All these crooked clowns push the plan to toll public highways AND have ignored the laws.
Rep. Krusee Arrested for DUI
Austin Freeway Tolling
Mayor Charged with Assault!
Judge Sam Biscoe DWI Arrest Photo
(YUP He's still the Judge today!)
Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe Arrested
for DWI, gets special treatment
Dwight Dallas Thompson Felony Arrest Photo
(Former Mayor of West Lake Hills)
Mayor Dwight Thompson Arrested for
trying to board a plane with a .38-caliber handgun.
St. Hedwig has homes on large lots and a longtime tradition of rural living. And folks there want to keep it that way.
“We want to be able to maintain as best we can the reason we moved out here in the first place,” said Kathy Palmer, the city’s planning and zoning commissioner.
But a new master plan and recently updated zoning maps are no match for a proposed route of Trans-Texas Corridor 35 that would slice straight through the city of about 2,000 people and create headaches for several city departments, officials said.
Read the whole story HERE
Related Link: Texas 391 Commission Alliance
"People still need to drive and drink water, no matter what happens with the economy. It's not my job to worry about public policy."
What happens when the city leases public assets to private investors?
By Susan Chandler, Chicago Tribune
The price to park your car for an hour in the Millennium Park Garage has risen 31 percent, to $17, since the garage was leased to Morgan Stanley in 2006.
The cost to drive an auto across the Chicago Skyway is now 50 percent higher than it was in 2004, when Australian and Spanish investors paid $1.83 billion for a 99-year lease.
Could an $8 airport pretzel be next? How about a $10 luggage cart?
Those are real questions facing consumers as the city moves ahead on a landmark plan to lease Midway Airport to private operators.
Mayor Richard Daley has been ahead of the curve leasing public infrastructure such as the Skyway and underground parking garages as a way to raise cash. So it wasn't much of a surprise that in 2006 Chicago's Midway became the first large hub airport to apply under a Federal Aviation Administration pilot program to test privatization at five airports around the country.
The privatization of public assets has sparked a debate among academics and urban officials across the country about whether the leasing of bridges, roads and other infrastructure is a smart way to manage public resources over the long haul or just a desperate quick fix.
Read the whole article HERE
be cloned, allowing drivers to pass for free.
By Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Review
Drivers using the automated FasTrak toll system on roads and bridges in California's Bay Area could be vulnerable to fraud, according to a computer security firm in Oakland, CA.
Despite previous reassurances about the security of the system, Nate Lawson of Root Labs claims that the unique identity numbers used to identify the FasTrak wireless transponders carried in cars can be copied or overwritten with relative ease.
This means that fraudsters could clone transponders, says Lawson, by copying the ID of another driver onto their device. As a result, they could travel for free while others unwittingly foot the bill. "It's trivial to clone a device," Lawson says. "In fact, I have several clones with my own ID already."
Read the whole article HERE.
Politicians use $1 trillion to bail out Wall Street and banks but cry 'poverty' for our nation’s highways.
Privatizing taxpayer-funded roads and utilities means you can still use them — if you can afford to pay again for the "privilege"
by Ed Wallace, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Right. It takes unconventional and courageous thinking to come up with a plan that clears a highway lane for the well off, while the middle class and working poor are left to inhale each other’s $5-a-gallon exhaust fumes. The worst thing about this ill-conceived decision … is it allocates freedom of movement according to income."
— From "Diamond Lanes for the Rich," by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2008)
Few think of it this way, but America already has a major flat tax that we all pay equally: the 18.4-cent federal tax that is applied to each and every gallon of gasoline we purchase, or the 24.4 cents on every gallon of diesel.
Say a young person, who just lost his job at McDonald’s, buys a gallon of gas to get to an interview at Burger King at the same time Warren Buffet buys a gallon of gas to get to the airport in Omaha to board his personal jet: Both the unemployed, below-minimum-wage worker and America’s richest billionaire contribute the exact same amount toward the nation’s highway system on that day.
Now, however, we are being told – to an increasingly urgent drumbeat – that America can no longer afford the luxury of building new infrastructure or even maintaining our current road system, because there’s just no funding for these programs. It’s here that the complete absence of critical thinking about America’s future should astonish and dismay anyone who looks at the facts even casually.
Just for the Rich?
