Last Night’s CAMPO Meeting - UPDATED

Posted in Central Texas, Road Issues, Take Action at 12:05 pm by wcnews

Sals’ got the report, Hundreds of anti-tollers locked out of Toll Road Hearing. Apparently the Chamber of Commerce mobilized for this meeting.

In today’s Statesman article, Ben Wear creates the impression of grand support of the freeway to tollway plan - as hundreds of anti tollers were locked out of the main auditorium.

It is important to note that Belinda Gaudet, General Manager of the Austin American-Statesman is a Vice Chair for the executive committee of the Austin Chamber of Commerce (also known as Take on Traffic - pro tollers).

The Statesman has continued to squelch the citizens who speak out against the freeway to tollway plan with it’s articles, pro toll editorials and by keeping hundreds, if not thousands of letter to the editor from being published on the subject in the past years.


The toll lobby profiteers (Developers, Bankers, Lawyers, Construction Industry people and their employees) arrived at the Capitol at 4:00 to 4:30 just to line up, to get on the sign up list to speak. The CAMPO sign up list was scheduled to begin at 5:00. This strategic plan for toll profiteers to arrive early worked very well in conjunction with Sen. Kirk Watson’s choice to hold the meeting in an undersized auditorium. This illusion in the auditorium gave some of the press the impression that the pro-tollers had a larger presence than they actually had. Our presence was clear, and we called out the profiteers over and over.

Toller continue to say there is not other choice, we must toll our freeways. The smart solutions are right HERE.

Ben is still shilling for the pro-tollers. He’s supposed to be a reporter. It’s hard to believe he wouldn’t have picked up on this trick. His failure to point it out shows his complicity.

This fight, like so many recently, has come down to the people versus the corporations and businesses. Of course, the corporations and businesses don’t mind toll roads, they’ll transfer their added costs onto the consumer. [Added after original post.] (The cost of the gas tax would be passed to consumers too. The difference here is that the business and corporate interests have their bottom line, of course, as their number on interest. That is their main objective, damn the cost to everyone else. Their main concern here is to get roads built as fast as possible so more strip malls, more residential property, more commercial property, etc.. can be built. They could care less if they’re sticking the people with a long range financial burden, that’s many times more expensive then building these roads with the gas tax.)Â

The lines have been drawn and these toll roads be headed for passage. It will be up to us to make sure these people are not reelected.

[UPDATE]: More From McBlogger as only McBlogger can:

Yes, I went to the CAMPO meeting last night. Then had to leave because I was LAUGHING too hard at the folks from the Chamber who did mob the meeting, yet still weren’t in the majority. One key for you Chamber folks… if you’re going to stack a meeting, cut back on the paid people and the buttons.

Specifically, I DIED laughing when some moron got up to speak and talked about the 242k people in Central Texas that have purchased TXTags basically supporting tolls. In fact, I wasn’t the only one laughing. Further, I have one of those tags. So do MANY of my friends. None of us like the tolls, but we have the tags because we’re going to use them and we’re not stopping at some stupid booth. There are a lot of people who don’t like the tolls who have the tags. These are the people who almost turned out Mike Krusee in 2006 and will succeed in 2008. Wanna talk about those voters, pal? They’re angry. Not happy.


Brewster, for those of you who have been living on Mars, is always free to talk to the press. He’s also running for Mayor. Now that he’s pissed up OHAN’s leg on Phase 2, wanna bet he doesn’t even make it into the runoff? I don’t know what else I expected from an opportunist like McCracken who’s only political conviction seems to be supporting what he perceives will help him, even if it means flip-flopping like a fish out of water.

I remain stunned at the Chamber’s support for the most expensive form of transportation financing we have at our disposal. These are smart people (I know some of them) and can’t believe they are really this clueless on this issue, from a financial and political perspective. Talking to some people at the meeting, I came away with the impression that they were ‘along for the ride’, that the Chamber’s leadership pushed the tolling issue and that the membership is more than a little angry. If I was running for office over the next few years, I would avoid the endorsement of the Chamber like the plague. It’ll be about as effective as the Statesman’s endorsement at driving voters FROM you.

The folks who talked in support of Phase 2 don’t know the political landscape or how things are going to change in 2009. All they see is an immediate need for roads. I see it, too… so did EVERYONE there. There was not a single person who said we DON’T need roads. The issue is how it’s financed and tolls are the worst option. Much like children, they’ve been uninvolved with this for a while and now are ready to jump at anything. It’s wiser to wait until the political situation changes and we get the legislation we need. Unless you like paying full price today for something you’ll get a discount on in a little over a year.

Here’s to hoping that the remaining CAMPO board members are a little smarter than Mr. Political Suicide, Brewster McCracken. Brewster, sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot rather than open it and remove all doubt.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Fat Cats In White Hats said,

    September 12, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    […] is attributed to “staff and wire reports”, it may be Ben trying to follow up to his non-mention of the TOT tricksters form his article […]

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