Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Latest In The VBTA's Campaign Of Lies

Today's Beacon brought us a letter from Bob Hedrick, former Vice Chairman of the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA). It's butchering of the facts could only be taken seriously at a Marian Manor breakfast.

1. "The rest of the story is history as the 'Sportsplex' is a white elephant...."

The big problem is that the Mariners were saddled with ownership that had ambitions much bigger than their bank accounts, and 3 of the 4 ownership groups were absolute idiots.

2. "The ridership will not sustain the debt service, operating and maintenance cost without a subsidy from the taxpayers pockets, higher taxes."

First of all, Hedrick obviously doesn't understand light rail economics. It's not the "ridership" that will sustain the debt service, but the tax revenue off the redevelopment it induces.

Second, there isn't an unsubsidized mass transit system in the U.S. So Hedrick's point is...what?

3. "We the people' voted against light rail in 1999 and if light rail was put forth on a referendum again it would garner the same results, a majority vote of NO."

Hedrick knows that's not true. John Moss has trotted out a "wait and see" light rail position for his Mayoral campaign. If Moss knows he can't run for Mayor as openly anti-light rail, why does Hedrick want to pretend a clear majority is opposed? (Okay, other than that line playing well at VBTA breakfasts....)

4. "I was in Houston, Texas, several months ago and saw the light rail system ...almost empty."

Yeah, that poor Houston system: it's 2007 ridership was ahead of 2020 projections. In Virginia Beach we hope to have that kind of "failure"....

5. "Virginia Beach City Council spent our tax dollars on a consulting company to look at our city for the feasibility of a light rail system. The consulting company said the answer was no, the population was spread out over a geographical area that was not suited for light rail."

Of course, all prior to December, 2003. That's when our current Comprehensive Plan was adopted, which put in Strategic Growth Areas along the Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way in order to facilitate it's use as a mass transit corridor.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and the VBTA."


Anonymous said...

Once again, the VBTA fails to do its homework and just lashes out with sound bytes that are popular with their membership.

When will these people dry up and go away? Maybe after Moss comes in 4th place in the mayor's race?

Once can only hope.

Michael Ragsdale said...

"Light Rail doesn't work"...want proof?

"The Tacoma Link light rail line opened in summer 2003, introducing the state's first modern light rail system to Tacoma.

The 1.6-mile line connects Tacoma's downtown core with the regional transportation hub and free parking garages at the Tacoma Dome Station. Tacoma Link has exceeded monthly boarding numbers that weren't projected to occur for another five years. In January 2006, Tacoma Link welcomed its two millionth rider."

Obviously, Light Rail doesn't work. Just like it doesn't work in Portland, OR (overcrowded trains all day), Huston (as noted above), Boston (the Green Line is light rail; everything else is Subway), San Diego, Salt Lake City, Denver, Charlotte. I could go on for ages.

Meaning: VBTA is up to its usual lies

Source (for Tacoma Link): Sound Transit website

Anonymous said...

My, my, my - "lies" - from Bob Hedrick? Not hardly.

The proposed light rail line between the Norfolk starter line and the VA Beach oceanfront, via the NS ROW corridor is what we are discussing, is it not?

As proposed, for the cost to taxpayers, is a pitiful return on investment for those targeted to pay for it.

Freeloaders looking for someone else to subsidize their transportation may support it, but let's see that support if they were made to pay the true cost of each seat, used or unused.

And Henry, simply because all Light Rail systems operate on foolish taxpayer subsidies doesn't counter the point that Bob makes - which is that the proposed Light Rail project into VA Beach, down the NS SOW is a waste of our precious tax funds.

In addition, it IS the same rail line was rejected by voters in 1999.

Until a new referenda is conducted, that vote is the only fact as to the will of the voters on the same project.

Sorry facts bother the pro-transit, pro-freeloader agenda.


Avenging Archangel said...


Once again, you're full of crap. First of all, notice Reid can't refute any of the Hedrick falsehoods that have been taken apart.

As for a referendum, that's all about the VBTA wanting to score political points. Little about light rail, and nothing about the consent of the goverened.