In just a few months America has come up with nearly $1 trillion to cover foolish losses on Wall Street and in the nation’s banking system – losses primarily self-caused in the investor-driven buildup to the mortgage crisis over the past three years. But at the same time we’re being told flat out that Social Security is a disaster waiting to happen, because it will be $1 trillion in default somewhere around mid-century. Yes, you read that right: We can save our financial centers today in mere weeks when it looks like they are over $1 trillion upside down, but there’s no way we can find that much money over the next 40 years to secure all working Americans’ retirement.
Read the whole article HERE.
Jacob Engineering Group just received a fat contract (paid for with tax dollars intended for freeways), to build another double tax tollway in Austin. And, as you'd expect, there are crooked connections with Sen. Kirk Watson, the biggest snake in Texas (next to Gov. Perry).
Jacob Engineering Group Inc. acquired Carter & Burgess Inc. last year. Carter & Burgess supported Sen. Kirk Watson's campaign. Carter & Burgess, Watson (as an individual), and Watson's law firm, Hughes and Luce, contributed finances and political power to the Take on Traffic campaign to toll Austin's freeways.
The Business Journal reports the news:
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) has chosen Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to design the Manor Expressway interchange at U.S. Highway 183.The $80 million construction project represents the last portion of the 6.2-mile Manor Expressway to be awarded. The future expressway will be a toll road running between U.S. 183 and State Highway 130 along U.S. 290.
The road would be built in the median of the existing highway. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2009, with the road opening in 2013.
The “Take On Traffic” Con Men - More Lies for Toll Profits
Millionaire Senator Kirk Watson is found to be on the Special Interests Payroll
YOU Paid Sen. Kirk Watson $450 an Hour! (Your Tax Dollars at Work!)
Sen. Kirk Watson Gets a Back Door Deal - YOU GET DOUBLE TAX TOLLS IN AUSTIN!
VIDEO: Chris Matthews Eviscerates Sen. Kirk Watson!
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Another power struggle between Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature over TxDOT's direction is expected
Under Scrutiny as FY '09 Kicks Off
By Richard Williamson, The Bond Buyer
DALLAS - The Texas Department of Transportation begins its fiscal year this week with new leadership, a record $8.3 billion budget, and $1.5 billion of newly mandated bonds amid a challenging political environment.
With another tough legislative session coming in four months, the department must justify its existence in the Sunset review process after taking sharp criticism in a special audit for a $1.1 billion accounting error.
The Sunset Review Commission, a 12-member legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of more than 150 government agencies every 12 years, may have already set up a power struggle between Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature over TxDOT's direction.
Under its current structure, TxDOT is supervised by the Texas Transportation Commission, a five-member board appointed by the governor. The current TTC chairwoman, Deirdre Delisi, is Perry's former chief of staff, replacing the late Ric Williamson who shared Perry's enthusiasm for privately financed toll roads and the mammoth Trans Texas Corridor.
If the Sunset Review Commission's report is adopted, the TTC board would be replaced by a single commissioner appointed for two years instead of the current six-year terms for board members. The Sunset report also recommends another review in four years instead of the standard 12 years to reconsider whether TxDOT should continue to exist.
"The Sunset review of the Texas Department of Transportation occurred against a backdrop of distrust and frustration with the department and the demand for more transparency, accountability, and responsiveness," the report stated. "Many expressed concerns that TxDOT was 'out of control,' advancing its own agenda against objections of both the Legislature and the public."
Read the whole article HERE.
It took more than a year's worth of toll revenue on a Virginia highway just to pay a single employee of an Australian firm. Last year, Virginia motorists handed the Melbourne-based company that operates the Pocahontas Parkway near Richmond a total of $13.7 million in tolls and fees. The amount reflected a significant increase over the previous year as Transurban raised toll rates steeply in January, but it failed to cover the salary of CEO Kim Edwards who pocketed $9.2 million in bonuses and $5.2 million in termination benefits for his departure from the company in April. Combined with his salary, his total payout was A$16,664,532 (US $14,316,553).
Now that Edwards is gone, Virginia tolls do not even cover the multi-million dollar compensation packages offered to Transurban's top six executives. New CEO Chris Lynch takes the largest share with $3,839,783 in compensation. The other seven-figure employees take home the following in pay and other benefits:
- North America President Michael Kulper, $3,056,337
- Chief Financial Officer Chris Brant, $2,289,561
- Chief Operating Officer Brendan Bourke, $2,245,434
- Executive Vice President Ken Daley, $1,917,822
- Group General Manager P O'Shea, $1,764,101
- Total Compensation for key management: $34,651,427
Read the whole story HERE.