Donna Howard endorsed by PET PAC for Special Election!

******Special Election******
People for Efficient Transportation PAC Endorses
Vote Donna Howard for State Representative District 48
Early Voting Jan 3 - 13!!!
Election Day is Jan 17

After careful consideration and a comprehensive questionnaire, PET PAC is confident Donna Howard is the best candidate for the job. PET PAC is a nonpartisan, grassroots group of Texans focused on keeping toll booths off roads we've already paid for. Two years ago, PET PAC endorsed a Republican for this seat, this year we back a Democrat.

“We selected Democrat Donna Howard over the Republican in this race because she was 100% open with her responses and because of her strong position against privatizing and tolling our public highways. Donna Howard understands the tremendous negative impact that freeway tolls will have on our local economy,” said Sal Costello, founder of PET PAC. “We've discovered Donna Howard will work the hardest to keep the unaccountable toll tax collection booths off our public highways.” Costello added.

Donna Howard TV ad and website:

PET PAC Press Release:

District 48 Map:

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CTRMA campaign: "How to Pay the Toll."

Sheriffs' PAC: "urgency for immediate change!"

Dear Austin Chronicle Editor,

The current commissioner's [Karen Sonleitner] letter to the editor on Dec. 16 [“Postmarks”] only affirms our membership made the right decision by supporting Sarah Eckhardt's commitment to sound government [“Sheriff's Unions Back Eckhardt for Precinct 2 Comissioner,” News, Dec. 9].

What's sad about the commissioner's letter is her frail attempt to try to equate our membership's decision to support Sarah Eckhardt with the personal greed of the men and women who protect this community. The commissioner's budget numbers and facts were skewed during negotiations this year, and they're even worse in her letter to you.

It's our position over the years that the commissioner has increasingly lost touch with her ability to effectively govern on issues relating to the crucial mission of the Sheriff's Office. The Travis County Sheriff's Officers Association and the Sheriffs' Law Enforcement Association represent nearly 90% of the employees of the Sheriff's Office. We take the safety of the citizens of Travis County very seriously. We feel it is our responsibility to ensure our office's mission is represented by our elected officials commensurate to the level of service we provide to their constituents.

In the case of the commissioners of Precinct 2, just because the commissioner tends to vote in line with other pro-public-safety members of the court, does not mean the commissioner is supporting our employees in a manner that is equal to the unmatched level of public safety services we provide throughout the county.

Our job as peace officers is sometimes unpopular, but very necessary, much like speaking out against an 11-year incumbent. The fact that both associations are openly taking this stance against the commissioner should alert the party and our citizens of the urgency for immediate change!

Brett Spicer, PAC chairman
Travis County Sheriffs' Law Enforcement Association
Alex Leo, PAC chairman
Travis County Officers' Association


2 EZ steps to file an "Open Records Request"

2 EZ steps to file an
"Open Records Request"

- within minutes - ONLINE!


I've filed about 70 transportation based requests over the past 20 months with TxDOT, RMA, Senators, State Representatives, Mayor etc. I've learned the easiest ways to get information, and I want to share it with you. You can request any information from YOUR government.

1. Write your request. Copy and paste one of the base letters below, fill in your own dates, name, and specific info (about specific roads, rail, dollars, communications etc) you'd like to receive. Ask to come into their office to review the information. It is FREE. If what you request is less than 40 pages, they will mail it to you for free! If you decide to go view the documents, you can get copies of only the limited items you'd like (much cheaper than the cost of having everything copied. I've seen estimates of $100's or $1,000's for requests):

2. Submit the request online. Here are a few examples of where you can start requesting information right now...IT'S YOUR GOVERNMENT.

Go to: http://www.dot.state.tx.us/
Click "Contact Us" in top bar to left.
Select and send to "Public Information Office"
Select "Request for Information"
Fill out the rest and submit.


Send your request via email to: spustelnyk@ctrma.org & mstein@ctrma.org

Send your request via email to: michael.aulick@campotexas.org

Send your request via email to: foia.officer@fhwa.dot.gov

Send your request via email to: Will.wynn@ci.austin.tx.us

Send yourself a copy of the letter for your records. If you don't get a reply within 2-3 weeks call the AG's office at (877) 673-6839, then file a formal complaint.



With the rights granted to me under the Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, I request to come into your office and view the following:

Any and all information, correspondence, including but not limited to, letters, facsimile transmissions, contracts and e-mail messages, discussing any TxDOT employees or contract workers involved in any corruption, misappropriation, fraud, embezzlement, graft, contract fixing, good old boy profiteering, and the like between October 1, 2001 and December 22, 2005.

A list of all past TxDOT employees or contract workers that have been reprimanded, fired or asked to retire or resign for any corruption, misappropriation, fraud, embezzlement, graft, contract fixing, good old boy profiteering, and the like between October 13, 2001 and December 22, 2005.

I would also like the TxDOT comprehensive balance as of December 22, 2005, of all TxDOT accessible accounts to see if TxDOT has run out of money.

