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Toll road critics denied access to all requested documents
Houston Chronicle ^ | December 21, 2007 | Associated Press

Posted on 12/22/2007 3:42:28 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

AUSTIN — Toll road critics were turned down in their request for wide-ranging transportation department documents, but a judge gave them more time to narrow their request as part of a lawsuit against the state.

Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, led by San Antonio resident Terri Hall, sued the Texas Department of Transportation in September to fight the department's toll road efforts.

The group claims the "Keep Texas Moving" promotional campaign violates a ban on state officials using their authority for political purposes. It also wants to stop agency officials from lobbying Congress to allow more tolling.

On Thursday, State District Judge Orlinda Naranjo agreed with the state's assertion that the group's request for documents was overly vague and broad. Over state objections, Naranjo gave the group time to refine its request.

The transportation agency has said it's activities are legal and that Hall didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit.

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.

The department's promotional campaign is spending an estimated $7 million to $9 million in state highway funds on advertising and other activities, such as training officials for appearances on talk radio.

Hall's group had asked for documents including "any effort by TxDOT to advocate in favor of toll road policy and/or any effort by TxDOT to seek, promote or encourage the passage or defeat of any legislative measure related to tolling."

It also sought all documents "concerning any trips, meetings, meals and/or conferences where TxDOT promoted and/or discussed tolling policy," and all documents concerning an agency report to Congress saying that states should have the option to buy back parts of interstates and toll them.

Assistant Attorney General Kristina W. Silcocks, who is representing the state, said the agency has already handed over numerous documents to the group, while others are protected from disclosure.

"We produced thousands of documents," including e-mail, she said.

Hall said the documents handed over were "almost all just invoices and junk, and most of it was duplicate."

A hearing on the merits of the case is expected isn't expected before early March.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: charlesriley; christinesilcox; collusion; congress; corruption; cuespookymusic; documents; emails; firericwilliamson; fueltax; gasolinetax; gastax; highwayfunding; keeptexasmoving; kristinasilcox; lawsuit; letters; lobbying; obstruction; orlindanaranjo; rickperry; roadripoff; ruling; terrihall; texas; tollroads; tollscam; tollways; transparency; transtexascorridor; trashtexasconjob; ttc; turf; tx; txdot; tyranny
Group Fights TxDOT in Court over Toll Roads

A group against toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor is fighting the state's transportation department for e-mails and letters that it says could prove political influence in advertising the benefits of toll roads in Texas.

"[We want to] stop the 'Keep Texas Moving' [advertising] campaign and any other similar effort to, for a political purpose, skew the information out there and skew the political debate in favor of a toll road policy," says Charles Riley, one of the attorneys for the group "Texans United for Reform and Freedom".

In the 419th District Court on Thursday, Judge Orlinda Naranjo heard arguments from Riley, as well as Christine Silcox, from the Texas Attorney General's Office, before ruling to sustain TxDOT's objection that TURF's request for information was too broad. TURF is asking for e-mails and records from TxDOT, alleging that they could prove political influence through the advertising messages on billboard, print and internet.

"I'm trying to get you two to sit down and narrow your request," Naranjo told Riley, before directing him to resubmit his request for information. Judge Naranjo has given TURF until January 18 to submit a revised and more pinpointed version of their request for TxDOT e-mails and letters.

last modified: 12/20/2007 5:05:03 PM

1 posted on 12/22/2007 3:42:30 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: TxDOT; 1066AD; 185JHP; Abcdefg; Adrastus; Alamo-Girl; antivenom; AprilfromTexas; B4Ranch; B-Chan; ..

Trans-Texas Corridor PING!

2 posted on 12/22/2007 3:43:02 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Tagline auction at this location, 01/01/2008)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
" . . . while others are protected from disclosure."

The transparency has a shade of opaqueness here and there, huh?

3 posted on 12/22/2007 4:25:21 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

If ever there was a time for torches and ax handles at midnight in front of city hall, this is it. This is being rammed down everyone’s throats by a bunch of appointed bureaucrats. The appointed include former San Antonio mayor Bill Thornton who was run out of the mayor’s office on a rail after only one term (of two possible) and after he completely ticked off every person and every business in town. Now, he has suddenly resurected and is heading this thing up by appointment from Perry. Even the Bexar County judge has described those against this travesty as “the crazies”.

