placed on the ballot “supposedly” by valid voters, but was backed by monies from out of State by Tom Steyers group. Bottom line will the voting public accept Tom’s terms, or do you want to address solar PV and wind generation with the Legislators you vote for, the ACC which you will have a chance to vote for and the two largest electric utilities yourselves, APS and SRP?

  21. Wow, too much bud and not enough brain cells left for comment. Now you can toke up and take the train to nowhere, good for you.

  22. Place the “pot” on your head general. If nothing else, it will protect your noggin while staggering about and slamming into walls. LOL

  23. They do believe in taxes spent on public services. Like highways.
    It’s only services that don’t require large amounts of petroleum that they hate.

  24. You’re right. It’s a density issue. It costs money to pay for the infrastructure that supports you. Roads, sewers, water mains, electric lines. Somebody has to pay for it and it all comes out of your taxes.
    In the “multi-story buildings becoming the “living culture” of stacked human cubicles” of the inner cities, each taxpayer is supported by a few yards of infrastructure for each system they use; water, sewer, roadways; and their taxes pay for all of it. Many of them are living in poverty, but they pay the same taxes, just the same.
    In your happy wide open suburban paradise, you have a hundred feet of infrastructure or more for each taxpayer, and it all has to be maintained and eventually replaced out of the taxes you pay. But your taxes only pay for half or less of what your infrastructure will cost in maintenance and replacement over its life cycle. For the city to remain solvent, they have to subsidize the well-to-do in the suburbs on the backs of the low income workers of the inner city.
    I know of no one suggesting that your property taxes be doubled to pay what your infrastructure costs, but to subsidize you we have to maintain a high enough density in the urban core to generate the surplus needed to cover your losses. That means we need a system that carries a lot of people but requires very little room to keep the workers moving where they need to be to pay for supporting your McMansion. Rail moves the most people on the narrowest right-of-way.
    You may not like rail but if you want to keep bleeding the cities to support your lifestyle, simple economics means that you, personally, need them to have rail transit.

  25. Wow, what an asinine assignation of MY lifestyle. McMansion, REALLY. NO, YOU use and say you need the “light rail system”, YOU pay for it. The likely hood I will EVER use the rail or even the bus system is practically nil. IN YOUR COMMIE WORLD, every citizen “needs” to support YOUR commuter system, no matter how far away and how small a town one lives in. The entitlement of those who posses your ilk, is disrespectfully disturbing. I’m now glad to see Arizona is a carry State. So, Claude or a compacted chunk of dirt, Clod, YOU want commuter service in your area, YOU pay for it and leave me out of your entitled commie taxation equation.

  26. Ha ha, “Clod.” Gosh, I haven’t heard that one since third grade. You’re really strutting your intellectual firepower now!
    Speaking of “firepower’, what’s the significance of AZ being a carry state? Are you planning on going on a rampage and gunning down anyone who disagrees with you, or are you terrified that the UN New World Order military will swoop in with their black helicopters and force you to ride a (gasp) train? Fear not. No one is trying to force you to ride the evil trains. It will be a free choice, such as you are fighting to keep others from having.
    But you still haven’t addressed the fiscal problem. In 2007 the Federal Highway Administration reported that all dedicated revenues only covered 52% of the cost of the highways. The population in upper-class suburbia doesn’t generate enough revenue to cover even half the cost of their infrastructure during its service life. Somebody has to subsidize your lifestyle somehow, and it has to come from the high density and highly productive urban areas that generate the surplus to cover your subsidies.
    And no, the Social Darwinist battle cry of, “I got mine (and some of yours) so everyone else can curl up and die!” isn’t going to keep your lights on or your roads passable. If you want the money flowing from the cities to keep your water pipes fixed, you have to give something back to keep the cities fiscally sound.
    The economic benefits of a robust and efficient transportation system are well documented, and the county and state reap huge rewards from the systems in Tucson and Phoenix. And if they want to keep getting the golden eggs, they need to send a bit of that money back to feed the goose.
    For an actual conservative view of transit, rather than the extreme libertarian rant you hear these days, I recommend arch-conservative Paul Weyrich’s writings. Here’s his study of the relationship between conservatism and mass transit.
    https://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/conservatives_and_mass_transit.pdf