Thank You,
Your name here
Mailing address here
Phone here



With the rights granted to me under the Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, I request to come into your office and view the following:

All documents showing all TxDOT financial support to CTRMA to date. Any and all information, correspondence, including but not limited to, letters, facsimile transmissions, contracts and e-mail messages, to and from TxDOT, CTRMA, Texas Transportation Commission and all executive decision makers.

Thank You,
Your name here
Mailing address here
Phone here


CAMPO Executive Director Mr. Aulick,

With the rights granted to me under the Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, I request to come into your office and view the following:

1. All correspondence, including but not limited to, letters, facsimile transmissions and e-mail messages for each CAMPO board member as well as CAMPO director Micheal Aulick from June 1st, 2004 to July 14, 2004. All day calendars, day journal and appointment books for each CAMPO board member as well as CAMPO director Micheal Aulick from January 1st, 2004 to July 15, 2004.

2. Any and all documents pertaining to reasonable alternative routes on nontoll roads for each and every toll road in the toll road plan approved by CAMPO on July 12, 2004. This requests includes, but is not limited to, diagrams and drawings.

3. Any and all traffic studies and reports pertaining to each and every toll road in the toll road plan approved by CAMPO on July 12, 2004.

4. Any and all revenue studies and reports pertaining to each and every toll road in the toll road plan approved by CAMPO on July 12, 2004.

5. Any and all environmental studies and reports pertaining to each and every toll road in the toll road plan approved by CAMPO on July 12, 2004.

6. Any and all documents pertaining to the rights-of-way acquisition costs and locations for each and every toll road in the toll road plan approved by CAMPO on July 12, 2004.

Thank You,
Your name here
Mailing address here
Phone here

Send this article to others by clicking
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* Injuction Filed Today * ---Merry xmas! Happy Holidays! Click on comments below for more...

"Parking Ticket Santa" pays off fines.

Caroline Howard received a card from "Parking Ticket Santa" addressed to “Christmas ticketing victim #14” on her car, with the money enclosed to pay her parking ticket.


Dave Pasley: S.A. needs more roads, not toll booths

Planning Director, Dave Pasley says produce the less expensive arterial streets (as they do in Phoenix). More roads, not bigger roads. And, NOT TOLL ROADS. Read the article here or in comments area.


"BraveHeart" Eckhardt vs. "Toller Queen" Sonleitner.

In a world where well financed special interest incumbents rarely get viable opponents, Sarah Eckhardt enters the political fray with the heart, spirit and mind of a peoples' champion.

Sarah Eckhardt
takes a stand for Good Government and the public, to dump entrenched special interest Karen Sonleitner the "Freeway Toller Queen".

Eckhardt held the announcement of her Campaign at a "Toll Booth Tail Gate Party" on Saturday at 2pm at a North Mopac Toll gantry. Eckhardt, dead serious about this fight for accountability, has hired David Butts, who is known to be one of the best political advisors in Central Texas.

"Tolls on existing Roads will not solve our traffic problems". "I want to stand up for good government" Eckhardt told the Austin Chronicle, Channel 7 and the group of supporters at one of the toll gantry's on Mopac.

Besides integrity and character, Eckhardt brings all the right stuff to the table:
  • A former prosecutor with the Travis County Attorney's Office
  • Masters Degree in Public Affairs from UT
  • Former business owner
  • Travis County Sheriff's Officers Association Endorsement and;
  • Travis County Sheriff's Law Enforcement Officers Association Endorsement
Sonleitner ignored 93% of the public feedback that opposed tolling public highways in Central Texas. In return, an up to $2,500 a plate fundraiser was hosted by the toll lobby - held for Karen Sonleitner. See the actual invitation below. Click on the hyperlink in the line above for more info on how each person on the invite benefit from tolling our public highways.

Karen "Toller Queen" Sonleitner has been Travis County Commissioner of District 2 for eleven years.

Sonleitner has also managed to piss off the Sheriff's Department. The Austin Chronicle just wrote a story on how the Sheriff's Union has Endorsed Sarah Eckhardt.

The Sheriff's Union said the decision to back Eckhardt was solely a question of "character." "We cannot trust her" he said of Sonleitner. "It's a character issue."

Karen Sonleitner:
  • Raised Travis County taxes again just weeks ago.
  • Gave herself a raise (On the same agenda, on the same day she raised our taxes).
  • Voted to toll gas tax funded public highways.
  • Is giving our public highways to her toll lobby contributors.
A lot of folks have been working hard for months to find a viable candidate for the "Toller Queen". I put out a public call on this blog in August. A wise coalition friend asked Sarah to run, and gave me the good news in November.

I've spoken with Sarah at length and have been thoroughly impressed at her depth of knowledge on the unaccountable nature and innerworkings of the freeway toll/RMA subjects. I've never met a candidate that knows as much about the subject as Sarah does. She's definitely done her homework, and she's ready to take a stand.

