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New DMV Head Advocates Tax On MilesDriven
The KCRA Channel ^ | November 16, 2004 | staff

Posted on 11/22/2004 4:26:38 PM PST by absalom01

New DMV Head Advocates Tax On Miles Driven

Joan Borucki Is Veteran Of State Transportation Programs

POSTED: 10:16 am PST November 16, 2004
UPDATED: 6:19 pm PST November 16, 2004
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tired of high gas prices? Right now, drivers are paying a tax of 18 cents for every gallon of gas bought. The new chief of the state Department of Motor Vehicles has an idea that would wipe out the gas tax, but at what cost?


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's newly appointed director of the DMV, Joan Borucki, wants to charge people for every mile they drive.Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that the idea has yet to receive in-depth consideration, but talk of a "mileage tax" is causing a political commotion.Honda dealer Katina Rapton says that the idea of an "mileage tax" is crazy, and that California already requires the manufacture and sale of clean-burning, fuel-efficient cars, which cost consumers more to drive off the lot."To me it doesn't make much sense," Rapton said. "And then turn around and penalize them on the backside for using their cars and getting better gas mileage? It doesn't make much sense."The mileage could be tracked with a device placed in the car. It's an idea that Borucki included in the governor's recently completed California Performance Review. The idea is echoed by transportation planners.
"We have to go to another device because we can't continue to rely on the gas tax in its current form, because we're using less gasoline as the price of gas goes up," said Mineta Transportation Institute spokesman Rod Diridon Sr.But Schwarzenegger, who was in Stockton Tuesday, was talking cautiously."I know the idea that has been talked about. But I don't know exactly what that would mean and what effect it would have exactly. So, I want to think it through before I make a commitment on that," Schwarzenegger said.The idea could be politically explosive for the governor who was elected, in part, on his pledge to roll back the state's car tax.Highly fuel-efficient cars like the Honda Civic would be most dramatically impacted if the idea goes forward because the driver would be charged for the miles driven, not the gas consumed.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: borucki; california; dmv; mileagetax; taxes
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1 posted on 11/22/2004 4:26:39 PM PST by absalom01
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To: absalom01

This idiotic idea keeps popping up, and I'm having a really hard time seeing a reasonable justification for it other than wanting to be able to track everyone's movements. If the gas tax isn't bringing in enough money, then raise it. There's no need to invent a new tax and spend millions on the infrastructure to support it.


2 posted on 11/22/2004 4:29:13 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (A plan is not a litany of complaints)
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To: absalom01

None of these Big Brother advocates has explained why the gas tax can't simply be raised, if they predict shortfalls.


3 posted on 11/22/2004 4:29:47 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01

We already have something simular to that. It is called tax on gasoline.


4 posted on 11/22/2004 4:30:14 PM PST by U S Army EOD (John Kerry, the mother of all flip floppers.I)
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To: B Knotts

We need to go to hydrogen, with no tax on it. That will force them to cut agencies and expenses that are useless or worse enslave our people.


5 posted on 11/22/2004 4:31:32 PM PST by shubi (Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,must undergo the fatigues of supporting it.)
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To: B Knotts

BAH!

If they predict shortfalls, they should cut spending.. either get rid of a staffer or 20, pay their own heath insurance, or close down for 6 months.

Raising taxes is NOT THE ANSWER, so STOP suggesting it.


6 posted on 11/22/2004 4:32:45 PM PST by JesseJane (Air France flights 1192, 491, 288, 751, 216, now boarding...)
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To: ThinkDifferent

What they are trying to do is to restrict/discourage driving.

I'm guessing that they are afraid that people will buy more fuel efficient vehicles and continue to drive more and more miles, and that the gas tax won't be sufficient to discourage that behavior, even if raised.

But they'll never admit that.

If they really want people to drive less miles, they should get serious about encouraging telecommuting for those sectors in which it would make sense.


7 posted on 11/22/2004 4:32:50 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01

Not good news for folks in rural areas. May be it time to convert to corn oil...


8 posted on 11/22/2004 4:33:36 PM PST by Meldrim
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To: JesseJane

I don't think you understand my point.

If this were truly a matter of insufficient revenue, they would simply proposed an increased gas tax.

But, that's not what this is about.

It's about bureaucrats trying to force you to drive less.


9 posted on 11/22/2004 4:34:14 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01
Read Joan Borucki's new book, How to Totally Suffocate the Economy of An Entire Nation, a 'can't miss' according the the New York Times and the Amercian environmentalists!
10 posted on 11/22/2004 4:34:34 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: absalom01

Time to reactivate the TAR & FEATHER motivation for ignorant "public servants"!

Every time one comes up with one of these asinine ideas or proposals -- out comes the feathers and fire up the tar!

Riding them out on the rail is only for the celebration afterwards.


