ORBP Job “Data” Figures = A Load of Horseshit

If you’ve been paying any attention to the ongoing (and infinitely ridiculous) Louisville Mayoral Power-Grab 2010 Extravaganza, you may have heard front-runners such as David Tandy tout the economic boon that the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project will be for regional job creation.

“Both bridges need to be built now,” they say, “and the 55,000 jobs the project will create will help the community moving forward, into the future, forever.” Platitudes like this, of course, play very well within the dumbed-down confines of political horse racing; and who doesn’t love jobs? (Communists, that’s fucking who.)

Unfortunately for all offending candidates — and the community they’re routinely lying to — the Ohio River Bridges Project isn’t going to create 55,000 jobs, nor will it create 40,000, or even 30,000 for that matter.

So is it 20,000? Nope. What about 10,000? Warmer.

Try 5,400, jerks.

A tip o’ the hat to Steve Magruder at Louisville History & Issues for digging up this oft-abused factoid:

…in the Build the Bridges Coalition’s study Economic Benefits Assessment of the Ohio River Bridges Project, Page 9, it states in the Exhibit 4 table that the 56,000+ figure is “worker years” and in the textual content they say that only “5,400 would be directly associated with the construction activity…”

It strongly appears we have a case of marketing the project by playing funny with the numbers, and stenographers at local television news stations are lapping up this marketing, rather than digging deeper and looking at the actual jobs impact.

The only candidates who know better, however, aren’t the ones being supported by this city’s endless supply of mindless lemmings who are currently backing either a pathological liar or a climate change denier. I have to remember, though, that Louisville isn’t accustomed to a race this big and this local since, well, ever, and the same goes for the local media. In the end, we might just be gravitating toward the devils we already sort of know.

[Side note: The bi-state bridges authority just replaced KTC-drone Joe Prather with a Lexington banker, which has to be good news for the oligarchical finance schemes that will be used to pay for the goddamned thing.]

How a candidate can support this project, tout its erroneous data and still be a front-runner in this race speaks volumes, I think, about the crushing buyer’s remorse that’s waiting for Louisville once this sad exercise in “democracy” is over.

On that note, might I interest you in a patent for an ice-machine?


  1. Steve Magruder
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    To be stand-up about it, I do have to acknowledge that Daniel Borsch of “Say NO to Bridge Tolls” dug it up and released it on that Facebook group.

    I just repackaged and disseminated it.

    So my hat’s off to Dan.

  2. Kelly
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been more depressed about an upcoming election than I am about this one. The only candidate that gets it, Tyler Allen, isn’t going to win and that means we are going to be stuck with the lowest common denominator.

    I just can’t understand why we can’t get something better in this community. I used to think that once the old money crowd died off that we would get some fresh blood but alas that isn’t going to happen. It’s more of the same and is enough to make me look elsewhere for a place to call home.

    If this crazy ass bridges project ever does get underway, God help us all. With Peak Oil knocking on the door, forward thinking communities are looking to mass transit, urban infill and new ways to power things. Here in Possibility City, we are doubling down on concrete.

    Make it stop!

  3. Jonathan Meador
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    @ Steve: Word.

    @ Kelly: I feel you big time. They say “all politics is local,” and they are right: Whether you’re electing a president or a mayor, it usually either boils down to the equivalent of a shit sandwich or a giant douchebag, doesn’t it?

    That said, Allen hasn’t successfully articulated the link between this project/transportation-as-a-whole in a way that resonates with voters, assuming most primary voters know who he is and what the Big issue stands for. I can’t say if blame should laid at his campaign’s feet or the feet of an electorate that responds too easily to the vapidity displayed by the leading campaigns from both parties.

    Also: Moving away from Louisville is so 20th century. Stay and fight, please.

  4. stu noland
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Yes stay and fight. We’ve got time, 5 + years until, they start ramping up construction on the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century, AKA the downtown portion of the ORBP. I have started a facebook group that is going to amass 1 million people who pledge not to live in Louisville in 2024 and beyond, regardless of career opportunity, if Louisville makes the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century. Search for I will not live in Louisville (to be renamed soon).

  5. Pete
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Let’s get our thinking straight.

    The bridge is NOT going to be built AND Tyler Allen IS going to be our next mayor.

    Repeat this over and over to yourselves and your friends and you will be very pleased with the outcome.

  6. alex
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    believe in tyler!!!!!

  7. Curtis Morrison
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    @Jonathan & Steven (& Dan)
    Excellent journalism.
    Have faith. Don’t believe poll numbers that just call the 80% of folks that have land-line phones, because Tyler’s base, well, we don’t have land line phones. We weren’t polled.
    Tyler can and will win this election, and if you want to play a part, check out our canvassing schedule under news on tyler4mayor.com. Thanks!

  8. Kelly
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t want to leave as Louisville is home but sometimes I just can’t help but feel that the grass is greener elsewhere. While I agree that some of the blame does go to the Tyler campaign, the majority of it goes to the CJ and television news.

    Those entities, of which I no longer consume, have a vested interest in keeping things the same. They serve one purpose and that is to keep the masses as ignorant as possible. The informed voters will vote for a candidate that wants to transform the way we do things, the rest will decide the election and it won’t be pretty. Allen has my vote.

  9. Chris
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    (black cloud) – State legislators that “refuse” to create/pass a state budget; the sad hype of another Derby; the dirty, dreary prospects of the mayoral race; record unemployment, etc.

    I agree with Kelly. For the first time, I am beginning to feel that my friends – who have been telling me for years to move somewhere more progressive – may be right.

    To Jonathan and Stu – “stay and fight”…OK, where does one start to make a difference? I’m up for suggestions.

  10. Steve Magruder
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    We could use more numbers protesting the bridge tolls, for starters. Doesn’t take much effort on that, and the small numbers we’ve seen so far have probably already made a difference.

    Sometimes it really is the little things that count.

  11. stu noland
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Here is how you stay and fight. Help me amass 1 million people who will not live in Louisville after 2024, regardless of career opportunity, if we make the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century. Tell everyone you know including those from out of town. The picture of the Flying spaghetti monster speaks for itself and I am confident that we will reach our goal. As for the rest, if the people that run this city don’t listen to 1 million people who make this pledge Louisville will have proven itself completely deaf and dysfunctional. However, I don’t think they could ignore 1 million people.

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