Prop 1 Defeat Reaction: Cheers, Jeers and Tears

King County voters resoundingly kicked transit supporters in the stomach yesterday, refusing to pay additional money from a sales-tax and car-tab increase to fund Metro bus transit and road repairs. Now, faced with specter of severe service cuts, transit officials will scramble, and local politicians will, as former Seattle councilman Peter Steinbrueck predicts, likely “move into crisis mode.”

Here’s a sampling of the reaction to Prop 1’s defeat:

Dow Constantine

The King County Executive expressed the predictably grave sentiment of Prop 1 supporters in the wake of defeat, while at the same time alluding to finding new funding sources for Metro. :

“There are no other options but to cut service. The voters are not rejecting Metro; they are rejecting this particular means of funding for Metro.”

Peter Steinbrueck

The Prop 1 supporter and 2013 mayoral candidate tells Seattle Weekly that it might be time to panic:

“I don’t think the Prop 1 campaign was very robust or visible, and I don’t think Metro did a very good job in making the argument that it is running a cost-effective system. ... I think now we’re going to move into crisis mode.”

Larry Phillips

The County Council Chair states the seemingly obvious, via the Seattle Times:

“We’re going to have more drivers on congested roads that aren’t in good repair.”

Martin Duke

The Seattle Transit Blog editor-in-chief provides a more nuanced “oh shit.”:

“Faced with the choice between slightly higher taxes and draconian cuts to service, the voters have chosen the cuts. The impact will be most severe on the transit-dependent, but commuters of all modes, businesses in dense areas, clean air and water, and public health are all losers.”

Dick Paylor

The Prop 1 opposition spokesman popped the champagne. Via the Seattle Times:

“Metro’s got issues, and until they solve those, we’re not going to give them more money.”

Tim Eyman

The conservative activist, via one of his signature mass-email press releases, sounded shockingly coherent:

“We’ve sponsored numerous initiatives lowering car tab taxes. Every time voters have had the chance to lower them, they’ve voted to lower them. Every time voters have had a chance to raise car tab taxes, they’ve voted against raising them. Every single time,” Eyman wrote. “Car tab tax increases are an absolutely radioactive revenue source, voters just hate ‘em. Most of the campaign over Prop 1 focused on King County Metro’s unsustainable spending. And there’s certainly good arguments for that. But this loss was baked in the cake the day they included higher car tab taxes in the package.”

Ed Murray

The Seattle mayor, as noted by Knute Berger and Benjamin Anderstone on Crosscut, spoke of the work that needs to be done “in Olympia to spur lawmakers to approve a transportation package.” Naturally, the new mayor also referenced his past success in Olympia, specifically in passing same-sex marriage.

“We will win, if not tonight, on transit, over the next few years ... We have no choice,” Murray is quoted as saying.

Renee Staton

The neighborhood activist wrote, via Twitter:

“My son’s bus to school will now be going away. #prop1 sad news.”

Hanna Brooks Olsen

The local writer and Seattlish co-founder used Twitter to do some #Prop1 venting, tweeting:

“I am livid at the result of the #prop1 vote. This is what repulsive misinformation, selfishness & disregard for those in poverty looks like.”

“If you’re upset about traffic, crappy roads, or sparse Metro service in the coming months, blame @seattletimes & @Mayor_Ed_Murray. Period.”

“If you need me, I’ll be at the bottom of a bottle. Within walking distance of my house. #prop1”

“Final thought: You can’t be against a higher minimum wage & also vote against how people get to work for an affordable rate. You can’t.”

For background on the saga of Prop 1, and the people yesterday’s election results will impact, check out Seattle Weekly’s recent photo essay: The Riders of Metro’s Threatened Lines

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