Ric Williamson, Chair of TxDOT says Keeping Costs of Freeway Tolls Down is NOT TxDOT's Strategy.


TxDOT chair, Ric Williamson, appointed by Rick Perry, sees big dollars as freeways get shifted to tollways. Are tollers interested in keeping the costs down for taxpayers? "That's not our strategy" says Ric Williamson in the video. It's about HOW MUCH TXDOT CAN SQUEEZE OUT OF OUR FAMILIES. $.10, $1.00, $2.00 a mile? Taxpayer dollars are diverted to pay for the expressway, then the freeway is shifted to a tollway and the public will be charged as much as possible. A DOUBLE TAX.

A suitcase stuffed with $100 bills is perfectly fine.

L.A Times writes about how a Cash gift loophole allows Texas officials unlimited gifts of money without having to disclose the amount.

"Looking for that special something to give a Texas politician this holiday season? Don't fret: A suitcase stuffed with $100 bills is perfectly fine."

"Ronnie Earle, the Travis County district attorney... joked that Texas officials could reveal receiving a gift of a wheelbarrow, "without reporting that the wheelbarrow was filled with cash.""

It's like trying to scrape the ZMUD off your shoe

After 4 years of conflict of interests, and profiting off the system, Johanna Zmud resigned last June. But, here we are 5 months later and she’s still a board member of the Freeway Tolling Authority (CTRMA)! I ask you, what kind of upside down world do we live in?


Eat your greul with your hands.

Forget about the $15 Billion in State surplus, and the Billions that TxDOT is diverting to toll roads. The TxDOT Chair, rabid Ric Williamson, says Texans will get Tree-less toll roads and like it. HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Perry's TxDOT cuts program for transportation enhancements because of hurricanes and war on terrorism.

"...the Texas Historical Commission's director said Tuesday the state Department of Transportation purposely targeted millions in proposed "transportation enhancement" initiatives because agency officials have never liked the program."

East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Planning Team Resolution Opposing Toll Fees on US 183 and HWY 71 (click here to read it!)

Austin American Statesman update on 45 SouthEAST

THE Statesman article today gives us an update about 45SE Toll on the East side but, it doesn't give us any update on 45SW (from what I understand it is still legally impossible to build). Note the Statesman continues to help sell TxTAGs by including a sales pitch at the end of the article to let you know how you can purchase a TxDOT wireless revenue collection account via phone, online or in person. As a reminder, the Snakesman endorsed the Phase II toll plan (tolling freeways we've already paid for) on June 27th, 2004.

Texas Monthly, Paul Burka: "We are headed for the worst public fiasco in my lifetime"

His Way or the Highway

Now that Rick Perry has won another term, his transportation plan moves on down the road. What kind of a toll will it take on Texas?

December 2006
by Paul Burka, Senior Executive Editor
Texas Monthly Magazine

Every day I can look out the window of my office in downtown Austin and watch traffic creep along Interstate 35, half a mile away. The time of day doesn’t seem to matter, nor does the weather: morning or evening, wet or dry, the snarl persists. Part of this is due to the unwieldy design of the downtown exit and entrance ramps, but the main reason is the volume of traffic, much of it commercial. I dread the drive to Dallas, which I last made on the Friday afternoon before the Texas-Oklahoma football game – surely the worst day of the year for such a trip. It took me forty minutes to negotiate the eighteen miles from downtown to the suburb of Round Rock, and much of that time was spent idling in a canyon of eighteen-wheelers.

The announcement several years ago that the Texas Department of Transportation - TxDOT, as it’s widely known – would build a toll bypass known as Texas 130 east of Austin was cause for celebration. Texas 130 was particularly welcomed by community leaders in the fast-growing town of Pflugerville, which abuts Austin to the northeast. The annexation, years earlier, by Austin of a strip of land along I-35 had kept Pflugerville from reaping the taxes generated by the high-dollar commercial property along the freeway frontage. Now, with the completion of another brand-new toll road, Texas 45, which will tie into the bypass, Pflugerville could lookforward to development along the flanks of the new highway, which would relieve homeowners from bearing the principal responsibility of paying for city services. But when TxDOT announced the design of Texas 45, it has no Pflugerville exit and no frontage road, and that made the adjacent property unattractive for development. What was the reason for this oversight? It was no oversight, according to state senator-elect Kirk Watson, who, as mayor of Austin, had served on the board of the federally mandated regional mobility planning organization for the Austin area. “TxDOT,” he says, “wanted to maximize its toll revenue.”

A single nonexistent exit on a single yet-to-be-completed highway is of little consequence in the big picture of transportation policy in Texas. And yet the missing Pflugerville exit is emblematic of why so many Texans are upset about that policy and why it became an issue in the governor’s race: The importance of roads is not merely to make sure that you and I can get from point A to point B rapidly and safely. Roads create wealth. They multiply property values. They bring economic development. They improve the quality of life. Bust as Texas turns more and more to toll roads, critics of TxDOT fear that the tail is wagging the dog, that the funding mechanism has become an end in itself, and that a mammoth stage agency has lost sight of its duty to serve the public and instead serves its own ends.

This is not going to be a screed against toll roads or against Rick Perry’s multi-highway Trans-Texas Corridor plan, through the opponents have made some legitimate points. Existing highways built with tax dollars ought not to be converted to toll roads; this is double taxation. Commuters should not be forced to tithe for the privilege of using a freeway overpass, as TxDOT wanted to do on another Austin expressway – conjuring up the memory of Ludwig of Bavaria, who built his medieval castle on an island in the Rhine, the better to extract tolls from passing boatmen. Yet toll roads are an essential part of our transportation future. The current revenue stream, which depends on a twenty-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline, one fourth of which goes to education, is not enough to meet the state’s needs. Without toll roads, gridlock will continue to strangle Texas cities.