11 posted on 11/22/2004 4:36:06 PM PST by steplock (http://www.outoftimeradio.org)
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To: B Knotts

"What they are trying to do is to restrict/discourage driving"

They know people in California have to drive. It's no more an attempt to restrict/discourage driving than tobacco taxes are an attempt to restrict/discourage smoking.

It's all about the revenue they think they can collect. Nothing more, nothing less.


12 posted on 11/22/2004 4:36:28 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: absalom01
And here is how they'll structure the fees:

First 5,000 miles per year: $0.02/mile
5,000-10,000 miles: $0.04/mile
10,000-20,000 miles: $0.08/mile
over 20,000 miles: $0.12/mile

13 posted on 11/22/2004 4:37:22 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01
Excellent comentary by State Sen. Tom McClintock on his site www.tommclintock.com. States my argument much better than I.
14 posted on 11/22/2004 4:37:43 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: RFEngineer

If it were about revenue, why wouldn't they just raise the tax?


15 posted on 11/22/2004 4:38:14 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts

I know what they are up to.. Force you to drive cars that make them feel better, environmentally speaking, but winning control of your transportation choices. Having succeeded in that, NOW, PUNISH YOUR BUTT for having to drive long distances for jobs, since your own community jobs DRIED UP BECAUSE OF HOSTILE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS. Believe me I get it.. still... raising taxes is NEVER EVER EVER THE ANSWER... there are too many people to do not carry their own weight, in the LAST PLACE, and in first place is government waste, fraud, perks, and pay for non-performance.. Promises to government unions is sucking CA into the bowels of bankruptcy.. Scaaaaaaaaaarewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ANY TALK of raising taxes..


16 posted on 11/22/2004 4:39:06 PM PST by JesseJane (Air France flights 1192, 491, 288, 751, 216, now boarding...)
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To: B Knotts
What they are trying to do is to restrict/discourage driving.

That does make sense. Of course, if they were really interested in solving traffic problems they'd look at ideas like congestion pricing, rather than charging the same amount per mile during rush hour and at midnight. So it looks like this is a Big Brother program to track us, or an environmentalist wacko social engineering scheme to make us ride bicycles. (And those aren't mutally exclusive).

17 posted on 11/22/2004 4:39:46 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (A plan is not a litany of complaints)
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To: absalom01

This seems like Arnold is sending up a trial balloon, to try to found out the nature and extent of the opposition to this. (Makes me glad I voted for McClintock.)

The potential for this to be abused from a privacy as well fiscal standpoint is huge.


18 posted on 11/22/2004 4:40:30 PM PST by absalom01
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To: shubi
We need to go to hydrogen, with no tax on it.

The question is how to fund roads and their repairs. We all bitch about roads, but none of us want to pay to fix them or build new ones.

19 posted on 11/22/2004 4:40:43 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: AVNevis
Since the link apparently didn't work, I'll just post McClintock's commentary here:

Highway Robbery

The new DMV director has proposed scrapping California's current fuel tax
and instead substituting a tax based on the miles you drive.

A bit of background: California's highways have traditionally been funded by
fuel taxes - principally an 18-cent per gallon excise tax and a sales tax
that averages 7.9 percent. It is simple and efficient to collect and
provides a rough approximation of proportional use: the heavier the vehicle
or the more it is used, the more fuel it uses and the more tax it pays.
This system also provides a natural discount to the most
fuel-efficient cars.

Proponents of a mileage tax point to an inflation-adjusted decline in the
gasoline excise tax, but they ignore the dramatic increase in the sales tax
on fuel produced by skyrocketing oil prices.

In fact, Californians currently pay the 4th highest tax per gallon of
gasoline in the country. And yet we recently ranked at the very bottom of a
nationwide survey of both highway conditions and per capita spending for
highways. The problem is that existing taxes paid by highway users have not
been used for our highways. In the last two years, $2 billion of our sales
taxes on gasoline have been raided for purposes unrelated to our highways -
including $1.1 billion in the current year.

So the first question is, what makes them think the mileage tax won't suffer
the same fate?

Some other flaws:
. Unless you are going to apply endless bureaucratic formulae to adjust for
vehicle weight and fuel efficiency, the frugal hybrid driver will be paying
the same as the indulgent SUV owner.

. It gives out of state travelers a free ride on California roads, and, if
mileage is based on odometer readings, it would tax Californians even when
they're traveling out of state.

. It is highly invasive. One proposal is to place GPS tracking devices in
every car, requiring up-close and personal snooping of how and where
Californians drive.

The real agenda is to establish the means and the precedent to track the
individual driving routes of individual motorists. And the only reason for
doing this is to penalize them financially for trying to get to work
on time.
20 posted on 11/22/2004 4:41:22 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: ThinkDifferent
Congestion pricing will probably be part of this scheme.

