Democrat: Republican ST3 report is ‘factually incorrect’

Oct 23, 2017, 5:20 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2017, 5:54 am
report, sound transit...
Washington State Senator Jamie Pedersen. (Washington State Legislature)
(Washington State Legislature)

Democrats on the state’s Senate Law and Justice Committee say their Republican colleagues blindsided them with a misleading report Monday morning, claiming the committee had come to a conclusion on its Sound Transit investigation. Not so, Democrats say.

RELATED: Republican Senators release report on Sound Transit

“I found it quite surprising that they would release a report that had not been discussed or shared with the committee, that hadn’t been adopted by the committee,” said Democratic State Senator Jamie Pedersen

The Republican report claimed Sound Transit misled voters and the Legislature about the scope of ST3 – the voter-approved tax package to fund future transportation projects.

“The report certainly makes it sound like it’s a report of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, but it’s not,” Pedersen said. “… it is factually incorrect to say that it is a report of the Senate Law and Justice Committee.”

Republican Senator Steve O’Ban went on the Jason Rantz Show Monday claiming as much, saying that the committee concluded that Sound Transit has been “deceptive.”

“We found that (Sound Transit) has a pattern of being deceptive with those lawmakers to get the initial authority to tax — which it had to go to voters to get approved — and then misled voters to get that approval,” O’Ban said. “This is an agency that is out of control.”

“Factually incorrect” report

Republican committee members released their report to the media just before 7:30 a.m. Monday. Pedersen said Democrats first saw it at 7:06 a.m. He says the full committee never had a chance to debate it, offer changes to it, write a minority report, or even vote on it.

Pedersen suggests the release of the partisan report was politically timed to impact the upcoming special election in the 45th District. The election will decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the state Senate. It could have a huge impact on the balance of power in Olympia.

“In my judgment, at this point, the only thing that one could conclude is that this was entirely driven by and released to try to make hay for the special election in progress right now that will determine control of the Senate,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen says he disagrees with the Republican findings and would have said so, had there been any committee discussion.

“People who say now — when some people in the public are upset about their car tabs — that they were somehow misled or defrauded by Sound Transit, were either asleep during the whole debate, or they are just not telling the truth,” Pedersen said.

O’Ban also spoke to the difference between Republican and Democratic approaches to Sound Transit while talking with Jason Rantz. You can hear that interview here.

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Democrat: Republican ST3 report is ‘factually incorrect’