In 2004, CAMPO voted to toll our freeways (a $2.2 bil plan). We were told it was a done deal, they voted YES, and that "everyone should just go home".

Our political action committee was born AFTER that vote, and we've had fantastic accomplishments. We peeled a number of tolls off the plan, created a discussion where there was NONE, and removed elected officials that have ignored the public.

Tonight ushers in another great opportunity for the public. CAMPO will be voting on a $1.5 bil freeway toll plan.

Like a boy on Christmas morning, I am excited to find out who will vote YES to spend $910 million tax dollars to shift our freeways to tollways.

Why would I be excited you ask?

Well, it's common knowledge that CAMPO, under the leadership of Sen. Watson and Rep. Krusee, will vote YES to this toll tax scheme. And, although the tollers never allowed us to vote, like all the other toll roads in Texas, we get to fire the tollers. And, in 2006 I mastered a campaign that has proven to surgically remove incumbents who vote for the added bureaucracy of toll taxing our freeways. Although the process is slow, I am confident that changing CAMPO is the key to stopping double tax tolls. I wrote this article last year about the great changes we've made, and since then the CAMPO board is only 19, instead of 23.

AFTER the vote, we'll remove more tollers, change CAMPO again, and peel off more roads. Contact me at sal at austintollparty.com to volunteer in the coming months.

Is Watson at risk of being removed? No, not anytime soon - his term ends in 2011 - thats about when construction would start for many of the toll roads being voted on tonight.

These CAMPO board members have terms that end in 2008, and could vote YES tonight. (Some have elections as early as May, so viable opponents need to step up ASAP):

Mike Krusee - State Representative

Jennifer Kim - Council Member Austin

Gerald Daugherty - Travis County Commissioner

Nyle Maxwell - City of Round Rock Mayor

Gary L. Nelon - City of Georgetown Mayor

Bob Lemon - City of Cedar Park Mayor

Miguel Gonzales - City of Kyle Mayor

Eddie Rodriguez - State Representative

Jeff Mills - Council Member Sunset Valley
As we remove the tollers, other tollers make deals to get off the CAMPO board, like Rep. Mark Strama and Rep. Dawnna Dukes (who we won't forget).

It is CRUCIAL that we go to this important CAMPO toll road vote TONIGHT! Take on Traffic toll road profiteers are coming in force, so we, the public, need to be there to get the most out of this vote. We won't be able to speak but we need to show up in force. Come to see the vote that will be political suicide for those who ignore us.

Sen. Watson and other CAMPO board members like Mike Krusee and Brewster McCracken are pushing to place tolls on portions of 71W, 71E, 183, 290W, 290E and 45S using $910 million tax dollars.

It's our duty, as taxpayers to see where our dollars for free roads get spent.

Monday October 8, 2007, 6:00 PM

Anderson High School Auditorium
8403 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759
google map

Come back to this blog tomorrow, to find out who our targets are for 2008!


Anonymous said...

Sal, so if the vote passes on Oct.8th, do you think we could delay the actual construction somehow?? At least long enough for the elections of 2008 and 2010. Perhaps the vote can be overturned at some point afterwards...?

Sal Costello said...

I'll say this: The group I started, AustinTollParty.com has gotten the tolls off of many sections of roads, AFTER the first vote was passed in 2004.

: )

So, Oct the 8th is not the end. It's a new beginning.

Many Tollers will loose in 2008, with your help and our killer anti-toller campaigns.

Anonymous said...

Toll roads are the unmistakable result of four decades of unstoppable runaway governement spending and unaccountable bureaucratic profligacy. The taxpayers be damned ! When will the utterly supine electorate rise up and take back their government? Not in our lifetimes! The thoroughly corrupted system is so masterfully rigged against the helpless citizenry they've given up, and don't think for a moment the immensely enriched highwaymen of the Toll Mob aren't fully aware of their fascist invincibility.
The State capitol increasingly takes on the image of the Kremlin while the Tollbahn czars are the 21st century Supreme Soviet relocated ! Right here in the capital of the Lone Star state. Who would of thunk it ? " What fools these mortals be !" The feudal lords of the Tolla Nostra cannot be stopped. Taxpaying central Texas drivers may just as well prepare for what Watson & Co are about to surely administer.
" Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's!" This is no contest -- game over , bend over, suckers!

