Monday, January 26, 2009

"Texas Farm Bureau members are still upset over Perry's 2007 veto of a bill to protect private-property rights."

Kay to Farm Bureau: I'm your friend (and Perry isn't)


Wayne Slater
The Dallas Morning news
Copyright 2009

Kay Bailey Hutchison got a warm reception from the Texas Farm Bureau today, where she served notice she and Rick Perry are on opposite sides when it comes to toll roads and private property rights.

Hutchison told about 400 Farm Bureau members in Austin she'll be their champion on private property rights. Without mentioning Perry by name, Hutchison took aim at the Republican governor's ambitious toll-road initiative.

"I was there from the beginning" in opposition to Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor project, which the state has since scaled back. "It was just taking away so many rights of Texans and turning them over to a foreign corporation. I didn't think it was healthy."

Perry wasn't among the speakers. A Farm Bureau official said members are still upset over his 2007 veto of a bill to protect private-property rights.

Perry said the bill would have sparked too many lawsuits over how much to compensate landowners who claimed "diminished access" when a toll road goes through their property.

Said Hutchison: "I think diminished access, which diminishes the use of their property, is part of what should be compensated."

For his part, Perry has scrambled to make amends with property-rights folks. He announced last week he supports a constitutional amendment to strengthen landowner rights. And he mounted a full-throated defense of his road-building plan in an interview in The Dallas Morning News.

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