We are "suiting up" to dump the Toller Queen and send a clear message to the rest of the Central Texas Looters who ignored the 93% of the public feedback! (That includes Mayor "Double Tax" Wynn and Councilman Brewster McCracken in upcoming elections). If you want to help out, starting in January, email me now at Sal@TexasTollParty.com with your name and phone. Early voting begins Feb. 21st.

TxDOT Cost Overruns discussion


SEE TOLLERS RUN (away): SA's Rep. CASTEEL pushes Tolls on Public Highways and then runs from record.

Rep. Casteel has been telling her voters that she does not believe we should be tolling our public highways
. But her record shows she's been voting to toll those public highways every step of the way! You can run, but you can not hide. It's not conservative to force people to pay a toll, for what is already theirs. Looks like she might be running out of time.

From the "Daily Buzz" of QuorumReport.com:
"State Representative Carter Casteel (R-New Braunfels) responded today to a "push poll" being conducted in House District 73, which includes Bandera, Comal, Gillespie, and Kendall Counties. The polling questions misrepresented Casteel’s conservative values and voting record as a member of the Texas House of Representatives."I have had many calls about the ‘push poll’ conducted last week," Casteel said. "‘Push polls’are political telemarketing, not public opinion surveys. The ‘poll’ questions were designed tomisrepresent my conservative values and voting record as your state representative.""I have always had an ‘open door’ policy. If you want to know where I stand, just ask," Casteel"


Major Texas Toll Road May Be Halted

STRAYHORN does not rule out independent possibility.

Local Attorney Impersonates a "Transportation Planning Expert" for profit.

John Langmore,
a cohort of Representative Mike Krusee,
poses as a Transportation Planning Expert
while his education background
reveals he's an attorney.

A couple of weeks ago the Austin American Statesman, in an article by Stephen Scheibal, referred to John Langmore as a "planning expert". Langmore has himself listed in the Envision Central Texas website as a "Transportation and Land Use Consultant".

But a closer look at his resume shows he's an attorney with NO formal education in Transportation planning, not even an online college course. His only relationship with transportation is, he drafted the freeway toll & TTC legislation known as HB 3588. Lawyers draft legislation. Drafting crafty legislation for Rep. Mike Krusee, to make it legal to toll gas funded public freeways is a far cry from being a transportation planning expert.

John Langmore pulls the ultimate confidence game on our region by directing transportation planning for Central Texas involving BILLIONS of dollars. This ain't no "sims" game. It's our city.

Instead of working with experts in the transportation field, our local Austin special interests politicians, like Mayor Will Wynn, Councilmember Brewster McCracken and others are taking the lead from non-experts such as Rep. Mike Krusee and his close associate, John Langmore.
Langmore cleans up on corrupt "Good Old Boy" transportation contracts. So many transportation contracts came his way he needed to create a new business as a Transportation Consultant. Langmore has also received a toll road related marketing contract through TateAustin. All with our tax dollars.

THE DECEPTION GOES ONE STEP FURTHER: Langmore is now one of the folks in charge of directing an alternative transportation "solution" to the phase 2 freeway tolls here in Austin! Read that line again. That's like letting the devil help you get out of a deal with the devil involving your soul. Man, they must really think we're stupid. Maybe we are.


The Real Price of Gas

DeJa Vu: Hoosier style

Tolling Existing Highways: Vision of the future

A highway venture in Orange County, Calif., was torpedoed by a lack of vision for the future.

Investors paid $130 million for the right to build and operate four express toll lanes for an existing highway (freeway toll). In 1995, the lanes opened. Drivers paid tolls electronically, and the tolls went up during high-traffic hours.

The contract, however, prevented the state from modifying non-express alternative lanes or adding new interchanges (there was a non-compete agreement). By 2003, the alternative frontage roads needed $1.6 billion in improvements.

So Orange County paid $207.5 million to buy back the express lanes.


E-tracking may change the way you drive.

E-ZPass Threatens to Suspend Motorist Registrations

Toll Roads, Corruption and a Mistress.

Below is my latest request (I've done about 70 over the
past 19 months). I sent this one to CTRMA last week.
Transportation Looters like Rep. Mike Krusee
and Mike Heiligenstein (CTRMA Executive Director at
$130k a year & perks) give no bid contracts
(using our
tax dollars) to their friends, loved ones, and
! I'll give you an update on this
blog in the coming days, when they send me the answers.


As a taxpayer concerned with corruption within the CTRMA, and understanding that millions of tax dollars have found their way into the CTRMA freeway tolling bureaucracy, I'd like additional information. With the rights granted to me under the Freedom of Information Act, I request that you send me my requests below via US mail to the address below:

The Comptrollers report (http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/ctrma05/) shows Owen Consulting (Everett Owen) was given one of many no bid contracts with the CTRMA. I'm told by reliable sources that this contract was given to Everett Owen, who is a boyfriend of Lisa England's close friend. Lisa England was Mike Heiligenstein's (Stein) girlfriend at the time and I understand that their relationship continues.

