Articles by Terri Hall

Texas Revolt Over Cibolo Private Toll Road Reveals Bridge to NAFTA Trade

Much of the U.S. portion of the NAFTA Superhighway, consisting of intercontinental infrastructure connecting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, is already built, quietly financed by successive congressional appropriations over the years and there is no doubt the establishment is anxious … Continue reading

Posted in Globalization, News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Toll Roads, Tolling, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Ranchers Score Victory for Private Property Rights

Most landowners simply cannot continue a protracted legal fight to defend their private property rights, especially against the government – even a powerful state government agency. Through an amazing turn of events, the Grahams have. All Texans will have them … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights , , , | |

Secret Agreement Handed Private Toll Firm Control of Texas Public Roads

While the politicians argued that eminent domain would only be used as a last resort, that’s just the club the Texas Turnpike Corporation’s CEO John Crew needs to beat landowners into submission to sign over their land in so-called negotiated … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Issues , , , , , , , , | |

Texans Reject Editorial Stating, ‘Tolls are Necessary, Deal with It’

Taxpayers should not stand for targeted, discriminatory toll taxes to be imposed against their will. This problem certainly isn’t unique to Texas. With the installation of public-private partnership (P3) guru and former government affairs official for Macquarie Capital, David Gribbin, as … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Issues , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Demographic Wake-up Call: Conservatism Must Spread to Hispanics or Texas Could Turn Blue

While demographers claim Texas conservatives face a battle royal for the political future of the state, the GOP can be not only competitive but winners on issues important to many Hispanic voters. So, the sky is the limit, if Republicans … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, News and Analysis , , , , , | |

Texas Lawmakers Eye Rolling Back Laws that Make You a Criminal for Daily Living

Americans are a bunch of criminals. That’s a true statement when you look at the sheer volume of laws on the books. Whether it’s the arcane tax code or litany of violations for simply going about your daily life, Americans … Continue reading

Posted in Liberty and Freedom, News and Analysis, Uncategorized , , , | |

Will Texas Welcome Back Uber?

Local and state governments spar as Texas state lawmakers seek to tamp overreach By Terri Hall l February 1, 2017 One thing is clear — Texas state lawmakers are none too happy that cities like Austin have interfered with Texas … Continue reading

Posted in Liberty and Freedom, News and Analysis, Transportation Issues , , , , , , , | |

Austin Mayor Colluded with Obama to Accept Refugees Despite Governor Halting Program

The Obama administration is doing its level best to turn Texas blue on his way out of office, despite the governor’s withdrawal from the program and the incoming administration’s strong stance against illegal immigration, unvetted refugee resettlement, and non-citizen threats … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Refugee Policy, United Nations Refugee Resettlement , , , , , , | |

A Call to Move Away from Urban Density and Bring “Human Factor” Back to Cities

What is a city for? That’s the central question Joel Kotkin answers in his book, The Human City – Urbanism for the Rest of Us. Today’s urban planners have all but destroyed what once constituted a great place to live. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Report: TxDOT not ready to handle influx of new road funds

Texans deserve better than they’ve been getting for their multi-billion dollar investments in TxDOT. The legislature and Sunset must engage in constant oversight and a shorter review timeframe. While some progress has been made, TxDOT has a long way to … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation , , , , | |

Trump take heed: Toll roads a factor in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas elections

Trump’s anti-free trade message resonated because it hurt the American worker. Tolls likewise, hurt the American working class — and hard. Considering these three must-win states for a Republican president just tossed incumbents over toll projects, we trust Mr. Trump … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation , , , , , | |

McAuliffe to increase pain for solo drivers thru I-66 toll plan

Increasing taxes and increasing the cost to transport people and goods hurts the economy, not helps it. Charging motorists a premium to get to work will only encourage drivers to avoid the roadway to seek a free route. After 40 years of HOV social engineering and trying to manipulate drivers into ditching their cars to use transit, it has been a colossal failure. So, the policy intentionally inflicts economic pain on drivers through tolls in order to use that money to benefit those who are traveling in politically correct modes of travel. The government picks the winners and losers. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation , , , , , | |

Former Clinton HUD Secretary Calls for More Tolls and Federal Gas Tax Index

Neither public-private partnerships (P3s) nor Interstate tolling must ever be imposed on American roads. The reason Eisenhower’s Interstate highways were an economic boon to America was the ease of connectivity and the natural economic development that occurred alongside them such … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Tolling, Transportation Issues , , , , , | |

Sparks fly as Texas senators discover numerous toll roads with no debt, prompts call to remove tolls

Many Texans are paying upwards of $300 a month in tolls just to drive to work. Since the privatized toll road projects opened, one has gone bankrupt, SH 130 (segments 5 & 6), and two in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex use dynamic or ‘congestion pricing’ (where the toll is based on the level of congestion) to soak the traveling public, charging up to $50 a day in tolls. Over a dozen Texas toll road projects were built with state and federal funds, no debt is owed, and yet officials charge tolls simply to profit off of congestion and use it as a means to control people and traffic. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Lone Star Rail Now Hitched to I-35 Toll Lane Debacle

If TxDOT magically pulls a rabbit out of its hat to have room at-grade for these tracks, not only were they misleading the public last year at the hearing, they’d be taking up the most valuable real estate in Texas and eliminating any hope of expanding general purpose lanes in the future, because now you’d either have to condemn billions in rail or billions in private commercial property in order to do it Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas’ first foreign-owned toll road handed to creditors

The best solution moving forward is to build freeways not tollways and to ensure that taxpayers get these bankrupt projects back in the hands of the public. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Refugee Overload: Creating ‘Ghettos’ in Rural Texas

When ‘pockets of resistance’ arise in these rural towns, the federal government dispatches yet more contractors who produce propaganda films and entire assimilation public relations programs to force compliance, if not silence in communities that resist. Meanwhile, states like Texas, … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, Constitution, Immigration & Border Security, News and Analysis, Sovereignty, United Nations , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Tsunami of goods from Panama Canal expansion to strain Texas roads

How much more will we be asked to shell out to handle the influx of Chinese goods coming through Texas and the United States? The global corporations always find a way to make the taxpayer foot the bill for them, so taxpayers beware. Continue reading

Posted in China, News and Analysis, Trade & Economics, Transportation, Uncategorized , , , , , | |

Expansion of Anti-Motorist Laws Criminalize You for Daily Living

Whether its navigation apps, weather warnings, alerts about road closures and alternate routes, or a host of other pertinent information, cell phone companies catered to the motorist and made us dependent on our phones for vital information, while at the same time big government reaches its heavy hand into our vehicles to penalize us for using them. Not all essential functions can be done hands-free, so no matter how you slice it, such bans curtail your liberty and give government another means to criminalize you for going about your life. Thank you big government. America is officially a nanny state and most motorists don’t have a prayer of complying. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Failure of transit programs prompts renewed call to end federal gas tax diversions

