McCombs takes swipe at citizen voice on Express-News blog

Pro-toll Terrell McCombs, who is paid to lobby for toll roads by those who will profit off of them, opines that the Express-News asked concerned citizen and San Antonio Toll Party and Texas TURF Founder, Terri Hall, to do a blog for their paper. The BIG MONEY can’t handle losing its monopoly on the discussion. McCombs is also clearly in the dark on the facts, fails to mention how we’ve “misrepresented the facts” (while he’s made a profession out of misrepresenting the facts and stooping to what seems like endless personal attacks) and our policy positions. Check out the blog here.

06/25/2009
Why not substance on new lanes?
Editorial by Terrell McCombs
Express-News
The San Antonio Express-News’ ability to engage people at the citizen level is remarkable, and I applaud your encouragement of ordinary Texans to make their voices heard. A new perspective on local issues and public policy is always refreshing to hear, so long as it is an informed one.

For this reason I must question your recent decision to allow a citizen activist from outside of San Antonio to publish a regular blog on the Express-News’ Web site.

Terri Hall has misrepresented facts to support her arguments in the past. I hope she will use this new-found prominence to make her arguments based on substance and fact rather than one-sided opinions.

You and your readers must hold her accountable for the accuracy of what she says.

Hall does not represent the voice of all Texans. She represents a small group of followers who are apparently pro-gridlock, given their lawsuits to block additional lanes, which would relieve congestion on U.S. 281 North. Their voices may be loud, but they are misguided and use misinformation and scare tactics to block possibilities for new or innovative transportation finance options.

Instead, Hall clings to an old, indirect, and increasingly ineffective model for building new transportation infrastructure: the gas tax.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the gas tax can work. However, we would be looking at an increase of more than $1.25 per gallon to begin to seriously address our huge transportation infrastructure deficit. An increase of that magnitude is politically unacceptable to state policymakers.

Frankly, many Texans and Texas businesses oppose dramatically raising the gas tax in challenging economic times and welcome the idea of private funding and user fees as ways to lower traffic congestion and improve our quality of life.

I hope Hall’s Express-News blog will cause other readers who are frustrated with traffic congestion to speak up rather than allow her to tell the story for all of us.

Terrell McCombs is chairman of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition.

12 Replies to “McCombs takes swipe at citizen voice on Express-News blog”

  1. RKE

    Concerning Mr. McCombs:

    If this is the same Terrell McCombs that runs McCombs Enterprises (Red McCombs Dealerships home office) I am not surprised. As someone who used to work as a commissioned salesman for one of his dealerships, I know how much of a lair and a crook he is. Commission vouchers were never accurate unless it was a mini-deal (minimum commission). You could never get a straight answer as to why your commisions were always greatly reduced from what you turned in (I kept a copy everything). The bottom line is that the McCombs oraganization steals from its sales people and the theft is occuring at the top of the chain. The home office has an electro-locking front door (like the back of a police station) to keep angry sales people from charging in demanding answers. If Terrell isn’t directly invlovled in the larceny, I am sure he is aware of it. I am also sure he has no allegence for Texas or any one outside of his millionares’ circle of freinds.

  2. Eric Rosenberg

    Mr. McCombs,
    I have lived in 5 states during my life that have had toll roads. All of them, without exception had worse road conditions on the toll roads than on the non-toll roads. Before I left California, they raised the toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge from $5 up to $8. Not because the bridge had not been paid for. Not for increased costs of maintaining the bridge (and the salaries of all the people associated with the bridge). No, it was because a local ferry for vehicles was not self sustaining and they wanted more money.
    I cannot understand how you, or our elected officials can put your profit in front of the basic common sense principles of spending taxpayer money wisely.
    TexDot should be abolished. Governor Perry should be voted out for not putting the fiscal responsibility or Texas citizens first.
    As for your comments on the gas tax. The money for overpasses was already collected from the gas tax. The politicians sifoned that money to use on other projects and now they are telling us there is no other choice but toll roads to relieve congestion.

    I think the choice is the peoples and we need to make it wisely next election.

  3. Bob

    McCombs is the one mis representing the facts and using scare tacticts along with Perry. There must be BIG payoffs from the CDA’s for them.

  4. Greg Denzler

    Terrell McCombs where have you been? Texas gas taxes are currently being used to pay for lobbist such as yourself, and other non road related items such as “educating” us. If the gas taxes where not a part of the general fund revenues – and used only for roads, more repairs and additional lanes would have happened years ago! No one wants to pay for toll roads – that would be mainly to big major foreign companies for decades to come till eternity. As Terri Hall and other Texas Tax payers are demanding that the Transportation department be an ELECTED position accountable to the public and end privately appointed CDAs and RMAs completely that just tax and spend with out having to answer to anyone!

