Mexico to Canada Tollway

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 155gunner, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. 155gunner

    155gunner Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Is the Trans Texas Corridor the start of this fiasco?

    [SIZE=+2]Strayhorn stumps along corridor route[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+1]She's making personal rallies out of required hearings on Perry plan [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]11:47 PM CDT on Sunday, August 13, 2006[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News [/SIZE]

    ST. HEDWIG, Texas – From the parking lot jammed with pickups, past the tables with campaign T-shirts and into the overflowing high school auditorium, Carole Keeton Strayhorn works the linoleum aisle as if it's her own political rally.
    And she has Gov. Rick Perry to thank.
    Mrs. Strayhorn has become a regular fixture at the federally mandated public hearings on the Perry-backed Trans Texas Corridor – a wide network of toll roads, railways and pipelines to parallel Interstate 35. And she has used the almost nightly occasions to thump the governor and bring hundreds of potential supporters to their feet.
    <!-- Refer begins here --> Audio: Carole Keeton Strayhorn voices her opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor

    <!-- Refer ends here -->So far, she's addressed more than a dozen of the 54 scheduled hearings.
    "I wish they'd do 54 more," she said with a laugh.
    In rural Texas particularly, the corridor threatens to dissect farms and ranches, leaving wide and potentially impassable swaths across cropland and pastures. In many small towns and cities, including Temple, Gainesville and Waco, more than 1,000 grim-faced landowners have wedged themselves into the Texas Department of Transportation hearings.
    The high school stadiums, county coliseums and rural school cafetoriums have become the stage where the independent candidate for governor is practicing a kind of under-the-radar, retail politics rarely seen by statewide candidates in a place as big as Texas.
    Her barnstorming strategy harkens back to Pappy O'Daniel, a flour company owner who used his radio program and band – the Light Crust Doughboys – to woo rural voters in 1938.
    "I'm intrigued," said Greg Thielemann, director of the Center for Texas Politics at the University of Texas-Dallas.
    With such a crowded governor's race, the few percentage points of voters from these rural meetings could make a difference, he said. "And you're probably not going to reach these people any other way," he said.
    Last week, one of her stops was in St. Hedwig, east of San Antonio, where state troopers turned people away from the over-capacity East Central High School cafeteria.
    When it was Mrs. Strayhorn's turn to speak, she went to the microphone, turned her back to the state transportation officials and faced the rows of anxious citizens who were finding little comfort between the state's plan and the hard plastic chairs.
    It took her five seconds to stir them to rousing applause.
    She belted out like Ethel Merman starting a showtune: "I'm proud to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Texans who are saying 'no' to the largest land grab in Texas history."
    "'No' to destroying cropland necessary for farm and food production, 'no' to double taxation, 'no' to the governor's $184 billion boondoggle, 'no' to replacing freeways with tollways, and 'no' to a secret, foreign contract," she boomed.
    The 6-minute speech had its desired effect. The crowd roared.
    "I think it was wonderful," said Doris Isley of Adkins. "And I'm a die-hard Republican."
    Robert Black, spokesman for the Perry campaign, said Mrs. Strayhorn is playing to a crowd.
    "She's using their fear for her own political gain," he said. "Real leaders promote solutions, not fear."
    Mr. Black said the governor has recognized that the current congestion on state roads will harden into gridlock as Texas' population doubles over the next 40 years. Mr. Perry's opponents don't have a plan, he said.
    "He readily admits that when you're governor, it requires you to make some very tough decisions. He's from rural Texas. But he has a responsibility as the leader of Texas to plan ahead," Mr. Black said.
    He said the hearings are designed to listen to local concerns and adjust the corridor plan where possible.
    "And I think a lot of steps have been taken – a lot – to answer the concerns that rural folks have raised," he said.
    The state Transportation Department has been hosting the meetings for the past five weeks, and any final plan "can be shifted, tweaked or modified based on public comment," said agency spokeswoman Gaby Garcia.
    She said the agency has not limited Mrs. Strayhorn in any way and has allowed any candidate to set up tables outside the meetings.
    Fellow independent Kinky Friedman and Democrat Chris Bell have had volunteers at some of the meetings to hand out materials and let folks know that they opposed the Trans-Texas Corridor. But only Mrs. Strayhorn has made these meetings part of her nightly ritual.
    She said she comes personally, "because these are real people with real concerns."
    And she tells the crowd there is only one way to stop the corridor: "When I am governor, I am going to blast it off the bureaucratic books."
    The applause-o-meter tilts into the red.
    Robert Kosub of St. Hedwig said the anti-corridor stance and other issues made him decide to vote for Mrs. Strayhorn even before he heard her speak.
    "She's just the lesser of, well, however many evils there are out there," he said.
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    I don't like any of the candidates, "One-Tough Grandma" included.
  3. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Oh the way of politics. Such is said about the here and now, though when in office it is a whole new ball of wax. I will tell you that every Texan that opposes this needs to start working harder now because the more planning goes into this thing, you can bet there will be no stopping it. You take a boulder and push it up a hill. Before that boulder gets to the crest, you can stop it. If you let it go over, it will crush anything in it's path. Good luck on this.
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