More Texas Toll Road Million Dollar Giveaway$ Found!

Krusee’s bureaucracy of privatizing and tolling our public
highways just keeps costing us more and more.

Even the LOSERS Win
in the Rush to Privatize
and Toll Texas Roads

Thanks to State Rep. Mike Krusee, Texas is now shelling out millions of our tax dollars to companies that DON’T get chosen to build toll roads.

Do your spit-take now.

That’s right. If you are a mega size toll road builder, and you bid on a project, and you don’t get the job - you get paid.

Our generous elected officials don't call this free tax money a "give-away", they call it a “stipend”. So far each loosing bidder has received $750,000 to over $1 Million dollars - for failing to win projects. Hey, why doesn’t Vegas pay the winners AND the losers?

Remember all that money we "didn't have" for free roads? Why is there millions to give-away now? The Texas Observer comprehensive article, "The Highwaymen" says it all:
"The notion of paying the losers, Williamson agreed, is “nutty as a fruitcake.” But the department is bound by law to do it, he said, a law Williamson suggested might be a holdover from the era of big government. Actually, million-dollar parting gifts for the losers is a more recent Texas custom, courtesy of the huge 2003 transportation bill sponsored by Mike Krusee, a Republican state representative from Round Rock and chairman of the House Transportation Committee. Already, TXDOT has paid roughly $4.3 million to companies whose proposals to spearhead two different road projects were rejected, according to documents obtained by The Texas Observer under the state’s Public Records Act. As much as $10 million more will be doled out in the coming months."
And the same handful of companies are part of the scheme, because another part of Krusee’s law now limits road building to only the largest companies, the elite of the special interests. And TxDOT won't build any more free roads, only toll roads. As usual, "safety" (red flag word for graft) is the excuse for the big boy only club. Although, they look the other way when the most dangerous place on the highway is the toll plaza.

Krusee is not a lawyer, holds no college degree, and didn't write the special interests HB 3588, John Langmore did.

The small universe of those who are "qualified" to bid include: Lone Star Infrastructure (a consortium led by Fluor Corp., a multinational company and longtime government contractor and includes Edelman, the world’s largest privately owned public relations firm), Four Rivers Developers (a joint venture whose largest partner was Granite Construction Inc.), Texas Corridor Constructors (a joint venture whose primary partner was Zachry Construction), and Cintra-Zachry (a partnership consisting of Zachry Construction & Spain’s Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte), and Trans Texas Express (whose members included Skanska BOT AB, a global firm based in Sweden; Telvent, a Spanish information and technology company; and a number of U.S. firms, including several based in Texas).

Here’s more from the very detailed Eileen Welsome, of Texas Observer:
"Instead, records show the same small pool of companies, sometimes in different configurations and under different partnership names, vying for the contracts. Sometimes they’re winners. Sometimes they’re losers. Either way, they walk away with a hefty bundle of cash."
"The effort to privatize infrastructure dovetails nicely with the agenda of public officials who want to build new roads and repair old ones without increasing taxes. “What we’re seeing,” says Pat Choate, an economist, author, and Ross Perot’s vice presidential running mate in 1996, “is an era in which governments will be selling off their infrastructure to keep their no-tax pledges.”
and more details about TxDOT’s Mob like tactics:
"Despite the growing opposition, transportation officials haven’t detoured from their plans. “The Transportation Commission is using scare tactics and old-fashioned, mobster-type arm-twisting to further their gains,” says State Rep. Joe Pickett, an El Paso Democrat. Other state legislators and businessmen are also concerned about the toll projects, Pickett said, but they’re afraid to speak up because of the department’s enormous clout. “There isn’t anyone who will talk about it. If they’re in the business sector, they’ll get blacklisted. If it’s a state rep or senator like myself, they’ll get their projects cut.”
The corruption, waste and greed is just a little bigger here in Texas.

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