Saturday, December 13, 2008

President-Elect Obama should reconsider former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk as a candidate for Secretary of Transportation

A Texan in King Obama's Court

December 13, 2008

Peter Stern
Capitol Hill Blue
Copyright 2008

Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk Next U.S. Transportation Chief?

Bad move!

I just heard that President-Elect Obama is considering hiring former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk as the new U.S. Transportation Chief. I am writing to provide your organization [Obama's staff] with accurate information that Kirk would be a terrible selection for this position.

Dallas is an area that has implemented many toll roads that have cost Texans billions in new toll taxes. These roads have created a cost-ineffective method of raising taxes for building and maintaining Texas roadways that have created more noise and air pollution.

In addition 80 percent of all tolls collected go to the management organization of the toll roads. In addition, many of the roads have been paid-off in toll revenue, but the roads remain tolled instead of being open to vehicles free of charge.

Furthermore, throughout Texas the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is being investigated for fraudulent and illegal activities in the management of and expenditures for roadways.

Mr. Kirk has been a pro-toll road supporter for many years and what Americans need is NOT for Congress to agree to develop and implement more toll roads.

We need government funding for public works projects to build and maintain roadways that are driven free by all members of our society. We do NOT need privatized toll roads that become private roadways for the wealthy who can afford to drive on them.

President-Elect Obama needs to reconsider the selection of former mayor Ron Kirk for Transportation Chief. Certainly there is someone who is more capable, ethical and better suited for the position.

I recently read in a Dallas newspaper that,

"Mr. Kirk said that he never sought anything for his support of Mr. Obama.

He's a partner at Vinson & Elkins law firm, where he's a lobbyist who has worked for deregulation of electricity markets."

Right there is a damn good reason NOT to consider Kirk. It is the lobbyists and legislators like Kirk who pushed the legislation to deregulate the electric industry, which ensured higher costs of electricity for all Texans.

Is this the sort of politician we want again in the White House?

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