3/26/2008

Sen. Steve Ogden and Special Interest Pals Push Multi Billion Toll Pension Scheme!


UPDATED

So, you thought our Texas muddy government waters of massive diversions and special interests skimming off privatization deals couldn't get worse? Think again.

Investment bankers, TxDOT and the unaccountable toll tax loving Senator Steve Ogden, the Senate Finance Chairman, are pushing for a radical plan to intermingle state pension funds and unaccountable toll roads - as they drool over the $130 Billion dollars in the state pension fund.

From the Houston Chronicle:

"Investment bankers and a state highway official Tuesday told legislators the state's two largest pension funds should consider investing some of their $130 billion in holdings into building toll roads in Texas."
Thomas Osborne of the UBS Investment Bank was there with his hand out for some Billion dollar crumbs. Ogden's historical love affair with special interests who seek public subsidies and toll tax revenue goes way back.

Sen. Ogden was a Co-sponsor of Krusee's HB 3588
(which made it legal to steal our roads and land - freeway tolls/TTC). Ogden is also a former CAMPO board member who voted to divert our tax dollars to shift our Austin freeways to tollways in 2004 and 2005.

Ogden also supports creating more levels of bureaucratic government so our tax dollars can get lost in the shuffle even faster. More on all this shameful scheme from QuorumReport.com today:
"PLANS TO OPEN TOLL ROAD INVESTMENTS TO STATE PENSION FUNDS GET PUSH IN SENATE FINANCE

Chairman Steve Ogden said using pension funds to invest in Texas roads a win-win but other Senators sound cautionary notes; Senators also cautioned that funds' focus on high rates of return need to be balanced with risk management.

A joint Senate panel tossed around today a novel way of paying for more roads – getting pension funds to invest in new projects. And to give the discussion an added twist, Senators were also asked to consider creating a new quasi-public entity that would funnel pension fund money from Texas and elsewhere into new road projects."
And from Sen. Odgen's (steve.ogden@senate.state.tx.us) Op-Ed in the Austin American Statesman yesterday:
"...I want to explore the possibility of investing a portion of our state's trust funds (i.e., Employees Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System, Permanent School Fund, Permanent University Fund) in TxDOT toll projects."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's sickening that these tolling companies can practically do unauditable and unpunishable direct deposit to our politicos' bank accounts. It's far worse than enron. The worst form of bribery possible. Until this loophole is closed, the public is screwed.

Anonymous said...

Public comments need to flood incumbent mailboxes sharing exactly how constituents regard such fiscal responsibility.

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

Send letters to the editor folks!

Include your name, address and phone - 150 words or less.

letters@statesman.com

Anonymous said...

This is kinda like being "a little bit pregnant". Once they commit these funds to toll projects they have created a support (albeit reluctant)group of state employee "investors" that will not want to see these toll road projects fail for fear of what it will do to thier retirement plans. Pretty slick Ogden - you CO#KSUCKER!