The Mercury News published a report on the large contributors to the Yes on RM3 campaign. What’s so interesting about this measure’s sponsors is they’re not the usual group that typically bankrolls transportation funding measures. Usually, it’s contractors seeking to make money on the public projects funded by the measure.
This year, however, high-tech firms are leading the charge to charge the public more for using the bridges. Is this public-spirited? Or is it an attempt to distract the public from connecting the dots between the big increase in congestion and the high-tech economic boom? If the public is told, through the advertising for the measure, that it needs to step up and pay for what’s needed, perhaps these firms won’t be on the hook to pay for these projects themselves.
Even if the motivations are not that crass, it doesn’t change the fact that these firms are putting significant support into a measure that is poorly conceived: unable to deliver on its claims while being profoundly unfair. In the most generous possible interpretation, business is getting terrible advice from its lobby groups.