Strayhorn Camp Says Texas
Needs Leadership And New Direction

(AUSTIN) – Despite his assertion to the contrary, Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Department of Transportation has more than enough money to address transportation needs without giving hundreds of thousands of acres of the state to a foreign company and charging drivers tolls, his principle opponent’s campaign said today.

“Perry says the billions and billions and billions of dollars he has to build new roads are not enough,” said Mark Sanders, spokesman for Independent Candidate for Governor Carole Keeton Strayhorn. “It may sound like chump change to him, but Carole knows with real leadership that sets clear priorities we have ample resources to fix our roads. Perry needs to tell Texans the truth.”

“This biennium, TxDOT has $15.2 BILLION to spend – up from $7 billion before Perry was promoted to Governor,” Sanders said. “That is a whopping $8.2 billion more – a 117 percent increase. If the Governor can’t figure out how to build freeways with that kind of cash, we need a new governor.”

Strayhorn has pointed to $4 BILLION in Texas Mobility Bonds, $3 BILLION in revenue bonds, increased federal dollars and increased tax collection at the state level to build freeways.

“With Carole’s leadership, that money will be spent on common sense projects like expanding IH 35 using existing right of ways, implementing the Ports to Plains plan to ease congestion, and increasing telecommuting,” Sanders said. “Two of those real-world solutions were vetted by TxDOT in 1999 and 2001. Those are realistic solutions to a real problem, not pie-in-the-sky plans that give half-a-million acres of Texas away to a foreign company to builds toll roads and reap profits from hard-earned dollars of Texans.”

“Rick seems to be more interested in taking care of the special interests than listening to the people of Texas,” Sanders said. “He is ignoring Texans, particularly the farmers and ranchers who overwhelmingly oppose his Trans Texas Corridor.”

Sanders said Strayhorn’s plan to appoint an inspector general and ombudsman to oversee TxDOT will help the agency spend the billions it has wisely and get the agency back in touch with the people it is supposed to be serving.

“It’s time to change the status quo at the Texas Department of Transportation and put the people back in charge, not the special interests. Under Carole’s leadership, that is exactly what will happen,” Sanders said.

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