  27. Yeah, it’s called responsibility, look that one up on Wikipedia. You’re so screwed up, you can’t fathom the difference between responsibility the personal action, and enabling, the communist expectation that EVERYONE needs to pay for YOUR community transportation.Blah, blah, blah… Social Darwinism…. keep your power on….keep your pipes fixed….roads passable….blah, blah, blah. Solar PV with energy storage is a “responsible” thing to do. Four wheel drive works wonders on bad, uneven or so called “unpassable” roads. IF you can’t perform a plumbing repair, you’re worthless skin meandering through your so called “life”. Since this Federal Highway Administration Report has YOU concerned, take YOUR extra money and send it to the Federal Government to help alleviate this “problem”. UN, black helicopters, the ADHD is taking over, take your meds BEFORE you post next time Clod. As for the American Public Transit Association paper, it says NOTHING that I have not said previously. MY point is there is no legitimate reason for ALL people to pay taxes for a Metropolitan community transportation system, they do not use. YOU are the one who pundits the need, YOU pay for it. That comes under the umbrella of responsibility not “…the golden eggs…” B.S.. Tucson and Phoenix are just a portion of the State of Arizona. There are plenty of small towns in Arizona that have their own need for tax monies for infrastructure repair and replacement. Does Tucson and Phoenix collect taxes for these entities, in different counties within the Arizona boundaries?

  28. “Does Tucson and Phoenix collect taxes for these entities, in different counties within the Arizona boundaries?”
    Why yes, yes they do. A huge amount of property taxes generated in those metro areas go to the state where they get divvied up and sent to the smaller communities for water, sewer and roads. Some of it even goes back to Phoenix and Tucson where they fill potholes, repair city water mains and extend the light rail.
    They aren’t as self reliant as you are, and the average citizen there can’t go out to the street, repair a 6″ water main and fill in a ten foot sinkhole without commie government nanny staters sending trucks out to make repairs.
    Would it be fair to ask if you allow for any infrastructure spending, or do you prefer to go back to the glory days when we packed everything in on mule?
    By the way, “Commie” doesn’t actually mean what you think it means. It doesn’t mean, “Lives in a society with other people and accepts reciprocal obligations to maintain a functioning free market economy.”
    But if you want an economy, you still need transportation infrastructure. The ability to move goods and services is vital to an economy. Even if you hate the idea.

  29. There ya go, show the link that divides out these Metropolitan taxes that go to other counties. Most of the infrastructure I have come across in small towns is local bonds or left to the developers and then passed onto the property buyers and HOAs. Really,”…reciprocal obligations..” just sounds like two hookers putting on a show at the local strip club. Poor understanding and entitlement on YOUR part doesn’t make a mandate to pay for your community transportation. Now in Commiefornia, that high speed rail from L.A. to San Francisco is being supported by 4 cents of the 12 cents forced onto the public in increased gasoline taxes. A $10 billion dollar waste of public funds, with a “predicted” final cost of $77 billion. So, used by few, paid for by all, what a pile of crap and a failure to Govern in the name of the people.

  30. First, the cities don’t collect property taxes; the counties do. So every government entity in Pima County gets a cut of what happens in Tucson. Arizona also collects income taxes, a 5.6% sales tax and a personal property tax, so the state gets their cut of the economic activity in the cities.
    https://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/state-taxes-arizona.aspx
    I’m having trouble finding a rundown of grants to the cities, but the state does spend 27% of revenues on education (schools in your town) and 4.2% on transportation. That would be the roads leading in and out of your town, in case you’re interested.
    https://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_state_budget_and_finances#Spending
    So in the absence of exact numbers I’ll let you have that point. Well done!
    The developer normally builds the initial infrastructure, but the developer only builds it, he doesn’t maintain or repair it. And the revenues to the city from suburban property only averages about half the cost of the infrastructure. If the county has a productive high density urban core to subsidize their suburbs and small towns they can pay for your roads on the backs of the working poor.
    Otherwise they have to get grants from the state to balance their budget as their roads collapse.
    Now, as for the CA HSR, I admit no one has ridden it so far. I expect the numbers to pick up when they start running trains.
    The second busiest corridor in America is Lossan, with almost 3 million passengers on the Surfliner last year and 1.4 million on the Coaster, plus 10.6 million on the Metrolink system.
    In the north, the Altamont Corridor Express and Capitol Corridor carried another 3 million between the Bay area and Sacramento and Central Valley. Caltrain was almost another 19 million. So right there we have enough passengers right now to sell 37 million tickets a year. At worst, it should generate enough revenue to cover its operating costs plus maintenance expenses. While highways only cover about half of their costs. Despite the abysmally slow service, the Acela operates at a profit, so based on historical performance a real HSR should do even better. Even if the oil companies say we shouldn’t even try.
    So far I’ve enjoyed playing with you, even though you seem motivated more by blind hatred of “otherness” than by educated opinions. Feel free to add any links that might substantiate your claims.