The Comptrollers report shows Informative Efforts LLC (Melinda Wheatley) was given a no bid contract from the CTRMA. I've been told by numerous reliable sources that Melinda Wheatley, a girlfriend of Mike Krusee's, received this no bid contract as Informative Efforts LLC. State Rep. Krusee has been instrumental in forming the CTRMA and other RMA freeway tolling bureaucracies around the state.

I recall a public promise from the CTRMA, shortly after the Comptrollers report came out in 3/05, that the no bid contracts (two of which are described here) and other corrupt practices would come to an end.

Are these two specific CTRMA no bid contracts still in place? Are the many other "circle of friends" no bid contracts noted in the Comptrollers Report still in place? If no bid contracts are against state law for TxDOT to give out, why are they not prohibited for the CTRMA bureaucracy?

What is the total amount of all billings to date for Informative Efforts LLC and Owens Consulting?

Thank You,
Sal Costello
What do you think? Post or read comments below or click the envelope
icon to auto send this article to someone you know.

As printed in the AA Statesman Letters to Editor today...Freeway Toller Call Goes out.

Biscoe needs an opponent

Travis County taxpayers deserve a choice. We need a viable opponent to run against Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe. Just weeks ago, Biscoe's expected opponent, Daryl Slusher, decided not to run. So Biscoe currently has no opponent for the Democratic primary.

At every turn, Biscoe has made some seriously poor decisions on behalf of Travis County taxpayers. Biscoe voted to raise Travis County taxes just weeks ago. After Biscoe raised taxes, he gave himself a raise so that his 2006 salary would be $95,000. Biscoe voted in 2004 and 2005 to toll roads that we've already paid for. He reappointed Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board member Johanna Zmud after state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn found conflicts and asked Zmud to resign. Biscoe voted for and gave hundreds of thousands of county tax dollars as seed money to the mobility authority.

Travis County taxpayers deserve a choice for this important position. The deadline to file is Jan. 2.


Founder of People for Efficient Transportation


Step 1 of 2 - SA Express "(Public Highway) Toll roads will limit improvements to free roadways"

Unlike what is being proposed in Austin, San Antonio, and other areas of Texas, the toll roads in Dallas and Houston were new roads.  Under Gov. Perry's "innovative financing" plan, existing highways are being tolled. What happens when you toll ALL expressways?

Step 2 of 2 - Secret Noncompete Agreements are the devil in the public highway tolling privatization details.

Freeway tolling experiment here in Texas (tolling public highways) is a first in the U.S. and non-compete agreements help hold drivers hostage.


Aquifer Guardians And PET, Inc. Sue TxDOT to Stop Toll Road System


Aquifer Guardians and
People For Efficient Transportation, Inc.

Sue TxDOT to Stop San Antonio Toll Road
System Over Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone

Environmental analyses fail to consider any alternatives to massive toll highway with frontage roads that will exacerbate sprawl over recharge zone and pollution of aquifer

Today, Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas (AGUA), long-time advocates for protection of the Edwards Aquifer, and toll road watchdog People for Efficient Transportation, Inc. (PET) joined forces to oppose the proposed expansions of tolling U.S. 281 and Loop 1604 north of San Antonio. The lawsuit asserts that an environmental impact statement should be prepared for the expansion of highways over the recharge zone and that alternatives should be considered to minimize the harmful effects of urban sprawl in an environmentally sensitive area. Highways and urban sprawl in the area are fragmenting habitat for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, contributing to air quality degradation, and polluting the aquifer.

“This project has taken off without any consideration of how such a massive development will impact our water supply.” said Annalisa Peace, of AGUA. “After all, the people of San Antonio have twice voted to tax themselves to protect this region. And we aim to see that their preference in this matter is respected.”

The Edwards Aquifer region is being overwhelmed by uncontrolled and unplanned residential growth. The proposed toll roads will greatly accelerate these harmful trends and the highway agencies are moving forward without taking any meaningful look at the implications of their actions.

“TxDOT’s obsession with charging tolls on existing roads is an unfair financial hardship for taxpayers, and increases the environmental impacts of the roads because of TxDOT’s policy to provide frontage roads as a free alternative,” states local transportation expert Bill Barker. “Texas is the only state in the Union that builds frontage roads as a matter of policy. Every other state has found better ways to manage access, and frontage roads should not be used in this case because they negatively impact safety and flow, as well as encourage sprawl and strip mall development over the recharge zone and into the Hill Country.”

"Poll after poll show Texans opposing tolls on already funded public roads. The unaccountable nature of shifting our freeways to tollways not only produces more bureaucracy, but it increases the footprint and double or triples the cost of the project. Those costs get passed on to Texans. Our Governors 'Freeway Tolls' will negatively effect our environment as traffic congestion will increase on frontage roads with drivers that won't or can't pay the daily $5 - $10 to drive each way to work, school or shop." said Sal Costello, founder of People for Efficient Transportation Inc.