All of the rhetoric over whether to toll or not to toll has obscured a much bigger issue, which is privatization of transportation. TxDOT’s plan for toll roads is to surrender public control of these roads by entering into “comprehensive development agreements” (known as CDAs) with private companies, such as the partnership between Cintra, a Spanish company, and Zachry construction in San Antonio, which is building the first link in the Trans-Texas Corridor, an alternative to Interstate 35 known as TTC-35. Cintra-Zachry paid $1 billion to TxDOT for the right to collect tolls for the next fifty years. I’m not going to make a xenophobic argument, as Carole Keeton Strayhorn did in her gubernatorial campaign, that this is a land grab by foreign companies. It doesn’t really matter whether the company operating the toll road is American or European or Qatari. What matters is whether the arrangement protects the public interest. Here is what John Carona, a Republican state senator from Dallas who is the new chairman of the Senate committee that deals with transportation, has to say on the subject: “Within thirty years’ time, under existing comprehensive development agreements, we’ ll bring free roads in this state to a condition of ruin.”

It may seem as if the system of granting a concession to private companies in return for money, like restaurants at an airport, is a great idea – “free money” that TxDOT can use to build other toll roads, enter into still more concession agreements, and build still more toll roads, as if the agency had succeeded in creating a perpetual- motion machine to finance roads in perpetuity. But alas, there is no free money, and there is no perpetual-motion machine. The private companies that will build and operate the toll roads are in business to make a profit. In order to ensure that profit, they must have people who want to drive on their roads. And – here’s the rub – in order to be sure that people will want to drive on their roads, the CDAs with TxDOT will contain non-compete clauses that prohibit to TxDOT from building new roads or upgrading existing highways. Any improvement to an existing highway that is not already planned at the time TxDOT enters into the contract is prohibited. That billion-dollar concession limits TxDOT’s ability to improve nearby secondary roads. How about adding extra lanes? Sorry, prohibited by the CDA. An HOV express lane? Not a chance. This is why Carona says that free roads will be reduced to ruin. TxDOT will no longer be able to respond to the transportation needs of the state, other than to say: If you don’t like the traffic, use the toll road.

Oh, I almost forgot. About that free money. It may be free for TxDOT, but it isn’t free for you and me. The billion dollars represents the present value of future toll revenue. TxDOT finds it attractive for the same reason that buyers of lottery tickets ask for the “cash option.” They want their money up front – so they can use it now, so that it won’t be eaten up by inflation – rather than have it dribble in over twenty years (or fifty). Meanwhile, the private toll road operator wants to get that billion dollars back. And the way the company will get it is by raising its tolls over fifty years, largely unrestrained by the public sector. Tolls will be market based – that is whatever the traffic will bear. In effect, TxDOT’s free money amounts to a tax on our children and grandchildren.

Concession agreements are not the only way to build toll roads, just the most expensive one. (Carona likens it to “renting to own.”) In fact, toll road authorities have functioned in Houston and Dallas for years by using the conventional method of building the roads: issuing revenue bonds that will be paid off with toll revenues over a period of twenty to thirty years. When major league baseball first came to Arlington in the seventies, I drove to games from Dallas on the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. In twenty years (1957-1977) the bonds were paid off and the turnpike became a free road, Interstate 30. It remains free today. The Dallas North Tollway followed a similar pattern, except that when the original section, from downtown to Interstate 635, was paid off, tolls continued to be collected so that the tollway could be extended farther north. The Harris County Toll Road Authority has built 101 miles of toll roads, including a section of the Sam Houston for which I gladly pay $1.25 four times in order to drive to my hometown of Galveston without having to contend with Houston traffic. This method of financing is, in the long run, far cheaper for the public than concessions and higher tolls. In the past, TxDOT cooperated with these local authorities – for instance, by making right-of-way available – but since Rick Perry has been governor, a much more aggressive department seems to regard the local toll agencies as competitors. The North Texas Tollway Authority wanted to build Texas 121, for example, but TxDOT stepped in and forced the NTTA to cede control of the project, thereby allowing TxDOT to do another concession agreement. The NTTA will be allowed to collect the tolls, but that is all.

How did we get to this point, and what can we do about it? For years, state budget writers have been dipping into the pot of money that is earmarked for highways to fund the Department of Public Safety, on the theory that state troopers are responsible for highway safety. This poly diverted $700 million from road building in the current biennial budget. At the same time, lawmakers have refused to raise the gasoline tax since 1991. In a Republican era, any kind of tax increase isunthinkable, even if its purpose is to further the case of free roads. TxDOT played politics too, putting more projects on its approved list for future construction than it could afford; now it uses the length of the wish list to win the support of local transportation planning organizations for toll roads, warning communities like Austin and El Paso that their only other option is to wait 25 years for free projects.

The final step was that the 2003 legislative session, when Republicans controlled all the levers of power – House, Senate, governor – for the first time. Major bills were rushed through the Legislature with little debate or discussion. One of these was the omnibus transportation bill that authorized concessions and other mammoth changes in the way we build highways. Few lawmakers knew what was in the bill. The Senate gave it only cursory inspection. The result was a scheme in which TxDOT will be taking in billions of dollars from the private sector with no oversight by the Legislature, no responsibility to say how that money will be used, and no assurance for the public that free roads, as well as toll roads, will benefit from that money. Governor Perry has strongly supported transparency, accountability, and oversight in public education. He could do the state and the public a great service by insisting on the same standards for highways. Otherwise, we are headed for the worst public fiasco in my lifetime.