If being against having the legislature squander highway funds and the state of Texas pleading poverty, then having toll roads that will be constructed by overseas conglomerates shoved down everyone’s throats, then a whole lot of us are nuts.

4 posted on 12/22/2007 4:40:01 PM PST by DaGman
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To: DaGman
Image Hosted by
5 posted on 12/22/2007 4:58:56 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Of course, public private partnerships take authority away from the citizens who pay for the corporate partner to have guaranteed income with their tax money.

That’s why the politician and corporate CROOKS love them, and why free citizens understand they are an abhorrence to a constitutional government.

6 posted on 12/22/2007 5:25:41 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Just to think this whole toll road mess was brought to you by a republican controlled congress trying to destroy the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
7 posted on 12/22/2007 5:31:49 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“Toll road critics denied access to all requested documents”

...seems fair.


8 posted on 12/22/2007 5:39:39 PM PST by americanophile
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To: cripplecreek

Awesome picture.

9 posted on 12/22/2007 5:40:24 PM PST by Styria
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To: Styria

I made that one up during round one of the amnesty debacle.

10 posted on 12/22/2007 5:41:45 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: cripplecreek
I made that one up during round one of the amnesty debacle.

I like it too. Do you have a bigger version? 

11 posted on 12/22/2007 9:57:53 PM PST by zeugma (Hillary! - America's Ex-Wife!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks


12 posted on 12/23/2007 2:57:08 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: cripplecreek

Love the picture!

13 posted on 12/23/2007 4:48:28 AM PST by STONEWALLS
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To: cripplecreek

Is that partly a scene from Frankenstein?

Nice! Storm clouds a brewin.

14 posted on 12/23/2007 1:22:46 PM PST by wolfcreek (The Status Quo Sucks!)
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To: All
Texas Gov Rick Perry facilitated the Texas trade corridor: he used government power to take taxpayers' properties via eminent domain and gave them to a foreign company. Perry recently endorsed the candidacy of his business partner Rudy Giuliani.

Bracewell & Giuliani Firm Advises Cintra in First Privatization of Toll Road in Texas

DALLAS (March 1, 2007) Bracewell & Giuliani LLP (Texas-based law firm with global connections) advised Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a Spanish transportation company, in its successful bid to develop State Highway 121 into a toll road through Collin and Denton counties.

The award to Cintra, approved by the Texas Transportation Commission, is the first privatization of a Texas toll road. Bracewell is acting as project counsel to Cintra with respect to the 50-year concession from the Texas Department of Transportation. Cintra will pay a $2.1 billion upfront and annual lease payments totaling $700 million. "Cintra was awarded this project because of its proven expertise and competitive proposal," said Thomas O. Moore, partner with Bracewell & Giuliani. "This is the largest transportation deal of 2007. This is one of only five deals in the country."


TX governor rapped for paving way for construction of Trans-Texas Corridor
One News Now ^ | August 24, 2007 | Chad Groening
FR Posted on 08/25/2007 4:51:06 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Texas Governor Rick Perry is being called to task by an author and investigative journalist for vetoing bills that would have blocked construction of the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor. Dr. Jerome Corsi has been one of the leading voices warning the American public about the consequences of the Trans-Texas Corridor, which will be part of a superhighway -- purported to be four football fields wide -- that will allow Mexican trucks to enter the U.S. and traverse the core of the country all the way to Canada.

The best-selling author asserts that Governor Perry cleared the way for construction to begin in his state when he vetoed several bills passed by the Legislature that would have stalled the project. "Governor Perry has been 100 percent gung-ho in building this road," says Corsi. "The Legislature voted a two-year moratorium, it voted a redefinition of eminent domain -- [and] Governor Perry vetoed them. [On] at least one of those measures, he waited until the Texas Legislature was out of session so it couldn't even override his veto."

Corsi says it is unfortunate that there has been political pressure to get the project started. "The Federal Highway Administration's lawyer wrote letters threatening the Texas Legislature to cut off federal highway funds if they got in the way of this Trans-Texas Corridor," he says.

Corsi believes the same pressure will be applied on other states, like Oklahoma, to go along with the project. He suggests that would mean a loss of more American jobs and could pose a threat to U.S. sovereignty.