This is the essence of it:

EVERY ROAD A TOLL ROAD

They want to force people out of their cars, by any means necessary.

21 posted on 11/22/2004 4:42:18 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01

Miles Driven Tax? Isn't that called the Gas Tax?


22 posted on 11/22/2004 4:42:24 PM PST by shellshocked
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To: B Knotts

Because a 'fee' would only require a simple majority, while a 'tax' requires two thirds majority.


23 posted on 11/22/2004 4:42:49 PM PST by NathanR (Santiago!)
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To: absalom01

Incidentally, this is being looked into in a number of states, all over the country.


24 posted on 11/22/2004 4:43:00 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01; NormsRevenge; calcowgirl; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp
appointed director of the DMV, Joan Borucki,

Anyone remember Moonbeam Brown's DMV brain trust with the name Adriana Gianturco. She single handily set Cal Highway construction back 50 years into the future...

25 posted on 11/22/2004 4:43:00 PM PST by tubebender (If I had know I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself...)
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To: absalom01

Ironically, the more efficient your vehicle is, the more taxes you pay. Everyone will just buy five gallon fuel cans, disconnect "Big Brother" and cheat the system.

I pay a "road tax" in the form of fuel taxes even though I am powering generators and air compressors on construction sites. How about lawnmowers? Let's really make it complicated!


26 posted on 11/22/2004 4:43:27 PM PST by Normal4me
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To: shellshocked
Commentary against - here
27 posted on 11/22/2004 4:45:40 PM PST by TheOracleAtLilac
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To: Dog Gone

The problem is that even people who would be willing to pay an increased gas tax aren't convinced that any increase would actually go to building and maintaining roads. Instead, they rightly fear that much of it would be used to build bike lanes and light rail boondoggles.


28 posted on 11/22/2004 4:46:09 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts

Well, you could do that, and you could also have a tiered rate based on vehicle weight or any other criteria you care to dream up.

I agree with you that this is less about revenue that it is about implementing the "green agenda". People are fed up with tax increases and will be uh, reluctant to increase the gas tax unless and until all of it is spent on road construction and maintenance, which these people don't want. That's the last thing they want, in fact.

The power to tax is the power to destroy.


29 posted on 11/22/2004 4:46:17 PM PST by absalom01
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To: absalom01

They started researching this idea two years ago here in Oregon.


30 posted on 11/22/2004 4:49:29 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: absalom01

I'm going to put together an instruction manual for each car on how to disconnect the speedometer. I have 10,000,000 potential customers at 9.99 each (plus shipping and handling).


31 posted on 11/22/2004 4:49:48 PM PST by fritzz (A good plan vigorously executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week - Patton)
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To: B Knotts

gas tax doesn't scale up the revenues as well.....people with free will can choose a more efficient car to avoid the tax, lowering the gov't take.

This way they get everyone (so they think)


32 posted on 11/22/2004 4:51:16 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: absalom01

After getting ticketed by one of those traffic cameras recently, I was thinking today while on the 405 how long it will be before there are cameras on the freeway taking pictures of all of us who are exceeding the 65 MPH limit...


33 posted on 11/22/2004 4:51:32 PM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: Dog Gone
"The question is how to fund roads and their repairs. We all bitch about roads, but none of us want to pay to fix them or build new ones.

I pay 37 cents a gallon in taxes. I have no problem with that IF it goes for what it was intended for. If they want to start dictating who pays more or less for the same product, then lets do it all the way. If I buy 5 gallons for my generator should I pay road tax fees on that 5 gallons? No? Then people will fill 5 gallon jugs and then leave and then pour them into their cars when they get home. Bad idea if you ask me.

34 posted on 11/22/2004 4:52:23 PM PST by Normal4me
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To: absalom01

Actually I am of two minds on this. One part thinks it's the greatest idea since sliced bread. Nothing like liberals screwing their lives up even more.
The other part acknowledges that California has the fifth largest economy in the world and if they finally destroy themselves their likely to take the rest of our economy down with them.
I took guilty pleasure during the energy crisis they had. I should go to confession over that now that I think of it.


35 posted on 11/22/2004 4:52:50 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: B Knotts

Right -- there's a "pilot program" set up in Oregon for next year, I think.

The personal privacy issue makes this even more unpalatable, IMHO. I don't think that it's a smart idea to give this kind of power to a future opressive govenment, even if we completely trust our government as it's currently constituted.


36 posted on 11/22/2004 4:52:53 PM PST by absalom01
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To: B Knotts
Also, a gas tax rewards fuel efficiency. They are going to penalize the fuel efficient car.
37 posted on 11/22/2004 4:52:54 PM PST by fritzz (A good plan vigorously executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week - Patton)
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To: absalom01

If we had a true blue conservative governor, a lot of this foolishness would be nipped at the bud!