My comment speech at the Mobility Alternative Finance Study Steering Committee (Independent Review) today (click here).

Profiteers Push TTC

Billboards and Radio spots that talk about Gov. Rick Perry's Trans Texas Corridor being better than sliced bread are popping up. Radio ads have been heard in San Antonio and this billboard has been seen in Houston.

The so called citizen group, Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation (www.bettertexasroads.org), is made up of the same folks that profit from the land and road grabs (Trans Texas Corridor and Freeway Tolls). Some folks call it "astroturfing", or fake grassroots support.

Leave it to the profiteers to create their group as a nonprofit. It was incorporated in December 2005 so the public and the press could not see who's funding those very expensive ads.

Their website fails to list any leaders of the organization. No President, No Board Members. Nothing.

But, we’ve found them.

Board members include real estate lawyer Joe Krier who also happens to be San Antonio Chamber President and CEO. Lawrence Olsen of the Texas Good Roads Association in Austin, and Donna Williams, wife of Texas Railroad Commission member Michael Williams and vice president of Parsons Infrastructure & Technology in Dallas.

The profiteer website says, “Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation (TSRT) is working to improve our state’s public safety, economy and quality of life by supporting better transportation infrastructure.” They don’t mention the fact that they profit from the infrastructure we’ve already paid for with freeway tolls, as well as the profit made from the TTC being built on land taken from countless Texans (eminent domain style).

They say, “Our goal is to improve our state’s hurricane and disaster response, job creation and quality of life by getting needed roads, rail, public transportation and other infrastructure built and operating years sooner than expected – without massive tax increases”...all with magic beans! - no mention of toll roads, mass evictions and alternatives that cost less and take no land.

They trot out the same old tired profiteer excuses, “Texas’s population is expected to grow 65 percent in the next 25 years”. No mention of exaggerated growth projections being based on politicos NOT effectively dealing with illegal immigration.

Special thanks to TTC News Archives for the photo (see map here) and all his hard work over the years compiling an important archive of TTC and Toll news articles!


ACS (Nation's leader in electronic toll collection) Top Execs Resign over Stock Fraud (CLICK HERE)

Never mind all these toll guys and the fraud. Toll Roads are good business, just like the Pyramid Scheme and the Nigerian email scam. Here is another must read: PBS&J $36 Million Fraud. And another, Admission of Toll Road Fraud.

New Jersey bosses seek toll road slush fund:

Austin Tollers Secretly Tracking The Public.


It would be expected that the licence plates of violators would be recorded, but a TxDOT bureaucratic contractor is capturing ALL license plate numbers of ALL vehicles that drive on the new Central Texas toll roads, whether drivers have elected to register for a TxTAG or not.

Citizens have been offered to "try out" the new toll roads "for free", but they've not been informed that they are being tracked. We don’t know how long the data will be archived, if the information is shared with other government agencies, or if the database is being sold to the highest bidder.

Express Personnel in Austin, Texas has begun hiring "Image Review” Specialists for toll road contractor Washington Group International (WGI). WGI is partnering with PBS&J (involved in at least $36 Million of fraud) and United Toll Systems (UTS) who all have a piece of the "Freeway Toll" profits. Along with Halliburton, WGI is one of the highest paid contractors, receiving Billions in contracts, for the Iraq war.

The job entails data input of license plate numbers of all vehicles using the new toll roads. Photographs of each license plate, of each car entering the toll road are taken. A database of ALL traffic is being created.

The actual Job posting found on Express Personnel website today:
Locations: Austin
Title/Description: Toll Road Image Review Clerks
(57 Needed!!!)
Date Posted: Nov 21

This position is responsible for data entry from pictures of vehicle license plate numbers into the Image Processing software application.

Has an on-going knowledge of policies/guidelines as directed by management. Is flexible and can adjust to other duties of the CSC based on business needs. Other duties may be assigned to meet business needs. Perform accurate data entry of license plate numbers from images into database. Has overall knowledge of company/client guidelines for resolution codes to be used on the images reviewed. Reaches or exceeds daily quotas for number of images processed and acceptable error rates. Backs up the Call Center incoming phone calls per established company standards. Assists with patron account maintenance.
Please email resumes to jennifer.habermann@expresspersonal.com
Don’t forget, these are different from any other toll roads in the U.S., the MoPAC and 45 North tolls permanently take and toll our public expressways. Frontage roads with stop lights are not a comparable alternative to an expressway, and people will be forced onto the tolled freeway.

The government has yet to establish any laws, guidelines or privacy policies on collection of this type of data.

Peter Samuels of TollRoadsNews.com has reported how we’ve already paid for the right of way of OUR public highway. Note the tollers call the Highway Robbery 'donated', “...Right of way, most of which was donated is valued at $695m”

A past employee who quit the “Image Review” position after the first day of work told me the quota of 4000 license plate images must be placed into the database per shift, per employee. His statement illustrates why he quit before his first shift was complete:
“I personally think that this is improper considering that there is no need for a database other than to infringe on the privacy of the public.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: The government has yet to establish any laws, guidelines or privacy policies on collection of this type of data.

