Matt Nash identifies an all-embracing, ready-made platform in today’s column, “We must say no to tolls.”

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Matt gets it right in identifying the ideal electoral platform for the fall: No tolls, and by extension, a complete re-examination of the Bridges Project.

Who wants this one? Are there any Democrats with a pulse within reading distance?

Tolls on existing bridges, instituted years in advance of the (plausible) East End bridge and (unnecessary) downtown bridge, will have the obvious and devastating effect of reversing the bulk of progress we’ve made over a period of decades in convincing Louisvillians to patronize Southern Indiana, and to regard us as part and parcel of metro Louisville.

Tolls will gut the very tongue-in-cheek concept of “regionalism” that non-governmental apologists like 1SI touts, its front man’s eyes rolling as palms slowly extend to relieve the rubes on the New Albany city council of money for use in advocating damaging policies precisely like tolls on bridges.

Surreal does not do it justice. The various monied interests that pay to sit on the inner cabal that formulates 1SI policy to the exclusion of well-intentioned small-fry members are laughing at you, CM Gahan — and at council persons McLaughlin, Benedetti, Zurschmiede, and especially Caesar, himself a member of 1SI, whose vote in favor of handing 1SI dollars to purchase sand to throw back in the faces of New Albany was at best a flagrant conflict of interest, and at worst a slap in the face of his own downtown and to its small business district.

We must say no to tolls, writes Nash, and it’s true. Who will be the ones to pick up this heaven-sent fumble — even 1SI cannot come up with a convincing public relations spin in favor of tolls without grimacing — and run with it into the fall elections?

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