HRT to use thousands in tax dollars
to suck blacks into voting for 22% tax hike
The Hampton Roads Transit Authority, one of the area's most financially mis-managed government bureaucracies Monday admitted it was going to give free bus rides to those needing to get to the polls Tuesday to vote on the proposed 22% tax hike referendum.
Most of the HRT riders are black - those least able to afford the pay higher taxes. But HRT director Michael Townes and HRT chairman, Norfolk City Councilman Randy Wright are using your tax dollars to lure blacks to the polls with free bus rides.
blacks only get a $5 bill (walking money) and a pint of whiskey for selling
The bus system, which is subsidized by citizens in all Tidewater cities it serves, estimates the value of the free rides will only amount to $3,500 - an insignificant sum.
Now wait a minute - for rest of the story:
The cost is really going to probably exceed $50,000 in your tax dollars that HRT is putting out to promote the referendum.
Thousands of dollars have been spend on pro-tax literature, art work, printer fees, posters. In addition, HRT took up the advertising space it normally sells on its buses and used it for its own ads promoting the tax hike.
There was also staff time in developing the ad campaign and employees time spent putting the materials on the buses in the ad slots.
All told it is estimated HRT has spent $50,000 of the taxpayers money to do this.
And, of course, those taking the free rides, just by chance, will be bombarded on the buses with literature telling them how important the mass transit portion of the referendum is to them.
There have had untold hours of staff time and meetings, some with lunch paid for by the taxpayers, to strategize about how to keep this out of the press and repay HRT's friends in the Chamber of Commerce who supported the previously failed Light Rail Referendum.