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CTRMA NO BID Contracts List

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

These contracts were paid for with State, County and City Taxes.
This RMA Unaccountable bureaucracy was created to toll roads we've already paid for.
(as per State Comptroller Special Report: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority: A Need for a Higher Standard March 2005, Appendix 5)
Cost amounts from inception to Spring 2005


Prime Strategies (Mike Weaver) $620,407.44

HB Media (Manuel Zarate, Pete Peters) $259,704.40

Martin & Salinas Public Affairs (Don Martin, Trey Salinas) $120,027.75

Adelante Solutions (Paul Saldana) included in Martin Salinas above

Adisa Public Relations (Shuronda Robinson-Parks) $59,517.98

Grier-Bankett (Stacy Dukes-Rhone) $32,116.00

Nancy Ledbetter (Nancy Ledbetter) $109,105.87

Informative Efforts (Catherine Howell, Melinda Wheatley) $59,068.25

HDR Engineering (Russell Zapalac, Craig Stong) $1,350,153.98

Owen Consulting (Everett Owen) $61,050.00

Sheets & Crossfield (Charles Crossfield) $588,332.01

S.D. Kallman (Steven D. Kallman) $80,999.30

S.W. Hale Consulting (Stephanie Hale) $41,441.50

Pink Consulting (Bobbie J. Garza) $32,394.55

Smith, Robertson, Elliott & Glen (Alan Glen) $47,232.90

Cobb, Fendley & Associates (Allen Watson) $410,833.96

Crossland Acquisition (Jim Henry) Included in Sheets & Crossfield billings

Survey and Mapping (Michael Hatcher) $1,065,154.41

Crespo Consulting (L. Steven Stecher) $94,516.00

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Phase II Public Hearings

An important meeting for Phase 2 (Freeway Tolls) toll public comments. It's import that we be as attentive and pro-active as possible between now and the all important Campo Meeting January 17th final hearing (mark your calendar). February 12th is the final vote on the Phase 2 toll plans.

'Freeway Tolls' permanently take the option of a free expressway away from drivers. Freeway tolls privatize and toll our public highways. These double tax tolls are created using our tax dollars, and they come without viability studies, and the tax booths will never be removed. The revenue is a slush fund that does NOT go back into the toll road people are driving on. TxDOT will then have a finacial incentive to NOT fix congestion on the frontage roads with stop lights.

Press release from CAMPO:

Public invited to comment on toll road study
For immediate release:
Nov. 21, 2006

The Mobility Alternative Finance Study Steering Committee is seeking public comment on a study that explores the future of Phase 2 toll roads in Austin .
The public may comment on the study at a meeting 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at Town Lake Center , 721 Barton Springs Road , Room 130.

The Mobility Alternative Finance Study (MAFS) draft final report is available at www.campotexas.org. The document addresses questions about alternatives, finances and impacts of the Phase 2 Toll Plan. If the report is accepted, it will be presented to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Policy Board on Dec. 11, 2006.

CAMPO; the cities of Austin and Round Rock; and Hays, Travis and Williamson counties signed an agreement to create the report in 2005. An 11-member steering committee, co-chaired by Texas State Representative Mike Krusee and Austin City Council Member Brewster McCracken, was appointed to oversee the study.

"The CAMPO Board commissioned the alternative finance study because we wanted to make sure whatever road-building strategy we pursue does the most to increase mobility and makes the most sense financially," McCracken said. "What we have learned is that there are alternatives to the Phase Two toll plan that do more to relieve congestion and may make just as much sense financially."

"Because of existing and long-term roadway funding shortages and to preserve our future economic well-being, the region must seriously consider all funding solutions, including tolling and rail transit, in a comprehensive transportation plan," Krusee said.

Proposed Phase 2 toll roads include portions of U.S. 290 East, U.S. 183, State Highway 71 East, the "Y" at Oak Hill , Texas 45 Southwest and Loop 360.

To view a .pdf copy of MAFS, visit www.campotexas.org/pdfs/MAFS_Draft_Final_Report.pdf.

Michael Aulick, CAMPO Executive Director, (512) 974-6441


Statesman reports on the Downfall of Mike Krusee


This mornings Statesman article, "Turnpikes Take Toll on Krusee", (CLICK HERE) by Ben Wear, shines some light on how vulnerable Mike Krusee really is.

Krusee's land and road grabbing corruption is finally catching up with him. You can only steal land and freeways from Texans for so long. All of Krusee's special interest campaign contributions can't save him from the electoral tidal wave. He'll most probably not run in the next election.

Ben claims Gov. Perry "suffered little damage" from the toll issue, I'd have to disagree. Tolls were part of the reason that Perry got only 39% of the vote this year. That means 61% of the voters wanted to fire Mr. 39% (Rick Perry). Here is how we softened up Krusee in the primaries, and educated many Republicans about his Corruption.

Brilliant quotes from the mildy retarded Krusee:

"I haven’t seen any concern at all from rural areas."

"Toll roads are enormously popular."

"I wouldn't call them (tolls) 'evil'"

"There are just a lot more cats to herd
in Travis than there are in Williamson."


Williamson County Can't Count. Or Worse.

6,000+ phantom votes
in Williamson County

Taylor Daily News reports about 84,500 people voted in Williamson County,
but the computer software program recorded more than 91,000 votes. Officials claim all is well, and the 6,000+ phantom votes won't affect the results of the Nov. 7 election.

Who needs a paper audit trail?
Let's just wing it and trust all parties involved as they scheme behind the e-machine curtain. I think that 'accountability' thing is overrated anyway. Right?

UPDATE 4:40pm

Williamson County elections
administrator resigns!

