Appeared in the Dallas Morning News Saturday, March 31, 2007 –
Your recent editorial labeling those who attended the March 1 hearing in Austin held by the Senate Transportation Committee a “mob”, is telling. The good folks who attended this hearing ranged from multimillionaires to county commissioners to cabbies and poor farmers. If anything, the crowd was pretty controlled given the revelations of Texas State Auditor John Keel. It wasn’t just us “mobsters” against the freeway tolls who believe TxDOT’s Corridor plan lacks public scrutiny. Even the Auditor has been unable to get a full accounting of where millions of public dollars have already been spent on this $200 billion project.
The dictionary says that a “mob” is a “a lawless, irrational, disorderly, or riotous crowd”. That best describes this administration — TxDOT’s boss. It’s time for your newspaper to join with the citizenry in calling for a moratorium to sort out this mess. Or do you like the idea of paying tolls on roads you’ve already paid for, having the toll raised every two years by a private company, no bid contracts, non-compete clauses, favoritism, self-enrichment schemes and having utterly no idea of what the cost will be in taxpayer dollars before these toll contracts are signed with foreign companies for 50 or more years? They’re lucky we didn’t tar and feather them.