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed they WILL lose in 2008, I have informed each and every board member at CAMPO that their political careers (at least in Austin) are on the line if they vote yes on Oct.8th. I bet most of these clowns don't care- we'll see what happens to them in '08.

By the way, is Dirty Kirk Witsnone elected or appointed? He's the worse of them all!! Funny how his stupid YouTube video has the comments disabled- he can't handle the truth! LOL

Anonymous said...

I just found this in the recent Austin Chronicle 10/5/07:

(Liz) Sumter, the Hays Co. judge, says no amend­ment is likely to change her "no" vote on Monday. She's concerned that the proposed toll-road system is too fragmented. In regions such as Houston and Dallas, toll roads are intended to serve as bypasses for clogged loops and arteries. In Austin, she says, the toll-road proposal is a hybrid, a patchwork of incomplete road projects that follow little logic. On a more pragmatic note, Sumter is opposed to the toll-road proposal at the "Y" in Oak Hill, within the Barton Springs Watershed. The proposal calls for 12 lanes – six tolled and six nontolled – and would ultimately include improvements farther west on U.S. 290 through Dripping Springs. Those improvements, says Sumter, would turn the Hays Co. town into "a place to just drive through" without stopping. "That's not our goal when we know that ecotourism is critical to the economy of Dripping Springs and the Hill Country."


Sal Costello said...



To start with I want to make it clear I do not support converting an existing free pathway into a tolled route & I will go to great lengths to ensure any elected officials who vote in favor of such plans are not re-elected !!!!


My first experience with toll roads in the Austin area was driving along the frontage roads at the North end of MOPAC. Driving the frontage roads to connect with I-35 was fairly uneventful but when I prepared to enter I-35 I discovered the entrance ramp to the freeway had been removed in favor of a ramp for the toll road resulting in routing of non toll traffic down a crowded frontage road with traffic lights. Upon return I discovered the same situation heading back South. The exit had been supplanted by an entrance ramp to the toll road & now I had to exit earlier & proceed up a crowded frontage road with more traffic lights. I absolutely object to existing access ramps to I-35 being removed in favor of access ramps to a new toll road.

I have experienced traffic lights & associated delays on Highway 79 where it intersects with toll road 130. I would hope the transition from the toll road to other roads would be made via access ramps & sufficient lanes to blend with traffic on the free roads. Currently the toll road slows down traffic on the free road & this situation should not exist.

Recently on a trip to Round Top I experienced traffic back ups on Highway 71 where it will intersect with toll road 130. Hopefully this will disappear when the toll road construction passes this point but again I believe access should be via ramps so as not to slow the traffic on the free roads.

For several years I have experienced the traffic delays in Oak Hill due to an unfinished freeway that ends in 1 lane. Although I have developed methods of avoiding the monumental traffic jams I have seen them & the backups can be horrible for those commuters who are stuck in them. As I understand it at one point in time TXDOT had the funds to finish the project. After experiencing resistance to their design from residents of the Oak Hill area the funds mysteriously disappeared. I now believe the unfinished design where the freeway ends in 1 lane is a calculated & deliberate attempt by TXDOT to bring us to our knees and accept the toll road. I also believe the aforementioned examples are attempts by TXDOT to make alternative routes difficult enough to negotiate that they are forced to take the toll roads. I have accidentally ended up on a toll road and I was not happy about it!!

Finishing the final portion of the 290 freeway with a short section of tolled road is absolutely ludicrous. We’ll let you drive all this way but to finish the final mile you will have to pay. This makes no sense!!!! I have heard some toll road advocates indicate tolling the final portion of 290/71 is OK since it’s a NEW ROAD. Calling the rebuilding of an existing road a new road because it involves using new materials is a very childish game of semantics and simply does not fool anyone!!!!


The amount of right of way TXDOT wants to use to extend a toll road through Oak Hill is absolutely unacceptable. The damage it would do to our beautiful oak trees & Williamson Creek is unacceptable!!! We are called OAK HILL for a reason!!!!


