Dedicated citizen activist pledges to ask ‘where’s the value?’
John Ley asks: “Where’s the value?” in how the government serves the people. He does so because he believes the people of the 18th Legislative District deserve a state representative with a proven track record of fighting for common sense solutions.
“I promise to ask ‘where’s the value’ in every government program, and about every dollar you send to Olympia,’’ Ley stated in his campaign announcement. “The people pay the bill and they expect efficient use of their money.”
It’s been over 800 days since the governor declared his “emergency,” Ley points out.
“He has picked winners and losers, choosing which businesses could remain open and which had to close down,’’ Ley stated. “He has dictated working conditions for both government and private sector employees, all without input from the people’s elected representatives.
“It’s time to reclaim freedom and allow the representatives of the people to set public policy,” Ley said.
Ley is well-known for his tenacious research on issues of local government. For the past 20 months, he has reported on the COVID-19 pandemic, government policy, healthcare impacts, researching vaccines and ways people can boost their immune system. He closely followed and reported on state spending, including the Washington State Employment Security Division losing hundreds of millions of the citizen’s unemployment dollars to Nigerian scammers.
Ley has covered transportation issues related to the Interstate Bridge replacement, mass transit, and tolling. He was at the forefront reporting on polluted Lacamas Lake water in east Clark County. He has been a leader in battling Oregon’s “outrageous’’ tolling scheme to pick the pockets of Southwest Washington citizens.
“Hard-working Clark County citizens should not be forced to pay the double, variable rate tolls being proposed for driving Interstate 5,’’ he stated.
Ley supports new transportation corridors in the region, including third and fourth bridges across the Columbia River. He vows to fight to actually reduce traffic congestion.
“Portland has a dozen bridges across the Willamette River, why should Southwest Washington citizens be limited to just two ways to cross the Columbia River?’’ Ley asks.
“The failed McCleary ‘solution’ has been a disaster for local homeowners,’’ Ley added. “State spending on K-12 education has more than doubled since the January 2012 McCleary decision. Citizens were promised ‘long term tax relief’ and ‘a 30 percent rebate in property taxes in 2019.’ The promised reduction never happened. Citizens are paying more than ever. You can’t have affordable housing when property taxes are unaffordable.
“State spending increased over 20 percent in the last budget,’’ Ley added. “This year revenue projections increased by $15 billion. Yet the legislature refused to give citizens any tax relief. The party in control enacted a capital gains income tax, in spite of citizens rejecting an income tax every time it has been on the ballot. Gas taxes were raised in 2015 to nearly the highest in the nation. Single-party control allowed Democrats to pass the largest transportation package in state history this year, without Republican input. Yet many of our roads, bridges and infrastructure remain in poor condition.
“Oregon is presently resurrecting the Columbia River Crossing (CRC), which was nothing more than a light rail project in search of a bridge,’’ Ley stated. “Paying $3.5 billion for a one-minute improvement in the morning commute was outrageous a decade ago. The current recommendation may spend up to $5 billion, while admitting people will double the amount of time they spend in congested traffic. There is no value in the current proposal.
“Citizens need representatives willing to fight for traffic congestion relief,’’ Ley said. “The 2018 PEMCO survey indicated 94 percent of people desire to use their cars for transportation. The COVID-19 crisis drilled home the hazards of people crowding into buses, subways, or light rail trains. Transit ridership has declined precipitously as a result. People need common sense, cost effective transportation solutions.’’