Over the weekend, the Washington Republican Party Central Committee voted to endorse I-912. I-912 is the initiative on the ballot for November that will repeal the 9 1/2-cent gas tax passed by the legislature back in April. No New Gas Tax!, the organization that is supporting the initiative did not ask for Republican support, but was happy to get it. The Republican Party can can now contribute funds. The state Libertarian Party is also backing the initiative.
I'm proud my party for taking a stand. We discussed I-912 a couple of weeks ago at Whitman County Central Committe meeting, and everyone supported it. Several RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) from the west side did vote for the tax. Dino Rossi, the once and future gubernatorial candidate, has been non-committal on I-912.
The 9 1/2-cent gas tax only shovels more money into the hands of people in King County that have already squandered millions and millions on the monorail and other transportation boondoggles. And what do we have to show for it? Seattle was recently listed as having the worst public transportation system in North America. It's certainly not for lack of money. Washington has one of the highest gas taxes in the country.
We in Pullman don't need to pay for Seattle's waterfront beautification project (i.e. the Alaskan Way Viaduct) just because the "Governor pro tem" yells "Earthquake!" If an earthquake is such a concern, why hasn't the Viaduct been closed already. Why isn't some of that big tax surplus we just heard about being applied towards it? Why not make the Viaduct a toll road and let the users pay for it? Plus, this gas tax does virtually nothing to improve Pullman's roads.
Other states are putting a moratorium on their gas taxes in this time of national crisis and record high gas prices. Olympia is not only NOT suspending our gas tax, it is raising it. Talk about bad timing. I'm not against improving our infrastructure, but until the state shows they can spend the money responsibly and equitably and not on these pork-barrel, special interest (i.e. union) giveaways, count me out.