The Edwards is a karst aquifer and therefore is highly vulnerable to water pollution because surface water quickly enters the aquifer through recharge features without significant filtration. Chlorinated solvents, toxic metals, and pesticides are regularly detected in the Edwards Aquifer, at times in concentrations that threaten human health and sensitive plants and animals. Many of these pollutants, such as benzene, are common components of highway run-off.

The plaintiffs are represented by John Fritschie of Save Our Springs Alliance. SOS Alliance’s litigation docket and information on the adverse affects of highways can be found at www.sosalliance.org. For more information on AGUA go to www.aquiferguardians.org; PET go to www.stopdoubletax.com

# # #

Enrique Valdivia (210) 789-0900

Ananlisa Peace (210) 320-6294
Bill Barker (210) 308-5862

This is PET Inc's 3rd lawsuit.

Lawsuit is here. Hearing scheduled for Dec 19th, 9am Travis County Courthouse

PET Inc. won it's 1st Lawsuit here

Get ready to be railroaded by Mike Krusee and more unaccountability.

Red Light Cameras Continue to Ticket Innocent Drivers

Texas Study: HOV/Carpool Lanes Cause Accidents


Waller ISD says NO TTC to TxDOT

Mr. Michael W. Behrens, P.E.
Executive Director
Texas Department of Transportation
Division or Office
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, Texas 78701-2483

Re: Trans-Texas Corridor (I-69) through Waller School District

Dear Mr. Michael W. Behrens, P.E.:

The Board of Trustees and the Administration of the Waller Independent School District have thoroughly investigated the potential impact of the passage of the Trans-Texas Corridor (I-69) through the Waller school district.

As part of our fiduciary responsibility, the Board and Administration arranged and attended presentations on the issue from the following:
• Citizens for a Better Waller County
Dr. Pat Guzman, Population and Survey Analysts (PASA)
Frank McFarland, Texas A&M Economist
Jack Heise & Ed Pensock, Tx Dept. of Transportation (Trans-Texas Corridor)

The presentations and discussions addressed areas of impact to the district including mobility, economic development, tax base, growth rate and other matters which would affect our ability to conduct long range planning for the school district. Our areas of concern include:

Efficient school bus routing near, through, and around the proposed corridor and the increased transportation costs created by the routes
Immediate loss of tax base due to the acquisition of property for the proposed corridor, and the uncertatinty of which properties would be acquired
Types of corridor interchanges and access roads, and their frequencies
Frequency of corridor overpasses
Unpredictable growth rate which would be impacted by the location of the corridor and the corridor interchanges and access roads, and their frequencies
Our greatest concern is the lack of details available in this (Tier 1) planning phase and the approval process which requires too much commitment without detailed information. Further, we are concerned that when these details become available we will not be allowed to make necessary changes.

We recognize that with proper planning and local input the corridor could provide long range benefits to the school district. It is our intent to monitor the activities of the Trans-Texas Corridor through the Texas Department of Transportation and to provide input as required. However, given the current lack of detailed information and the assumption that the approval process remains unchanged, we regret that we are unable to support the Trans-Texas Corridor and would encourage the planning committee to select a route outside of western Harris County and all of Waller County.

If you have any questions please call 936-931-4001.

Richard T. McReavy
Robert Carvel
Waller ISD School Board President

Trans-Texas Corridor- Jack Heise
Trans-Texas Corridor- Ed Pensock
Representative Glenn Hegar Jr.
Senator Jon S. Lindsay
Representative Corbin Van Arsdale
Senator Ken Armbrister
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
Gov. Rick Perry

Lobbyists push Trans Taxes Corridor I-69


PET Inc. vs. Gov Perry, TxDOT & CAMPO/SAMPO hearing is set for Dec 19th, 9am Travis County Courthouse.

Freeway Tolling Judge NEEDS an Opponent for $95k a year job!

GREAT NEWS! I'm told Karen Sonleintner finally has a very viable opponent! I'll have the details on this blog within a few days.

We NEED a viable opponent for Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe. Just weeks ago his expected opponent Daryl Slusher decided not to run. So, at the moment, Biscoe has no opponent for the democratic primary! Deadline to file is Jan. 2, 2006. The Judge position pays 95k a year and they vote for who gets placed on the RMA board. This is not a court of law, but chief policy-making and administrative board for the county, so you don't need to be an attorney to run. We need real people in there to replace the puppets who work for the corporate welfare special interests.

Sam Biscoe is NOT any choice for Travis County Judge:

Biscoe was charged with DWI in 2004.
• Biscoe Voted to raise our taxes just weeks ago.
• After he raised our taxes he gave himself a raise!

Biscoe voted to toll roads we've already paid for.
Biscoe reappointed a CTRMA board member (Johanna Zmud) with
conflicts after comptroller demanded her resignation.
Biscoe voted for and gave hundreds of thousands of our county tax dollars, as seed money, to the new bureaucratic freeway tolling authority (CTRMA) so they can toll our public highways.

