Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kay seems to be staking her entire campaign on the TTC...

Kay seems to have staked her entire campaign on the TTC... similar to what "One Tough Grandma" did in 2006.

(link). Excerpt follows...

Hutchinson has yet to present her own plan but she says she wants to reform and expand a state transportation commission. Her campaign says she opposes toll roads unless local officials and voters agree to them, and they say she worked in the Senate to halt federally funded toll roads.

"It is time to return to our tradition of free, quality highways and roads," Hutchison said in kicking off her campaign last month. She calls the Trans-Texas Corridor "the biggest land grab in the history of Texas."

An interest group that opposes toll roads, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, is looking closely at candidates from both parties, said its founder and direct, Terri Hall.

"Most of our supporters are well aware that we're in the anybody-but-Perry mode," Hall said. The group has not endorsed anyone in the governor's race, but a Democratic candidate, Hank Gilbert, is active in the group.

In arguing against state-orchestrated toll roads and for private property rights, Hutchison plays up her close ties to the Texas Farm Bureau, which opposes the toll road corridor. She sides with its stance on eminent domain, and pointed that out following Perry's veto of a property rights bill the bureau backed in 2007.

Perry, too, is trying to show he cares deeply about property rights, and earlier this year voiced support for a state constitutional amendment banning the government from taking private property and giving it to a developer to boost the local tax base.

This isn't the first time Perry has defended himself on toll roads in an election. Independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn unsuccessfully ran against Perry in 2006 by attacking his toll road project.

Strayhorn's campaign privately acknowledged at the time the strategy might help win over rural voters, but not the urban voters who are key to victory. And those are voters Hutchison will need in March.

Perry's spokesman equates Hutchison's toll roads complaints with Strayhorn's.

"It's almost identical," Miner said, "and it shows that criticism is not a solution."

Kay really needs to come out and explain her plans because otherwise she looks like an obstructionist without any ideas of her own. Republicans risk being backed into a corner as a bunch of "party of NO" regressives... and her opposition to private roads does smack of pandering and "Perry bad, me good" instead of an honest critique.

A few problems Kay has with this anti TTC theme is that first of all it did not work for Strayhorn in 2006. It helps maybe in rural areas but not in the suburbs and bigger cities where people want private roads and like private roads... Kay also has expressed support for similar projects with hi-speed trains which would also take land with eminent domain and require foreign companies to participate in the process.

The biggest thing with Kay is that she doesn't seem genuine in her attacks... it seems like an ad hoc line rather than something she really cares about. The second biggest thing is that Kay is basically saying she wants to pay for these necessary new roads some other way... if not private roads, then taxes are going up right? The third biggest thing is that this exposes the "Washington bad Texas good" argument as Texas only gets back a fraction of the money it sends to Washington for highways. It makes it easy for Rick to turn the tables on her if he chooses. "Why didn't she do a better job as a senator and get us enough money to build roads?"

For me... I live in a urban or really more suburban area and I would love to have a well developed network of big safe lanes free of tractor trailers to be able to zip from big city to big city... I also know a lot of critics of toll roads in the political arena secretly love to drive on them.

I bet Kay did a poll and saw this was one of Rick's vulnerabilities, but I also bet that most people just want to have some transportation options and don't want to sit around in traffic. If toll roads are the answer, I wish we could have a real discussion about them, instead of this ad hoc pandering and unserious demagoguery from a once serious senator.

1 comment:

  1. Kay Bailey Hutchison is a neo-luddite.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.