Amid hard questions about the 6,000+ phantom votes in the Williamson County elections, Elections Administrator Debra Stacy resigned today with a one-sentence e-mail.

Earlier today, they claimed the vote percentages would stay the same. It is now possible the outcome of the election will be affected as votes will somehow be 'recounted'. Does this smell fishy to you?

Secretary of States Office numbers earlier this week:
Mike Krusee       19,947  50.19%
Karen Felthauser 17,703 44.54%
Lillian Simmons LIB 2,092 5.26%
Williamson County shows these numbers with Krusee
below 50% as 'unofficial' (they could change again):
Mike Krusee (REP)  16,891  49.73%
Karen Felthauser (DEM) 15,227 44.83%
Lillian Simmons (LIB) 1,846 5.44%
Eye on Wilco has more of the story with some history.

City Council Fat Cats Give themselves a 41% Raise

More of our tax dollars will go into the pockets of Austin City Council Members. The council voted unanimously to give themselves a 30% pay raise, and a $5,400 car allowance without any discussion.

Add the 30% and the $5,400 for a council whopping 41% increase in pay!

See the KXAN Poll, with 88% saying they 'should not give themselves a nearly 30% pay raise' as well as comments HERE.

Councilman Brewster McCracken wants to run
for mayor. He voted to toll roads we've already paid
for in 2004 and again in 2005 (100% tax funded).
He also voted for the Red Light Camera scam.
Brewster just gave himself a 41% raise with your money.

Read about Brewster's Broken Promises.

Kim and Wynn voted for the raise but say they won't take it (sure, until some time passes and we are distracted). The well is dry when it comes to freeways and other budget needs, but the dollars are loose and fancy free when it comes to self serving pay raises.

I'm sure representing the special interests is hard work (toll roads, red light cameras and more), but a 41% raise?

When you go to work today, tell your boss your going to give yourself a 41% pay raise. I imagine some 'spit takes' or a lot of rolling on the floor with uncontrollable laughter will take place. Shouldn't we the public (the councils boss) get to vote on any pay raise? And, if it was on the ballot, do you think the council would have the nerve to ask for 41%?

Hell no.


Hundreds of Bills filed at Texas Lege

Bill filing at the Texas Legislature for the 80th session began Monday, and here's the list of bills lawmakers proposed to date.

A couple 'Good Bills' to watch for:
HB 55 by Rep. Carl Isett (R-Lubbock), which would BAN municipalities from issuing tickets based on red light cameras.

HB 65 by Leibowitz (San Antonio), Requires PAPER AUDIT TRAIL for electronic voting machines

HB 154 by Pickett (D-El Paso) This is to abolish the Texas Transportation Commission (Perry's bully Ric Williamson) and replace the position with a commissioner of transportation as an ELECTED state officer. Go Pickett! It’s your Birthday!
Click on the hyperlink above, then click on the bill numbers, log in and get auto emails for your own tracking as the months pass! If you find other good ones, post them in the comments area. Send a letter to the editor about your favorite bill and inform others to help build support!

Unelected Dallas Toll Authority raise tolls.

Currently the online poll with 735 votes, has 93% saying the new toll increase is too much. Also see the DALLAS NEWS ARTICLE from today.
Some of the recent comments about the bureaucratic toll increases from the Dallas News Poll:

Where does the toll money go? If it is used to build other roads shouldn't they be built without tolls on them? They should use tolls to pay for the new road construction. Once paid for they should be removed.
I would like evidence of where the money is going. The roads are expensive and crowded. The Dallas Tollway is slower than taking a side road during rush hour. The expense is not worth the benefit, yet every time a much-needed new road is put in, it has a toll attached to it. Don't we already pay taxes to pay for roads? Where does the money go that we pay for registration and inspection each year?
This is totally unrealistic. I go through 3 tollbooths just to get to work.
For that much money, they better be washing my car as I go through the booth! Here's an idea, charge that much so long as traffic is flowing at posted speeds. As traffic jams up, the cost to drive also drops. Nothing like getting your money's worth!
No longer will I automatically use the tollway, this or any increase is crazy!
This is getting a bit out of control! The tollroads do not move at the critical times when everyone is trying to get where they need to go! The only advantage of the George Bush for me is it dumps me off near my house, rather than taking LBJ to Preston and North to my subdivision. 190 is already bogged completely down at 6:45am as I head to work and 6:00pm as I return home. Geez, Louise.
Often times when I take the Dallas North Tollway, I end up sitting in traffic for a long time. Until that's improved, I don't see any reason why we should pay more. After all, aren't we paying to get to places faster??

Read ALL the Dallas News Poll comments HERE.

EYE ON WILCO: The Plan Is To Toll Every Road, From Here To Eternity


TTC and NAFTA Superhighway Letter

Letter to Editor of High Desert Star:

I was elated to see the WorldNetDaily news report that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), in America, is calling for truckers to boycott and oppose foreign-owned toll roads such as the Indiana Toll Road, which has been leased to a consortium of Spanish and Australian interests, and the Trans-Texas corridor, the four-football-field-wide NAFTA superhighway parallel to Interstate 35 which Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to begin next year.

Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of OOIDA (see the OOIDA Web site) indicates a tremendous concern for increased imported terrorism across our open borders as, “worldwide trucks are the weapons of choice of terrorists,” he emphasized.

I certainly agree with Mr. Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association that foreign-owned toll roads and the NAFTA superhighway must be stopped, as they amount to selling America to foreign, mostly hostile, interests.