Call Travis County Elections Division (854-4996) and Travis County Democratic Party (477-7500) for more details.
This is his website ad for a special interest fund raiser he had:
This is his DWI photo:

Federal Officials Spending $59 Million to Push Congestion Tax


New ORToll Signage: "Toll drivers come to a complete stop, drive in reverse into 55 mph traffic and swerve out of E-ZPass lanes into oncoming traffic!

Flyvbjerg: "Strategic misrepresentation (lying) drives transportation projects."

How Looters' Lie: #776

How Looters' Lie: #776

"Based on national averages, RMA's will
charge 12 to 15 cents a mile"

– Every RMA in Texas

THE TRUTH: There are two lies in the above statement. An unbiased Illinois study shows the cost for traditional toll roads is 9 cents a mile (not 12 - 15 cents - and, don't forget there is a major difference between traditional tolls and freeway (double tax) tolls). The first Gov. Perry RMA in Texas (CTRMA) made the "12 to 15 cents per mile" claim in the summer of 2004. Since spring of 2005, that estimate has increased to 44-64 cents per mile! The Comptroller's report found one at the rate of $1.00 a mile.

Imagine paying 44 cents a mile for an expressway you've already paid for. If your car gets 20 mpg that means you will pay an additional $8.80 more per gallon to drive freeway tolls. And the money they collect can go as far as the next county (even if they don't have double tax tolls). How fair is that?


LOOK who's watching this blog.

With the free tracking available we're able to see who is coming into our websites and blogs. The good folks at Edelman PR have been spending a lot of time on my blog (and others) doing "research".

Who is Edelman PR? Edelman's Public Affairs practice creates programs to influence public opinion.

Who do they work for? Edelman's clients include the TTC's Cintra
. You know, the folks that are making secret deals with Gov. Perry to take chunks of Texans land for profit.


Toll collectors get body armor!

New Push for Transparent City Government.

"I Sued the Double Tax Governor" Cup!

Help fund the Gov. Perry lawsuit
with a $50 contribution and receive an
"I Sued the Double Tax Governor" Cup!
PET Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Perry for tolling Texas public freeways and his Trans Texas Corridor land grab. Every dollar of profit from your purchase will go directly to the PET Inc. legal fund. PET Inc. won it's first lawsuit against the Regional Mobility Authority earlier this year. Contribute and tell everyone you Sued the Double Tax Governor!

GET YOUR "I sued the double tax Governor"

or SEND ANY CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT via check (and not receive an item):
People for Efficient Transportation Inc., PO Box 90715, Austin, TX 78709-0715
PETI is a nonprofit corporation - contributions are not tax deductible.


Giving what is public to private interests.

STATESMAN: Directing drivers onto the toll roads.

"But the real question is, why didn't they go ahead and build the four other bridges connecting on the Austin side of the 45/35 interchange as well? ... Could it be they didn't want those bridges to be there, at least for awhile, because they would discourage use of the toll roads?"
– AA Statesman, 11/21/05

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez: One of the good guys!

The following is a smart auto email Rep. Eddie Rodriguez sends to those that contact him. More Reps should be as wise as Rep. Rodriguez!:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding toll roads; I appreciate and value all feedback I get from the citizens of Texas. I am honored to be recognized by TexasTollParty.com as a "good guy" and a "rare individual [who said] NO to Rick Perry and his highway henchmen" and am grateful for the praise from your organization.

As you may be aware, I voted NO on the toll road plan. The Central Texas area has mobility and congestion issues which no one would challenge. We need to have creative responses to these pressing problems which preserve the environment and allow for greater mobility by decreasing road congestion.

I wholeheartedly support legislation that would transfer control from special interest to voters over how to best finance our highway construction and other transportation issues. Allowing the citizens of Texas to vote on whether they prefer a higher gasoline tax or toll roads is sound public policy and takes the power away from the toll lobby giving it to the people of Texas.

Thank you again for your e-mail. If you have any questions or further comments, please feel free to contact me again.

Eddie Rodriguez

RMAs not just toll authorities in TX


Lone Star Report: "Toll roads have become extremely unpopular in Central Texas."

Gov. Perry answers a reporter's Toll Road question with the same question.

How Looters' Lie: #908

TxDOT District Engineer Bob Daigh and
a couple of his intellectual equals.

How Looters' Lie: #908

"The (freeway tolling) alternative
of paying $2 to $3 more per gallon
gas tax
would never be accepted."

– TxDOT's Bob Daigh, Capital Area District Manager 3/04

THE TRUTH: After a request from a board member in 2005, Michael Aulick, Executive Director of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) announced it would not cost $2 to $3 more a gallon, but instead, only an additional 2 cents per gallon of gas tax for the same citywide roads built without tolls.


Gov. Perry's $2.8 Billion Dollar Lie.

"TxDOT has a funding crisis and
has run out of money."

