Gov. Perry Contributers use CDAs to syphon tax $'s

Halliburton joins the corporate welfare
feast at the public trough!

Gov. Perry's CDAs are are NO BID, Secret,
Corporate Welfare contracts.

Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) are road and land development contracts that hand over our tax dollars, our public highways, our right of way, and our private property to private corporations for profit. The same corporations that fund the special interest campaigns of Perry and Rep. Krusee.

CDAs are the Perry/Krusee tool created to hold back public disclosure, public debate, legislative oversight, open and transparent government and local control. The short history of the CDAs have already proven to be rife with secrecy.

1) Attorney General opinion states Cintra must release
Perry/Cintra CDA to Houston Chronicle:


2) Cintra sues Attorney General to keep CDA a secret: http://corridornews.blogspot.com/2006/03/txdot-cintra-zachry-sue-attorney.html

3) San Antonio Lightning acquires CDA and Cintra threatens a lawsuit: http://www.sanantoniolightning.com/snitchzach.html
“CDA’s will reduce the cost that you all - will have to bear”.
– A statement by Phillip Russell, Director of TxDOT's
Turnpike divisions he addressed the Jan 17th
audience full of private corporations.

I received a request from TxDOT today, for the sign-in sheets of the Jan 17th TxDOT Industry Workshop for Comprehensive Development Agreement projects.

I went to the event and signed in myself. Interestingly, the sign-in sheets show a host of corporate wolves seeking to feast on sweet deals at our expense. The sign in list includes Halliburton (KBR), Zachry, former Hays County commissioner Bill Burnett for Dannenbaum (BIG contributor to Perry) and the City of Weatherford (Ric Williamson's home town!) who came to feed at the corporate welfare trough.

to Gov. Perry campaign from Zachry.
$200,000+ to Gov. Perry campaign from Dannenbaum.
and more are listed in this AP article from 2002!
(see top 10 TxDOT bidder contributions to Perry in comments area below)

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STAR TELEGRAM: Automatic tickets, another cash cow, come to Texas, and encroach on motorists' privacy rights (Electronic tolls will usher more).

AA STATESMAN: (Toll rates are) "a very large and complex black box of accounting that the public would have a hard time scrutinizing."


Karen Sonleitner Run's from her Record and the TRUTH!

Welcome to Sonleitner's
Alternate Universe!
"Listened to our concerns"??????
"Fighting for Free Roads"??????

Karen "Toll Road Queen" Sonleitner, County Commissioner, has sent out her latest absurd literature to TRICK voters. Sonleitners literature is specifically created to give the impression to the uneducated voter that she's been "fighting for free roads" and "listening to our concerns". That is simply not true. Yowza! You'd be hard pressed to find a politician that would attempt to sell that hogwash!

So much for owning up to THE TRUTH! Why doesn't she run on her record? These lies should offend every tax paying citizen in Texas. Don't let her get away with it. Take action below.

Sonleitner’s votes have been instrumental in giving away our central Texas public freeways, so special interests will profit. The same special interests that fund her campaign!

Karen Sonleitner of Precinct 2 has:
Voted to privatize and toll hundreds of millions
of dollars worth of our public highways! A DOUBLE TAX!

IGNORED 93% of the public feedback that opposed the toll plan!

Voted to RAISE COUNTY TAXES for all Travis residents!

And, after all that, she gave herself a SALARY INCREASE!
Sonleitner is flush with toll lobby money.

There is NO Republican to go against Sonleitner in the fall, so we ask that EVERYONE in precinct 2 vote in this primary (There is historically a very low voter turnout for primaries so your vote is crucial! - ANY registered voter in the precinct can vote - and anyone can volunteer for Sarah). Sarah Eckhardt is our only chance to DUMP Sonleitner AND her freeway tolls. Sarah is a former prosecutor and she's endorsed by People for Efficient Transportation and ready to fight Sonleitners new drivers tax. Sarah Eckrardt is using grass root volunteers to beat all those dollars.