Federal Highway Administration reports a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled in 2015. Yet, 28% of federal surface transportation funds (which primarily originate from federal gasoline taxes) are diverted from highways to public transit. It’s high time this raid of road funds ends. If local cities want mass transit, they should pay for it with local taxes, not raid federal road dollars to waste on transit systems with little to no riders. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Austin Voters Give Uber the Boot

Austin advocates of sustainable development policies advancing an anti-car agenda have systematically put up barriers to auto travel and elevated politically correct modes of travel like mass transit, walking and biking. They’ve removed 1,000 parking spaces from downtown Austin to make way for wider sidewalks, and they’ve converted lanes open to all cars into restricted bike and bus lanes. Now Austin is known for its aggressive cyclists, wasteful and scandal-ridden Metro system and congestion rather than an economic powerhouse and freedom-loving Texas city. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Political Correctness, Transportation , , , , , , , , , | |

NAFTA Raises Its Ugly Head: Mexico Set to Dump Toxic Oil Field Waste into Texas

The Mexican customs office within the KC SmartPort is considered sovereign Mexican territory within the United States’ borders. The port was established to boost international trade by moving cargo and customs inspections into what are known as Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) with tremendous tax and duty benefits that domestic companies do not enjoy. Inland ports facilitate the further economic integration of the U.S. with Canada and Mexico. KC SmartPort boasts its rail lines are part of the NAFTA superhighway for freight movement. Continue reading

Posted in Immigration & Border Security, News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Attorney General Intervenes in Red River Land Dispute with the Feds

What’s at stake is the very sovereignty of the State of Texas itself. Without the ability to have its boundaries recognized and protected, the state cannot exist for long since there’s no telling where and when the encroachment will end if the BLM is allowed such a land grab of a state’s sovereign boundaries. Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Sovereignty, Uncategorized , , , , , , , | |

Spain-based Cintra’s SH-130 Toll Road, First and Only Leg of Trans-Texas Corridor, Goes Bankrupt

When it opened back in 2012, SH 130 had long been the poster child of Rick Perry’s failed toll road policies. At one point, the state-operated part of the tollway was so empty a distressed plane landed on it during peak hours. Lawmakers saddled Texas taxpayers with billions in debt and they hid it from the normal, open, public budgetary process. In other words, Texas lawmakers have balanced the budget, in part, because they have issued billions of taxpayer backed subsidies for private toll road companies, while hiding the costs from taxpayers and increasing costs and risks for taxpayers in the long term. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

Pitfalls to Abbott’s Call for Convention of States

Republican politicians have made repeated promises to restrain federal power through appointing justices who ‘will not legislate from the bench,’ or by passing laws to restrict federal power or rein in the president, but such efforts always fall flat. Rather than further more empty promises or place false hope in a long, arduous process like convention of States that has little chance of achieving the exact amendments desired, conservatives can and must seek an alternative that can work. Considering the public’s outpouring of discontent with Congress and the many challengers to sitting incumbents, the opportunity to pass legislation restraining the courts is ripe for the picking. Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, News and Analysis , , , , , , , | |

Funds Yanked: Congress Puts Brakes on Civil Asset Forfeiture

Conservative think tanks are stepping up their efforts to educate the public about the abuses of civil asset forfeiture and demand lawmakers fight to protect Americans’ fundamental rights from wrongful seizure. The presumption of innocence seems nowhere to be found, when it comes to civil asset forfeiture. The modern use of civil asset forfeiture is rife with abuse and fraught with violations of citizens’ fourth amendment constitutional rights. The recent congressional action to defund the federal program only lasts through 2016, so expect both sides to be ready for battle in 2017. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights , , , , | |

Congress quietly moves NAFTA superhighway corridors forward in FAST Act

Such NAFTA international trade has all but destroyed the American manufacturing base, it threatens U.S. jobs and has contributed to stagnant wages since its inception in 1992. So the funding and expansion of the NAFTA trade corridors coupled with the porous southern border create another source of angst for American voters as they weigh the current presidential contenders. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

IRS Gains Power to Revoke Passports for Failure to Pay Taxes

The recently passed federal highway bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act, creates a new section of the U.S. tax code, 7345, entitled, “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies.” No matter how you look at the two IRS power grabs, it spells trouble for the taxpayer. Whether you’ll become a prisoner in your own country by being denied a passport, or harassed by unethical and ruthless IRS sanctioned private debt collectors to settle an alleged tax debt, the Republican leadership in Congress delivered this anti-liberty, big government reality to your doorstep after voters gave them the keys to the Capitol to do just the opposite. Continue reading

Posted in FreedomTax, News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Congress Passes Highway Bill, Continues to Divert Money Away From Roads

The Highway Trust Fund is supposed to be a dedicated fund to highways only, but with the continued diversion of road funds for non-road purposes and Congress’ penchant for raiding other parts of the federal budget to shore-up the trust fund, even passage of this 5-year alleged highway bill leaves little to celebrate for either taxpayers or transportation special interests. With so many goodies and discretionary programs, it was hard for members of Congress to resist approving the bill, despite the lack of sustainable funding or the albatross of the Ex-Im Bank. But Republicans in particular face a backlash for support of the bill after failing to live up to its promises for reform and ending the crony capitalist stranglehold on Washington D.C. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Faces Drivers Tolling Backlash

Many drivers are confused about the term ‘managed lane.’ It can mean a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) component, a bus or transit lane element, restricted access during certain hours, and most often, a toll required in order for single occupancy vehicles to access the lane. Bottom line, managed lanes are designed to restrict access to the lanes based on some arbitrary criteria of government planners attempting to ‘manage’ your commute. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Obama’s Transportation Policy Guided by United Nations Agenda 21 Program

So, with this bureaucratic interference, there must be some other agenda at play if the government is willfully steering road taxes from efficient road capacity improvements to inefficient non-road uses. Some call it ‘new urbanism,’ others call it ‘sustainable development’ or ‘Smart Growth,’ but the blueprint that spawned it all was the United Nations Agenda 21 program. Agenda 21’s stated goal is to change people’s behavior through restrictions in land use, by herding people into dense inner-city housing, and restricting mobility to force Americans out of their cars and into government-controlled mass transit systems. It’s an assault on our freedom to travel and individual liberty. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Transportation, United Nations , , , , , , , | |

Texas Lawmakers Tap Existing Sales Taxes to Fund Roads: Prop 7 could Eliminate Toll Roads

Both federal and state lawmakers are discovering tolls are just as unpopular as a gas tax hike and that they’re far more expensive for taxpayers than a gas tax funded highway system. The U.S. Senate tried to expand interstate tolling in its draft of the federal highway bill only to have it slapped down by a coalition of anti-toll groups, with Alliance for Toll-free Interstates leading the charge. The U.S. House is contemplating the same expansion and is running afoul of the same angry taxpayers. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , | |

Michael Morris: The Big Government, Unelected Bureaucrat Behind Texas Toll Road Expansion

