Pacific Resource Partnership Launches Honolulu Rail Support Campaign

The carpenters union seems to be going off the rails. First, its public relations wing, Pacific Resource Partnership, launched a multimedia campaign in support of rail, I Mua Rail. Check out its webite, it’s packed with whoppers like these:

“With rail, we’ll have more time for the important things in life. We’ll spend less time sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic and more quality time with family and friends.” And this, “One more hour with family.”

Makes it sound like commute times will shorten with rail, doesn’t it?

Pure shibai. Even the city has stopped trying to imply that post-rail drive times will decrease, because they won’t. Here’s what the Federal Transit Administration had to say about this in its Record of Decision on Honolulu’s rail project:

“Many commenters reiterated their concern that the Project will not relieve highway congestion in Honolulu. FTA agrees, but the purpose of the Project is to provide an alternative to the use of congested highways for many travelers. This alternative to the use of highways is especially important for households that cannot afford an automobile for every person in the household who travels for work or for other reasons.”

(Quoted from the project’s Environmental Impact Statement, available in full through a link found here.)

I agree that as slogans go, “Rail: Making traffic slightly less horrible than it would otherwise be” isn’t much of a selling point, but it would at least be honest. But why settle for honesty when self-interest is on the line? Absolutely, rail would be great for carpenters, while it’s under construction. Carpenters won’t actually ride the train after, though. They go to work in trucks, to carry the ton of tools they need.

But then Pacific Resource Partnership just got silly with its “Be Nice Ben” campaign.

“Sign our petition to Ben Cayetano now. Urge him to show more respect and refrain from these kinds of mean-spirited personal attacks. … These sorts of personal attacks have no place in our public discourse. When Ben Cayetano disrespects Senator Inouye—a man of integrity and honor with a distinguished record of public service—he’s disrespecting all of us.”

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano must have said something really horrible, right? Maybe he called Sen. Dan Inouye a “one-armed bandit” or something.

Turns out Cayetano said Inouye was “out of touch.”

That’s it. Out of touch.

Come on, Pacific Resource Partnership, you’re giving phony outrage a bad name.