I have attended 2 public meetings concerning the toll roads & have not been afforded a chance to speak at either meeting. At the first meeting on the UT research campus the issue was tabled apparently in reaction to the opposition that was present. At the second meeting I was able to attend, the speaker’s list was cut off before I was able to arrive. I had to teach until 6:30 so I didn’t arrive until 7 pm. I also objected to the small size of the auditorium for the final public meeting. It was also obvious the businesses who stand to benefit from the toll roads sent their representatives early & filled up the first portion of the speakers’ list.

I have worked for a government agency & experienced the way they spend all of their allotted budget. The attitude is to make sure you use up all of the budget or it will be cut the next year. I’m sure TXDOT is wasting millions of our tax dollars on needless spending such as advertising.

Why is TXDOT spending our tax dollars on television, radio & other types of advertising ?? I absolutely object to my tax dollars supporting any positions in TXDOT devoted to advertising. I also object to spending money on hiring advertising firms to develop the ads along with the money spent on air time & print space. TXDOT DOES NOT NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON ADVERTISING!!


I view toll roads as adding yet another level of government which we do not need. A clear example of this is the Toll Road Administration building located on the frontage road on the North end of MOPAC. How much of the toll income is spent on the construction & continued operation of this building & its employees. The same can be said for the toll gates.


I view toll roads much the same as I view a gated community. If you can’t afford it you simply can’t come here. Many people simply can’t afford to pay the tolls on a daily basis. TXDOT is being pushed into toll roads by our current governor who in the last election was voted AGAINST by 62% of the voting population. I encourage the CAMPO board to listen to a clear majority of citizens & find other methods of financing which are currently available & have been well documented.

Sincerely, DJ Stamp

Sal Costello said...

FROM LYNN - like many others who get tricked by toll tax booths:

Dear Texas Toll Party,

I am a home health Physical Therapist and drive about 150 miles around the city a day.

I know that I have found myself on the toll road twice without intending to, and there was no way to get off it without having to go through the tx tag booth. Once I was going up to Leander for the first time since the tolls were installed and I was forced onto the toll road because I didnt' know I was supposed to turn left at Avery Ranch Road to stay on old 183. I stopped at the cash booth and told the worker I was on the toll by mistake and she said OK and I left. Another time I found myself on another toll (not sure which one---maybe 45 out in Round Rock seeing a patient out in the boonies) and had to go through the booth marked tx tag since there was no cash booth and/or no live person to explain I was on the toll in error.

Now I get a call from some collection agency with them saying I have three violations ( I have no idea what the third one could be) and I OWE THEM $76.00!!!!
I absolutely did not get on the toll and go through the booth without stopping because I was trying to get away with anything! What am I supposed to do now if I get on a toll road by mistake? ------- turn around and get off the way I got on, against traffic??

Sincerely, Lynn

Sal Costello said...




Anonymous said...

The meeting tonight was the same as all the others I've attended. Watson is particular clever at having a pagent which is completely pre-scripted to appear reasonable and inclusive (even the dramatic anti-toll votes by board members are highly suspect in my assessment). The huge group of vested business interests representing pro-tolling were the most pathetic, believing they were "insiders" but they are being screwed just like the rest of us and can't see it (yet).

Sal you will have my ongoing support.

Anonymous said...

I am at a total loss for words. Anger is the word I will use for now as I express my frustration (since profanity would be inappropriate on this blog) about these tolls.

I find it absolutely stupid that so many of our elected officials totally ignored the will of those voters who placed them in office.

In the meantime, if there were a few Recall efforts against those "pro-tollers" we might get a bit of attention regarding the will of the voters that is being ignored.

Can you post a list of which CAMPO member voted for the tolls? And, is ignoring the wishes of the voters grounds to launch a recall?

Anonymous said...

Only 4 of the 19 CAMPO board members voted against this boot-kick-in-the-face of the citizens scam.


The 4 voting with the citizens and against this travesty are...

state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez,

Austin City Council Member Jennifer Kim,

Hays County Judge Liz Sumter and

Sunset Valley Councilman Jeff Mills.


You know, we considered a good step when we worked to get Travis County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt into office as she promised she would be against these double-tax toll roads. Look how she lied.

The word of our politicians and appointed officials and bureaucrats is no good!