Abbott can change the tide very quickly with his new chairman and commissioner at the Texas Transportation Commission. Frankly, short of the RTC firing Morris, DFW residents have few options to stop his march to impose the largest managed toll lane network in the country. State lawmakers continue to be ignored by Morris. In fact, he works against elected officials’ efforts to represent their constituents’ opposition to new toll taxes. Residents do not get to choose who represents them on the RTC, and the board is so big, 44 members, it’s hard for residents in one corridor to sway the votes of the other 43 members to stop tolls. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , | |

Waters of the State: Texas-Federal Government Equally Disrespect Private Property Rights

Wrongful confiscation of private property is an abuse of our fundamental rights to private property, regardless of whether it’s taken by federal or state government, or even worse, by a private developer exploiting state government power. Without the protection of property rights, there is no true economic prosperity. Our founders knew it, which is why they fought and died to protect it. Americans shouldn’t have to undergo another revolution to preserve it. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights , , , , , | |

Caught Between the Highway Trust Fund and the Export-Import Bank

The biggest supporters of the Export-Import Bank are the Obama administration, the Republican Leadership in Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner support Obama on two critical issues the conservative grassroots strongly oppose – Trade Promotion Authority and the Ex-Im Bank. But the American people don’t want more crony capitalism. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Trade Promotion Authority Threatens U.S. Sovereignty, Jobs

Once again, Republicans caved to the will of a rogue, progressive president. To put the Republicans betrayal of the American people in context, Sessions notes, “The request for fast-track also comes at a time when the Administration has established a recurring pattern of sidestepping the law, the Congress, and the Constitution in order to repeal sovereign protections for U.S. workers in deference to favored financial and political allies.” – Senator Jeff Sessions Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Trade & Economics , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Toll Roads, High Speed Rail and Private Property Rights

The Texas economy, called the ‘Texas miracle’ by politicians’ PR machine, cannot continue when many commuters are now facing $200-$400 monthly toll bills. The cost is so punitive, most Texans are being priced off the toll roads, which means they’re stuck in gridlock with longer and longer commutes, diminishing quality of life, and inhibiting the freedom of travel and the efficient movement of people and goods. Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Presidential Campaign, News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , | |

Texas Tracks Drivers To Data Mine Without Their Consent

The revelation that a consultant hired by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) used a Bluetooth reader to secretly collect trip origination and destination data from unsuspecting travelers didn’t come to light in time for a bill to be filed in the Texas legislature that concluded its 84th session on June 1. But look for legislation at the earliest opportunity to protect Texans from such an infringement of their individual rights. In the meantime, the citizen groups insist TxDOT should voluntarily cease and desist. Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , | |

Texas Style Public Transportation: Imposing Bus-Toll Lane Network on Every Freeway

The people of Texas overwhelmingly elected a new Governor who campaigned on the promise to fix Texas roads without raising taxes, fees, or tolls. The Lt. Governor also campaigned on reducing the reliance on tolls. So this AAMPO plan to impose bus-toll lanes across every freeway in San Antonio is NOT what the taxpayers voted for. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , | |

Anti-Toll Movement in Texas Comes Under Attack

Tolling existing free lanes should be off the table in the Lone Star State that claims to be the beacon of freedom and boasts of a low tax burden. Tolling the main lanes of a highway and downgrading the free option to frontage roads is highway robbery and a means to force drivers to pay tolls to get anywhere. Texas taxpayers are adamant that this abuse come to an end. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Rick Perry’s Toll Road Legacy

In 2007, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was successful in passing rushed legislation to make the traffic forecasts for toll roads secret from the public. The public outcry against public-private partnerships had hit a feverish pitch and a moratorium on the controversial contracts that privatize public highways in sweetheart deals for 50 years sailed through the legislature. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas High Speed Rail Collides with Private Property Rights

Texas Rail Advocates and two student leaders from Sam Houston University favor the project and spoke against the bill. Even when reminded that this bill only addresses the use of eminent domain by a private company and wasn’t a general prohibition on high speed rail, opponents maintained their position. Texas Central Railway (TCR) acknowledged that without eminent domain, it could deep six the project. TCR could still seek eminent domain authority from the federal government, but Senator Lois Kolkhorst was adamant that the State of Texas, where property rights are held… Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Hill Country Landowners Prevail Over Developer in Property Rights Court Case, Face Legislative Battle

The Grahams have fought back by filing a motion to dissolve the Johnson Ranch Municipal Utility District (JRMUD) on the grounds it does not nor has ever had any legally serving directors and that it is not fulfilling the function for which it was created – to protect the natural resources of the State of Texas. The family contends the JRMUD is nothing more than the alter ego of the Johnson Ranch developer, David Hill Johnson Brothers (DHJB), that’s being used to drain the Grahams dry with endless legal fees, using the power of government to do it.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis , , , , | |

Grassroots Texans Lead Toll Road Rebellion

Anti-toll advocates seem to have the momentum as both Governor Greg Abbott and the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick campaigned on many of these reforms. But taking nothing for granted, the ‘Toll-free Texas’ grassroots coalition sacrificed their time and dime to come to the Capitol anyway, realizing toll entities, local governments, and transportation boards want the status quo and will lobby hard to water-down and defeat needed reforms.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

California Style ‘Complete Streets’ Coming to Texas Cities: Policy is a Congestion Nightmare

While Texans are busy living their lives and contributing to one of the world’s largest economies, planners, bureaucrats, social engineers, and the rubber stamp MPO boards, supposedly run by elected officials, are busy trying their level best to screw it up…

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , | |

Texas Governor Abbott’s “State of the State” speech promises adequate road funds without tolls

Texas voters recognize the shell game and now consider tolls a tax, which has become the most expensive way to fund roads, and they’re holding their elected officials accountable for the runaway taxation placed in the hands of these unelected commissions and toll authorities.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , | |

So Long Sovereignty, Hello Open Borders – EU Style

There hasn’t been much public discourse about the possible merger of America with Canada and Mexico into a European Union-style North American Union (NAU) since 2007. But Diane Francis’ book Merger of the Century, Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, revives and modifies the original NAU idea into a Canadian-American merger, cutting Mexico out of the equation.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Texas Proposition 1 road funding ballot measure raises doubts, as oil production drops

The euphoria lawmakers felt last year after placing a Constitutional amendment on the ballot for Texas voters to decide if they wanted to raid half of the state’s oil and gas severance tax on new oil wells and divert those revenues to the State Highway Fund, without ending existing diversions of the gasoline tax…

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , | |

San Antonio, Texas MPO adopts more toll roads despite Prop 1 promise and pushes Agenda 21 ‘complete streets’

The betrayal taxpayers feel kicked into high gear when the AAMPO voted to add yet more toll roads to the plan instead of turning toll lanes on existing major corridors back into free lanes as promised.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , | |

Invoking Reagan: Lawmakers push 15 cent gasoline tax hike in lame-duck session

Something smells fishy when two Democrats gleefully stand in front of a photo of Ronald Reagan to invoke a 15 cent per gallon hike in the federal gasoline tax (currently at 18.4 cents a gallon). The bill, HR 3636, was introduced last year by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, but it apparently hasn’t gotten much traction. So he and other supporters, Sen. Tom Carper (D- Delaware) and Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin, whose term is up in January) held a press conference to bring attention to the proposal – this time using Reagan for political cover. Blumenauer filed the bill last year on the exact date – December 3, 2013 and held a press conference, this time with Reagan ‘behind’ him, pushing the tax hike again on December 3, 2014.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

