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*Public /Private Partnership - Fascism Pure & Simple

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    J.A.I.L. News Journal Los Angeles - November 20, 2000 ____________________________________________________ Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on Internet Radio
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2000

      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles - November 20, 2000
      Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on Internet Radio M-Th, 6-7 pm P.T.
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      Public /Private Partnership - Fascism Pure & Simple
      Every so often the good guys win one.  This is one of those times!!! This is a direct hit at the public/private partnership (better known as
      FASCISM).  Every single public/private partnership maneuver should be shot down and the legislators who promote such efforts should be exposed for what they are - fascists. 
      Government has no business being in business - any business.  There is no place in the Constitution allowing for such misadventure. .... *
      Jackie Juntti - WGEN  idzrus@...

      Court throws out Narrows Bridge contract over toll issue

      The Associated Press
      11/9/00 12:44 PM

      OLYMPIA (AP) -- The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the state's contract with a private firm that would have used tolls to pay for a second bridge over the congested Tacoma Narrows.

      The nine-member court unanimously agreed the project violates a 1961 law that banned tolls from the existing bridge. The court also ruled that the state exceeded its authority by giving a private entity the ability to set tolls.

      The ruling was a victory for Gig Harbor-area residents who have been desperately trying to block the project on the grounds they would end up paying the most for it.

      "I think the fact it's a unanimous ruling only verifies the strength of our case," Randy Boss, a Gig Harbor real estate agent who has been one of the project's most vocal critics, said as his phone rang off the hook with people calling to congratulate him.

      The ruling was a major setback for the state, which has clung to the project as the last gasp for a law that sought private financing for expensive public transportation needs.

      Backers had hoped to clear all legal hurdles this year so that bonds could be sold as early as next month and construction could begin soon after.

      State officials were reviewing the decision and had no immediate comment.

      The project is expected to cost more than $800 million in construction, financing and contingency charges.

      The Peninsula Neighborhood Association challenged the project from its inception under a 1993 law that authorized state Transportation Secretary Sid Morrison to "test the feasibility" of finding private financing for expensive public transportation projects.

      The state Transportation Commission hired a construction firm, United Infrastructure Washington, to build a new bridge, modify the existing bridge and operate and maintain the pair. Under the agreement, UIW would sell bonds to finance the project and then repay the bonds and earn a yet-to-be-determined profit by charging a round-trip toll across one of the bridges. The initial toll was to be set at $3.

      The neighborhood group sued in July 1999, arguing that the Public-Private Initiative Act was unconstitutional and accusing the DOT of violating numerous laws.

      In January, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Daniel Berschauer dismissed the challenge, saying the law was constitutional and the contract the state signed with UIW was valid. The neighborhood group appealed.

      On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected the group's claim that the Public-Private Initiative Act was unconstitutional.

      But the high court agreed the project is at odds with the 1961 law declaring that the Narrows Bridge would be a "toll-free facility" once its construction debt was paid off. The debt was repaid in 1965 and the toll came off.

      "Because the agreement allows for the imposition of a 'round trip' toll rate that is set, adjusted, and retained by WSDOT, it violates the statutory mandate that the existing Tacoma Narrows bridge be toll free," Chief Justice Richard Guy wrote for the court.

      Even if the existing bridge were allowed to have a toll reimposed, Guy added, the state transportation agency exceeded its authority by agreeing to let a private entity determine the toll rate on the existing bridge.

      State law gives toll authority to the Transportation Commission, a citizen panel that oversees the agency, he said.

      The state attorney general's office had argued that the Public-Private Initiatives Act should supersede earlier statutes, including the one declaring that the existing bridge would be operated toll-free.

      The state said the law did not prohibit it from undertaking a new project that would be financed through tolls.

      On the Net:

      The decision in Peninsula Neighborhood Association v. State Department of Transportation, case No. 69432-0, can be found at:

      * The above is not sent to you so much for information about a bridge in Washington State, but to alert our readership about the Public/Private Partnership which is overtaking our nation. Near every public service is going to private corporations, such as Child Protection Services, Parking Violations Bureaus, Private Judicial Adjudications, etc. As Jackie Juntti correctly points out, government has no authority to go into business. These services must either be open to free competition that anyone and everyone may conduct the business, or it be handled by government without profit. It cannot be government with any sort of profit motive. This is a very subtle form of fascism. It leads to unelected stockholders governing the nation with only one criterion - PROFIT. They make the laws, they enforce the laws, and they profit from it going in and going out, and Constitutional implications has no bearing or control. Thus, we are headed to "government" without Constitutional bounds brought to you only by cooperative courts!  Only J.A.I.L. will stop this descent into Fascism.
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