In the mail and on Facebook today:
We’d previously questioned Michelle Steel’s position on the toll lanes as she’d had nothing to say about this Caltrans atrocity and misuse of OCTA Measure M funds which were NEVER committed for toll applications, but just for widening of the freeway. SD2 Candidate Allan Mansoor has opposed tolling from day one, and has taken strong, positive action to send the message to an OCTA Board majority that doesn’t live in SD2 (like Michelle?) and favors them.
Steel had this published in the Register on October 1st: Caltrans takes a toll on O.C. residents, writing
…it appears even some county leaders have given up. A majority of the OCTA board recently decided not to move forward with further challenges against the state’s plans to build toll roads with our tax dollars. And make no mistake about it, the proposed toll lanes would be paid for in large part by Measure M2 funds…I continue to be firmly opposed to taking existing lanes funded by taxpayers and effectively blocking those same taxpayers from using those lanes unless they pay even more.
The Register has yet to make an endorsement for SD2. It’s winner will automatically represent the 2nd District on the OCTA Board and could easily be its chair a few years out as that position is given every third year to one of the five County Supervisors.
While we accept Steel’s statement at face value, we’re not impressed that she’s taken the No-Toll position so late in her campaign. This is a BIG DEAL in SD2, but she’s concentrated more on fundraising and softer, less tangible issues. Mansoor (who was an OCTA Director when he was the Mayor of Costa Mesa) understands the impact toll lanes would have on both commuters and businesses, especially where they’d displace free, “general purpose” lanes that are more significantly needed.
The bottom line in this, which Steel somewhat misstates in the Register piece, is that M funds, that are solely collected in Orange County via a half-cent sales tax, were NEVER intended to fund toll lanes on any local freeway. Had M been written to do that, as former OCTA CEO Will Kempton fully understood, the Measure’s renewal would have failed. Kempton, who once ran Caltrans, supported tolling, and was privately shown the door because of it — and we’re much better off for that.
We also distrust Michelle Steel’s association with and endorsement from Toll Lane Lucy Dunn, the CEO and founder of the OC Business Council. Big Lucy, who lives in Coto de Caza, nowhere near 405 traffic, has favored tolling since it was first proposed. She is also Vice Chair of the California Transportation Commission and supports the High-Speed Rail that will never be seen in Orange County, or at the $200 million ARTIC train station she helped build.
Allan Mansoor favors the best solution for widening the 405: TWO free lanes in each direction. Current Supervisor John Moorlach also supports dual, free lanes. We’re unsure that as a carpetbagger, Michelle Steel understands this issue at all. We believe if she was pressured by the monied elite of the GOP, the crony capitalists at Pringle, Inc. and the OCBC that she’d change her position.
OC Politics Blog has endorsed Allan Mansoor for 2nd District Supervisor. As a long-term OC resident, former Deputy Sheriff, former State Assemblyman, and former Mayor, he’s more than qualified for the job.