Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

PERRY'S TOLLING AUTHORITY POWER GRAB GOES DOWN IN FLAMES

Wow! Wow again! Do y'all realize what we just did? We defeated a statewide proposition (Prop 9) going up against BIG, well-funded highway interests. Only 1% of all propositions get defeated in Texas! AMAZING WORK EVERYONE! Thank you to ALL of the outstanding citizens who tirelessly worked to get the word out, especially our grassroots coordinators Sudie Sartor and Bob & Barb Meshanko. Your faithful efforts paid off. Prop 1 did pass, which was much harder for people to discern the connection to toll roads. But we defeated Prop 9 WITH VIRTUALLY NO MONEY. Let's use this momentum to bring these toll plans to a screeching halt!

Read the Express-News editorial on our efforts.

Here's the press release we sent out about the Prop 9 win!

Prop 9 gets defeated by unfunded grassroots foot soldiers


San Antonio, TX, November 8, 2005 - While Constitutional Amendment 2 soaked up the limelight in this election, a grassroots whisper campaign, with virtually no dollars, against the toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor was taking place in rural and urban centers across Texas. The results were mixed. Constitutional Amendment 1, the Texas Relocation Rail Fund passed and Constitutional Amendment 9, the Governor's attempt to extend the terms of appointed board members to the Regional Mobility Authorities (the "toll authorities") was soundly defeated.

"We're ecstatic that the PEOPLE spoke loud and clear about what they think about these unelected tolling boards…we want to limit their power. Our loyal brigade of foot soldiers faithfully passed out leaflets and educated the public and it paid off," said an elated Terri Hall, San Antonio Regional Director for Texas Toll Party.com.

Sal Costello, founder of the TexasTollParty.com said, "We fought them with sticks and stones -- emails and 100,000 leaflets and the people came through. What this means is that they -- the Governor and his minions, like State Rep. Mike Krusee, who sent out an expensive direct mail to his constituents asking them to vote for special interests Props 1 & 9 -- are vulnerable. The comptroller's report found double taxation, unaccountability and No-BID contracts given to Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) board members and their friends - of course they shouldn't get 6 year terms, what they should get is 10 years - behind bars."

Linda Curtis, who chairs Independent Texans and is the chief organizer for the TexasTollParty.com said, "Our task now is to use both our losses as well as our gains, to build for the future. That's going to take a host of reforms, not the least of which is for the ballot language on these propositions to be crystal clear. That's going to take a full blown statewide movement, across all party lines, for political reform as those who make the rules -- for now -- rule."

"It's a shame people gave private rail companies a blank check from the taxpayers' checkbook based on vaguely worded Proposition 1 and fears about urban rail accidents. It's bad public policy and bad fiscal policy, and it will come back to haunt us. These companies have the money as the 83% profits Union Pacific just posted shows. Sadly, this isn't about rail safety, it's about an open-ended corporate incentive for rail companies to join the controversial Trans Texas Corridor on the taxpayer's dime," said Hall.

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