TAKE ACTION: Sarah Eckhardt (above with toll gantry) needs your help today. Go to her website and sign up to take your county back from the special interests!!!!:

HOUSTON CHRON: Toll-road foes crank up intensity in San Antonio. (Click Here)


Corruption of Perry's TxDOT to be exposed soon.

I was contacted by another person last night, who has more information and evidence about rampant corruption within Perry's TxDOT. My first TxDOT informant contacted me some time ago and I've been asked to keep what I know confidential. I believe, very soon, one of these brave whistle blowers will be the first to pull down TxDOT's dirty diaper.

The fact is we pay too much for the roads that are being built - just look at the overblown costs.

General Accounting Office report of state highway construction shows the median cost of a road lane mile in the US to be $1.6 million per lane mile. A look at 130 east of Austin shows it costs a whopping $7.6 million per lane mile. And, San Antonio's 281 is jaw dropping $27 million per lane mile!

And just last week, TxDOT had a workshop to give NO BID, secret contracts to the private sector to toll MORE Texas public highways and take more private land from Texans for the TTC. They call these contracts Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDA's) and the slide presentation TxDOT gave to the private sector was called "Texas: Open for Business". Mike Krusee's legislation, HB 3588, allowed these fiscally irresponsible contracts into existence.

Building a tollway costs double or triple the cost of a freeway. Perry's TxDOT uses the "we've run out of money" excuse to privatizing and toll our public highways. TxDOT is sitting on $2.8 Billion today, claiming they have no money, as they restrict our tax dollars for toll roads only. TxDOT crying poor, so it can create a new drivers tax is like Bill Gates saying he needs to rob you because he has no money (while all along Gates reserves his fortune for his kids).

Perry's TxDOT wants us pay the daily drivers tax to drive on what we've already paid for.

1) Use our gas tax dollars to finish building the roads we've already paid for, and open them up as freeways NOT tollways. Tolling roads we've already paid for with gas tax dollars is highway robbery. Permanently taking and tolling our already funded public expressways is immoral. Sending Austin's toll revenue to Williamson County is more than obscene.

2) Texas has more sprawl than any other state in the country. Zone for denser development in urban and suburban areas so people don't have to drive as far for needs.

3) Focus on building more arterial road lane miles and less highway lane miles. Phoenix, AZ produces more arterial lane miles that cost 90% less than highway lane miles.

4) Clean up TxDOT CORRUPTION: Get rid of the good old boy network that causes our roads to cost much more than other states. The General Accounting Office report of state highway construction shows the median cost of a road lane mile in the US to be $1.6 million per lane mile. A look at 130 east of Austin shows it costs a whopping $7.6 million per lane mile mile!

5) Some states realized that the smartest way to stop the political blame game of raising the gas tax five to ten cents every two to four years to keep up with inflation. Texas needs to index the gas tax.

6) Stop Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs). CDA's are road and land development contracts that hand over our tax dollars, our public highways, our right of way, and our private property to private corporations for profit. These NO BID, Secret, Corporate Welfare contracts must be stopped.

7) Remove self serving politicians who ignored 93% of the public feedback and voted to toll roads we've already paid for (nothing more than a new tax scheme).

I'll have more details of the TxDOT corruption here on this blog - very soon.

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Commissioners ask lawmakers to reconsider tolling U.S. 281 (SEE LETTER -click here)

Houston Chronicle: Ric Williamson revealed as "Off the Wall" by e-mail records (click here)

That day, McCraw wrote Assistant Attorney General Jay Kimbrough about Gov. Perry's friend and appointed chair of TxDOT, Ric Williamson "This Ric guy is a piece of work. Full of off the wall projections and recommendations and yet does not know what his own agency is already doing. "

Perry's TxDOT admitts to tolling existing highways with 100% of our tax dollars.


STATESMAN: Hey, buddy, wanna buy a toll road?

DALLAS NEWS: "He calls us sheep that he wants to fleece" said Mayor Pro Temp of Perry's appointed Ric Williamson and Freeway Tolls.

"Not only is that double taxation, it is taxation
without representation," said Mayor Pro Tem Maher Maso.