Finally, the ROI is only bad if you use the VBTA's numbers...which quadruple the costs from Norfolk's Starter Line.

Anonymous said...

Henry, there is a load of 'crap" on this blog, but it isn't found in my postings.


Avenging Archangel said...


I refuted 5 points in Hedrick's letter. You only tried to contest 1. Your contest was based on events 9 years ago; my argument was based on events this year.

Anonymous said...

It is useless to argue with Reid. He has already consumed the VBTA Kool Aid and will do & say whatever Dean & Moss tell him to.

Fortunately, the VBTA represents an extremely small and dwindling percentage of the population.

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 6:03,

I (and probably others) are well aware of that. In Reid case, it's bizarre: Robert Dean's Kool-Aid after Barbara Messner's Kool-Aid. One nasty chemical reaction.

What Reid (and much of the VBTA) don't seem to get is that they've bet the farm on John Moss' Mayoral bid. When Moss finishes a distant 4th in single digits, the VBTA will be tagged as a paper tiger.

Before Reid jumps on here and starts pumping Moss, Reid better check out the guest lists from Scott Taylor's fundraising dinners. :)

Unknown said...

Second, there isn't an unsubsidized mass transit system in the U.S. So Hedrick's point is...what?

I would assume that Hedrick is expressing his economic belief in free market capitalism. Governmental control/distribution or industry diversion from the competitive market and private sector is in fact socialistic if not communistic. This is economic theory, not political.

Does it make it any less socialistic if "everyone is doing it?"

If given the chance, do you believe the electorate is willing to subsidize government spending for light rail in Hampton Roads?

If you do, why fear another referendum? The Norfolk electorate were never afforded the opportunity of a choice, so one can only postulate. Virginia Beach voters turned it down. Where is your data supporting their desires now? Should we really care? Is this not still a Government of the people? I don't remember this being a campaign issue, so where is the peoples' voice in this matter?

Avenging Archangel said...


Roads don't pay for themselves, so should we stop building roads? By the logic you try to apply to light rail, we would have to make every road a toll road.

As for a referendum, there will be 3-4 City Council elections between now and the signing of a FFGA. Light rail will be an issue every time, so there will be plnety of public input.

Anonymous said...

Henry, you, of all people, understand there is little to no correlation between voters choosing from the ballot options they are presented and voting on a specific referedum question.

When a person votes for a candidate it doesn't mean they are voting for Light Rail or against Light Rail, there is far more involoved in their vote than that one issue.

But when citizens vote on a referendum spefic to a specific Light Rail project - and they reject it - it is a clear indication of the will of the people.

The pitiful attempt to claim a mandate on Light rail because a Light Rail candidate won an election, in light of the FACT that the majority of Beach voters rejected Light Rail is shameful, dishonst, and entirely constant with your normal patterns of behavior.

BTW - the strawman you keep feebly attempting to stand up regarding John Moss's election is lame too.

When the "DEW Team" failed to win election the VBTA only grew larger and more powerful.

Win or lose for John Moss, the VBTA will continue to gorw in its membership and influence.

Like so many of your fantasies, another Rytoism is shown to be wrongo.


Anonymous said...

Reid wrote:
"When the "DEW Team" failed to win election the VBTA only grew larger and more powerful."

Oh really? And who have you elected to any office? Please tell me what elections your group has even influenced?

Lets many elections have Moss & Dean lost since 2000's DEW team?

(PS: Can't count DeSteph, because he hid his affiliation with the VBTA until after he was elected.)

Unknown said...

Henry, I can see that you are reluctant to accept the results of a referendum and would rather postulate that the majority of the electorate who are responsible for financing the endeavor agree with you.

As for roads: You have misinterpreted my statements with offering a metaphor of government's roll in roads to light-rail, which is flawed.

To facilitate trade and communications throughout the ages, governments have as assumed a major roll in the highways and byways. However, they did not provide the mules, carts, chariots, sandals, cars, locomotives, buses, subways, until money grabbers under a socialist agenda in the New York City thirties.

Avenging Archangel said...


