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Prop. 51 Loaded With Special-Interest Plums

November 03, 2002

Re: "Developers Back Prop. 51 With Eye on Irvine," Oct. 26:

Remember how the Irvine Great Park was to be built without any cost to the taxpayer? Well, think again.

What Irvine's Mayor Larry Agran and his developer friends failed to tell us is that they have slipped into Proposition 51, a $1-billion-a-year measure, $110 million to help pay for the Great Park at El Toro and additional funding for an airport terminal without the planes. They want to be able to check in and ride to the airport of their choice. At our expense, of course.

After writing many glowing articles that were obviously pro-Great Park and anti-El Toro airport, Times writer Jean O. Pasco seems to have finally seen the light. I sincerely hope that the good citizens of California will vote no on 51.

George Wentworth

Corona del Mar

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Proposition 51, the Traffic Congestion Relief and Safe School Bus Act, appropriates state general funds for a number of specific projects, only 24% of which are focused on traffic congestion or safe school buses. The act also contains $120 million for the Great Park (traffic congestion relief?), making the representation by Agran that the park will be developed "at no cost to Orange County taxpayers" a blatant lie.

The act would fund many projects, including a railroad museum, a rail line to an Indian casino, and improved water transportation on Lake Tahoe. The act is not really about roads and school buses -- it is about allocating funds to pet projects of the act's supporters. Though the act does not directly increase taxes, where do you think the state will get the funds needed for higher-priority issues such as education and health care if this measure becomes law and diverts money from the general fund? You guessed it, higher taxes or cuts in other services.

If passed, Proposition 51 will no doubt be the subject of a legal challenge and probably will be shown to be the most corrupt use of the initiative process in the history of California elections. Agran's slate partners, Beth Krom and Mitch Goldstone, can, perhaps, claim to have been duped by Agran, but the mayor, as a board member of the group that sponsored Proposition 51, cannot claim ignorance.

Don't be deceived by the mayor or by Proposition 51.

Scott Perley

Irvine

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