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Election Frustrating for South County and Democrats

November 20, 1994

Upon reading the headline of (James Flanigan's column), "A Bullish Vote for the Future" (Nov. 16), regarding the El Toro airport conversion, I was immediately curious to see which of the pro-Measure A campaign misrepresentations you had fallen for.

One of the campaign's most egregious lies was repeated when he wrote that John Wayne Airport "operates near capacity now and cannot be expanded."

The Newport Beach-based perpetrators of the initiative failed to distinguish between "limit" and "capacity." The Newport Beach-imposed "limit" on air passengers per year at John Wayne is 8 million. The actual "capacity" is 14.5 million. So at its current 7-million passenger usage, John Wayne is at less than half its capacity. Study the pro-A literature and note how deliberately this critical distinction was ignored.

In the same paragraph, it is noted that "considerable cargo" is sent through other, non-Orange County airports, when the fact is that, once again, it is Newport Beach that has prohibited cargo flights out of Orange County--not any physical limitations on the part of the facility.

In truth, merely two cargo flights a day would satisfy the current cargo needs of Orange County businesses. And guess who won't let that happen.

The hypocrisy of Newport Beach is appalling. If an El Toro airport would create 21,000 jobs (or is it 53,000?), how dare they limit John Wayne to half its capacity while depriving local business the opportunity to ship its cargo?

It will be interesting to see taxpayers' reactions when they are forced to foot the bill for the economic blight in south Orange County's communities that will surely follow construction of an international airport at El Toro.

As the man said, "You can fool all of the people some of the time."

BARBARA D. VAUGHAN

Lake Forest

* We, the people of southern Orange County, have had to put up with a lot of abuse. First there was the defeat of the slow-growth initiative, forcing southern Orange County homeowners to have to deal with rampant overdevelopment. And how was this achieved? By special interest groups telling North County voters lies about the effects it would have on them.

Then South County gets the pork barrel projects, the toll roads, shoved down our throats, which in turn continue to decimate our quality of life.

Then comes the final straw, Measure A and the international airport at El Toro. Self-interested speculators George Argyros and Buck Johns bombarded North County voters with the usual propaganda and disinformation. Through their efforts they got the North County voters to vote that it is in their interest to risk decimating southern Orange County property values.

They tell the people commercial flights are going to take off uphill with a tail wind over mountains. Yeah! And elephants are pink and have wings and can fly. They tell the people that the billion-dollar conversion of El Toro will be paid for by private funds. Where have we heard this before?

The county told us that toll roads would be paid for by developer fees and toll revenues. So far, the toll roads have been paid for by state gas tax money that is supposed to go to freeways and mass transit, and by Mello Roos money that is supposed to go for schools, libraries and fire stations.

Taxpayers, watch out for your wallets!

The people of southern Orange County have had our homes put under attack and we fully intend to fight back. If that means lawsuits, another ballot initiative on El Toro, or an initiative to create a separate southern Orange County, so be it!

Southern Orange County has been seen as just a collection of bedroom communities. Well, it is not. It is a sleeping giant and you have awakened it!

GEORGE M. GALLAGHER

Irvine

* After the national election shocker what is an Orange County Democrat to do?

What we have always done, only more so, that's what! Our legislators, now Republicans all, never have voted our way in spite of letters and phone calls. Most of us will keep on striving to improve the Democratic Party's effectiveness, because the alternative scares us.

Staring the immediate national wave of Republicanism in the face, we remember that in the past it has been the Democrats who have led the way out of depressions and wars. Democrats gave us Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Even though problems still exist, it was the Democrats who passed the laws that removed official sanction of racism.

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