2008 is not 1999. The objective conditions have changed: gas is more than twice the price, Norfolk's Starter Line reduced the cost by 55%, the SGAs have been put in place to give us the density, etc.

As for NYC, I read a biography of LaGuardia. The reason for the government takeover of the transit system was that two private companies were on the verge of defaulting on government-backed bond payments. The taxpayers would have been on the hook.


No, you're the nitwit that keeps trying to seperate candidates from issues. Barbara Messner and you though you could get a park at 31st Street by voting for pro-hotel candidates. I know to vet candidates on the issues.

As for a referendum, everyone knows the VBTA's clamoring for one has to do with internal VBTA politics, not popular consent.

Finally, your claim that the VBTA came out of The DEW Team lose stronger is comical: the VBTA wasn't founded until about 3 years after the loss.

Anon 5:45,

Bill DeSteph has now attended two Scott Taylor fundraisers, so I think he's seen his error in trying to work with the VBTA.

Anonymous said...

Henry, still living in Freeloading Rytoland I see. As Wally points out, what are you afraid of with another referendum on Light Rail?

Yes, conditions have changed. Real Estate taxes have skyrocketed in Virginia Beach and the voters are tired of watching their hard earned money wasted on dumb things.

Spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to construct a low volume, grade level, fixed Light Rail system down the NS ROW when we have far more pressing transportation needs is not likely to resonate with the majority of Beach voters.

You see Henry, as much as you don't like it, Virginia Beach isn't filled with Freeloaders like you and your small band of angry transit-whiners - it is filled with hard working families that have no use for a Light Rail system that they cannot use to commute from home to work, or that costs taxpayers more than it is worth. A large part of that ROI being a significant reduction in traffic congestion. Something the NS ROW Light Rail system fails to deliver.

So yes, conditions have changed since 1999 when Beach voters last rejected your Freeloading Transit dreams; conditions are more likely to result in an even greater rejection of wasting precious tax funds on THAT same NS ROW TOD useless Light Rail boondoggle.

But then, you probably understand this - and that is why you fear another referendum.

Freeloaders don't want to ask the folks paying for their freeloading if they want to pick up the tab for freeloaders. Freedloaders look to government to extort other people's money for their use.


Avenging Archangel said...


First of all and once again, the VBTA's clamoring for a light rail referendum has to do with the internal politics of the VBTA, not LRT or the consent of the governed. When Moss and Shuler finish in single digits, the VBTA will be toast. Therefore, you need to win a light rail referendum to try to revive the VBTA. Sorry, but nobody plans to hand you that.

Your claim that light rail would lose bigger now is a lie and you know it. Commenting on Glenn Nye on Bearing Drift, you noted the changes in the 2nd District that aid a Democratic challenger. NEWS FLASH: those very same changes now have a majority polling in favor of light rail.

It's going to happen and we'll throw the remnants of the VBTA under the first train - anti-Transportation Chairman first.

Anonymous said...

Once again Freeloader, if you believed this to be true you would not fear putting the question on the ballot.

As to your fantasies that you create in your mind as to why the VBTA does what the VBTA does, thank you for sharing, you are out to lunch.

As for your lame strawman regarding John Moss and the demise of the VBTA, [shrug] - whatever. As long as you as happy in your mind, good for you!

John Moss's run for office has nothing to do with the future of the VBTA, other than to offer a very positive benefit should John Moss win.

The VBTA supports John Moss, but our mission isn't to get John Moss elected, it is to promote responsible government, lower taxes, and place the focus of our City Council and General Assembly on the residents first.


Avenging Archangel said...

The only purpose a light rail referendum would serve is to give the VBTA a chance to try to revive itself. Therefore, it's not a question of being "afraid" of a referendum, but rather bright enough not to hand the VBTA such an opportunity.

You don't get it: when John Moss polls in single digits, every elected official will know the VBTA can be ignored with impunity.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure most elected officials already ignore the VBTA.

And it is nice to know that their mission is not to get Moss elected. At least they won't fail there.

Interesting...Shuler is a VBTA-er? That is new info for me!

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 4:26,

Shuler was recruited in by Robert Dean.