The NAFTA superhighway will be a superhighway for terrorists to stream into our country from all over the world driving semi-trucks and limousines instead of having to sneak in. We should see www.jbs.org (John Birch Society — search “NAFTA superhighway”) and demand Congress support H. Con. Res. 487 sponsored by Congressmen Virgil Good, Walter Jones, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo to stop the North American Union and NAFTA superhighway system now — thereby securing our borders and jobs!

Ed Nemechek


UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRATIC TOLL FALLOUT: Orlando firing, resignation and $100,000 bribe. (click here)

Could Central Texas be far behind?
Tune into this blog weekly to find out (
bookmark it now).

Lone Star Report: Toll roads a non-starter on election day

From the Lone Star Report, November 13 edition:

Toll roads were a non-starter on election day

Mike Krusee (R-Round Rock) gets only 50 percent of the vote in a solidly Republican district? And his Democratic opponent is within five percent? This is but one example of the unpopularity of the state’s current transportation policies.

Most successful candidates ran as fast and as far as they could from the governor’s policy of making almost all new freeways toll roads. The Trans-Texas Corridor also did not play well on election day for a variety of reasons.

The Legislature will likely revisit this issue, which could put lawmakers on a collision course with Gov. Rick Perry.

It remains to be seen exactly what changes to current policy will gather steam at the Capitol. But transportation will be an issue in the spring.

Statesman Letters to Editor last week...

Not happy with tolls roads

I was a tentative supporter of the new Austin area toll roads, based purely on the desperate need that any traffic relief option is better than nothing at all. The key word in my prior statement is "was."

As I witnessed the construction process, I gave the benefit of doubt that all the puzzle pieces would eventually fall into place. Oh, how I was wrong.

The new traffic pattern will cause significant harm to the already tortuous Interstate 35 northbound traffic flow. It will also severely limit accessibility to the I-35 corridor businesses. The appearance indicates an overall intent to force tremendous misery; thus maximizing the opportunity to extort commuters through the toll system. More misery equates to more dollars. Where's the accountability? This is a system with potential for good intent and purpose, but is severely tainted with tremendous deception. Ultimately, it will offer benefits to a large portion of frustrated Austin area commuters, but we have been sold a bad bill of goods with a perpetual high cost.

Cedar Park

Just avoid the tolls

The easiest way to prevent the Trans Texas Corridor from happening is to not use the toll roads that are completed. I will never get on one of them, so the state will never reap one penny from me. If we all do that, then they won't be able to repay the bond debt and won't be able to sell future bonds for more toll roads.

Skip the toll roads, and let them eat cake.

Round Rock


Texas Monthly on Mike Krusee Election

Krusee’s reaction to his election numbers
(according to inside source)

State Representative Mike Krusee, also the Chair of House Transportation, nearly lost his seat last week. Krusee, in an overwhelmingly Republican district, almost got the boot with only 5 points to spare, even after he outspent his unfunded Democratic opponent by over 8 times!

Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka made this statement about Krusee’s close call:
Mike Krusee got 50.1% of the vote. He is the author and biggest defender of the highway bill that authorized toll roads throughout Texas. His Round Rock district is in the heart of the Central Texas controversy over tolling. A well financed campaign that hammered him for his support of toll roads might have taken him out. And yet, Democrats completely ignored Karen Felthauser. She raised barely $15,000 for the entire campaign.”
Krusee’s bills made it legal for to sell our freeways and private land to his and Rick Perry contributors (toll and road lobby). We pay an eternity for tolls on roads we’ve already paid for, and his campaign reaps the rewards!

CLICK HERE (a must read) to read about how the most delinquent lobbyist in the State of Texas, Melinda Kaye Wheatley, has ignored Texas Law, and has landed multimillion dollar transportation contracts while keeping an intimate relationship with Mike Krusee.

Click on the envelope icon below to
automaticly send this artcile to others.

CAMPO Presentation on Phase II Toll Alternative Study Tonight

CAMPO 'meeting of the Foxes' tonight:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.
The University of Texas Campus,
Joe C. Thompson Conference Center
Dean Keeton (26th) & RED RIVER

CRA will present the study asked for by Brewster McCracken, after many months
of 'work' with flawed numbers from URS, as well as CRA secret meetings with Bob Daigh. (click here to read)

Public comment not allowed.


Another CAMPO Toller down!!! CONGRATS!!!

How we changed CAMPO.

Sorry this update is late, my wife had surgery on Wednesday morning.

Congrats to our endorsed Elizabeth "Liz" Sumter! She beat Toller Judge Jim Powers from Hays County, who voted to toll roads we've already paid for as a member of CAMPO.

That is one more CAMPO Toller down for the good guys!

Hopefully Elizabeth will take the CAMPO seat, and join others who have promised (in writing) to vote NO on Phase II Tolls - such as Sarah Eckhardt (to replace Toller Karen Sonleitner), Donna Howard, Jennifer Kim (replaced Toller Danny Thomas), Betty Dunkerley and Valinda Bolton.

The CAMPO Phase II freeway toll vote is coming up again real soon. Phase II tolls permanently shift our public expressways to tollways (right of way we've funded with tax dollars and at times tax funded construction). Phase II tolls we've killed to date:
• MOPAC at Wm Cannon (The $8 Million dollar bridge is now free!)
• 360 in West Austin
We also received 2 year postponements for 183 & 71 in East Austin 2 years ago.

CAMPO meets on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting is November 13th and Vince May is concerned there are some tricks a few hardcore tollers are trying to get away with Monday Night. Read Vince's letter HERE. Please try to attend.