38 posted on 11/22/2004 4:53:16 PM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: fritzz
I'm going to put together an instruction manual for each car on how to disconnect the speedometer.

jailarity will ensue..

39 posted on 11/22/2004 4:53:56 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: absalom01

of course, the government is more entitled to spend my money than i am.


40 posted on 11/22/2004 4:54:09 PM PST by CaptainAwesome2
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To: B Knotts

"The problem is that even people who would be willing to pay an increased gas tax aren't convinced that any increase would actually go to building and maintaining roads. Instead, they rightly fear that much of it would be used to build bike lanes and light rail boondoggles"

Sheesh, you still aren't thinking like a bureaucrat! All tax revenues, whether "earmarked" or not go into the general fund either directly or indirectly. This is true for all gov't everywhere. There are no exceptions.

money is then doled out to whatever constituencies the gov't deems worthy.

It's about the green alright.....the cash green.


41 posted on 11/22/2004 4:55:40 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: Michael Barnes
jailarity will ensue..

Correction, a manual on how to repair you speedometer

42 posted on 11/22/2004 4:55:56 PM PST by fritzz (A good plan vigorously executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week - Patton)
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To: fritzz

Just unscrew the cable from the back. I have a 1993 truck for sale, it only has 18 miles on it. Going for a real good price! 8-)


43 posted on 11/22/2004 4:56:40 PM PST by Normal4me
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To: fritzz
Correction, a manual on how to repair you speedometer

HAHA....now your thinking!

44 posted on 11/22/2004 4:58:38 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: Normal4me

LOL, The new stuff isn't that easy.


45 posted on 11/22/2004 4:58:38 PM PST by fritzz (A good plan vigorously executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week - Patton)
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To: Michael Barnes; fritzz

That, and this proposal is even more insidious -- the system does not rely on odometers (partly for the reason that fritzz identifies), but on a GPS device in the car. The tax authority can track WHERE and WHEN you are driving. Of course, this information wouldn't be kept on file, and would only be aggregated for tax purposes blah blah blah.

There is an upside -- you wouldn't have to buy a Lojack -- the cops could just use the gps on board you car. If your teenage kid is missing at 4:00 AM, maybe you could track the car and make sure she's safe (before you ground her for life).

Of course, there's the potential for abuse.


46 posted on 11/22/2004 4:59:45 PM PST by absalom01
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To: ThinkDifferent
This idea, while "idiotic" on its face, is based on a very rational premise: When something is free -- or perceived to be free -- it will always tend to be used to excess. That's exactly why nobody in California bothered to conserve energy even as the state was facing massive power shortages a few years ago -- none of the customers had an incentive to limit their energy consumption because the price they were paying for their energy did not reflect the scarcity of it.

The same holds true for public thoroughfares such as highways and streets. There is definitely a "cost" associated with using these facilities, and a substantial amount of the cost is often paid through fuel taxes. The problem, though, is that the user does not pay an incremental cost that accurately reflects his use of the system; he has no clear financial incentive to vary his travel times and/or routes in response to variations in demand. In that sense, the motorist is similar to a customer in a restaurant with an all-you-can-eat menu. The restaurant will always make sure its prices are high enough to cover their costs, but once a customer has paid for his meal he has no incentive to stop eating because there is no incremental cost associated with each additional trip to the serving line. The natural end result is a customer base of obese people.

In an ideal situation, vehicle traffic would operate in a manner similar to electric and gas utilities, in which motorists pay more to travel during peak periods and/or on fast routes. The roadway system doesn't even have to be operated by a government entity; a number of states have experimented with privately-owned toll roads (parallel to "free" roads) that provide superior travel conditions to motorists who are willing to pay a price for it.

47 posted on 11/22/2004 4:59:47 PM PST by Alberta's Child (If whiskey was his mistress, his true love was the West . . .)
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To: Normal4me

don't know 'bout your state, but in Ca. one used to be able to file for a refund for "non-highway" fuel tax - just save appropriate receipts


48 posted on 11/22/2004 5:00:08 PM PST by TheOracleAtLilac
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To: kellynla
HA.......the Euroweenies tried this in Germany....but just for trucks (lorries) ...it was a BIG FIASCO....the German government spent Billions in infrastructure, computers and gadgets in trucks....but guess what...

It didn't work.

They also lost a ton of money in non-collected truck taxes since the old method was abandoned.

49 posted on 11/22/2004 5:00:39 PM PST by spokeshave (Strategery + Schardenfreude = Stratenschardenfreudery)
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To: AVNevis
"It gives out of state travelers a free ride on California roads" and your choice of tag
50 posted on 11/22/2004 5:00:45 PM PST by seastay
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