Anthony Williams isn’t the only candidate airing campaign commercials loaded with flimflammery this spring, but he deserves special mention in The Roundabout for a spot that seeks to bury Dan Onorato beneath the Allegheny River.
It says gubernatorial rival Onorato enacted the largest tax increase in Allegheny County history to help pay for the North Shore Connector, which it calls "an unfinished half-billion dollar boondoggle" and "useless Onorato tunnel to nowhere."
Onorato is indeed responsible for the drink tax, but none of that money is going to the North Shore Connector. Rather, it pays the county’s share of the Port Authority’s operating subsidy, about $28 million annually. Without it, the authority wouldn’t qualify for $184.5 million in state aid, and a lot of bus riders would be walking or hitchhiking to work. Incidentally, the county is only paying 3.3 percent of the connector cost.
As for the "nowhere" reference, the connector will end within a short walk of the following: PNC Park, Heinz Field, Rivers Casino, Carnegie Science Center, Community College of Allegheny County, the proposed amphitheater at the football stadium and several hotels, restaurants and office buildings.
Maybe the Philadelphian Williams was referring to the Downtown end of the tunnel as "nowhere."