Those who have said no to Phase II freeway tolls from the start (since 2004) are: Elliot Naishtat and Eddie Rodriguez. Thank you Elliot & Eddie for working to stop the DOUBLE TAX!

Brewster McCracken and Mark Strama voted to toll roads we've already paid for in 2005, but they might be positioning themselves to vote no on Phase II, as they have been part of the Review. These dangerously slick politicians have been outspoken against the freeway tolls, even though they voted for it.

Toller Gonzalo Barrientos will be replaced by Kirk Watson (who has, for many months, refused to answer any questions about how he might vote for freeway tolls). Toller Dwight Thompson, mayor of Westlake Hills, was replaced by Mark Urdahl, who we helped become Mayor, but Allaince of Cities pulled a fast one and put in Buda Mayor, John Trube (I assume he'll follow the group vote).

See the latest CAMPO Board list before some of the changes HERE.

See our Good and Bad egg CAMPO list HERE.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Perry wins re-election by a NEGATIVE landslide (click to read)

Historic shift transfers key state Toll Road asset to private sector control.


The ripples we’ve made are larger than you may think.

Mr. 39%
Otherwise known as Gov. Rick Perry

I know it is disappointing that Strayhorn didn’t win.

But, I need to remind myself, it’s not about our candidates, it’s about our issues. And, our issues are finally in prime time, or what you might call bona fide statewide issues thanks to Carole Keeton Strayhorn. The time for statewide debate has just begun, as many Texans have just begun to be educated.


We've made tons of progress over the last 2.5 years. We are fortunate to have such a great friend in Carole Strayhorn. Carole has helped us add to that long list of accomplishments.

Carole took our TTC and 'tolls on roads we’ve already paid for' issues and began to educate Texans for the first time ever just weeks ago. Perry and his cohorts didn’t allow us to vote on these issues and they've kept the facts away from the public. Carole made our issues her issues and thankfully Bell and Kinky followed her lead. Carole went to dozens of the TTC hearings an made them events, and the media just recently began to describe the TTC land grab. The TTC is also part of the NAFTA Superhighway, and that is just becoming a national debate. Carole spent millions of her war chest spreading our word.


Carole led the way, it’s our turn to step up and do our part to save Texas.


Only 39 out of 100 voters wanted Perry back in office. This election was the beginning of the end for Mr. Perry, and his band of looters. Think about it - 61 out of 100 voters wanted Perry fired! That ain’t no mandate, that's the lamest duck ever.

The press, such as the Austin American Statesman, who endorsed the double tax tolls and the TTC and Rick Perry, fail to report the real news...

Mr. Perry’s errand boy in the house, Dist 52’s Mike Krusee saw the writing on the wall this week with his election. Krusee created the Perry bills that steal our roads and our land. Just weeks ago, the Statesman reported this Krusee statement. "Toll roads are enormously popular."
Krusee R 50.19
Felthauser D 44.54
Simmons I 5.26

Yet, Krusee won by only 5 (Five) percentage points! Krusee spent 76k compared to Karen's 9k in what is considered a Republican dominated district - this is significant!

Krusee will most likely NOT run again, for fear of being beaten by a candidate with some money in either his primary or the general election in 2008.

Krusee's reports show he invested plenty of time and his PAC money into his campaign. He also worked hard to collect more contributions from the road and toll lobby. According to his reports, Krusee purchased consulting services, produced signage and sent out direct mail, which was far and above what Karen could afford. He also sponsored the Republican Part Grand Old Picnic.


Before the election, Perry was being discussed as a possible Vice Presidential nominee. It’s unlikely any Presidential nominee would want to be tethered to Mr. 39%. Perry is also in serious trouble with any future election.


Elected officials know a hot topic when they see it. The TTC and Freeway Tolls are now a very hot topic. Politicos don’t like issues they can get hung with in the next election. It is likely that we will see legislation changes to our benefit in the coming session. We all need to work together to make sure that happens. Begin to meet and talk with your representatives about these issue now. Tell your representatives that you are part of a larger group of Texans that are seeking to remove land and road thieves, if they don’t get on board with the coming legislation.

In the meantime, send me (sal@TexasTollParty.com) to get on our formal list to push future specific legislation at the capitol. And, keep sending in those letters to your local editor.

Our issue, is now a statewide issue that most candidates will continue to carry. Even Todd Staples, who voted for TTC legislation as Senate Transportation chair, is now magiclly against the TTC as it stands today.

There are other very big events that could take place soon, as the seeds have been planted months ago. Many I cannot discuss. Stay tuned to this blog to be part of an efficient way to take back Texas.

The ripples we’ve made in this lake are larger than you may think. We’ve just begun.

TEXAS MONTHLY: An Amazing Night.


Austin City council approves red light camera scam

NAFTA Super Highway (TTC) Debate Inflames Texas Governor's Race (click to read)

GOV RICK PERRY'S NEW TAX TOOL: Freeway Tolls are Born

A portion of Austin's MOPAC (loop 1) is now the first freeway to ever be tolled in the history of our country.
'Freeway Tolls' permanently take the option of a free expressway away from drivers, while traditional tollways allow drivers to choose between the freeway or the tollway.

No city in the country has shifted it's public highways to tollways. Freeways across Texas will become toll roads. 121 in Dallas, 281 in San Antonio, 71 and 183 in Austin just to name a few.

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

I believe this will have a crushing effect on our local economy, as the price of all goods and services will rise for forcing drivers to pay the toll to use a public expressways. TxDOT will now have a financial incentive to not fix traffic congestion on frontage roads with stop lights.

