12/12/2007

Mr. Costello Goes to TxDOT. Again.


I'm going to TxDOT today to check out a FOIA request I sent in months ago. When you add them all up (city, county, state organizations, elected individuals and CTRMA), I've done hundreds of requests in the last few years. Learn to do your own FOIA requests HERE.

DRAGGING THE FEET

When a citizen submits a public information request in Texas, the entity or individual must allow the citizen to see the information within 2 weeks, or they must file a petition with the AG's office with legal details why the public information should not be released. When they "drag their feet" it usually means there's something they are trying to hide.

So today could be good digging for me. Think of it like a mix of xmas and an easter hunt - if I can find the present.

My request was for "any and all communications about the double charging of TxTAG drivers in Texas". I had found emails months ago about the TxTAG double charges of tens of thousands of Texans (and the TxDOT lies), and did a report, but thought there was something else I didn't get, so I expanded my request. KXAN's article, including TxDOT's misdirection is HERE.

DOES TXDOT LOVE TO WASTE YOUR MONEY?
OR, ARE THEY ARE JUST INEPT?


Just days ago, while helping out TURF/Terri Hall with a lawsuit against TxDOT, I found another interesting example of the massive bureaucracy and waste at TxDOT. As you know, TxDOT is spending millions of our tax dollars to sell Texans toll roads and the TTC.

An invoice for banner ads on KHOU's website, for the month of June 2007, was just one more shining example: The "You'll love toll toads" banner ads had only 23 click throughs out of 75,000 impressions and the total cost for that month of impressions was $825. Again, that's 23 out of 75,000 - and that is NOT a typo.

That comes out to $35.87 per banner ad click through - a dozen times more than most businesses would EVER pay (Click through rates are usually between 30 cents to $2.00 per click, usually not more than $3 a click).

I won't tell you what else we might have found, perhaps that will come out in court.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

$35.87 per banner ad click...HOLY SH*T...That is UNBELIEVABLE!

Anonymous said...

Like you, Sal, over the years I've sent dozens of such requests and have come up empty. The Travis DA and Texas Attorney General permit TxDOT to do whatever it wants. Rather than to continue sending these sort of requests I advocate that people send in formal complaints to the DA and AG with copies to the media and legislators. With more people doing so it will be harder for all these folks to dodge the bullets! Just my 2-cents! PS

www.pstern.statesmanblogs.com

Maverick said...

Hi, I just happened upon your site for the first time today, and I think it's great. I'm posting a link to you on the Texas page of WikiFOIA, and would love it if you kept us at the wiki updated on what else your FOIA requests turn up.

--Maverick