  5. Oscar Unger

    True, Terri Hall doesn’t represent the voice of all Texans; however,Terri represents a much larger group than Mr McCoombs. Her following in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio will exceed 100,000 ordinary people. There are probably that many lobbyists and special interest groups. But, I’m sure Mr. McCoombs doesn’t represent ALL of them either. I wonder who keeps Mr. McCoombs honest? Who holds him accountable for the dogma he posts as fact? I realize I am just an “ordinary citizen” who doesn’t quite know his place. I am struggling in my own feeble way to become informed. I think that somewhere back in the cobwebs of my small brain I recall that 25% of the gas tax is used to fund our bloated schools. I’m sure it is necessary to keep paying superintendants $250,000 to $300,000 per year to pass out cirricula written by the legislature to our precious children. And we must continue to build indoor pools, shooting ranges, ice rinks and perhaps even a library filled with “Rain Forrest Algebra” books. All this at the expense of the Texas highway system. I wonder if 25% of the gas tax would help reduce the $2,000,000,000.00 debt that TXDOT has accumulated.
    Frankly, many Texans and Texas businesses oppose dramatically paying tolls on roads they have already bought and welcome the idea of private funding to build toll roads operated by the owners/builders. Let those who want a toll road buy the ROW (right of way), build the road, and sell trips over their investment. Could be a profitable enterprise … if the costs can be kept low. It’s much easier if the taxpayers already own the ROW and the owners/builders can get politicians to give it to them. However, there is usually a quid pro quo for such largesse. Wonder who gets what, Mr McCoombs.
    Mr. McCoombs, have you heard any complaints from the users of Hwy 121? Some of them have received fines in the mail for not having purchased the proper electronic ID for their cars. The fine is added to the toll fees and is a flat $100.00. So, those who stumble onto Hwy 121 (the fact that it is a toll road is not marked very well – make more money that way!) get a letter from the State billing them for a one time annual fee of $100.00 plus the toll fees (0.75/mile). They are not very happy, Mr. McCoombs!
    I would think that as Chairman of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition (another CZAR??) you would want to inform the ordinary people of all the facts of Texas toll roads. As Chairman of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition us ordinary people wonder what you do with such a lofty title. Who makes up the coalition? Zachary, Perry and Daddy?

  6. Neil M Campbell

    Honesty seems to be a thing of the past? Our politicos’ have never heard the word statesman and have no clue as to what it means.

    A simple solution is to let the people vote on the issue. Of course this is out of the question – commoners deciding their own fate? How would we ever get rich that way?

  7. David Galvan

    Mr. McCombs obviously was brought up to believe that it is his right to manipulate goverment for the sole purpose to enrich himself and other like minded thieves at the expense of the public.The same public that lives, works, fights the wars and “pays the frieght” whenever the big boys want a new car, home,or multiple homes, or just need to pay off their mistresses. He views the public as a great mass of “unwashed” to be fleeced, because only he and his rapacious friends believe that we don’t have enough sense to know that even though we earned it, only the big boys should have the right to our money.TxDot is a corrupt, archaic, and top heavy institution that does a horrible job. They cheat, lie, and steal, and then pat themselves on the back at large expensive parties that are paid for by the same people who are cheated, lied to, and stolen from.Thank God there is someone telling the truth. Terri Hall has my vote for any office she may seek, she has my vote because she has my “back”.–David Galvan,Helotes

  8. Dave R

    Mr. McCombs,
    Do you really think that reasonable minded people in this city REALLY believe your statement that we need a 600% increase in our gas taxes to resolve issues like Hwy 281?
    For that matter, does the fact that Terri Hall lives outside of 1604 really effect the merits of her arguments? Are we to believe that all contributors/bloggers to a news organization live within a certain boundary?
    Has your SAMCO organization ever come up with hard-facts to support that toll-roads are fiscally more efficient that the traditional gas-tax paid roadways?

    Thinking about all of those McCombs commercials …, I think I’d rather be “DEAD that RED” !!

  9. Johnnie Ivy

    I used hwy 121 out of Austin and my bill sent to me from the powers thart sent the bill was $6.00 a month later I received a demand Letter that I was to pay the $6.00 plus $100.00 or they going to file a law suit and get a colection company to get their money after 5 months I finaly convensed the state that I paid and it finaly has been settled but it Took 5 Months so let s have more tol roads sombody other than us TAX payers need it !!!!

  10. Dave Perry

    We have hit a new low in domestic politics here when politicians want to take away the fundamental right of movement so they can make a few bucks. It amazes me that these callous people can want to enslave folks with electronic devices that monitor where you go and where your vehicle is at every moment. The more I study this issue, the more sinister it all this gets. People talk about gaming being an immoral way to fund government but in comparison to toll roads, gaming at its worst is still better and a more voluntary activity!

  11. EstebanErikStipnieks

    State agencies think laws apply to everybody but them this includes TxDOT if the toll antics continue get ready to see the deflation in the economy toll dollars are tax dollars higher the tax lower the economic activity.

  12. EstebanErikStipnieks

    YOu can not squeeze blood from a turnip. YOu have a population overtaxed over burdened with government debt. Someone one needs to figure out that we can only support so many civil servants who do not produce real value to the economy. Road Dollars have to be used intelligently. Zachry can only get so much money from the public till.

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