The unaccountable bureaucracy has already begun. Carole Keeton Strayhorn found freeway tolling authority board has already given NO BID contracts to themselves and their friends.

Rick Perry calls tolling freeways we've already paid for 'Innovative Financing'. We call it Highway Robbery.


Austin Councilmember Jennifer Kim seeks DANGEROUS Red Light Cameras for City Profit on Thursday! (click here)

Costello on CBS: "They are taking public expressways and turning them into toll roads for the first time in our country." (click here)

LONE STAR ICONOCLAST ON PERRY: "Highways is just naturally good for makin’ clean getaways. They was built by thieves in the first place." (click here)

THANK YOU EVERYONE! Early Voting ends this Friday!

StopPerry.com TV ads. Now being run on stations like CNN,
MSNBC, FOX News Channel, News 8 Austin and more
(or see the ad now at StopPerry.com)

We received well over 150 contributions ranging from $20 to $2,000! Our StopPerry.com TV ads were launched Monday in the Central Texas Region, one day before the first Central Texas toll roads open on Halloween. The StopPerry.com TV ad began running in Dallas/Ft. Worth Region three weeks ago.

Our ad slams
Governor Perry’s Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) for mass evictions of Texas families in exchange for foreign toll road profits. As Gov. Perry’s blood sucking Central Texas double tax tolls open on Halloween Day, our TV ads will educate voters.

Shockingly, two of the tolls opening this week in Central Texas,
Texas 130 (a TTC Primer) and Texas 45 North toll roads were built with the use of diverted City of Austin transportation bond dollars approved by voters in November 2000. Voters were told the bond dollars would be used for public roads and bike paths, but a document I have proves $67.2 million dollars has been diverted for these toll roads! (email me at Sal@TexasTollParty.com if you would like the 3 page "Alvarez PDF")

How could this Happen? Well, the media has failed to do it’s job.

For example, The
Austin American Statesman endorsed the plan to toll our tax funded freeways on June 27, 2004. Then last week the Statesman endorsed Rick Perry. When the media focuses more energy on endorsing unaccountable bureaucracies , corrupt politicians and selling electronic toll tags and NO time on investigative reporting, we, the public gets screwed.

Perry’s all trick and no treat freeway tolls on MoPac and Texas 45 permanently take our public expressways, as we are forced to drive on increasingly congested frontage roads with stop lights.
TxDOT will have a financial incentive NOT to address traffic congestion on our frontage roads. Traditional toll roads in the United States allow drivers free expressways as alternatives, but Perry’s freeway tolls permanently convert what should be a freeway to a tollway. And, the coming tolls on 71 and 183 are worse, as they are 100% funded with our tax dollars, the construction almost complete, and can easily open as free roads. Perry calls it ‘Innovative Financing ’, we call it Highway Robbery.



Read it here:



Governor Race Report Card, Strayhorn gets an "A"!:
A - Carole Keeton Strayhorn IND
C - Chris Bell DEM
C - Richard "Kinky" Friedman IND
D - James Werner LIB
F - Rick Perry - Incumbent REP

Read the complete report and details here:



copy, paste and print
Early Voting ends this Friday! Nov 3
Election Day, Tuesday, Nov 7th

Help stop corruption, new taxes, new layers of government, tolls on roads we've already paid for, the TTC land grab and save Texas - and $1,000's a year! We've found the best Republicans, Democrats and Independents that have already begun to fight for US (NOT the special interests). Print out this ACCOUNTABILITY VOTERS GUIDE and take it with you into the voting booth. Send this list to others now.

Governor: Carole Keeton Strayhorn
The ONLY gubernatorial candidate with alternatives for Perry's TTC and double tax toll Boondoggles!

Attorney General:
David Van Os

Agriculture Commissioner:
Hank Gilbert

US Senate:
Barbara Radnofsky

US Congress Dist. 21:
John Courage

US Congress Dist. 23:
Lukin Gilliland

State House:
Dist. 13:
Lois Kolkhorst
Dist. 20:
Jim Stauber
Dist. 45:
Jim Neuhaus
Dist. 47: Bill Welch
Dist. 48:
Donna Howard
Dist. 49:
Elliott Naishtat
Dist. 50:
Jerry Chandler
Dist. 51:
Eddie Rodriguez
Dist. 52:
Karen Felthauser
Dist. 73:
Nathan Macias
Dist. 101:
Tom Latham
Dist. 122:
Larry Stallings
Dist. 125:
Nelson Balido
Dist. 117:
David Leibowitz
Dist. 118:
Joe Farias

State Senate:
Dist. 14 :
Robert "Rock" Howard
Dist. 19 :
Dick Bowen
Dist. 25 :
Kathi Thomas

Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 2:
Sarah Eckhardt

Hays County Judge:
Elizabeth “Liz” Sumter

Bexar County Commissioner:
Tommy Adkisson

Texas Elections:

IMPORTANT: Both the Democrat and the Republican Parties have failed to represent us. Special interests, who fund toller campaigns, are being allowed to take our land, roads, and tax dollars for profit. This is a strategic plan to replace special interest politicians. We can no longer vote along party lines. We must shop the ballot to de-elect the looters and elect the better candidate. We must vote strategically and wisely to stop the corruptio n. Print out this ACCOUNTABILITY VOTERS GUIDE and take it wi! th you i nto the voting booth. SEND THIS VOTERS GUIDE OF THE GOOD GUYS AND GALS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN TEXAS!


See the Truth Be Tolled Documentary. Many screenings to choose from!