Texas State Rep. Kolkhorst asks for AG legal opinion on use of gas tax revenue to subsidize more toll roads – seeks clarity over Prop 15

As voters overwhelmingly embrace a move away from toll roads with the election of anti-toll Greg Abbott as the new Texas Governor there remains an open question about whether or not the voters approved the use of the state gasoline tax, and any other money available to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), for toll roads when they approved Proposition 15 back in 2001. Some state leaders believe the voters approved the use of gas taxes to build toll roads with passage of Prop 15, but the ballot language never mentions a word about gas taxes nor all funds available to TxDOT being used for toll roads – which constitute a double tax.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Anti-toll candidates sweep key races in Texas

Abbott will get two new appointees to the Transportation Commission right out of the gate in February. Together with the current Commissioner, Victor Vandergriff, who’s been an outspoken critic of the agency’s practices and ill-conceived toll projects, Abbott will have a majority…

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Agenda 21: Anti-car bond initiative in San Francisco punishes motorists

We all know San Francisco, California is a liberal, progressive city. So its proposed $500 million ‘Transportation and road improvement’ bond measure on the ballot November 4 isn’t a surprise to most politicos. However, the lack of a single road capacity improvement leaves 81% of San Francisco commuters that rely on cars to get around out in the cold. A total of 10% of commuters walk and only 3% ride a bike to work, and though those numbers exceed the national average, it still shows that even liberals prefer the convenience of the personal automobile.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation, United Nations , , , , , , , , | |

The Generational Loss of American Values

It’s important to understand this new generation of Americans known for their non-American label in John Zogby’s book, First Globals. Born between 1979-1994, today’s college students and young professionals, this 72 million strong age cohort (the biggest since the baby boomers), also known as millennials, thinks of themselves as global citizens, not American citizens. To those of us with strong national identity and a deeply rooted belief in American exceptionalism, this lack of shared values by today’s young millennials is disturbing.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, News and Analysis | |

Super Tuesday Residents Blitz Texas City Council Meetings to Oppose Blacklands Tollway

Opposition to the controversial private Blacklands-Northeast Gateway Toll Road from Garland to Greenville east of Dallas kicked into high gear last week when concerned citizens did a full court press to pressure remaining cities and counties to pass resolutions opposing the toll road. Seven cities had already passed resolutions prior to Tuesday. Those cities include Fate, Josephine, Lavon, Nevada, Rockwall, Sasche, and Wylie. The Rockwall County Democratic Party also passed a resolution opposing the tollway.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Race for Governor Sees Both Candidates Taking Anti-Toll Road Stands

Texas gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis claimed to be against more toll roads at their last debate. Perhaps the recent research conducted by Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) that shows Texans do not want anymore tolls made the decision to be anti-toll a little easier. What’s shocking, however, is that Wendy Davis thinks she can get away with it.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation , , , , | |

Proposed Blacklands Tollway Near Dallas, Texas Fuels Public Distrust

The people have spoken and their will is clear – they do NOT want the proposed private Blackland Tollway-Northeast Gateway Corridor through Rockwall to Greenville counties in east Dallas. A record capacity crowd of nearly 1,500 showed up to get their opposition to the controversial toll project on the record. Landowners and concerned citizens voiced their opinions to the Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) at a public meeting held in Rockwall that lasted until after midnight.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Perry’s indictment called ‘suspect,’ yet he ignored a crony’s drunk driving arrest

The Democrat-controlled Travis County District Attorney’s Office has been called into question before for its highly political case brought against Republican Congressman Tom Delay for allegedly using corporate money to influence elections. He was convicted in Travis County but it was later overturned by an appellate court.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , | |

Conservatives introduce “TEA” highway bill that scraps federal program, but pushes tolls, P3s, & transit boondoggles

While Graves, Lee and Rubio may believe they’re offloading their federal gas tax revenue problem to the states, in reality, they’re seeking to compound the problem 50-fold; the states aren’t any better than the feds on transportation funding. We should not be encouraging more tolling of any kind, whether at the federal or state level. Tolls are a tax. The principle of “pay-as-you-go”…

Continue reading

Posted in Homepage Column Two Row Three, News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Railroad Commission seeks to close eminent domain loophole, but critics say rule too vague

Ultimately, it’s crucial that the state has some mechanism in place to review whether or not private pipeline companies meet the legal requirements as a common carrier public use pipeline prior to eminent domain authority being conferred.

Continue reading

Posted in Energy Security, News and Analysis, Private Property Rights , , , , , | |

Houston toll agency surrenders control to TxDOT

An out of control Texas Department of Transportation has discovered how to self-fund its agency with unlimited taxation through tolls. Texas taxpayers have had little luck controlling TxDOT and its lust for toll roads, so this notion that handing TxDOT control will mean more free highway lanes just won’t materialize.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Abbott promises to fix Texas roads without tolls

That about sums up both the political and literal reality for Texans in most metropolitan areas of the state. Neither Congress nor the Texas legislature have addressed the structural road funding shortfall for the last decade, both turning to toll roads and massive debt financing to kick the can down the road. But Texas is now facing a fiscal cliff – it leads the country in road debt and it’s maxed out its proverbial credit card. The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) says it needs $4 billion more per year just to keep pace with congestion. Even worse, its $10 billion annual budget will experience an additional gaping $2-3 billion hole in 2015 as the borrowing that’s been propping up its budget disappears.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Tea Party Victories in Texas Elections Support Anti-toll Movement

Under Dewhurst’s leadership, Texans experienced a massive shift away from an affordable gas- tax-funded freeway system to a reliance on tolling. The Perry-Dewhurst regime brought us the Trans-Texas Corridor, quick-take eminent domain, tolling existing freeways, handing our public roads to private toll corporations who charge Texans 95 cents a mile to drive, and using gas taxes and a host of public money to subsidize and guarantee the loans on toll roads. They took Texas from zero debt for roads to now the highest road debt in the nation at $31 billion.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas House to end 80-yr raid of gas taxes

Stop using road money (paid for by motorists) for transit, rail, and bike paths that motorists don’t use. That goes for diverting both federal and state gas tax revenues. The Texas Mobility Fund is being used to build street cars, toll roads, and dredge our ports, when it should be used to fix our freeways and keep them toll-free. Adopting a transportation policy of ‘pay-as-you-go’ would be more fiscally responsible.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Obama Seeks to Lift Ban on Tolling Existing Interstate Highways

Tolling existing Interstates is inefficient, causes traffic diversion, and increases supply chain costs that hurt businesses and consumers. Transportation infrastructure needs improvements, but of all the ways to fund them, tolling existing interstates is the worst. ATFI spokesman, Miles Morin

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , | |

Feds threaten to take 90,000 acres along Texas-Oklahoma border

‘Come and Take It’ has been the cry of Texans for generations since the battle at Gonzales in 1835 when the Mexican army tried to retrieve its cannon from defiant Texans, and the recent interest by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to take over 90,000 acres of private Texas land along the Red River has stirred the battle cry once again.

