Written by Phil Krinkie on 25 July 2008. Posted in Transportation
The slang term “freeloader” is defined as someone who makes a practice of eating or drinking at the expense of others. I’m sure everyone can identify someone who fits this description, the hanger-on, the last one to leave a party, the person who always seems to forget their wallet.
Well, I’d like to add another group of folks to the “freeloader” list – public transit riders. Maybe not all public transit riders, but certainly those who have attended the recent public hearings held by the Metropolitan Council to complain about the proposed 25 cent fare increase.
Currently, these transit riders pay a whopping buck-fifty or maybe two bucks to be hauled from their suburban park and ride to their downtown office destination.
Even with the fare increase these transit freeloaders won’t even pay one-third of the cost of transit operation. So next time you are at the pump watching the numbers spinning by, remember you also get to pay more than two-thirds of the fare for the bus rider. These are the folks that the environmentalists are holding out as the “saviors of the planet,” the people who are willing to sacrifice for the sinners who drive those gas guzzling SUVs.
[... blowhard, etc.]
This, new, today, a multi-Chamber release, click the thumbnail to enlarge and read:
So what's your GOP flavor, mainstream or insurgency? And is this cross purposes posturing part of why the Republican Party of Minnesota is in hock? The big wallets and the big mouths not on the same message?
I have an email in to The Chairman, seeking comment. We know The Chairman as a Northstar skeptic.
Hat tip, Residual Forces, here, for the CoC link. And for yet a different glimpse of the policy gaps within our treasured MNGOP big tent. In the interest of fairness, I also am a Northstar skeptic, in so far as it was built before other logical metro transit rail expansion that made more sense and promised more ridership. With only a limited downtown hub-and-spoke layout and no cross regional rail, so far, The Chairman may be correct in some criticism:
And let’s not forget that tens of thousands of riders on Northstar aren’t rush hour commuters who are freeing up highway lane space by taking the train. No, they’re Twins fans taking a heavily subsidized train ride down to Target Field to watch the Twinkies put in another inept performance despite the fact that the Pohlads told the legislature a sweet new taxpayer-subsidized stadium would mean a competitive team on the field.
On top of all that, Northstar ridership is down at a time when bus usage is UP.
So much for the argument that Northstar is a commuter travel option that will open lane space and mean a better commute.
In the car versus train battle, cars are winning big time. The expansion of Highway 10 between Egret and Hanson did more for commuters in the area than Northstar ever will, and at a fraction of the cost.
I think The Chairman is onto something, but if you kick the Pohlads in the pocketbook they may just say, "Let them eat cake -- and stay in hock." The navel-gazing redefinition has its highs and lows, and is evolving for 2014.
Beyond that, transit expansion spending vs. stadium subsidy spending is an easy call, the prior one is good, the latter one is bad and ugly. Yet look which got legislated fully funded, not piecemeal slow, by those with bad and ugly priorities and susceptibilities.
The Chairman, wearing his Watchdog hat, wrote:
LESSONS NOT LEARNED
So it appears that some GOP delegates didn't learn the hard lesson of 2010. Or 2012.
In 2010, Tom Emmer proved to be an unelectable candidate in a year in which we could have had a GOP trifecta. How nice would it be to have a Republican governor right about now?
So in 2012, the delegates went ahead and endorsed Kurt Bills, who challenged Emmer for the right to wear the "Worst GOP Candidate Post-WW II" sash.
Emmer, Bills, Quist? (photo credit)
Bills got crushed by Amy Klobuchar as the GOP faithful watched the race get called within 5 seconds of the polls closing as the GOP suffered another embarrassing defeat.
And in the bantam weight division, the faithful were treated to the spectacle of a 22 hour endorsement fight down in the First Congressional District, where Allen Quist late won the right to face Tim Walz.
Some honor. Walz went on to mop the floor with Quist.
Here we go again.
As this issue goes to press, we have learned that the GOP delegates, all 35 of them, have endorsed Allen Quist yet again. This time to run in a special election for the Minnesota House in district 19A.
Really? Collective amnesia? Quist just lost in a big way two months ago.
In fact, he lost to Walz by 26 points in this House district in that race. 26 POINTS!!!
Quist will not win this race.
In fact, Quist hasn't won an election since MTV played real music videos and Whitesnake was selling out arenas.
It's not as if there's going to be some dynamic that offers a 27 point reversal from two months ago.
Yes, we've already heard the Quist apologists apply some twisted logic to convince themselves that things are different because 60 days have passed.
Yes, we've heard about how the pasting from Walz was actually pretty good because Quist got his butt kicked just slightly less harder than what Walz did to his opponent in 2008.
The best "rationale" is that this is a special election and the turn out will be really small.
Great. This is our strategy? To field candidates who have a fighting chance to win only when the field is so small that a hard core base can win it for the candidate?
So we're admitting that this candidate has narrow appeal and will do well only in a special election?
And what if Quist did win? He still has to come back and face a bigger electorate in 2014.
Compare, Residual Forces, here.
Now, about that "Worst GOP Candidate Post-WW II" sash ...
Can you really narrow it to three? In fairness to so many others?