Rick Perry: Touching the lives of Texans.

From a fellow Texan in Hempstead.

Dear Gov. Rick Perry,

We live in one of the proposed corridor for the tollway. I just found out about it yesterday, and am obviosuly upset. My wife and I spent a lot of time saving for and purchasing our retirement home here in Waller County.

I just found out that the State of Texas may tell us to get out, and we would have no recourse. The thought that this could be done, here in America, is a terrible thing. It may also interest you that we have a lot of Turkey Buzzards in this area. One of our residents called the Federal Animal people, to ask if some could be killed - because they roost in pine trees here. They were told that must not disturb them in any way, as they are a protected species. I hope this gives some additional ammunition. If people don't count, perhaps Turkey Buzzards do.

Mr. & Mrs. Gary S.
Hempstead, TX 77445


"One Tough Grandma" hits Perry & his highway henchmen hard at San Antonio Rally!

Over 200 concerned citizens opposed to Governor Perry's tolling of existing freeways and the Trans Texas Corridor braved the cold weather and united under the banner of www.SATollParty.com for a rally at the Ancira Jeep Dealership on US 281 North Saturday.

Speakers included Gubernatorial candidate and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (www.CaroleStrayhorn.com), Gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell, Attorney General candidate David Van Os, State Senate candidate for District 18 and CorridorWatch.org Founder, David Stall, candidate for State Representative District 52 Barbara Samuelson, candidate for State Representative District 122, Larry Stallings, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, Comal County "Enough is Enough" Tax Rollback Campaign Leader and newspaper publisher Douglas Kirk, State Civil Rights Director for LULAC Henry Rodriguez, and Bexar County Homeowners Taxpayer Association President Bob Martin.

One Tough Grandma let em have it.
"Texans want a highway system that's free from corruption, free from conflicts of interest, and free from personal profiteering. Texas property belongs to Texans not foreign companies," declared an energized Carole Keeton Strayhorn.

Strayhorn explained that a concerned citizen told her staff that the Department of Transportation is going to do whatever the hell they want to. And she gives this reply, "I stand here in Bexar County today to tell you that as your next Governor, as long as there's breath in Carole Keeton Strayhorn's lungs, you will have a new Governor, a strong voice in Austin, and TxDOT will NOT do whatever the hell they want to."

"I'm sick and tired of self-dealing, insider cliques stealing self-government from the people for their private enrichment. That's the only thing this toll wreck plan represents," says attorney David Van Os, candidate for Texas Attorney General whose campaign is built on being the people's advocate, not another arm of corporate cronyism.

TELL EVERY TEXAN YOU KNOW about Gov. Perry's plan to privatize & toll TX public highways and 8,000 miles of tolls on TTC Boondoggle. (click here!)


New York Times: Turning Asphalt to Gold

"The pitch to governments is simple: Macquarie will look after the assets - maintaining the roads or ports, raising toll road fees to make the investment more profitable - then give them back, in 99 years or so."

Election Watch

Feb. 6 Voter Registration Deadline
February 21 - March 3 Early Voting
March 7 Texas Primary Election Day

ALERT: Rush to move Prop 1 tax dollars into TTC! Click on comment area here.

PET PAC Endorses Veteran Bill Welch for District 47

PET PAC Endorses Veteran
Bill Welch for District 47
Austin, Texas – Business Leader and War Veteran Bill Welch today announced the endorsement of the People for Efficient Transportation political action committee. PET PAC was formed in June of 2004 as an advocate for toll-free solutions to transportation at the local and state level. PET PAC founder Sal Costello stated “PET PAC has endorsed Bill Welch because he'll take a stand for Texas drivers, to keep all our public highways from being privatized and tolled and he'll demand accountability and open government.” Costello continued “Bill Welch understands the immoral and unethical nature of placing tolls on our already funded public highways.”

I am thrilled to have earned the endorsement of the People for Efficient Transportation. Efficient and effective transportation was a hallmark of my campaign in 1992 and remain a large part of my efforts today” said Welch. “It is imperative that we find toll-free solutions to our roadways and work to provide more oversight for Regional Mobility Authorities to expose any potential conflicts of interest” he continued.

Welch recently announced the endorsements of three Lakeway City Council members, five former challengers in District 47, and the Small Business Group in December. Welch’s political experience began in 1992, losing the district 47 house seat to Susan Combs by seven votes. He went on to be elected and serve as the Vice President of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District Board.

Welch’s strong business credentials are paired with over thirty years of experience in the Air Force Reserve. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th Welch volunteered for two years of active duty and served a six month tour conducting combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star and currently serves as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.


CBS NEWS: Dallas Doesn't Want To Subsidize Fort Worth Tolls. (click here)

TxDOT CDA Event Sells Texas for Profit. (Corporate Welfare)


TxDOT CDA Event Sells Texas.

On Tuesday, January 17th, TxDOT held an industry workshop to launch Comprehensive Development Agreement projects (CDA's). CDA’s are road and land development projects that combine the powers of the state with private interests. CDA's can be very lucrative deals for private corporations that will last 70 years, but there are public issues and questions, specifically posed by those who don’t believe it’s fair to privatize and toll our public highways or take private land for corporate profits.

IN A TELLING MOMENT TODAY, AT THE CDA CONFERENCE, Phillip Russell, Director of TxDOT's Turnpike division (512.936.0903), told the audience full of only private corporations, “CDA’s will reduce the cost
that you all - will have to bear”.

According to Phillip Russell's speech today, the CDA’s can include design, build, financing, operations and maintenance of the toll roads. Some say the public good has suddenly come up for sale. Opponents cite other concerns about public disclosure, public debate, legislative oversight, open and transparent government, double taxation and local control.

On May 31, 2005, the Texas Attorney General’s office ruled that TxDOT must release hundreds of pages of the Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) kept secret in the TxDOT/Cintra Zachry deal to develop Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35. The portions of the CDA not yet publicly released include the conceptual development and financial plans. In June, 2005 Cintra Zachry filed a lawsuit against the Texas AG to keep the CDA details a secret. The CDA has yet to be released.

"It should raise red flags to everyone that TxDOT offers NO written guidelines or criteria for what projects should or should not be a CDA project. Then when they make the deal, we can't see it. That is not open government Texans deserve." said Sal Costello, founder of People for Efficient Transportation. "Vendors propose projects to which TxDOT feels it must respond and thereby commit state road funds to private development projects."

"Gov. Rick Perry, the chief planning officer for the state of Texas, has directed his appointed Texas Transportation Commission, who governs TxDOT, to move forward with CDA's and what Perry calls 'innovative financing'. This fancy name means they’ll use our tax dollars and publicly funded right of ways to build toll roads, and charge us again for driving on them. The CDA's are one of the tools they use to keep the details of the highway robbery a secret." added Costello.

"in your lifetime most existing roads will have tolls.”
– Transportation Commission's chair Ric Williamson,
appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to govern TxDOT

Costello points to a December 2004 TIME magazine article, "The next wave in super highways or a Big, Fat Texas Boondoggle?" that shows how Gov. Perry has gained contributions from the same corporations that can profit off CDA deals and the privatizing of public highways. "Since 1997, Perry has received more than $1 million from highway interests, according to reports filed with the Texas ethics commission."


Blacklands says NO to Perry's TTC Boondoogle.

Blackland Coalition Leadership takes a stand against the Perry/Krusee unaccountable, land grabbing TTC - last night at Perry's announcement in Round Rock. They discuss the TTC Travesty with a TV news reporter.

The Privatization and Tolling of our public highways: FRONT PAGE news in San Antonio.


Pro-Toller reports a proper, full EIS for 281 could delay project 2-3 years! He calls TxDOT Unlucky or Inept.

Another "Done Deal" Perry Freeway Toll Road Stopped.

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2006

Federal Highway Administration Instructs
TxDOT to Cease Work on 281 Toll Road Project

Cites lack of public input, discussion of alternatives,
and assessment of environmental impacts

On January 11th attorneys for plaintiffs AGUA and People for Efficient Transportation, Inc. (PET), the groups suing to require TxDOT to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement on the US 281 toll road expansion project, received a letter sent to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) from the Federal Highway Administration stating “our prior environmental clearances on the two US 281 projects are hereby withdrawn in recognition of the issues raised by the public.”

Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas (AGUA), advocates for protection of the Edwards Aquifer, and highway program watchdog People for Efficient Transportation, Inc. (PET) had joined together to file for an injunction in federal court on December 21, 2005 to ask that work on expanding and converting US 281 to a toll road be stopped.

This decision means that TxDOT must now undertake new environmental studies, as argued by the AGUA and PET, Inc. lawsuit.

In light of the Federal Highway Administration directing TxDOT to cease work on the US 281 project (which covers approximately twelve miles, from Loop 1604 to near the Comal County line at Borgfeld Road) pending the completion of a new environmental review of the project, the attorneys for the parties are working out details for an agreed dismissal of the AGUA and PET, Inc. lawsuit.

AGUA and PET, Inc. do not agree that an Environmental Assessment is sufficient. The plaintiff groups will continue to urge TxDOT to begin a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) now rather than undertaking the more cursory Environmental Assessment and then deciding whether the proposed project will cause significant impacts on the human environment such that a full EIS is required.

Says Bill Bunch, attorney for the plaintiffs; “A project of this scale, in an extremely vulnerable water supply area and with major ramifications for transportation, public safety, and development, demands the most thorough analysis of all costs, benefits, and consideration of alternatives that better serve the public.”

TxDOT had proceeded to clear trees and vegetation from the right of way in December, just before the federal lawsuit was filed. A hearing on preliminary injunction had been set for January 27th. Annalisa Peace of AGUA notes that contractors working on the project sheared a SAWS sewer line, resulting in a leak of raw sewage over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone that was allowed to continue unabated for nearly a month. Says Peace, “This event clearly indicates that TxDOT needs to proceed more cautiously in their operations in this extremely sensitive area.”

The Edwards Aquifer, the primary source of drinking water in this area, is a karst aquifer that is highly vulnerable to water pollution because surface water quickly enters the aquifer through recharge features without significant filtration.

"Gov. Rick Perry, the chief planning officer for the state of Texas, has directed his appointed people who govern TxDOT to create a new drivers tax, by privatizing and tolling roads we've already paid for. With TxDOT's rush to get out of the transportation business and into the revenue generation business, they've tried to cut corners by not producing all the necessary studies. The law is working for the people today, at least in the case of this one public highway of the many Perry is trying to toll in Texas," said Sal Costello, founder of People for Efficient Transportation Inc.

“We need road improvements, but there is a difference between just building roads and really solving transportation problems. With a fresh start on the planning of this corridor, I am optimistic that a long term solution will emerge.” said Bill Barker, local transportation consultant.

The plaintiffs are represented by Save Our Springs Alliance. SOS Alliance’s litigation docket and information on the adverse affects of highways can be found at www.sosalliance.org.


Governor Perry "FLIPS THE BIRD"! Radio Host demands an apology!

Adam McManus demands apology from
Governor for giving Texans the finger!

Adam McManus' radio show demanded an apology tonight from the Governor for flipping "the bird" to a line of toll road protesters in San Antonio today. Gov. Rick Perry doesn't seem to be the church going nice guy who goes on Adam's show and purports himself to be a Christian when he panders for votes and then says "Adios Mo Fo" to a reporter and gives Texans the finger.

When Adam McManus gets a bee under his bonnet, he won't let it go. He called two witnesses, Dave Ramos and Byron Juen Wed. night and had them on the AIR clearly stating that they saw Governor Perry flip them off from his motorcade! That's when Adam went nuts and said he was going to call the Governor and demand an apology.

Perry announces his candidacy for re-election as Governor TONIGHT in Round Rock....


6:15 p.m.
Dell Diamond
3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd.
Round Rock, Texas 78664

Perry re-election tour marred by line of protestors campaigning against his toll roads!

John C from Blog...

You know...this didn't have to happen. I seriously wonder about the people who buy the idea that tolls are the only way we can maintain our roadways.

Another thing that I wonder about is if projects like this are so vital to sustain our current infrastructure then why did Rick Perry, and his subordinates in Austin have to resort to sneaking all of these things through the legislative and TxDOT so that the public would remain in the dark until it was too late?

Come on folks...these are your tax dollars being wasted on more lawsuit defense because our elected leaders want to bamboozle us.

Get off of your rears and get involved.


CINTRA fails to answer more Questions

Tax funded SH 121 to be finished soon, but will not open because of tolls.

Dallas Morning News has confirmed one of arguments against toll road conversion. SH 121 in Denton county (100% funded with gas taxes) will be finished soon, but it will not open until several months after that because the Feds haven't approved the toll conversion and after that happens they will have to install TollTag readers. I told people that time and time again - toll conversion would delay the opening of the road.
(also, you can read the story in the comments area - Sal)

He has given us higher property taxes, bigger government, higher insurance rates, toll roads, has abandoned our border and ignored our broken schools.


Q & A about Donna Howard being endorsed over Ben Benzin...click on comments area here...

SAMUELSON to Challenge KRUSEE in Republican Primary!

DUMP Krusee.

Barbara cites Krusee's Push of Unaccountable Tolling
of Public Highways and Irresponsible Trans Texas Corridor
as Motivation for Run at Public Office.

"I find the current and planned schema to toll our public highways to be fiscally and socially reprehensible. Saddling the constituents of Williamson County, nay, of the entire state of Texas, with bloated bureaucratic freeway tolls is not my idea of applying conservative values in the legislature. Unaccountable, double taxation is not a transportation solution. I support a full review of TXDOT and its operations to explore ways to make transportation planning, design and construction more efficient, more accountable and more cost effective. Current ideology within the legislature's transportation board, chaired by Krusee, sets the toll rates by an unelected and unaccountable Regional Mobility Authority. Architected by Mike Krusee in HB 3588, the appointed boards, (RMAs), are newly created taxing authorities, and as such, are unacceptable as governing bodies, and is precisely why I am contesting Mike Krusee in the race for House District 52," said Samuelson

Barbara Samuelson added, "I oppose the Trans Texas Corridor, as does the Texas Republican Party platform and over 30 Texas counties which have formally opposed the Trans Texas Corridor, '.... there are issues of confiscation of private land, State and National sovereignty and other similar concerns.' Quiet dealings with "for profit" foreign corporations, that fascilitate and authorize confiscation of private land and dares to market its (mis)use as "emminent domain", is not open and fair government. Past legislation and the passage of Prop 1 in the 2005 election allows unlimited tax dollars to be shifted to the TTC. This must stop!"

"We need to invest in higher education to ensure a competitive, and hopefully, prosperous future for our children, our state, our nation, our species, our companion species, and the entire planet! In other words, there is no limit to the potential impact that education has upon existence; it must be funded. John Adams wrote passionately of the duty society has to perpetuate and facilitate public knowledge through education. I agree with John Adams," said Samuelson.

Barbara is a professional photographer/filmmaker with a degree in film and a strong background in science and technology.

Contact Barbara Samuelson: Barbara@talkdata.com



Monday 2:45pm: To set partisan politics aside, Carole Strayhorn announces she will run as an independent! HOUSTON CHRON Story Link. Strayhorn hit Perry hard with his failures in education, taxes and toll roads.



Feel free to download and use these photos (copyright free)

“Rick Perry has so politically fractured this state that the only way we’re going to get anything done is to have independent leadership in this state. I am a Republican, but it is time to set partisan politics aside for the future of Texas,” Strayhorn said.

"It's time to shake Austin up," Strayhorn, who is now serving as a Republican officeholder, told reporters today, the filing deadline for the 2006 elections.

"Governor Perry may be doing the best he can, but after five years, we have learned he is not the strong leader we need to put Texas above politics," she added.