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

EPA-style state regulatory taking benefits private developer in Texas Hill Country

Terrell Graham and his wife’s family have owned their ranch in the Texas Hill Country for over 100 years. It’s remained a working farm and cattle ranch, and now Texas state government is stealing their land so private developers can discharge treated sewage from 1,500 new homes into the Lux family’s dry creek bed.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, United Nations , , , , , , , , , | |

Cavuto decries government waste, challenges Congressman to admit where all the gas tax revenues have gone

Tired of your road taxes disappearing? So is Neil Cavuto, with the Fox Business Network who hosts his own daily show where he recently unleashed his frustration on U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) over the congressman’s proposal to hike the federal gas tax by 15 cents. The current federal gas tax is 18.4 per gallon, which has remained unchanged since 1993. Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Foreign-owned toll road opens in Dallas

The first foreign-operated toll lanes became fully operational in Dallas over the weekend. Interstate 635, known as the LBJ, opened the first 3-mile stretch of the public-private partnership toll project to the public on Saturday. The expensive price tag won’t hit commuters immediately, since it opened at a big discount for the first six months as drivers get used to the variable pricing. To use the 3.5-miles of phase one, it will cost anywhere from 15 cents up to 95 cents, depending on time of day. However, the regular toll rates will cost between 10 cents PER MILE up to 75 PER MILE in peak hours. Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Confiscate all private property

You cannot divorce people from the land, for when you do, it reaps widespread social and economic devastation. This conclusion, drawn by a range of specialists, sums up the consequences wrought by the destructive policies of the green movement detailed in Elizabeth Nickson’s book, Eco-Fascists – How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our Natural Heritage. After reading Nickson’s book, one can’t help but conclude that environmentalists are deliberately, systematically destroying property rights and rural communities across North America by promoting and mandating the destruction of the very environment they claim to be saving.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Toll tyranny and social engineering in local transportation policy

San Antonio’s proposal smacks of the European-style congestion tax imposed on downtown London, Stockholm and Milan, which carries serious implications for environmentally targeted cities all across America. Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation, United Nations , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Taxes and more taxes: Big-money lobbyists sponsor transportation summit

Transportation industry professionals gathered in Washington D.C. on November 21 at a summit called Infrastructure of the Future—Sustainable Pathways to Meet America’s Transportation Challenges sponsored by two big-money lobbyists, the American Highway Users Alliance and the Volvo Group. Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Not toll viable: San Antonio tea party senator betrays grassroots

Citizens have no legal recourse to stop the vehicle registration fee money from being used to build toll roads since the law Senator Donna Campbell crafted has no prohibition on the money being used to fund toll projects. There’s also … Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

TxDOT proposes elevated toll lanes over Interstate Highway 35

When a local San Antonio TV reporter goes on a rant over a toll lane proposal, you know the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has hit a nerve. TxDOT is proposing to add two elevated toll lanes on Interstate 35 each direction from Loop 410 in Bexar County to Schertz in Comal County, approximately 15 miles.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas downgrades foreign-owned toll road to junk bond status

Hate to say it, but we told you so.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Protecting rural Texans’ water or feeding urban developers’ pet projects?

Have you ever had a kid ask for seconds during a meal before he’s even finished what’s on his plate? Well, that’s what the Texas legislature is asking of voters on November 5. Lawmakers want Texans to pass a constitutional amendment, Proposition 6, to approve more funding for water projects. A similar measure narrowly passed in November 2011 for a $6 billion revolving fund to loan money to local government entities for water infrastructure, outside constitutional debt limitations.

Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas: Downgrading paved roads to gravel and planning license plate surveillance cameras

It’s dog eat dog as the fight over scarce road money gets uglier in Texas. At a recent Senate Select Committee on Transportation Funding hearing, the Senate Transportation Committee Chair Robert Nichols took issue with DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler’s comments that urban areas of the state are ‘pillaging’ road funds he believes are largely being provided by rural areas where the oil shale boom has swelled the state’s coffers of oil and gas severance taxes to windfall levels.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , | |

RFID Spy Chips: Toll Tags & Tracking Drivers

Radio Frequency (RFID) readers are not limited to toll roads. One driver tweaked his toll tag to make a sound go off every time it’s detected and picked-up by an RFID reader. He discovered it went off all over the … Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Freedom of Mobility

“Little else has given common man access to landscape, mobility, and commerce, as interstates,” observes Tom Lewis is his book Divided Highways, Building Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life. Americans have always prized their freedom, and freedom of mobility is no different. It took forty years to build the interstate highway system, not thirteen years as the Federal-Aid Highway Act originally intended when it was signed by President Eisenhower in 1956. But few national programs have transformed the American way of life so positively as the interstate highway system.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Reagan Democrats, Texas and Globalization

Since Barack Obama won a second term, much has been said about how the GOP needs to reach out to a broader group and be more tolerant in order to win another national election. In Texas, all eyes are on Democrat Senator Wendy Davis to see whether she will formally throw her hat in the ring to run for Texas Governor later this month. She’s energized her party over her high-profile filibuster of a bill to restrict abortion that won her national attention and made her an instant household name in the Lone Star State. Politicos have been pondering whether Texas will turn blue ever since.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations wrap up in Brunei

With President Barack Obama’s popularity at home and overseas suffering, there’s yet another area of policy where his influence is diminishing: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a key part of his globalist free trade agenda. World leaders from 12 countries wrapped up a week of negotiations in the Sharia-Islamic Southeast Asian country of Brunei on August 23 and will meet again later this month in the United States. The TPP represents the largest free trade agreement in U.S. history.

Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, Trade & Economics , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Lawmaker to TxDOT: Time to say ‘We made a mistake’

They stepped in it and now the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is on the fast track to smoothing things over with local governments across the state. Rep. Joe Pickett (D – El Paso) didn’t parse words at the August 29 Transportation Commission meeting: the agency has had a series of missteps that are upsetting people and it’s time for the Department to own up to it, say ‘we made a mistake,’ and start to make amends.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

NAFTA Superhighway Underway in Northeast Indiana: Multinational Operators Vie for I-69

Close on the heels of news that Interstate 69 (I-69) is underway in Texas, the Indiana Finance Authority and highway department (INDOT) has selected four private developers to submit proposals for a public-private partnership (P3) on segment 5 of I-69 from Bloomington to Martinsville. The final selection is expected this fall.