Delvin Dennis, TxDOT Deputy District Engineer, 8/04

"Texas will soon run out of money to build highways"
Sen. Kim Brimer, 3/03

A document I just received from a TxDOT open records request reveals how Gov. Perry's TxDOT is not "broke" at all. TxDOT and other tollers continue to say we must toll Texas public highways because TxDOT has "run out of money". My October request was worded as follows:
"I would like the comprehensive balance as of October 13, 2005, of all TxDOT accessible accounts to see if TxDOT has run out of money."
The document I received is titled, "Cash and Investments Controlled by TxDOT as of 10/13/05". This document shows TxDOT has a grand total of over $2.8 Billion.

(Total TxDOT Cash & Investments = $2,802,037,035)

The document also claims every single one of these dollars are "committed" or restricted. TxDOT uses the word "committed" for hundreds of millions, perhaps over 1 Billion tax dollars to pay for right of way and construction of public freeways - only to toll those tax funded roads at the last minute. This allows TxDOT an
unaccountable revenue generating goose that lays golden eggs. Except it's Texas families who pay the golden toll.

Shifting public highways to tollways (Gov. Perry calls it "innovative financing") cost much more because the footprint is much larger. The maintenance and service of a tollway also costs more. And of course, the private toll industry also gets their cut. And, Gov. Rick Perry's radical freeway tolls come without "even a semblance of study" as a well respected pro-toller has stated.

The added bureaucracy of a regional mobility authority certainly is not efficient in these tight times. The added debt to build the more expensive freeway as a tollway is not cost efficient. The unelected toll authority setting the toll/tax rate for a public highway illustrates unaccountable double taxation. And, it is fair for one portion of a city or region to pay a toll to drive an expressway to work school or shop, while others drive free?

We currently have one tax in place for our public freeways - the gas tax. Does creating a second inefficient sloppy tax make any financial sense?

Does sitting on $2.8 Billion mean you're broke?


VIDEO - MUST SEE: Drivers boycott toll after government tries to force drivers onto toll roads.


Can't view the video? Read the text. Click here to find out why secret noncompete agreements and NO economic impact studies are bad for mobility, business, drivers, and generations of debt. Also note Gov. Perry's TxDOT internal presentation below for his "innovative financing" (tolling public highways)
plan to force Texans onto freeway tolls, holding them hostage to drive to work, school and shop.

Toll roads to help pay for commuter rail.

Rail "Strategic Misrepresentation." Lies, That Is.

"Project approval equals underestimated cost, plus overestimated revenue, plus undervalued environmental impact, plus overvalued economic development effect," he wrote in a recent article for the Engineering News-Record called "Misrepresentation drives projects."

Dallas News: New toll road revenue projections fall short - toll rates must go up.


Mike Krusee loses big at home on the propositions.

"Campaign issue, anyone? Krusee's in a fairly safe seat, but if he's not a little bit worried about what the voters thought of the issues he cared about and campaigned for, he ought to be."

Pro-Toll Guru spanks inept Freeway Tollers!

Peter Samuel, the father of traditional toll road privatization and the biggest supporter of tolls you can find, speaks out about Texas Tollers lack of studies and principles, and says Texas Tollers like Gov. Perry, TxDOT and Rep. Krusee are inept and arrogant over tolling public highways in his newsletter this past Thursday.

The Defeat of Texas Prop 9 spurred Samuel to comment, "the vote is a political blow to tolling since it suggests a lack of public confidence in the way tolling is being handled in the state." Samuel is the editor of the worlds premier pro-toll newsletter called TollRoadsNews.com.

Thursday's article includes the following quotes about shifting tax funded public highway projects to toll roads:

"Political support in TX has also been sapped by a bewilderingly unprincipled and unexplained intermixing of funding of projects by TxDOT.

"In Texas the tollers are behaving arrogantly and with extraordinary political ineptitude"

"There's something sleazy too in that term "regional mobility authority". It's a toll authority. Why run away from that? Only people without the courage of their convictions or who are too tongue tied to explain themselves resort to silly euphemisms. Does it fool anyone anyway?"

"TxDOT's promiscuous approach to raising funds and their promotion of projects without even a semblance of study has been the anti-toll groups' major recruiter."

Samuel has also stated recently in his newsletter,
"It has no coherent explanation for its project selection, or for the way tax and toll monies are mixed. It has been cavalier in proposing tolls on highways already funded - breaching a long-established piece of political wisdom about tolling."

"TxDOT produces precious little analysis of costs and benefits, yet it is pressing ahead with a huge array of toll projects."
Click on the envelope below to automaticly send this article's link to others (INCLUDING YOUR ELECTED LOOTING REPRESENTATIVES).


TxDOT to county: SH 121 is ours! (what local control?)

"It's real frustrating that they would put through charade of encouraging local control and ask for us to come up with their own plan if not going to consider it," said Plano Mayor Pat Evans

McCracken's "Independent" Toll Review Sham


I went to the first meeting of the Central Texas "Independent Review" yesterday. The sham was a who's who of tollers, including councilmember Brewster McCracken who dreamt up this joke of an "Independent Review", and other tollers like County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, Rep. Mike Krusee, Rep. Mark Strama, and bunch of other folks that have been pushing tolls on our funded freeways.

