Skip to comments.CA: A Feeding Frenzy for Lobbyists ($222 billion bond has advocates lining up for piece of action)
Posted on 02/12/2006 12:25:00 PM PST by calcowgirl
Richard Gephardt, the former congressional leader and two-time presidential candidate, recently dropped by California's Capitol to chat with a fellow Democrat, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. The subject was not politics but private toll roads, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Gephardt works for Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that is making millions advising Chicago and Indiana on how to sell toll roads to private companies. That idea, largely resisted in California, is now back on center stage here as part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's $222-billion proposal to revamp roads, levees and schools across the state.
His plan includes $16 billion for privately run toll roads, mostly for commercial traffic. It was crafted with advice from a Goldman Sachs senior advisor, Kathleen Brown, a former state treasurer.
Schwarzenegger's proposal to use private-public partnerships to expand the routes used for transporting goods from California's ports has drawn international attention.
One firm expressing interest is the Macquarie Infrastructure Group, an Australia-based company. The firm is part of a consortium that last month won a $3.8-billion contract to maintain and run a 157-mile toll road in Indiana. The consortium also leased the Chicago Skyway last year for $1.8 billion, a deal in which Goldman Sachs earned $9 million for giving financial advice to the city.
Macquarie hadn't employed a Sacramento lobbyist since 2001. But last April it retained California Strategies & Advocacy, a firm led by Bob White, a longtime Republican operative who advised Schwarzenegger in his 2003 recall campaign.
Among Democrats, who hold the majority in both houses of the Legislature, the idea of private toll roads is one of the most controversial parts of the governor's plan. Gephardt and a Macquarie executive hope to convince legislators that the idea makes sense ...
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
did someone call the hogs to the trough?
is that squealings of glee and a stampede of hooves I hear in the distance headed for california?
With all the bovine heading to Sacramento, how will
California meet its Kyoto-like greenhouse gas goals?
methane catalytic energy converters utilizing solar power to process and store it, ya hang one off the rear of every farm animal , waaa laaa. lol
Will the U.S. transportation community rise to the challenge?
By C. Kenneth Orski
January 15, 2006
Macquarie, Cintra, Transurban these names are acquiring a familiar ring to the U.S. highway community, even if they still mean nothing to the general public. All three are foreign companies that are pioneering new approaches to highway financing, construction, and operation in this country and helping to speed up development of highway infrastructure, that otherwise, might have stayed on the drawing board for years to come.
They perceive America as having a large reservoir of unsatisfied highway needs; they think the prospect for increased public funding is problematic; they see a growing acceptance of tolling; and they sense a climate of greater receptivity toward public-private partnerships, in which private companies serve as financiers and managers of transport infrastructure. Their speculations may well prove to be correct. So far, no fewer than six states Indiana, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Delaware are weighing awards of long-term concessions of their toll roads, in return for up-front capital. Their appetite has been whetted by the experience of the city of Chicago, which received a $1.83 billion windfall from a 99-year lease of its Chicago Skyway. Should any of these states negotiate similarly profitable deals (Indiana being the most likely early prospect, hoping to realize more than $2 billion from a long-term lease of its toll road), the news will undoubtedly spur other financially-strapped states to seek similar arrangements.
Is America Ready for Toll Roads?
By C. Kenneth Orski
November 1, 2005
"Is a tolled highway system truly the answer for our future? Can it pass the political hurdles?" These are the questions syndicated columnist Neal Peirce posed in a recent column, after noting local reluctance to raise gas taxes (as evidenced most recently by a legislative moratorium on raising the state gasoline tax in Georgia); an expected drop in tax receipts flowing into the Trust Fund, as people cut back on driving in the face of rising fuel prices; and mounting interest in revenue producing HOT lanes and toll roads ("Is America Really Ready for Toll Roads", The Denver Post, October 9, 2005).
According to Peirce, questions about the future prospects for tolling are ones that "very few of us politico or plan citizens seem ready to answer." But, evidence from across the country seems to belie Peirce's skepticism. Indeed, recent months have seen strong indications that tolling is becoming accepted, by both politicians and the transportation community, as a necessary and proper supplement to traditional highway revenue sources.
In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger has signed legislation (A.B. 850), allowing private contractors to build toll roads and express toll lanes throughout the state.
Texans, who appear to be ahead of California on the 'toll road curve,' seem to have more than a few complaints about the current path of politicians. I found CorridorWatch.org (which even quotes McClintock talking about the 91 Freeway fiasco: "We must never allow the state's obligation to build a first-rate public highway system to be compromised again")
Is that like voila?
You'll never make it with the Vichy clan. lol
The end days for the liberal pigs... so what is one last party as county after county in California turns red?
Liberal pigs will be pushed out to Hawaii and finally communist China.
Glad I was never this kind of lobbyist.
BILL NUMBER: AB 850 AMENDED AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 3, 2005 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 18, 2005 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Canciamilla (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Benoit, Niello, and Richman ) (Principal coauthor: Senator Runner) FEBRUARY 18, 2005 An act to amend Sections 143 and 149 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 850, as amended, Canciamilla. Toll road agreements. Existing law, until January 1, 2003, authorized the Department of Transportation to solicit proposals and enter into agreements with private entities or consortia for the construction and lease of no more than 2 toll road projects, and specified the terms and requirements applicable to those projects. Existing law authorizes the department to construct high-occupancy vehicle and other preferential lanes. This bill would instead authorize the department to enter into comprehensive development franchise agreements with public and private entities or consortia for specified types of transportation projects, as defined, subject to certain requirements and conditions. The bill would authorize tolls to be collected after the termination of a franchise agreement period, subject to approval of the California Transportation Commission. The bill would require a franchise agreement to allow the department to open a competitive state facility in the same corridor. The bill would authorize the department to construct and operate high-occupancy vehicle and other preferential lanes as toll facilities. The bill would enact other related provisions.