Monday, March 4, 2013

Ed Orcutt responded in less than 18 hours ***Amended***

I was shocked to receive a response to my snarky email, I was even more shocked that Mr Orcutt replied within 15 hours of my original email. What I expected was a pre-fabricated form email written by his secretary. What I actually got was an apology (three of them) and a pretty well thought out response, which more accurately represented his position on the proposed tax. Here is the unedited response from Rep. Orcutt.

***** I have since found out that this is not a unique email sent to me, Rep Orcutt has evidently gotten enough heat for this email that he has an official "apology email" ready to fire off to the pissed off and spandex clad. I suppose that I am glad to be part of a sea of voices calling this guy an ass rather than one voice screaming in vain.****

First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles.
Although I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my e-mail. My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint. In looking back, it was not a point worthy of even mentioning so, again, I apologize – both for bringing it up and for the wording of the e-mail.
Second, please understand that I have not proposed, nor do I intend to propose, any tax – and certainly not a carbon tax – on bicyclists. There is little in the Democrat tax proposal that I support. However, the one aspect of the Democrat tax plan that has merit is their proposed $25.00 tax on the purchase of any bicycle $500.00 or more. I am willing to consider this because I’ve heard requests from members of the bicycle community that they want more money for bicycle infrastructure. The idea of bicyclists paying for some of the infrastructure they are using is one which merits consideration.

Since I have heard concerns about doing this via sales tax due to the impact on bicycle shops, I am very willing to work with the bicycle community to determine an appropriate way to enable bicyclists to pay for some of the bicycle-only lanes and overpasses. It is my intent to seek out your advocates in Olympia to see if there are other ways to accomplish this.

Again, I do apologize for the carbon line in the e-mail and any confusion it has created. I look forward to working on reasonable solutions to the problems cyclists are having with infrastructure.
Representative Ed Orcutt
20th Legislative District

Olympia Office:
408 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
( 360.786.7990

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Kudos to Representative Orcutt for a quick response.

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