  31. Your assessment of me is asinine, to the point of “otherness” hatred yourself. Would that be the neurosis called “projection”? Educated? LOL. Once a communist, always a communist. IF you want it, YOU pay for it, comrade.

  32. I realize that the name calling is an attempt to hurt my tender feelings, but it would be far more effective if you could first demonstrating a reason to think your opinions are worth caring about. Such as showing an ability to use words effectively.
    Communism, as an example, Communism is an economic system based on the government ownership of the means of production.
    It isn’t the ability to work with others. That’s called “humanity”. Cooperation is the survival strategy of the human species. John Donne said it beautifully in 1624.
    “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

    If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.
    Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
    I get a personal benefit from living in a strong economy, so I don’t resent the fact that I’m sharing in the cost of maintaining that economy, even though it may sometimes be for something like the I-11 between Reno and Nogales which I will probably never use. I don’t resent others doing well or also getting benefits.
    So let me ask about your position. Do you live in a suburban house, and if so are you outraged that your property taxes only cover about half the maintenance and repair costs of your infrastructure? Do you want your property taxes doubled or the roads and power lines ripped out so you aren’t depending on others to support you?
    Do you want the highways shut down because they only recover half their total cost? Do you object to the fact that your tax dollars are being spent on highways in Nevada and Oklahoma the you will probably never drive on?
    Where do you really stand on the existence of government infrastructure?

  33. Yeah, pack your bags we’re going on a guilt trip. Ya EVER wonder why that B.S. won’t get you laid? “Tender feelings…” Really, REALLY, more of a fumbling trolling expedition. The “task” is done dobro, the Phoenix council has voted for the rail expansion, so you have no beef, but to only be so needy as to have everyone pay for your transportation. THAT really is a “Clodly” thing to have such an entitled expectation, duh. YES, Federal gas taxes for interstate highways has been around since the 1950’s. Ahhhh, your just pissed because I’m not paying for your shitty train. LOL

  34. No, sorry, but I actually have fun talking to people who disagree. I enjoy the interchange of ideas and sometimes I change my opinions if they have strong enough facts behind their arguments. But you aren’t really giving me anything to work with.
    I’m sure you’re a nice enough guy in person and we probably agree on most things. I grew up in the back country south of Tucson and appreciate fine firearms and desert vistas. The only real difference is that I’m an old school conservative Republican and you talk like a libertarian right Tea Party type. Which is why we disagree on this issue.
    If you’re looking for an emotional reaction, I’d say I was disappointed. All you’re giving me to work with is venomous hatred, name calling and political slogans.
    And the worst is this quote, ” MY point from the beginning, is WHERE do you want your tax monies to
    go? Education? Healthcare? Transportation? Infrastructure? Once you’re
    there, how much taxation are YOU willing to take? There’s more to
    society than (Lamont Cranston or SC or nrojb or even solarman). It’s NOT
    about what YOU want, it’s about what the majority of taxpayers who fund
    this “transportation” want.”
    There’s some actual thought in that post; and you’ll be surprised to find I actually agree with most of what you said. The leverage that bilionaires have over politics is a real problem for the democratic system. In the absence of a strong disclosure system, people like David Koch, George Soros and Tom Steyer are distorting the process.
    It’s not even that you can’t engage intelligently; it’s that you aren’t even trying.
    And you haven’t even answered the question. Should we be subsidizing the suburbs and highways or should we double the fees on everything?

  35. Bottom line there skipper, your whining “name calling” guilt trip is claim is disingenuous. There is such a “thing” as the hat you choose to wear while “engaging” in conversation, yours screams entitled, California Commie “progressive”, public victim. Koch, Soros, Steyers, even Bill Gates won’t give the thinking person an opinion by buying news items in local papers, forming “groups” to sway public opinion or “direct” public will towards a particular agenda. This thread is dead, the Phoenix city council gave your squeaky wheel the train project grease last week. The bonds and interest are all YOURS, congratulations. Koch lost, perhaps the people won. Steyers, “MAY” have a valid point on a 50% RPS by 2030. IF WE are going to all of the trouble of voting for Legislators, Arizona Corporation Commission board members and address the utilities APS or SRP during public meetings of things like city Councils or even public utility open comment sessions at their meetings, the process is in place. Why in the hell does Arizona need Steyers NextGen group abusing the very powerful initiative process to change the Arizona State Constitution that affects the cost and the way WE live ever after? This “thing” with Koch is laughable compared to the initiative process. IF Steyers succeeds, expect to see some onerous initiative on every election ballot from then on.

