The Smoking Gun

Documents TexasTurf.org found show TxDOT hired
registered lobbyists to lobby & engage elected officials to
quell opposition to the Trans Texas Corridor.

As part of TURF’s lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for its ad campaign to promote toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor (in violation of Texas Government Code Chapter 556), new evidence has been discovered.

Documents from a FIOA request now prove TxDOT hired 4 federal lobbyists with $5,000 and $10,000 monthly retainers to Chad Bradley, Drew Maloney, Garry Mauro, Billy Moore and one state lobbyist with Alliance for I-69, Gary Bushell, in order to lobby elected officials and solicit them in selling the public on the controversial Trans Texas Corridor TTC-69 privatized toll project. On March 23, 2007, Bushell met directly with four Waller County Commissioners Glenn Beckendorff, Bill Eplen, Terry Harrison, and Milton Whiting.

TURF uncovered detailed logs showing a concerted campaign to lobby politicians, particularly newly elected officials, which is ilegal for a state agency that must remain apolitical. Bushell personally lobbied more than two-dozen elected officials in the path of TTC-69 prior to the Town Hall meetings. http://www.texasturf.org/images/stories/pdf/legal/Email_mtgs-with-electeds.pdf

TURF also discovered in a memo to TxDOT dated November 8, 2007, that Rodman & Co. marketing gurus seem to have drafted quotes on behalf of elected officials in order to place them as positive quotes in press releases about the TTC-69 project.

TxDOT also hired Governor Rick Perry’s political polling outfit, Bacelice & Associates, to conduct a poll that included asking one’s political party affiliation in its questions.

TxDOT has patently and repeatedly denied that they’ve been illegally lobbying elected officials, yet they secretly and knowingly hired registered lobbyists to do the Governor’s dirty work in ramming toll roads and this Trans Texas Corridor down the taxpayers’ throats!” said Terri Hall, Founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (or TURF)

What TxDOT calls “outreach” is, in reality, an ad campaign (www.KeepTexasMoving.com) using public relations firms and political strategists to “sell” the public on a privatized, tolled trade corridor from Laredo to Texarkana.


Anonymous said...

This is amazing stuff!! This should be national news! CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, AP, Reuters where are you???

Anonymous said...

Wow. So now I see where Gary Mauro has been. He used to hold high state office and ought to know better than what he did.

Anonymous said...

So what's new?? It matters not which party is in office, they are just two sides to the same coin and nothing changes. Perry should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. They can all caim ignorance but it does not change a thing, they knew all along that what they were doing was not legal and against the wishes of the majority!! The rest are nothing more than sheeple and just follow along like a bunch of lemmings!!

Anonymous said...

any suggestions on the best way to make this national news??

Anonymous said...

"any suggestions on the best way to make this national news??"

I wish I knew... Perhaps emailing (or better yet calling) all the large media outlets.. Sometimes they will take comments on their website, for example: FoxNews.com has a link called "UREPORT" which I guess is for submitting anything newsworthy..

mark said...

If the TXDot plans were good for the public they wouldn't have to "sell" or use marketing to gain approval. If they just did their job and built roads, the public would approve.

It really pisses me off when I hear those radio adds promoting toll roads - knowing they are probably using my tax dollars to pay for the adds!