TxDOT engaged in mutiny over private toll moratorium bill

BREAKING: House Transportation Chair Mike Krusee hatched a plan with fellow Transportation Committee member, Rep. Haggerty, to introduce an amendment to HB 3722 that would SUBSTITUTE HB 1892, with a Krusee-drafted COUNTERFEIT! Krusee found someone to ERASE our moratorium bill before it even becomes law! This occurred before many of our heroes (like Rep. Lois Kolkhorst) were even on the floor after lunch. Thank you Rep. Joe Pickett for recognizing the coup, and killing the amendment. We CANNOT let our guard down! Your vigilance is needed. Call your reps RIGHT NOW to make sure they’re not getting weak-kneed…
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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TxDOT engaging in mutiny over private toll bill
Threatening all road projects to come to an end in unprecedented interference with lawmakers

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 – In a letter to Rep. Fred Hill, Executive Director of TxDOT, Michael Behrens proclaims billions in highway projects will halt if the private toll moratorium bill HB 1892 becomes law. In an overt attempt by a state and federal agency to influence the Legislative branch of government and intimidate lawmakers into changing votes in a potential veto override, TxDOT is pulling out all the stops to ensure private companies like Spanish-based Cintra get to feed at the public trough for 50+ years. TxDOT at the direction of this Governor is attempting to lead a legislative mutiny against HB 1892.

With a veto-proof convincing vote to pass HB 1892, 139-1 in the House and 27-4 (final vote 30-1) in the Senate, the representatives of the PEOPLE of Texas have spoken. Yet the Governor who can lawfully veto the bill in protest is reaching beyond the powers given him to unduly influence the legislative process. TxDOT answers to the PEOPLE of Texas, the Legislature, not simply the Governor, and they are strictly prohibited from this sort of behavior. Their job is to implement policy, period.

“TxDOT is browbeating our legislators hoping to intimidate them into submission in an outrageous display of heavy-handed coercion that’s unprecedented by our highway department. They’ve called in the feds to threaten loss of federal highway funds, they’ve threatened to cancel even non-CDA (private toll) contracts, they’re pitting regions against one another (like Dallas versus Ft. Worth in this letter), and engaged in all sorts of arm-twisting to have their way,” says an outraged Terri Hall, Founder/Director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF).

“Perry, the Bush Administration, and our highway agencies are more interested in representing the interests of private corporations than they are the taxpaying public. This is outright defiance against everything representative government stands for,” fumes Hall.

“With such willful misconduct, it begs the question, will the Legislature cave to the threats, and sell control of our PUBLIC highway system to foreign companies, or will they stand firm with the PEOPLE of Texas, their constituents, who have spoken with a loud, unified voice against it?” asks Hall. ”Buyer beware…the PEOPLE of Texas will not tolerate such mutiny from their ranks. We won’t soon forget paying toll homage to a foreign company for the next 50 years, and we’ll bring our wrath to the ballot box.”

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