Both political parties are pushing tolls

Whichever party is in power is the party pushing tolls in a given state. Either way, this comes down to politicians abusing their power to force citizens to privatize public assets at the behest of special interests in order for government to make a buck and enslave the electorate under the chokehold of the highest tolls possible.

Read this in Toll Road News:

Republican gov candidate in Illinois against Tollway “sale”
Toll Road News

Judy Baar Topinka, the Republican candidate for governor in the Illinois elections in November is campaigning against any toll concession of the Illinois Tollway system – something which is being studied by the Democrat incumbent governor Rod Blagojevich and the Democrat leadership in the Illinois legislature. On her website she styles the proposal for a toll concession – in which the business operations of the Tollway would be leased for a term under contract conditions – as a “sale” of the Tollway.

Her statement is headed up “Topinka/Birkett stand up to protect suburban motorists” (Birkett is her running mate) and reads:

“I want to be very clear about my position and give it to you straight. As Governor I will not I WILL NOT support selling the Tollway to a private vendor.”

“First, selling assets to pay for ongoing programs is just wrong. Second, selling an asset to a private vendor will lead to higher tolls. Third, 75% of Illinois Tollway users are commuters. Higher tolls are going to hit suburban commuters harder than anyone.”

“For several weeks the Governor’s supporters have been promoting the concept of selling the Tollway as an asset, while the Governor allows the process to move forward and remains silent on the issue.

“Today I challenge the Governor to say ‘No’ to the Tollway sale. Anything short of ‘no’ leaves the door open to potentially huge increases in tolls without any accountability from a private vendor. I challenge him to follow my lead.”

Blagojevich has not responded to the challenge. His official position is that the proposal is worthy of analysis and study. Leading Democrats in the state house are more clearly favorable.

Topinka, 62, a former journalist and state legislator is presently state Treasurer, an elected position. She was the first woman to be elected Treasurer of the state.


Then later, a change of heart by the Democrat Governor:

Illinois governor nixes concession of Tollway
Toll Road News
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has said he has no intention of leasing or otherwise privatizing the Illinois Tollway. The Governor’s official website has nothing on the subject but he is quoted by the Chicago Tribune (2006-06-23) as firmly ruling out privatization: “I like the fact that we’re doing great things with the tollway. We’ve made it easier for motorists to go to and from places much sooner than later. And, we’re in charge. I have no interest in giving up the tollway when we’re doing so many good things. I have no interest in turning it over to private investors.”

A push toward a toll concession was led by state senator Jeff Schoenberg (Dem, Evanston), chair of the senate’s appropriations committee who has held hearings and put in train a study. The Governor’s office said at the time that he supported study of a concession but had formed no position on the issue.

Now he appears to have moved decisively against it.

Blagojevich is the dominant figure in Illinois government and politics and seems certain to be re-elected for another four year term later this year.

The Illinois Tolllway – Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is its formal legal name – will therefore remain a state toll authority for the forseeable future.