3/03/2008

Texas Transportation and the Presidential Contest

I've been a Ron Paul supporter.

But, since it is now mathematically impossible for Paul to get the presidential nomination, I need to be a realist with my vote. I've been looking closer at the likely candidates for weeks.

Today, the Statesman reveals that between likely leading candidates John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - only Obama offered a transportation plan. Obama has stated in debates that he would prefer to spend much less on nation building wars like Iraq and invest tax dollars into our infrastructure - which would improve our roads and boost the economy.

Clinton didn't respond to the Austin American Statesman reporters question about a transportation plan:

"Clinton's campaign, despite a couple of follow-up calls, never got back to me."
Obama's campaign responded. The reporter says this about Obama:
"...he'll create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to put $60 billion into transportation over 10 years."
And, when it comes to tolls, Obama would push for federal matching funds to reduce the need for toll roads, as stated in this KVUE video report by Elise Hu:
"A lot of states have toll roads, some don't, what I would have control over as president is making sure we have the infrastructure strategy that would rebuild roads and bridges and that would match local funds across the country," he said. Obama says increasing federal matching funds for infrastructure would ideally reduce the reliance on tolling roadways.
I know that John McCain and Hillary Clinton both have a history of supporting NAFTA, which leads me to believe they would have no problem with the Trans Texas Corridor/Nafta Superhighway (TTC), and other business as usual special interest deals.

Canada has recently tried to slam Obama on NAFTA, and say he's a liar. It's all politics as the Canadian leadership wants NAFTA in place, and wants Clinton or McCain to win.

Obama is the only one of the three candidates that has refused to take money from lobbyists and PACs. Obama's grassroots background, and his call for the public to stay involved in their government is a refreshing change.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clinton also has a plan for infrastructure which is modest in terms of funding but does not mention privatization of highways or more tolls. (It does mention using for electronic tolling for existing toll booths)

http://hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2760

The total cost is listed at $3 billion per year, a drop in the bucket of the national need and about half of what Obama is advocating.

The real question is: which candidate would be willing to sign on to a fuel tax increase or other revenue increase to minimize the need for toll roads?

McCain has said no new taxes, but I could see him being flexible with a democratic congress (After all, Ronald Reagan raised the fuel tax).
Clinton and Obama both improve the chances of action. Obama appears to be better. I think serious policy changes to minimize toll road will need to originate in congress, and the president will need to sign on.

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

I'd agree and add...that Hillary's got some deep roots with NAFTA, and all the players who benefit.

McCain helped PPP toller Mary Peters get her job as head transportation honcho for the feds...

I hope to get more info on these relationships on this blog in the near future.

Anonymous said...

If McCain has anything to do with Mary Peters, then that's bad news. Please post whatever info you have. (I realize you posted a link previously, but I missed it and it would be nice if you could summary the facts for us)

Anonymous said...

I agree with your logic in supporting Obama.

Clinton cannot be trusted to truly stand up to anyone willing to give her and Bill a perk to get them to not do anything.

McCain is too supportive of NAFTA.

To make a change, you need to be able to stand and fight for the citizens you are elected to represent. I am willing to gamble on Obama if my choices are Clinton & McCain

Citizens unite for a free America.

Anonymous said...

Alright, even though it's a gamble I'm in for Obama.

I had been planning to vote for Paul, out of protest and principle and the fact that I didn't want to unduly encourage any of them.

I do think Hillary and McCain are the business as usual types; not good for us.

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to rain on your parade, but if you really think electing Barack Obama will stop the proliferation of toll roads, you're sadly mistaken. I can name a whole host of Democrats - Richard Daley, John Corzine, Ed Rendell, Jodi Reill, Christine Gregoire, just to name a few - who have been at the forefront of lucrative toll road and photo enforcement schemes. The real problem is, liberals seem to see toll roads and photo enforcement as ways to plug budget deficits and fund pet social programs, all "without raising taxes".

The fact is, all pols are crooks, and will find a way to screw us all one way or another. I seriously doubt Obama, if elected, will be any different.

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

My reasoning is just that. I didn't say he'll end tolling did I. We look for the best candidate.

I've had enough of the Clinton/Bush dynasties. Clinton is clearly the establishment candidate, already "plugged in" to the special interests.

McCain will continue the Bush/Perry/Peters policy of tolling everything.

Ron Paul and Huckabee are out, unless you live in an alternate universe (just do the math). And Nadar won't get more than 4% this go round.

Obama, an outsider, is the best thing since sliced bread, when the actual choices are all are put side by side.