35th Senate Race - A Road to Nowhere?

Diane Harkey and Tom Harman are both running for the 35th District Senate seat. Harkey is the Republican's Republican, toeing the party line in her Dana Pointed way, while Harman has the misfortune of being a from-all-appearances honest politician in Huntington Beach (unlikely enough) as well as a fairly weak environmental voting record, versus the Republican-preferred nonexistent environmental voting record. Power to the people, as long as those people drive bulldozers...

Still, it's not up to me to tell you for whom to vote. It's up to you to listen to what I tell you. And since my major concern is the Transportation Corridor Agencies' plan to extend their 241 toll road through San Onofre State Beach, I'm going to tell you what each of these Republicans think about the Foothill-South (241) toll road, based on what they both graciously took the time to tell me today.

(candidates in alphabetical order)

DIANE HARKEY - "Right now we have a road to nowhere."

  • Supports The 241 Extension: "We need this road. It's not a matter of putting it in so we can build more; we can't get around now."
  • Doesn't Think the State Will Buy Out the Toll Roads: "North County doesn't think it's necessary; South County thinks they [the toll roads] would be too crowded. It's a shame because I think it sounded like a great idea."
  • Understands Indirect Benefits of Roadbuilding: "Our property values went up enormously once we had the toll roads. We were finally connected. The tolls are just an extra tax of living in South County."
  • Can Perceive Alternate Realities: "Imagine North OC without the 405--that's what it's like down here."

TOM HARMAN - "This is one of the five most heavily-used state parks in the system."

  • Opposed To The Road As It's Proposed: "I think there's a need for the 241 toll road extension; I just don't think it's right to route it through San Onofre State Beach."
  • Believes Other Options Exist: "My sense of it is, the toll road authorities got together and said, 'This'll be an easy way to do it, through the state park.' I don't think they've given serious consideration to other alternatives."
  • Likes Children: "When we dedicate a state park, it's with the understanding it'll be there for many generations to come. It's for our children - our grandchildren."
  • Understands Effects Of Highways On Nature: "To say, 'We're going to take this park and ruin it' - that's not right. Running this toll road through the center of the park would in fact destroy it."

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