Saturday, August 19, 2006

"The biggest land grab, corrupt privatization scheme and taxpayer ripoff in history."

Radnofsky speaks out on Trans-Texas Corridor

Radnofsky addresses hearing in Rockwall

Aug 19, 2006

North Texas e-News
Copyright 2006

Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate Barbara Ann Radnofsky met with concerned citizens, the advanced Project Development Director of the Texas Turnpike Authority Division Dieter Blick, listened to the testimony of Rockwall residents and other speakers, and gave testimony against the Trans Texas Corridor Thursday evening at the Freshman Center August 17 in Rockwall. She remains in Rockwall for two additional days of study, discussions, and receptions for her U.S. Senate campaign, as she reached her 480th campaign trip.

"Rockwall certainly has a big voice for the smallest Texas county, and the impassioned objections of its citizens should be heeded," Radnofsky said.

"Why are we undertaking a project which, if finished in fifty years, will be obsolete, with no studies as to the modes of transportation we'll actually be using at that time? Why are we trying to fund private, massive profits for foreign corporations, paid for by tolls that are charged to the public, on roads that will be tolled forever?

"The reason is not science, technology, traffic congestion, or public need. The reason is generating profit for private companies. Texas lacks the money to finance such a project, and no thinking taxpayer would willingly fund it. TxDOT claims and concedes that Texas lacks the resources, the tools, to fund the estimated 184 billion dollars the project will supposedly cost. The vast majority of the toll money collected will end up in the pockets of foreign corporations.

"Why does Texas lack the money for highways and public transit development, and rail? Why are communities pitted against each other, fighting for scarce federal highway dollars generated by our gas tax dollars?

"The answer: Texas leaders want to fuel private schemes proposed by their big donors and can only justify wasteful private companies reaping huge profits at our expense, charging Texas drivers tolls to pay for private profits if they have an expensive proposal and no money to find it. It's a perfect storm of circumstances, since we Texans donate nearly ten cents of every gas tax dollar from Texas to the rest of the country. Now, TxDOT can rightly claim that Texas is underfinanced for our transporation dollars, giving statewide elected officials a convenient excuse to turn to private financing. The lack of public money has been used to justify a boondoggle project to utilize private industry, to be repaid with money out of the pockets of ordinary Texans.

"My opponent voted for PL 109-59 which left Texas taxpayers as net donors to the rest of the country, funding Alaskan bridges to nowhere, giving Alaskans 1500 dollars per person in transportation money, while Texans received 36 dollars, ranking 49th overall. The same law championed by my opponent also tolls projects in express lanes, tolls on HOV faciltities, and tolls on highways, bridges, and tunnels on our interstate highway system.

"The TTC toll system will not be traditional tolling to pay for the road. Drivers will be automatically billed monthly and their bill payments will forever benefit the private companies profiting from construction and concessions. Communities will be split like an apple cleaved through, and trucks won't need to stop outside the corridor since rest stops and restaurants and the like are all planned inside the zone.

"Texas can't afford it, so the government has sold us down the river to pay tolls and give up our land and fork over existing freeways to the biggest land grab, corrupt privatization scheme and taxpayer ripoff in history," Radnofsky continued.

"In fifty plus years, TTC construction will be reportedly still underway with 2006 era toll-way plans, as mass transit and energy technology prepare for the 22nd century."

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