Transit Activist Clay Chastain Rages Against City Hall Ballot Language & Kansas City Star
Kansas City's most prolific transit activist and the only petitioner to ever win a citywide rail vote has targeted the next election and the newspaper in his latest struggle that seems like it's already headed to court. Take a look:
Clay Chastain: Open letter to the Star concerning the City's fraudulent and manipulative rail petition ballot language for the August ballot.
To Dave Helling, Tony Berg and the Kansas City Star Editorial Board:
As the leader of the rail petition initiative, can you let me know whether the Star is going to write an editorial condemning the City's "despicable" ballot language (and associated ordinance No.170043) they have approved for the August rail election that abused their discretion by failing to represent the intent and "substance" of the rail petition initiative as they are required to do by the city charter?
So far your silence on the matter is deafening and telling. In case you have forgotten, or ignored, my previous press releases to you concerning the City's blatant misconduct, let me refresh your memory...
1. The City's ballot language fraudulently leads voters to think the rail initiative merely seeks to extend the city's current archaic downtown streetcar system and the slow way in which it operates, when in fact the petition specifically calls for transforming it into a rapid rail system that operates in its own "transit greenways" separated from traffic.
2. The City's ballot language fraudulently leads voters to think the rail initiative system proposes no specific routes but will merely allow the City to decide them on their own, when in fact the petition proposes three distinct routes including stops.
3. The City's ballot language fraudulently leads voters to think the rail system's service area "might" be complimented by an electric express bus system, when in fact the petition specifically calls to "provide" such an auxiliary bus system.
4. The City's ballot language fraudulently omits the very critical electric shuttle bus system designed to assist riders to and from the rail stations.
5. The City's fraudulent ordinance states that the system cannot be built when there is no way that can be determined given the numerous unknowns involved including...amount of sales tax revenue generated over 25-years, amount of federal funding secured and the actual cost of the rail system itself, all three of which can vary substantially.
It would appear the City's misconduct is once again aimed at manipulating the outcome of an election by either turning off voters with their vague misleading ballot language or, if in the unlikely event the rail initiative were to be approved, legally enable the city to use the tax proceeds to extend the City's downtown streetcar system to the Plaza and elsewhere in the absurd manner in which it now operates.
The Star is supposed to be the Watchdog for the community. I would like to know what the Watchdog is going to do about this (yet another) blatant act of misconduct by the Council and the Sly James' Administration toward a valid petition from the people.
Clay Chastain...leader and spokesperson for the rail petition initiative.