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An exclusive peek at CRC opposition plans

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 18th, 2009 at 6:51 am

This is a screen shot of an upcoming video that will be released by a coalition of citizens who oppose the current direction of the CRC project.

A grassroots coalition of Portlanders who oppose the current direction of the Columbia River Crossing project are gearing up their communications strategies in advance of their rally on April 5th.

On Thursday they'll formally launch the opening gambit in what organizers say will be "sustained campaign of opposition and alternatives to The CRC project."

The group has put together a series of mock video ads that use comedic satire to drive their points home. The first one is titled, "Building Like It's 1959" and will be set up as a spoof on the informercial/Home Shopping Network format.

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In the video, a couple sitting on a couch does the hard and cheesy sell on the "Bridge Shopping Network". The item up for bid is of a $4.2 billion dollar "Luxury Item". As a salesman makes his pitch, the phrases, "Have we got a bridge to sell you!", "Building like it's 1959" and "$4 Billion dollars subject to increase without notice" roll by in ticker style at the bottom of the screen.

Another one-liner you'll hear: "This bridge can be yours for just 1,000,000 payments of $4,000 each!"

One of the people involved with the effort is North Portland resident, author, and syndicated columnist Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaskie. Kurmaskie wrote the scripts for the videos and he told me today that upcoming spots include one called, "CRC Bridge Cures Cancer" and another one that will sell the bridge as a "Win-Win for Sports Fans" because it will provide a marketing opportunity for the Portland Trailblazers and their fans when traffic backs up in front of their home court, the Rose Garden Arena (several miles south of the project area).

Starting Thursday, the videos will be released every five days until and after the rally.

The group behind these videos -- who have partnered up with the Smarter Bridge coalition -- have also confirmed a list of speakers for their upcoming rally to be held in Waterfront Park on April 5th.

So far, confirmed to speak are; former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (who is also a disciple of Al Gore and give's Gore's climate change presentation all over the country), Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz (the only person on the council who voted against moving forward on a 12-lane CRC bridge), and Metro Councilor Robert Liberty (another one of the very few elected politicians who have voted against this project in the past years).

When I spoke with Kurmaskie today he said the energy and enthusiasm about their effort and about the rally are, "really growing."

Stay tuned for full videos and more information about this effort on Thursday.

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Comments
  • Jim Labbe March 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

    This is fabulous. Please keep us informed how do we support this effort... besides attending the April 5 rally.

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  • Peter W March 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Awesome.

    Anyone know if there is a facebook group for the rally? I have some friends to invite.

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  • Scott Mizée March 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Do I need to call my cable provider in order to get BSN, the "Bridge Shopping Network?"

    We need to purchase just a wee little one over the railroad tracks at the bottom of Waud Bluff in North Portland.

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  • metal cowboy March 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

    We have a google group started that will allow you to invite folks to the rally etc.

    http://groups.google.com/group/buildlessbridge

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  • Scott Mizée March 18, 2009 at 10:59 am

    cowboy... excellent that there is a google group but, this is not the 90's anymore... buildlessbridge needs more than one social media outlet. There needs to be a facebook and twitter account setup too.

    of course, that's just my humble opinion...

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  • Scott Mizée March 18, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Did that sound snarky? I hate it that blog commenting doesn't allow my tone of voice or body language to come through the keyboard. I meant that statement in the 'nicest' way possible, of course.

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  • bikieboy March 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    IMO, the Merc nailed it last week with their hilarious "What can we do for you now, Vancouver?" bit - not that there's anything very funny about blowing $4 billion bucks.

    Apologies in advance to the sensibilities of Vancouverites who are offended by this, but let's face it, this is a bridge designed to enable the Vancouver SOV commuters who work in Portland.

    http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/what-can-we-do-for-you-now-vancouver/Content?oid=1274746

    Looking forward to the "Have We Got a Bridge..." series, sounds very promising, as does the rally.

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  • metal cowboy March 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Scott - can you help us set up a facebook - i'm just a frozon caveman lawyer type with all the new high tech stuff ;-) seriously, email me to help set up facebook, myspace etc. if you got the time to help

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  • metal cowboy March 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    On correction to the article - The coalition boasts citizens from both sides of the river, many folks in Vancouver are upset by what this bridge will do to their quality of life, neighborhoods and pastural lands to the north of them.

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  • Spencer Boomhower March 18, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    This looks great, really clever and funny. And "have we got a bridge to sell you" is the most ready-made slogan ever.

    "The coalition boasts citizens from both sides of the river, many folks in Vancouver are upset by what this bridge will do to their quality of life, neighborhoods and pastural lands to the north of them."

    That totally makes sense, though now that I think about it, I don't remember hearing any of those voices in the several hearings I went to. We need to.

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  • Spencer Boomhower March 18, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Oh, and I signed up for the Google group, and I'll sign up for whatever Facebook thing you come up with. This could even be the push that finally gets me on Twitter (after holding out for this long).

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  • Bill Stites March 18, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Great job on the video - I know these things look quick, but they take a lot of time.

    Please keep us posted here on bikeportland ... I can't bring myself to join another group ...

    Thanks for everyone's efforts.

    See you on the 5th, if not before.

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  • Scott Mizée March 19, 2009 at 6:52 am

    It looks like "frozen caveman lawyer" is beginning to figure out our "microwave ovens" and our "internets"

    FACEBOOK group for this located here:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=74259157387

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  • revphil March 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    they will spend 10s of millions of dollars planning for a bridge we dont need

    we will spend many afternoons talking to our friends and neighbors about finding a better way, and we will succeed because we are right.

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