Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) Primary Election Good Guy / Bad Guy Report Card

By Terri Hall - TURF - Feb. 18, 2008
Early Voting February 19-29
Primary Election Day: March 4

We based our Good Guy / Bad Guy List upon who voted FOR and AGAINST the Governor’s counterfeit private toll moratorium bill, SB 792. It not only didn’t stop the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC-69 was taken out of the moratorium in SB 792), it unleashed “market valuation” where the government now looks at a toll road the way a private toll operator does, which is seeing how much money they can make off the road. All traditional turnpikes have now been replaced with a market-based model.

Market-based tolls determine the highest possible toll “the market can bear.” Market-based tolls do not determine the toll rate based on the actual cost of construction, maintenance, and debt retirement but rather on how much profit the government can make off a given roadway. This method of tolling allows the government to siphon money from motorists on one road segment to pay for other road segments.

This method of tolling is to maximize revenue and gouge motorists with unnecessarily high toll taxation. It’s also a way to cut loose the controversial privatization model and replace it with a public one that essentially does the same thing under a different name. Market-based tolls are a way for the Governor to create a cash cow to fund the segments of the Trans Texas Corridor that aren’t toll viable.

Find out where every candidate stands on the issues of toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor before you vote. Press them on specifics, don't let them just tell you they're opposed. How are they going to stop the Trans Texas Corridor and how will they give the taxpayers veto power (like a public vote on ALL toll projects) and rein-in the mess at TxDOT? The time for tough talk and no action is over!

Exceptional Good Guys

Rep. Garnet Coleman, Dist 147 (Houston) (has primary opponent)
Rep. David Leibowitz, Dist 117 (San Antonio) (has General Election opponent in the fall)
Rep. Nathan Macias, Dist 73 (Hill Country north of San Antonio) (has both primary and general election opponents)
Rep. Ken Paxton, Dist 70 (North TX, Collin County) (no opponent)

Good Guys - Good Guys with both primary and general election opponents
Jessica Farrar, Dist 148 (Harris County)

Good Guys with General Election opponents –
Good Guys with General Election opponents –
Lon Burnam, Dist 90 (Tarrant County)
Ana Hernandez , Dist 143 (Harris County)
Joe Farias, Dist 118 (San Antonio)
Stephen Frost, Dist 1 (Northeast TX)
Sid Miller, Dist 59 (Stephenville area)
Senfronia Thompson, Dist 141 (Harris County)

Good Guys Running unopposed –
Joaquin Castro, Dist 125 (San Antonio)
Jodie Laubenberg, Dist 89 (North TX, Collin County)
Trey Martinez Fischer, Dist (San Antonio)
Ruth McClendon, Dist (San Antonio)
Joe Straus, Dist (San Antonio)
Marc Veasey, Dist 95 (Tarrant County)
Mike Villarreal, Dist (San Antonio)

Mixed Bag
Rep. Joe Pickett (voted for SB 792, but fights for accountability at TxDOT, insists toll roads more expensive than free roads, outspoken critic of TxDOT) (no opponent)

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (voted for SB 792, but pushed the people’s moratorium bill, HB 1892, against TTC but says she’s not against toll roads) (no opponent)

Sen. Glen Hegar (voted for SB 792, but fights for accountability at TxDOT and sits on the Sunset Advisory Committee) (not up for re-election)

Sen. Robert Nichols (voted for SB 792, but authored and pushed the people’s moratorium bill, HB 1892; opposes tolls on existing roads, but for some toll roads) (not up for re-election)

Sen. Dan Patrick (he voted for SB 792 and is generally for toll roads, but he called for Dewhurst to investigate TxDOT’s misuse of taxpayer money for an ad campaign and illegal lobbying with a study committee that will report back to the Senate) (not up for re-election)

Bad Guys
- Every Senator voted for market-based tolls and the Governor’s counterfeit moratorium bill, SB 792
- Every State Rep voted for market-based tolls and the Governor’s counterfeit moratorium bill, SB 792, except for 19. Those still holding or running for office are listed above.

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