Continue reading

Posted in Immigration & Border Security, Sovereignty, Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Third Time’s the Charm: Texas Lawmakers Finally Pass Transportation Funding Bill

It’s a wrap. After over 200 days in session this year, the Texas legislature finally agreed upon a transportation funding bill that will go to the voters for approval in November 2014. The Constitutional amendment would divert half of the oil and gas severance tax that funds the state’s emergency fund, or Rainy Day Fund, to roads, giving the highway department a potential boost of $1.2 billion annually. Lawmakers readily acknowledge it’s a stop gap measure since the agency needs $4 billion more per year.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , | |

Texas lawmakers can’t agree on road funding, third special session called

The second called special session of the Texas legislature began with all eyes on Texas’ fetal pain bill after a filibuster scuttled it – transportation appearing an afterthought, but this one ended in yet another flop. Texas Governor Rick Perry immediately called a third special session 30 minutes later to address transportation funding. State lawmakers had initially agreed on a road funding bill at the end of the first special session and took up the same bill in the second.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , | |

With toll road failures widespread, TxDOT issues state highway fund-backed loan guarantees

State and federal highway dollars are pinched and toll road traffic is taking a hit from a sustained economic downturn and high gas prices, while states are looking for ways to get projects built with limited resources. Bond documents for the $2.6 billion Grand Parkway (State Highway 99) tollway reveal the bonds issued by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be backed by the state highway fund for all but $200 million of the debt, if toll revenues are insufficient.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , | |

Tolling Texans by ‘rule change’: TxDOT’s end run around the legislature

Question: How do you know when a public agency is out of control? Answer: It tries to bypass the legitimate branch of government, in this case the Texas legislature, to make an administrative ‘rule change’ instead.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

NAFTA superhighway underway in South Texas

While there’s been much political angling and wrangling over whether or not the famed legacy project of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), is dead or alive, the evidence points to it being alive and well and back underway throughout Texas. The Trans-Texas Corridor is the Texas portion of the NAFTA Superhighway Trade Corridor and Toll Road System.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, Transportation, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Agenda 21 hits San Antonio: The War on Cars continues with US 281 toll plan

Antonio, Texas, is no exception. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) are proposing to convert existing freeway lanes on Highway 281 into Transit-High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes in what can only be seen as Agenda 21-style government social engineering to tax people out of their cars and into mass transit or a carpool.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation, Uncategorized, United Nations , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas legislature kills pro-property rights bills

A slate of pro-property rights bills died in the 83rd regular session of the Texas legislature that ended on Memorial Day. Texas politicians love to tout their property rights credentials at election time, but when lawmakers are in session, they’ve yet to give meaningful protection to landowners in several key areas when it comes time to cast a vote.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Gateway to globalization: Texas toll roads, reinvestment zones and trade corridors

Despite high hopes that lawmakers would address the chronic road funding shortfall at the outset of the 83rd session of the Texas legislature, Texas taxpayers only saw $534 million of $1.2 billion in diversions of gas tax revenues returned to roads (for the next two years) with a reliance on more toll roads to fill the remaining $4 billion annual funding gap. That’s only one-eighth of the money needed.

Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas red herring: ‘Availability payments’ are public-private partnerships

The Texas legislature is considering another ‘tool in the toolbox’ to build roads, without the controversial concession public-private partnership (P3) model, called ‘availability payments.’ House bill 3650 by Rep. Linda Harper-Brown opens the door to this type of P3, where the private sector pays for the road and gets paid back as money is ‘available.’

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , | |

Texas lawmakers vote to sell-off state roads to private corporations

The Texas House joined the Senate in voting for SB 1730 to hand 20 Texas highways to private corporations in controversial contracts called public-private partnerships (P3s) or comprehensive development agreements (CDAs), despite public opposition.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, Sovereignty, Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas Double Tax: Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ) to build toll roads and more

While the Texas House and Senate are busy competing over which chamber can come up with the most funding for public schools, another top priority of state government has taken a back seat – roads.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas toll agency breaking the law to stay solvent, seeks sweeping new powers

“This is a clean-up bill,” spouted the North Texas Tollway Authority’s (NTTA) bond counsel, Frank Stevenson II, one of the agency’s ‘legacy contractors,’ Locke Lord, LLP, who crafted House Bill 2247 that grants the authority expansive new powers.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Sequester prompts Texas governor to take over municipal airports

It sounds like something you’d hear on April Fools’ Day, but in Texas, Governor Rick Perry and his highway department are quite serious.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , | |

Cintra’s toll road losses, TxDOT’s speed limit manipulation spell trouble

It’s been a rough road for Cintra, Spain-based global toll operator, ever since it opened its first privately-operated tollway, State Highway 130, in Texas last fall. On March 28, the Texas Transportation Commission voted to increase the speed limits on US Highway 183 to 60 MPH through Mustang Ridge and up to 65 MPH on the southern leg that runs through Lockhart…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Tea Party Texans say ‘No’ to more tolls, debt and taxes

Texans from across the state recently converged at the capitol in Austin to stress the need for Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, and House and Senate budget writers to prevent the most fiscally sound, long-term road funding solutions from being held hostage to more tolls, debt, and tax hikes.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Virginia’s Governor McDonnell gets devoured for massive transportation tax hikes

Houston, we have a problem. Well, actually, it’s a nationwide problem. Gas tax, the primary user fee that funds our national Interstate Highway System, hasn’t been raised in 20 years. The same is true for the gas tax in most states, where gas tax is the primary source of revenue to fund each state’s highway system.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

The future of driving: Here comes ‘Big Brother’

From Google’s self-driving car to harnessing electromagnetic induction to power buses and cars with clean energy, the eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum held in Austin left industry gurus breathless with new possibilities for transportation as smart technology merges with mobility.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation , , , , , | |

Focal Point Texas: The Coming Trade Tsunami and the Greater Push Toward Globalization

The eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum hosted by the Texas Transportation Institute and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently held in Austin had all eyes on the future – the future of international trade in light of the anticipated Panama Canal expansion, the future of road funding, and even the future of driving (like driverless cars).

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Texas leads the nation in road debt as Perry solicits ideas for tax relief: Groups say nix toll taxes

In his State of the State speech, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked Texans how they’d like to see tax relief implemented in the new 83rd biennial legislative session (January 8 – May 27/140 days).

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation , , , , , , | |

Texas lawmakers of today taking state over fiscal cliff with massive road debt

Thirty-one billion dollars and counting, that’s how much road debt Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas lawmakers have racked-up since they abandoned pay-as-you-go and started down the road of borrow and spend road policy.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Last Great Interstate a NAFTA Highway Fraught with Controversy

With the end of 2012 marking the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, it’s instructive to take a fresh look at the book that chronicles that battle over the last interstate highway – a NAFTA superhighway – yet to be built – Interstate 69, The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway by Matt Dellinger.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Ohioans sideline sale of Ohio Turnpike

In a victory for state sovereignty, property rights, and taxpayers, the grassroots managed to defeat Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposal of selling off the Ohio Turnpike to a private toll operator using a controversial public-private partnership (P3).

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Perry quietly restarts Trans-Texas Corridor project despite opposition

When Jerry Corsi talks, people listen. Corsi’s recent column on the revival of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) gave national attention to what Texans have been warning for a decade.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Caddell: America no longer run by consent of the governed

Tonight, Pat Caddell, a committed Democrat pollster who once worked for Jimmy Carter both in 1976 and in 1980, received a standing ovation from a room full of Texas conservatives.

Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, Transportation | |

Texas tolling freeways is double taxation

The spirit of Texas law says you can’t slap tolls on freeways, but the letter of the law has loopholes large enough to drive a Mac truck through it.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation | |

Another Bridge to Nowhere: Government Waste Taking Us Over Fiscal Cliff

With all the talk of the ‘fiscal cliff’ that magically appeared the day after the election, let’s examine how we got here.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

CATO Scholar Slams Street Car As Obsolete ‘Fantasy’

When 98% of Americans drive a car as their preferred mode of travel, street car advocates have a problem.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

NAFTA Leaders Forge Path Forward to Deepen North American Integration

Jobs, jobs, jobs, that’s the worry when it comes to the political reality of international trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and that put proponents of NAFTA attending the November 15-16 NAFTA-20 Conference on defense with the public, especially in times of economic stress and sustained high unemployment.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Trade & Economics | |

NAFTA-20 Conference: Mexican Ambassador’s Announcement of Open Borders Agreement Brings America Closer to North American Union

“Welcome to San Antonio, the NAFTA city,” declared San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at the November 15 opening of the NAFTA20 conference held in San Antonio to commemorate 20 years since the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the Alamo city.

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Trade & Economics | |

Texans Call for Boycott of First Foreign-Owned Toll Road

Today marks the first day Spanish toll operator, Cintra, starts charging Texas commuters tolls to use SH 130.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Perry’s Budget Compact Should Dictate Adjustment to Gas Tax

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced his support for ending diversions to the state motor fuel tax, a practice that’s starved traditional road funds and allowed him to push tolling and road privatization.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texas Governor Rick Perry Calls for End to Gas Tax Diversions – Really?

After starving and raiding gas tax revenues throughout his administration, Texas Governor Rick Perry has finally decided to get on board with ending diversions of our state gas tax for non-transportation purposes.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Cintra’s Corporate Socialism Snags I-35W in Fort Worth

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) just announced that it inked a deal with Spanish toll operator, Cintra, for yet another toll project in North Texas – this time on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

How Globalization Threatens America’s Sovereignty, Security, and Prosperity

Pat Choate’s book, Dangerous Business: the Risks of Globalization for America, is a sobering warning to Americans to retreat from the economic policies that have concentrated power in the hands of the few, hamstrung United States’ national security, and threatened the safety of our food supply, or else lose our national sovereignty and prosperity.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Texas Lt. Governor Dewhurst Taps Nichols to Chair Senate Transportation Committee

Texas, which lies at the heart of the North American transportation trade corridor system, is a hotbed of tolling schemes and grandiose infrastructure plans…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

New Cintra Ads Raise Eyebrows

Just when you thought you had seen it all, Cintra, the Spanish toll road concession company that’s about to start cashin’ in on its newly built 41-mile segment of State Highway 130 from south Austin to Seguin, produces more shock and awe with its new ad campaign…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

TXDOT Head: ‘Tolls are Freedom’

If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought George Orwell’s novel 1984 had been set in present-day Texas…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Cintra Markets Its SH 130 Toll Road in San Antonio

“There are few things that Governor Perry and President Obama agree on, but both oppose an increase in the motor fuels tax,” began Chris Lippincott, former Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) public information officer…

Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation | |

NAFTA 20 Years Later: North American Leaders Announce Summit, Promise NAFTA 2.0

“Jobs, that’s what NAFTA brings to San Antonio,” bellowed Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff as he stood in the German-English School Courtyard in San Antonio…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Board Votes to Toll San Antonio Freeways in Violation of its own Bylaws

Monday, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) scored a small victory for open government, since the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agenda included more specificity about its proposed action for toll projects on US Highway 281 and Loop 1604 as required by the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Dallas Inland Port Road on Fast Track Ahead of Panama Canal Expansion

Texas officials and transportation industry leaders gathered in Irving recently for the annual Texas Transportation Summit to examine how to move people and goods faster.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, Sovereignty, Trade & Economics, Transportation | |

San Antonio-Bexar County’s Social Agenda: Depriving Texans of their Individual Liberty

There’s a big fight going on between Bexar County, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA), and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for control of the pot of the gold at the end of the toll rainbow in San Antonio…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Georgia Voters Defeat Transportation Sales Tax

Georgia voters overwhelmingly defeated a one-cent sales tax increase to pay for transportation projects in nine of 12 transportation regions.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Virginia’s Pocahontas PKWY Toll Losses Abysmal

There’s a gaping disconnect between economic reality and the endless push for tolling all new capacity to our roadways…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texans Oust Pro-Toll Incumbents to Elect Pro-Taxpayer, Pro-Property Rights Senators

Anti-toll groups, celebrated medical doctor Donna Campbell’s victory over pro-toll, 40-year incumbent State Senator Jeff Wentworth in Texas Senate District 25 at her victory party in New Braunfels, TX, July 31.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights, Transportation | |

Texans Battle for Clarity on Use of Eminent Domain by Private Pipeline Companies

“Why is it my responsibility as a Texas landowner to make a foreign corporation prove it has legally obtained the power of eminent domain in Texas?” asked Julia Trigg Crawford, a farmer in East Texas locked in a legal fight with Canadian company TransCanada…

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

Map-21: Congress-Obama Expand NAFTA Superhighway Trade Corridor and Toll Road System

Some have tried to convince the public that the Trans-Texas Corridor and NAFTA Superhighways are dead, never existed or are even a myth. Yet, Congress recently passed a new, two-year federal highway bill calledMoving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) that not only gives priority funding to these ‘high priority’ trade corridors, but also makes it easier…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Flaws in Mica’s Reauthorization Proposal

It comes as no surprise that Congressman John Mica (FL-R), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wants to privatize transit and enter into yet more DEBT to fund roads.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Trans-Texas Corridor Resurrected by TXDOT: Eminent Domain Abuse and Monopolies in the Offing

On July 11, TURF warned the Texas House Joint Committee of Government Efficiency and Reform and State Affairs that the controversial public-private partnerships (P3s) that sell-off Texans’ public infrastructure to private corporations represents eminent domain abuse and grants state-sanctioned monopolies.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Congress Passes Two-Year $105 Billion Federal Highway Bill

Up against another short-term highway bill extension deadline, on Friday, June 29, Congress passed a two-year $105 billion highway bill called MAP-21, which stands for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

TURF Files Complaint Against San Antonio MPO

On June 28, Texas TURF filed a formal complaint with the San Antonio Police Department White Collar Crime Unit seeking to open an investigation as to whether the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) violated the Open Meetings Act on June 25…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

War Against Cars is Alive and Well in San Antonio

It’s apparent that the fix was in before a single citizen ever walked into the Bexar County San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting Monday.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texas Toll Road Antics

Following the latest Texas toll road antics has been an exercise in yo-yo politics.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Tolls Forced on San Antonio Freeways

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA) declared war on the elected officials who sit on the Bexar County-San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) at its last board meeting…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texas State Senate Race Puts Anti-Toll Challenger in Run-Off with P3 Toller

