[Vision2020] Idaho government at work

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Mar 6 02:41:56 PST 2012

Courtesy of today's (March 6, 2012) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with thanks to Richard Wesson of Pullman.

Idaho government at work

Here are two issues that mega-load supporters should consider if they value a responsive and responsible government.

Without question, the transport of hundreds of insanely huge loads up U.S. Highway 12 will quite significantly alter the character and traditional use of that stretch of road and river. The adjacent businesses and the local residents along that route should rightfully expect at least some say in such a radical change to their neighborhood.

The powers that be never intended for there to ever be any public comment. ConocoPhillips lead the way by applying for the first loads, and secretly conspired for several years with Idaho officials. A solid agreement had been reached and physical preparations were already underway before there was an initial public announcement of the scheme.

Residents were shut out of providing any input. That official policy was not reversed until a challenge reached the Idaho Supreme Court. The resultant hearings by the Idaho Transportation Department were run more like a kangaroo court than an arena to hear and measure competing claims. Soon after, the Idaho Legislature passed legislation, quite flawed and most probably unconstitutional, aimed precisely to stifle dissenting challenges to the megaloads.

The Idaho government worked hard to exclude input, and it's quite revealing to note that Jason Kreizenbeck, Gov. Butch Otter's chief of staff since 2007, resigned last October to become a lobbyist for the client he had evidently been working for all along - ConocoPhillips.

If that stench doesn't bother Idaho residents, maybe this will bother Idaho taxpayers. The Idaho Transportation Department recently revealed that proceeds from mega-load shipping permits are falling some $645,000 short of covering annual costs as expected, leading the Idaho Statesman to ask in an editorial comment (Feb. 1): "How's that for running government like a business?"

Richard Wesson


"Furthermore, we invite and encourage Exxon Mobil and their hauler to utilize Moscow as their stopover for motels and the purchase of food, fuel and other supplies when they halt loads at the Latah-Benewah County line."

- Moscow Councilman Walter Steed (May 16, 2011)

How did that little money-making suggestion work out for local businesses, Mr. Steed?
Seeya later, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Post Falls, Idaho

"If not us, who?
If not now, when?"

- Unknown

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20120306/8170b96d/attachment.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list