TURF Founder files lawsuit to STOP TxDOT's ad campaign!


Lawsuit filed to STOP TxDOT’s illegal lobbying
TURF Founder seeks temporary restraining order to halt public relations campaign

Thursday, September 20, 2007 – TURF Founder Terri Hall has filed a petition for a temporary restraining order against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in Travis County District Court and the case is scheduled to come before visiting Judge Bill Bender at 3 PM.The petition also seeks injunctive relief, including Temporary Restraining Order against Steven E. Simmons, P.E. Individually and as Interim Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation and Coby Chase, Individually and as Director of the Texas Department of Transportation Government and Public Affairs Division.This lawsuit is brought pursuant to § 37, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. TxDOT’s expenditure of public funds for the Keep Texas Moving campaign is illegal, and an injunction prohibiting any further illegal expenditures in this regard.TxDOT has violated § 556.004 of the Texas Government Code by directing the expenditure of public funds for political advocacy in support of toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor, and have openly indicated TxDOT’s intention to directly lobby the United States Congress in favor of additional toll road programs.

On August 22, 2007, TURF filed a formal complaint with Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle to investigate TxDOT’s illegal lobbying and asked him to prosecute TxDOT for criminal wrongdoing. See the formal complaint here . Today’s petition seeks immediate injunctive relief in a civil proceeding.

“Between TxDOT’s PR campaign, report to Congress asking that all limitations on tolling be lifted including buying back existing interstates, and Chairman Ric Williamson’s recent trip to D.C. lobbying for the same, it’s clear they’ve not only crossed the line into illegal lobbying, but they leaped over it,” says Hall.

TxDOT’s report to Congress, Forward Momentum, ignited a category 5 blowback that prompted Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Representatives Charlie Gonzalez,and Ciro Rodriguez to file legislation (S 2019 and HR 3510) to halt the tolling of existing interstates and to prohibit TxDOT from buying back interstates for the purpose of tolling them (read more here). TxDOT’s actions also prompted Rep. Rodriguez to call for a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on converting interstates to tollways and on TxDOT’s ad campaign (read more here.).

The report and ad campaign have been the topic of many editorials across Texas, including the Houston Chronicle (read more here.) and Express-News, and even TV newsrooms are weighing in with the General Manager of KSAT 12 TV in San Antonio giving a scathing review of the ad campaign (read more here.).

“The citizens of Texas are fed-up with TxDOT’s blatant disregard for the public’s disdain of toll roads and their infinite attempts to cram toll roads down our throats using TAXPAYER MONEY to do it! It’s high time someone puts a stop to it!” Hall admonished.

View petition and affidavits:
Terri Hall’s affidavit
Bill Barker’s affidavit

15 Replies to “TURF Founder files lawsuit to STOP TxDOT's ad campaign!”

  1. Gary Conner

    I want to say I am very pleased these people have the courage and determination to try to halt the illegal scam of stealing money right from under our noses.

    Pa Ferguson was impeached for heisting $ 10,000.00 by the Travis County District Attorney back in the early thirties.

    No telling what a District Attorney with the same level of morality could do with the Perry Administration, and in fact, the current Attorney General of Texas is in my opinion, negligent by failing to pursue this matter himself.

    He is supposed to be the Lawyer for the People of Texas, yet he appears to believe he is Rick “Executive Order” Perry’s personal legal counsel.

    A.G. Abbot may be a nice fellow, and have a charming smile. But I doubt seriously he has read Art. I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution lately, in conjunction with Art. 4, Section 22 of our own State Constitution.

    When will this rape of Texas Taxpayers end?

  2. Harvey Beierle

    I support TURF and Terri Hall in her efforts to stop the State’s corrupt measures and attempts to install toll roads. They are totally unnecessary. The funds that have been misdirected are more than adequate to accommodate the growing transportation needs.

    Harvey J. Beierle

  3. David Ramos

    Way to go Terri ….there is no doubt that TXDOT is blatantly violating State law by utilizing public funds for political campaigning. It’s unfortunate that TXDOT continues to display their arrogance regarding their fiducial duty to the taxpayers of this state.

    We can only hope the court displays the fortitude to stop this nonsense.

    Dave R.

  4. LaRue Y. Thompson

    I am totally against toll roads and am very disgusted with what is going on.
    Let me know what I can do to help prevent this theft against taxpayers. Did we not already pay for these roads in our taxes? Thank you Miss. Hall for your effort in this, what can I do?

  5. Raymond Wodruff

    Thank you for filing the lawsuit. I came to the SeaIsland/Bandera meeting last month and sent you a donation. Today, i have sent email to Judge Wollf, Comm Larson, Rep Casrtro. Senators Wenworth, Zaffrini, Van de Putte to ask for their support. I quoted David Ellis ‘s testimony to the State Trans Comm that stated there is no ned of tolls or raise of gas tax in TX. Raymond Woodruff

  6. Jerry Brantley

    I am very grateful to you for providing all the info to us about this out of control agency, TXDOT. I also listen to you frequently on KTSA radio. If it weren’t for you, I don’t know if we would get half of the information we need. I am available to help if you need it on any of these issues.

    Jerry Brantley
    3653 Hunters Cliff
    San Antonio, TX 78230

  7. David Galvan

    You are a hero to this State and it’s taxpayers! God bless you!We’ll keep the ponies saddled, and the Winchesters oiled come election time!TaxDot and their shiftless gang going to the woodshed! What could be better?Only that real democracy we claim to fight for overseas could actually take root in Texas!David Galvan, Helotes

  8. Dan Jasinski

    Personnel of TxDOT and other government agencies such as CTRMA need to be held accountable for their self-selving/greedy actions and not only be fired but also prosecuted for their cavalier actions against the public good.

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