For the first time since his opinion was earnestly requested way back in August, 2010, 143 days ago, Rep. Ed Clere (R-72), has offered an essay-length public statement on the Ohio River Bridges Project and the prospect of tolls to finance them.
As always, his essay is well written. That's to be expected, as he was a journalist at one time.
But sadly, once again, he says next to nothing of genuine substance with respect to tolling and its detrimental effects on Southern Indiana working commuters and small businesses, choosing instead to parrot the propagandistic talking-point Stemlerisms of the Bridges Authority, and yet again to suggest that we must wait for the wheel to be spun a few dozen more times before hazarding even the meekest of viewpoints.
And, while lamenting the cost of monthly construction delays, this reputed fiscal conservative has absolutely nothing to say about the price tag of the boondoggle, still nearing $4 billion dollars even after largely symbolic "cuts" were suggested last week by St. Daniels.
Remember during the non-input public meeting hosted by the Tolling Authority, when I was told by his wife that Rep. Clere has been firmly opposed to tolling from the start? Somehow, that part didn't make the cut. Gee whiz.
If just once, just one of the ORBP/tolling advocates (including Rep. Clere) would try -- try, not necessarily conclusively, but try -- to respond to the question of tolling's economic impact on Southern Indiana small business, and on Southern Indiana working commuters, I'd be more inclined to listen to their Pinocchioesque exaggerations absent skepticism.
As it stands, because we've been lied to on a consistent basis throughout this process (i.e., number of jobs created by the ORBP; tolling intentions; overall costs; mobility "benefits" as opposed to mass transt; andon, and on), we really have no reason to believe what we're told. Here's the link. Scoop up some wet tea leaves, and see if you can find anything new amid the tired platitudes.
CLERE: Delay is taking a toll