Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Response to Chris Lupke

I'm sure some of you were wondering if I would respond to Loopy Lupke's latest Town Crier column with its embarassing hypocrisy and tortured circular logic concerning the Hawkins development. Well, I did, and here it is from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Columnist changes stance

In a 2006 Daily News op-ed, Chris Lupke wrote that, "Wal-Mart and its surrogates have tried to pit Pullman and Moscow against each other in a 'divide and conquer strategy,' arguing a dollar spent in Pullman would have the 'added benefit' of not going to Moscow ... We should be thinking of ways in which growth in Pullman also can benefit Moscow and vice versa ..."

And yet, in his latest Town Crier column (Opinion, 3.5), Lupke does a volte-face, fretting about sales leakage and claiming the Hawkins "boondoggle" will "permanently situate the retail center in and near Moscow, miles from Pullman" and not "closer to our retail base." Incidentally, Pullman schools will benefit from taxes paid by Hawkins. City residents utilize county parks, roads, and law enforcement and emergency services that stand to gain as well. Pullman is, after all, part of Whitman County. Those taxes also will help pay Professor Lupke's salary.

The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development's position paper on Wal-Mart states that, "While we understand some people in Pullman who think it only fair turnabout to gain sales at the expense of Moscow at a time when the Pullman and Moscow governments are seeking to cooperate on a number of projects, including responsible development of the Route 270 corridor, this is no time for store wars to ruin good will."

Indeed. By PARD's standards, the Hawkins development is highly responsible, as it will be situated on the largest highway in the region far away from any hospitals, schools, retirement homes or cemeteries. Distance certainly can't be an issue either, as PARD member T.V. Reed has publicly offered to drive folks over to Moscow to shop. Plus, as PARD has repeatedly assured us, they are not against all large retail stores, just Wal-Mart.

We can only hope Target or Costco soon announce plans to locate in the Hawkins development.

Tom Forbes, Pullman
If Lupke and PARD wanted to covince everyone they were not against retail and not just Wal-Mart, this column was very ill-advised. But of course, they are against national retail stores. They are liberal fascists just like Chuck Pezeshki. As the late Don Pelton used to point out, the PARDners long for an economic model and lifestyle that disappeared in the 1920s, which is fine in itself, except they demand the government mandate it through land use regulations.

And inevitably, the "constructive community dialogue" the Daily News thinks is is fostering with the online comments just leads to more irresponsible lies from anonymous idiots like this:
Also, as I understand it, there won't be any tax benefits for anybody except the holders of the bonds Whitman County wants to saddle residents with for the next 20 years.
You understand nothing. First, as has been stated before repeatedly here and elsewhere, THERE WILL BE NO TAX LIABILITY TO THE CITIZENS OF WHITMAN COUNTY. The $10.5 million infrastructure bond will be paid off with the retail sales tax proceeds. And as far as tax benefits go, how about:
$4,207,500 for the Pullman School Distict over the next 20 years
$2,174,001 for Whitcom emergency communications over the next 20 years
$2,050,115 for Washington State schools over the next 20 years
$1,190,000 for Rural Fire District 12 over the next 20 years
$421,005 for Whitman County libraries over the next 20 years
$350,370 for the Port of Whitman County over the next 20 years
And that's just from property taxes, which are the same regardless of how much business the mall does. So let's hear some alternatives from our local leftists on what they believe could raise that much money.

Why exactly do people like Lupke think the Hawkins project is bad if it won't benefit Pullman (it will)? Would it be the end of the world if some of the smaller towns like Palouse, Colton, and Garfield in Whitman County benefit (they will also) for a change? How selfish and short-sighted. We're all in this together.

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