In Mexico for trade talks, Perry blasts immigration policies
Houston Chronicle, Mexico City Bureau | Aug. 28, 2007 | DUDLEY ALTHAUS
Posted on 08/28/2007 5:35:20 PM PDT by Dubya

MEXICO CITY — Leading a large delegation of Texas executives trying to drum up business in Mexico, Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday criticized the U.S. Congress for failing to pass an immigration bill that would legalize millions of workers. "I don't think this is that difficult an issue if Congress would have the maturity to sit down and really discuss it and cut out all the mean rhetoric," Perry said during a break in the third day of meetings with Mexican officials and business executives. (Excerpt) Read more at ...


Gov Rick Perry does a Dixie Chick---he criticizes the US while in a foreign country. Is Perry collaborating with a foreign government to influence the policies of the US government on the issue of amnesty for illegals? Gov Perry endorsed Giuliani's candidacy-----does candidate Giuliani agree with collaborating with foreign governments to change US policies? We need rational leaders who understand the dimensions of the problem. Perry and Giuliani are not among this group.


Here's Rudy Giuliani and Rick Perry's idea of "border security."
Perry and Giuliani take US properties from taxpayers via eminent domain and gives them to foreign entities.



NASCO Members: United States: Texas Dept. of Transportation Iowa Department of Transportation State of Oklahoma Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Bell County, Texas Denton County, Texas Tarrant County, Texas Webb County, Texas Jackson County, Missouri City of Denton, Texas City of Ft. Worth, Texas City of Gainesville, Texas City of Kansas City, Missouri International Trade Institute of the Americas Free Trade Alliance San Antonio Port San Antonio United States - Mexico Chamber of Commerce Kansas City SmartPort The Ardmore Development Authority, City of Ardmore, Oklahoma Belton Economic Development Corporation The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization The Allen Group Hillwood - Alliance Texas The Ambassador Bridge Detroit/Windsor Crossing American Airlines Blackwood, Langworthy & Tyson, an established Kansas City law firm Cadre Technologies Franco Eleuteri & Associates EWI Risk Services, Inc. GrowthNet Trading, LLC International Bank of Commerce Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores PROTECT-US, Inc. Scrub Oak Technologies Strasburger & Price Law Firm Trans Am Group Yellow Roadway Corporation Worldwide The NAFTA Superhighway and Lockheed Martin (the only Pentagon defense contractor listed)

15 posted on 12/24/2007 6:29:08 AM PST by Liz (Rooty's not getting my guns or the name of my hairdresser.)
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To: All

Congress cuts funding for Mexican trucks (Duncan Hunter Stops Funding) | December 22, 2007 | Michael Howe
FR Posted on 12/22/2007 4:21:09 AM PST by Man50D

Congress has passed a bill that cuts funding for the controversial Mexican truck program, but lawmakers expect the Bush administration to keep the foreign vehicles rolling on American roads amid safety and security concerns. Joe Kasper, spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told WND that “without federal funding, it will be difficult to continue the program. However, we must expect that the administration will continue looking for ways to do so.”

The newly passed 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act prohibits the Department of Transportation from using the funds in it “to establish a cross-border motor carrier demonstration program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the international border between the United States and Mexico.” “In a Democratic-sponsored spending bill filled with rewards for special interests, this is actually one of the few beneficial provisions included in the bill,” Kasper said. He points out Bush is expected to sign the bill.

Congressman Hunter introduced the first bill in Congress to stop the program from moving forward and never relented in his effort to ensure the safety of our roadways and that American security would not be threatened by an inundation of foreign motor carriers,” Kasper said.

Ten Mexican carriers, with another 37 awaiting final approval, are now operating under the program. Four American carrier are allowed to drive on Mexican roads. Clayton Boyce, vice president of public affairs for the American Trucking Association said Congress “has clearly expressed its will on the issue, and we are waiting to see what the Department of Transportation’s next step will be.” “There are four U.S. trucking companies with 41 trucks in the cross-border program. If the demonstration program ends, there will be no U.S. trucks crossing the border,” Boyce explained.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

16 posted on 12/24/2007 6:35:32 AM PST by Liz (Rooty's not getting my guns or the name of my hairdresser.)
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