In an amazing feat of sheer determination bolstered by a whole lot of charisma and grassroots enthusiasm, Texas Senate District 25 candidate Donna Campbell pulled off an upset for the record books…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Tolls Coming to I-75

Tolls are coming to an interstate highway near you. This time, it’s Interstate 75 in Georgia, where Governor Nathan Deal just announced re-worked plans to add toll lanes…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Another Bait & Switch on a Non-Toll Plan for San Antonio Freeways?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that in a recent closed door meeting of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) subcommittee, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority unraveled the policy board’s decision to…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

When Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Becomes Treachery

In testimony before Congress, the Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced its opposition to a bill introduced by Senator Frank Lautenburg called the ‘Commuter Protection Act,’ S. 2006…

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texas Toll Authority Rejected For TIFIA Loan

Good news for taxpayers. San Antonio’s Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) has been counting on the federal taxpayer to subsidize its toll project on Loop 1604 with a TIFIA loan.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

I-69: Major NAFTA Superhighway Trade Corridor, yet to be built, Up for Consideration in House-Senate Conference

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, along with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), are determined to pass a multiyear federal highway bill.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

TXDOT’s Toll Roads and the Coming Debt ‘Tsunami’

We’ve seen it with AIG’s toxic debt, then the banks with their financial crisis spawned by subprime mortgages, now get ready for the next big bailout – the toxic debt from toll roads.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Supreme Court Hits Home Run on Property Rights

There’s been lots of good news for landowners in recent weeks. First, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of an Idaho couple, Michael and Chantell Sackett, to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that’s designated their home site in an established residential neighborhood as federal wetlands.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

Public-Private Toll Roads Won’t Work….

It’s hard to disagree with much of what a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial advocates, like making the Highway Trust Fund solvent, returning gas tax money sent to Washington back to the states, and loosening the federal purse strings attached to road money.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Keystone Pipeline Oil to Cost Consumers More and Go to China?

Advocates for the Keystone XL pipeline boast that building itwill secure energy resources, diminish dependence on foreign oil and help reduce the soaring price of gasoline.

Continue reading

Posted in America, China, Energy Security | |

Executive Order to Takeover ‘Civil Transportation’ Asserts Dictatorial Power Over the U.S. Economy

On March 16th, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on National Defense Resources Preparedness, which effectively gives the President and members of his cabinet dictatorial power to commandeer ‘civil transportation,’ even in peacetime, under the banner of national security.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Senate Punts on Long-term Fix to Federal Highway Program

With the next continuing resolution for the federal highway program coming to an end March 31, lawmakers in the nation’s Capitol have been scrambling to address systemic shortfalls in the Federal Highway Trust Fund, before they run out of time.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Texas Delivers Victory for Property Rights in Keystone Pipeline Fight

Julia Trigg Crawford’s fight to prevent TransCanada from seizing her property by using the state’s coercive power of eminent domain scored a big win late last Friday, when an appellate court reinstated her temporary restraining order (TRO).

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

Where to Spend the $2 Billion? Fix our Freeways Without Tolls

TxDOT recently ‘found’ $2 BILLION in extra money – $700 million anticipated from the federal government and $1.3 billion gained from efficiencies’ (and apparently unearthed from the spare change under the couch cushions, who knew?).

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Irrational Fear of Truth

Apparently, I hit a nerve. San Antonio Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff (see link below) went postal over some columns I penned opposing the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the City of San Antonio’s ‘Complete Streets’ policy.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation, United Nations | |

Rendell Wants to Strike Ban on Tolling Interstates

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell headlined the second day of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) 7th Annual Texas Transportation Forum at the Grand Hyatt in downtown San Antonio.

Continue reading

Posted in Taxation, Transportation | |

Georgia Governor Emerges as Leader Against Privatized Toll Roads

You gotta give him credit. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal learns quickly. He’s reversed not only his own position but his predecessor’s plans to privatize Georgia’s public roads utilizing very controversial contracts known as public private partnerships.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Poll Claiming Preference for Tolls Over Taxes a Ruse

The Reason Foundation delivers again. One of the top think tanks that lobbies 24/7 to privatize our public infrastructure through toll roads, known as public private partnerships (or P3s), released a “scientific” poll that claims 55% support P3s and 58% of respondents prefer tolls to gas tax increases to pay for new roads.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Diverting Highway Funds to non-Road Uses

Texas Senators Steve Ogden and Tommy Williams recently made a very public proposal to increase the vehicle registration fee by $50 (nearly doubling it) in order to pay for roads.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

TXDOT Yanks Free Lanes from I-35 Toll Project

Once again lawmakers can’t trust the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Defeat of Proposition 4

Texas voters said a resounding ‘NO’ to expanding Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ) authority to Lone Star State counties by defeating Proposition 4 on November 8.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

Perry’s Pay-to-Play

The Texas Transportation Commission has announced the new Executive Director to head the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), former Secretary of State Phil Wilson.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Commuters Hot Over Hot Lanes

Get ready to pay a hefty price tag to escape congestion. Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) is in the process of converting 83 miles of HOV lanes into HOT lanes or High Occupancy Toll lanes, where single occupancy vehicles can access the HOV lane, if they pay a toll.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Perry’s Wall Street-ification of TXDOT

Governor Rick Perry and the GOP-dominated Texas Legislature are presiding over the most fundamental transformation of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in its history.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

I-10 Dual Designation

At September’s meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission quietly passed a Minute Order authorizing the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to implement a dual designation of I-10 in Seguin to I-410 in San Antonio and eventually to I-35 (53 miles total) as State Highway 130.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Highways: New Unfunded Mandate

We’ve all heard of unfunded mandates and how federal and state governments kick their responsibilities down to the local level without paying for it.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Perry and Cronies

With the pay-to-play Solyndra solar panel bankruptcy scandal rocking the White House, Texas governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry is embroiled in a mountain of controversy all his own.

Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Economics | |

Rick Perry Globalist

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Economics | |

Cyclovias

A decade ago, the word Cyclovias, meaning bike path, was not part of the America lexicon. Its source and meaning are foreign to the American way of life.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Is the TTC Really Dead?

The people of Texas scored a big victory with the recent repeal of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) from state statute.

Continue reading

Posted in Trade & Economics | |

War on Cars

Some may have never heard the term “complete streets” or “walkable communities” so allow me to enlighten you. The “Complete Streets” policy of one particular Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) says “it will serve to provide safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and bus riders.”

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Tolls in Perpetuity

Texas tolling authorities got their every wish granted under the moniker of ‘local control.’

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |

Eminent Domain

Since the egregious U.S. Supreme Court Kelo vs. City of New London ruling of 2005, Americans have turned to their state legislatures to remedy the practice of government abuse of private property rights for private gain, especially for economic development purposes.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

Great Property Tax Heist

Voters thought they sent a message to politicians of all political stripes last November – we’re fed-up with out-of-control taxation, debt, spending, and big government and politicians who proceed on that course do so at their own peril.

Continue reading

Posted in Private Property Rights | |

America for Sale

A steady stream of bills to sell-off Texas infrastructure to private corporations flooded the pipeline during the recent 82nd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | |