"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.


Sal Costello said...


Toll Road Opponents Get Help From Gubernatorial Candidates

Lauren Jenkins

Groups working to keep toll roads out of San Antonio got help from two gubernatorial candidates.

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Chris Bell joined the Texas Toll Party for a rally at Ancira Jeep Saturday morning. Strayhorn used the rally as a chance take shots at her Republican competitor, Governor Rick Perry.

“They're saying no to Rick Perry and his highway henchmen,” says Strayhorn. “[Perry] says you have a choice: slow roads, no roads, or toll roads. Well, hogwash to that! We can have an efficient transportation system.”

Strayhorn says contracts on toll roads are being kept secret and should be made public.

She is running for Governor as an Independent. Chris Bell is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Sal Costello said...

Already paid for it

How many people really want to pay extra to get where they are going just a little bit quicker? How many want to pay tolls for roads that are currently there?

The only reason the U.S. 281 toll road halted progress was because the Texas Department of Transportation didn't perform a sufficient evaluation on certain issues. Lawyers are trying to hurry the procedures that are holding back this project. It could take another year to start work on U.S. 281.

Moreover, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority is going to perform a study on several different locations for future toll roads.

The bad thing about this study is the ARMA said it will cost $6.5 million. Does it really cost that much to perform a study? Even if it did, why should we pay for a road that has already been paid for?

—Chris Filoteo

Sal Costello said...


Comment: Ample funds, plans make tolls unnecessary
Robert McKechnie
Special to the Express-News

I hope the stoppage of work on the planned toll roads on U.S. 281 isn't giving us a false sense of security in the "stop the tolling of San Antonio roads" effort.

Let's examine the problem: We have congestion and not enough road funds.

First, we need to ask: Why don't we have enough road funds? The state has the money, more than $5 billion per year, but the San Antonio area is getting only about $100 million per year.

This disparity is caused by the state funding formula, which needs adjusting, but the attitude of those on the Texas Transportation Commission is that if San Antonio gets more, then some one else gets less — not "let's fix the formula."

This is where local elected state officials (senators and representatives) must take action, and you need to tell them such.

Second, we need to look at the alternatives for fixing the congestion. The appointed officials on the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority seem to have only one idea — toll roads! However, this is not the only alternative, and all the alternatives need a comprehensive review and presentation to the public.
The governor claims the RMA has such a charge, but the chairman, Bill Thornton, doesn't seem to think so (he is spending more than $6 million on toll road studies). The leader of the Bexar County commissioners, County Judge Nelson Wolff, could direct the Alamo RMA to study all alternatives, but he has chosen not to do such.

Another part of the equation is the San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is made up of 19 voting members (including four city councilmen, three Bexar County commissioners, one state senator and two Texas Department of Transportation employees). They could have forced an audit of the U.S. 281 project back in 2005 but voted it down with only two of the Bexar County commissioners voting for it (Commissioners Lyle Larson and Tommy Adkisson).

On the U.S. 281 issue, the Texas Department of Transportation had a funded, approved plan to put in the overpasses that would have solved the problem but decided to go with the toll road approach. However, to get around the state law that forbids putting tolls on existing lanes, it had to design an extra wide road with 16 lanes at a cost of more than twice the original approved design. No matter what you might have read, they were going to put tolls on U.S. 281 as soon as the first part of the toll road (from Loop 1604 to Stone Oak) was finished.

The bottom line is that the state has the funds and plans for roads without tolls. We don't need toll roads in San Antonio to relieve the congestion. If you think you live in a part of San Antonio that is exempt from tolling plans, you better read the newspapers. For starters, the whole North Side is in the sights of the tollers.

The RMA, MPO and Texas Department of Transportation want you to believe that building toll roads is the only fix for the problems, which is not true. To make it even worse, the Texas Department of Transportation is planning to turn over the road building and tolling to foreign consortiums. (So why do we need the Alamo RMA?) Unfortunately, some have been led to believe this would not use any tax funds. But just remember you don't get something for nothing and if it sounds to good to be true, it is.

Robert McKechnie, a consulting engineer for MTC Technologies, has more than 46 years of government and industrial experience.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. McKechnie, for your informative and helpful comments.

It concerns me a bit that nothing in this particular blog thread mentions the NAFTA corridors for Texas (aka "Trans Texas Corridor Project). These two are inseparable and are equally egregious and offensive to the Texas and United States Constitution and Bill of Rights

The triple-tax toll roads and the NAFTA corridors are simply and clearly from the time of their secret inception and stealth planning a criminal organized-crime type SCAM on each citizen of Texas. This is simply a giant ripoff or highway robbery. The perpetrators or criminal gangsters are the secret as yet unnamed operatives of the United States federal government, the current Texas governor, the entire 78th Texas legislature of 2003 (all members of both chambers !), the Texas county Commissioners Courts members, the mayors and city council members (most of them anyway) and the CAMPO and RMA members who are deeply interest-conflicted appointed members of such regional organizations.

Part and parcel of this entire criminal scam has been blatant and in our faces, no "government plot" or conspiracy here. The gangsterism is fully open. Most of our legislators do not have honor and itegrity of personal character. They sell their votes. They trade their votes. And of course there is more extortion and blackmail going on than we can shake a stick at.

Our legislator are supposed to make wise considered and principled voting decisions. They are not to make merchandise of their voting power that we the people have entrusted to them.

Mr. McKechnie speaks clearly of the total insanity and illogic of all of these triple tax toll road plans, but there was never intented to be an well meaning, wise logical planning involved here. This is pure and simple grand larceny.

The people of Texas have been set up and sold out by our "elected" and appointed "leaders." The voice of we the people has been disabled by these gangsters. Our Texas legislators in 2005, almost unaimously again, voted in a law that will have all votes in the Texas legislature be non-record votes. I did however compile a name list of those who voted for House Bill 2003, and that may be the last time we will be able to name names of our perpetrators of evil upon us.

Do many things to get every one of those people out of public office in Texas. (Email me for a list of these traitors -- archiek1@prodigy.net) The best way to get these traitors out of the picture early is to vote them out in their respective party primaries on March 7. You should vote in those primaries, regardless of your regular party affiliation. And then, of course, vote against any of these incumbents that are still in the race in the November 2006 general election. REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER !

Sal Costello said...

Why Perry Should NOT Be Reelected Governor

# Fewer jobs in Texas, more outsourcing; the few jobs provided by Toyota in San Antonio did little to offset the perks and taxpayer dollars Gov. Perry gave the company
# Perry permitted the overburdening of Texas homeowners with absurd and illegal property tax increases every year --- sometimes twice within the same year --- which culminated into a five-year increase of up to 400-percent
# Sky-high health care costs that continue to escalate even after Perry promised Texas families to cut their premiums
# Inadequate state financing of public schools and diminishing quality of education
# Texas ranks one of the worst states in providing reasonable and professional teacher salaries and benefits
# Perry, who has "ties" to UT Board of Regents, permitted astronomical costs of higher education tuition and then pushing for tuition deregulation, which further increased tuition costs
# Perry and other legislators permitted the overnight doubling of home insurance costs, promising to return money to policy owners leading to broken promises and the highest costs of home insurance anywhere in the U.S.
# Perry continues with his determination to push for Texas toll roads, double-taxing current roads and permitting "conflicts of interests" to dictate policy and direction; officials asked for public response but neglect listening to the majority who don't want toll roads
# Perry diverted responsibility of state's fees, penalties and cost of services onto local governments, which forced the increasing of local and property taxes
# Focused on private school vouchers and perks for charter schools; furthermore, Perry pushed his curious "cure" for school financing by advocating charging a tax on Gentlemen's Clubs
# Permitted religious organizations exemption from property taxes on land investments
# Perry promoted to control, restrain and eliminate medical malpractice lawsuits by falsely promising Texans lower insurance premiums and medical costs
# Decreased needed social service programs, especially for children of low income families --- then Perry "patted himself on the back" when due to ongoing public outcry he restored a fraction of those taxpayer dollars as his idea to provide insurance and services for children and Texas families
# Continued to freeze gasoline taxes to underscore falsely the inability of TxDOT to build and maintain roadways with taxpayer dollars, and falsely justifying the need for toll roads; also diverted a large chunk of gas tax to higher education
# Wasted more taxpayer dollars in regular and special sessions than any previous administration in Texas history
# Permits special interests and "conflict of interests" to dictate proposed legislation and actions of government
# Recklessly permitted redistricting to become the most important legislative issue and enabling federal congressman Tom DeLay to violate the law to "hammer-in" illegally a Texas redistricting plan
# Approved legislation to provide judges with pay increases, which also tied into raising legislators' retirement benefits.

All in all, incumbent Rick Perry must go. Texans and their children deserve better!

Peter Stern, 16700 FM 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619, 512-858-0488


Peter Stern of Driftwood, TX is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a Vietnam-era Disabled Veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees. Since 1999 Mr. Stern has studied and followed legislative politics in Texas and writes prolifically about various urgent issues and proposed legislation to inform the community without political bias or affiliation. While a lifetime member of the Republican Party, he does NOT support the party's current platforms, philosophies and actions. He maintains he is an "intelligent" Republican with a conscience --- a minority branch of the ruling party. You may contact Peter Stern at: pstern@austin.rr.com