Skip to comments.Judge denies activist's request to stop toll road campaign
Posted on 09/25/2007 2:14:40 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
AUSTIN — A judge has refused a toll road opponent's request to block the Texas Department of Transportation from spending money on a campaign that promotes toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Terri Hall of the San Antonio Toll Party and Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom argued the "Keep Texas Moving" campaign violates a prohibition on state officials using their authority for political purposes.
On Monday, State District Judge Orlinda Naranjo denied Hall's request for a temporary restraining order. The judge noted another law cited by state lawyers that allows the department to promote the development and use of toll projects.
"It seems that the Legislature has weighed in and given the department the authority to promote toll roads," Naranjo said.
Another hearing is expected soon on the state's motion to dismiss the case. The state contends that it's legal for the transportation department to promote toll roads and that the agency is responding to calls for public education about its projects.
Hall's lawsuit also seeks to block transportation officials from lobbying Congress to allow more tolling.
"This is just round one," Hall said Monday. "This issue is definitely not over."
Her attorney, Charles Riley, said the facts will show that the agency is using highway funds for a political purpose, and not just for providing information about toll roads.
Gov. Rick Perry and the transportation department have championed toll roads and the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor, a tolled network of superhighways, as solutions to dire transportation needs that have outpaced gas tax revenues.
A department spokesman said he had no comment on Monday's ruling and referred to earlier statements defending the department's right to promote toll roads.
Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com
Judge refuses to keep state from promoting projects
By PEGGY FIKAC
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN — A San Antonio activist lost a court round Monday in her effort to stop state transportation officials from spending public funds to promote toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor.
State District Judge Orlinda Naranjo refused to grant a temporary restraining order to immediately stop the spending as sought in a petition by Terri Hall of the San Antonio Toll Party and Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom.
Another hearing is expected as early as next week on a state motion to dismiss the case, which targets both the multimillion-dollar Keep Texas Moving campaign and any attempt by transportation officials to persuade Congress to allow more tolling, such as a proposal on potentially tolling interstates.
"This is just round one. This issue is definitely not over," said Hall, contending that transportation officials in promoting the divisive initiatives are violating a ban on using their authority for political purposes and on lobbying.
Naranjo noted another law cited by the state specifically allows the Texas Department of Transportation to promote the development and use of toll projects.
The state has said the Keep Texas Moving campaign is meant to provide information to the public as demanded by state lawmakers.
"It seems that the Legislature has weighed in ... and given the department the authority to promote toll roads," Naranjo said in denying the request for a temporary restraining order. Such an order is meant to maintain the status quo until a full hearing in a case.
As the legal proceedings continue, Hall's side will seek to show transportation officials' actions go beyond what's allowed in the law.
"We're confident that as the facts come out they're going to show that TxDOT is using public money for a political purpose, not just for providing information about toll roads," said Hall's lawyer, Charles Riley of San Antonio.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
Our money being spent to lobby against us. Wonderful
Good luck. Perry seems like an idiot, frankly.
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." -- Robert Anson Heinlein
See post five.
TRC....I rest my case.
Unfortunately liberal judges are going to side with the Anti-American Gov Perry.
Good luck to Hall...eventually she will win. Maybe not in the courts, but the influence of her actions will have on all Texans.
I am sure most Texans are against the illegal-alien Commie Chinese NAFTA Superhiway
I say we turn it around on these bastards and remind them who the employees are and who the employers are. Lines have been drawn and they have crossed them.
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