Friday, May 01, 2009

Perry on closed door meeting: "We were all lovin' on each other in there."

Perry talks transportation with legislative leaders, including Pickett


Brandi Grissom
El Paso Times
Copyright 2009

As I walked from one side of the chamber to the other today trying to track down an El Paso lawmaker, I recognized Gov. Rick Perry's security detail sitting in the hallway behind the House chamber.

Wondering what warranted Perry's trip across the Capitol, some other reporters and I hung out to see what we could see and hear what we could hear.

When a door opened and Perry emerged, we could see some of the folks in the room: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, House Speaker Joe Straus, Transportation Commission Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi and House Transportation Committee Chairman state Rep. Joe Pickett.

Clearly, this meeting was about transportation, but Perry wouldn't stop long enough to chat with us (His staff indicated he would not, asking us not to ask the Perry any questions. Sure, that's going to happen.). We lobbed questions at Perry's back as he high-tailed it for the elevator, but his only reply was, "We were all lovin' on each other in there."

Pickett was a little more forthcoming. The meeting, he said, was about a bill by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, that would allow local areas to vote on fees and taxes to generate money for transportation projects in their regions.

Pickett said the group was discussing a plan he developed to allow municipal planning organizations, or MPOs, to decide about those transportation plans instead of individual municipalities and counties.

MPOs were designed to represent transportation needs for an entire region and could better decide on priorities, Pickett said.

The group in the meeting, he said, seemed to be on board with the plan.

"Gov. Perry had very minimal objections to the proposals," Pickett said.

He didn't mention anything about anybody lovin' on anybody.

© 2009 El Paso Tims:

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