  36. Sorry, but nobody cares if you feel guilty. I just wanted some thoughtful intelligent interchange: which you seem mortally offended at the idea of having with another human being.
    Sure, I get it. You’re what, in your twenties? Maybe?
    At that age I was also an ardent libertarian idealist. Then I got older and learned more than just ideology. Like that people are a social primate whose primary survival skill is cooperation toward a common goal. Like a moon landing, to mention one success.
    And the fact that, like it or not, one of governments primary functions is economic infrastructure. Because of things you hate and don’t want to pay for, you live in the 21st largest economy in America; above average, even if not by much.
    By the way, “Commiefornia” is #5.
    In the world.
    Above Great Britain.
    Good infrastructure benefits you even if you never personally use it.
    I even lobbed you a softball to warm up. If you don’t like subsidies, what should we do about the heavy subsidies to suburban development and the roadways? I asked twice and you ignored it, as though you’re fine with other people subsidizing your choices, just as long as nobody asks you to return the huge favor they’re doing you. Fine. It’s an answer of sorts, right?
    What’s you response? “Commie, commie, communist, You’re so screwed up, Commiefornia, Clodly, commie (yet again)…” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
    I’m not even annoyed as much as I am disappointed. Bushrod Johnson, on YouTube (Look him up; you’ll like him) defended his libertarian position clearly and rationally. He was a joy to play with. No name-calling required.
    You can’t even mix up your insults a little for variety. You need to read the classics, learn some things. I would suggest Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. The insults are thick and cleverly written; a joy to savor.
    https://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/French/Cyranoact1.php
    “- That’s an idea, sir, of what you might have said,
    if you’d an ounce of wit or letters in your head:
    but of wit, O most lamentable creature
    you’ve never had an atom, and you feature
    three letters only, and those three spell: Ass!”
    (Act 1, Scene 4)
    Pure poetry.

  37. YOUR, crybabyisms and claims of “name calling” is disingenuous. You’re packing a guilt trip with no end game. You’ve earned the moniker from the “game” you play. Didn’t the Bard say something like, “All the World is a stage, and we are but actors in a play”? You’ve failed to “ask” if you play your part well, deserve the monikers “provided” for you or even manage to “see” your character in this comedy of errors on YOUR part. Whaaaa, whaaaaaa, whaaaaaa, call a whambulance. YOU bring your Commiefornia tax views and try to apply them to Arizona, how sad, how uninformed, how lame. Bottom line is still, IF YOU want it, YOU pay for it, DUH.

  38. See? You just made my point. Totally uninterested in intellectually supporting your position.
    However your quote is nearly literate, so you get points for that. You got surprisingly close to the actual quote (As You Like It; Act II, Scene VII)
    All the world’s a stage,

    And all the men and women merely players;

    They have their exits and their entrances,

    And one man in his time plays many parts,

    His acts being seven ages.
    I would address in more detail, but I’ve given up any hope of intelligent debate with you, and have no interest in a mud fight.
    Call me in twenty years when you’ve seen more of life.

  39. No, I just made MY point. You’re down to grading papers for a topic that has been settled by the Phoenix City Council. You’re a commie idiot making assumptions that don’t wash, a moniker YOU have earned all by yourself. Call me young and inexperienced and stand on the stupidity of your own needy system of taxation. Really you mention “roads”, do you NOT realize the Federal and State gasoline taxes have been around for decades for such infrastructure? The rail will be built, more than likely with bonds sold and local taxes raised to fund the bonds and interest paid to those who would buy them. Enjoy YOUR new tax base. LOL While you’re at it check out the “new” fee increase in every unit of water to be sold, I saw a predicted $2.35 average water bill increase every month, for infrastructure repair and construction. If Tom Steyers gets his way, you can pay an extra $83 a month more on every electric bill. You might want to check just HOW many of the cities and towns create and use taxes for “local” infrastructure projects. It’s been around at least since 1982-3 and is called the “Home Rule”. Big deal, grifter, you can research a well known quote but refuse to see your own hypocrisy in YOUR communist taxation plans. The worst lie you have told, is the one you tell yourself. Putz on, your opinion in this matter is done and moot.

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