By Terri Hall l August 15, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Charles Krupa / AP Photo
Rick Perry may be good at invoking states rights and private property rights, while disavowing ‘foreign creditors, but his actions as Texas’ longest serving governor tell a different story. Public private partnerships (or P3s) are part and parcel of the UN’s global agenda.. Perry has made P3s a centerpiece of his transportation policy since becoming governor in December 2000, when then-Texas Governor George W. Bush stepped down after the presidential election.
It started with the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) known at the federal level as high priority corridors, corridors of the future, or the NAFTA superhighway. Just in Texas, it was to be a 4,000 mile multi-modal network of toll roads, rail lines, power transmission lines, pipelines, telecommunications lines and more. It was going to be financed, operated, and controlled by a foreign company from Spain called Cintra that was granted massive swaths of private land 1,200 feet (4 football fields) wide and taken forcibly through eminent domain.
Called the biggest land grab in Texas history, it was going to gobble up 580,000 acres of private Texas land (the first corridor alone was to displace 1 million Texans) and using P3s hand it over to well-connected global players using P3s, who would gain exclusive rights to determine the route and what hotels, restaurants, and gas stations were to be built along the corridor in a government-sanctioned monopoly for a half century and more. It was, by far, the worst case of eminent domain abuse for private gain ever conceived.
Property rights shredded
The Trans-Texas Corridor, and P3s in general, represent an imminent threat to private property rights. While lawmakers repealed the Trans-Texas Corridor from state statute only months ago due to the public backlash, the re-named corridor (Innovative Connectivity Plan) and its threat to property rights lives on through P3s. Two such projects underway by the Spanish infrastructure and toll road developer, Cintra, will charge Texans 75 cents per mile in tolls (nearly $13 a day, while Perry claims he hasn’t raised taxes or indebted Texans to foreign creditors) to access lanes on two public Interstates — I-635 and I-820. A third project being developed by the same company for two segments on SH 130 is, perhaps, the only leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor TTC-35 project that will ever be built, as originally envisioned.
While Perry distracted Texans and Tea Partiers with ‘emergency’ resolutions on state sovereignty during the 82nd legislature, P3s spread like wildfire from transportation projects to virtually every other type of public infrastructure in a bill, SB 1048, passed by the Texas legislature, which he signed into law June 17. Now, all public infrastructure, including public buildings, schools, nursing homes, ports, mass transit, etc. can be auctioned-off to private interests in long-term sweetheart deals, with taxpayer subsidies and profit guarantees using P3s.
P3s give a private corporation the power to “tax” the public, whether through charging tolls or other so-called ‘user fees,’ to access their own public infrastructure, and, perhaps more insidious, allowing well-connected private entities to profit from concessions on land taken through eminent domain.
Why shouldn’t the original landowner be able to profit from developing his/her land instead of having the government take it in the name of a “public use” and give it to another developer, one with government connections? Perry’s administration of P3s is like his administration of his Emerging Technology Fund that’s been highly criticized for steering taxpayer money to Perry’s campaign donors — a case in point, Dan Shelley.
Shelley worked for Cintra, which had its sites set on developing the Trans-Texas Corridor. Shelley lands a job as Perry’s aide, steers the $7 billion P3 corridor project to his former employer, Cintra, then goes back to work for Cintra. That’s how Perry does business – pay-to-play.
Texas “Open for Business”
While Perry is staking his presidential campaign on Texas being the top net jobs creator, Perry’s version of Texas being “Open for Business” isn’t about low taxes and less regulation, as much as it is about doing business with foreign companies, including selling off Texas’ sovereign land and public assets to foreign creditors, an issue which Perry’s first television ad uses to take aim at President Obama.
Aside from the P3s, Texas has 20 active deals going with the Red Chinese and has 32 foreign trade zones (FTZs), a vehicle to ease the flow of foreign goods into the United States that are chock full of tax breaks for importers. Perry’s office promoted these FTZs in a document entitled Foreign Trade Zones: Texas Wide Open for Business and even dedicates a web site for Texas FTZs, www.TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com.
A recent Washington Post article documents Perry’s work to get Chinese government-owned telecommunications company Huawei, to base its U.S. operations in Texas, a company that the U.S. government has deemed a threat to national security noting that “three times since 2008, a U.S. government security panel has blocked Huawei from acquiring or partnering with U.S. companies because of concerns that secrets could be leaked to China’s government or military.”
Perry’s coziness with the Chinese Communists and foreign investors exposes a huge weakness in his right flank — illegal immigration and open borders. The Trans-Texas Corridor has been linked to the global plan to economically integrate the three countries of North America, with the eventual goal of a common security perimeter modeled after the European Union. Perry ushered in in-state tuition for illegals and has long been an obstacle to immigration reform or any Arizona-style immigration law.
Perry’s record paints a much different picture than what candidate Perry would have us believe — that he’s a states rights, constitutionally limited government conservative that’s responsible for the “Texas miracle.” In reality, he’s more like a globalist willing to sell America to the highest bidder.
Terri Hall is the founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), which defends against eminent domain abuse and promotes non-toll transportation solutions. She’s a home school mother of eight turned citizen activist. Ms. Hall is also a contributor to