Can you say Enron auditing Enron con? Brewster McCracken (shown here) said yesterday, that all sides are represented, but saying it doesn't make it so. And he voted for the toll plan twice! As they spoke, the Steering Committee sat there feasting on a high priced taxpayer funded deli lunch, while they prepared to make decisions at our expense.

Find this in the American Statesman today, it includes comments from Freeway Toll voting Rep. Mark Strama, trying to put make-up on this pig:
"Underlying Tuesday's hair-splitting is the charge, made by anti-toll activists originally but echoed by some officials Tuesday, that what was originally envisioned as an independent review of Austin's second wave of proposed toll roads has been co-opted by the people who conceived and pushed through that toll road plan last year.

The fear is that the coalition of local governments that pitched in $350,000 to do the study could in the end produce a dead-on-arrival report.
"This process is only worthwhile if the public trusts the outcome," said state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, a member of the steering committee.
So how can the public trust an "independent review" of the same folks that have been pushing the Freeway toll plan? We can't. Because it is not independent. Brewster says, the steering committee doesn't really matter. That makes me wonder - then why is it so unbalanced?

And, in the meeting, another pro-toller stated the obvious, "This thing is not going to have the credibility that we want it to have in the community if we do this."
said Commissioner Gerald Daugherty.

Statesman continues:
"What distinguished the Phase 2 plan of seven roads — later cut to five — was that it envisioned turning several existing highways interrupted with stoplights into expressways that would have toll charges on the main lanes and free frontage roads.

And it included three roads already under construction with gasoline tax dollars."

My list of what is wrong with the Independent Study:
Secret meetings are allowed.
Toll Authority (CTRMA) is the Project Coordinator!

One sided Review Steering Committee.

• The Committee can select to not accept the results!

• It is NOT in any way independent.
• It allows tollers to unveil a toll plan "B".
style="text-align: center;">Read my full report from last month here.

Comment below or click on the envelope below to send the link of this story to others.


Proposition 9 Goes Down in Flames...

The People Win Prop 9!

November 9, 2005
People for Efficient Transportation (TexasTollParty.com)
Contact: Sal Costello

The People Win Prop 9!
Prop 1 Rail Fund Fight - Far From Over.

Austin, TX - While the controversial Constitutional Amendment 2 soaked up the limelight in this election, a grassroots whisper campaign for accountability took hold across central Texas, uniting urban and rural communities. With virtually no dollars, the movement against the tolling of the public highways and against the mammoth Trans Texas Corridor scored an important victory and exposed the vulnerability of Governor Rick Perry.

Farmers and ranchers from the Texas blacklands, suburban "soccer moms", and central city dwellers from Austin, most having never participated in political campaigns in their lives, worked together with nothing more than 100,000 donated flyers, homemade signs, a growing email list and shoe polish on their car windows. These ordinary people were quietly organizing their friends, neighbors and co-workers to the polls in Travis, Bell, Waller, Bexar, Fayette, Harris, Travis Johnson, Navarro, Brazos, Gonzales, Williamson, Hays, Milam, Bastrop, Uvalde and Comal counties.

Constitutional Amendment 1, the Texas Relocation Rail Fund passed -- by a small statewide margin. Constitutional Amendment 9, the Governor's attempts to extend the terms of unelected, unaccountable Regional Mobility Authority board members, who will set toll rates for Texas public freeways, was soundly defeated.

Both measures were trounced by 66-78% margins in counties, like Milam, Waller, Fayette and Bell where farmers and ranchers are trying desperately to hold on to their land being threatened by Gov. Perry's Trans Texas Corridor Tollway. Travis and Williamson County, where the anti-"double-tax" toll movement began brought central and suburban neighbors together to defeat pro-toll, pro-Corridor, Props 1 & 9.

Sal Costello, founder of TexasTollParty.com said, "We fought Goliath with sticks and stones -- emails, word of mouth, 100,000 leaflets and the people came through for the sake of accountability. That means the Governor and his minions, who pushed 1 & 9, like State Rep. Mike Krusee -- who sent out an expensive direct mail (at the taxpayers expense) to his constituents -- are vulnerable. As a matter of fact, the majority of Krusse's district said no to 1, 3 & 9, two of which are authored by Krusee!"

"The rail tax giveaway fight is far from over. The foxes in the 2007 legislature will be seeking to raise our taxes, as a giveaway to private corporations like Union Pacific, so they can get new rail in the Trans Texas Corridor Tollway. Now, it's also up to the people to decide who's going to be in office in 2007 as we head in to the heated primaries next March. And, we'll be there in some key races," said Sal Costello

Linda Curtis, who chairs Independent Texans and is the chief organizer for the TexasTollParty.com said, "Our task now is to use our loss as well as our gains, to build for the future. That's going to take a host of reforms, not the least of which is for the ballot language on these constitutional amendments to be crystal clear. That's going to take a full blown statewide movement, across all party lines, for political reform as those who make the rules -- for now -- rule."