HOUSTON CHRON: Court looking at state's promotion of toll-road plan

AUSTIN — When Texas transportation officials talk about bridges these days, they don't necessarily mean steel spans and concrete girders. Instead, they are being taught how to "bridge" from off-message questions to their own talking points in a toll-road campaign.

"You will often be asked questions that don't get to the points you wish to make or that you don't wish to answer," says a "radio interview techniques" section of Texas Department of Transportation documents released under the Public Information Act. "You can use bridging to turn the question to your points."

One useful phrase, suggests the document — prepared by consultants who are to be paid $24,500 for talk-radio training for the campaign, and tweaked by the department — is this: " ... I think what you are really asking is ... "

The document also offers this timeless advice: "Keep calm. Leave wrestling to the pigs. They always end up looking like pigs."

The training document is part of the multimillion-dollar Keep Texas Moving campaign, the subject of a court hearing today...

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