Trans Texas Corridor road race: Texans have persuaded their lawmakers to pass legislation hobbling the Trans Texas Corridor, and they are racing to build more support before the next legislative session.Current reports about the Texas Department of Transportation's response to a mandated construction moratorium on the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC TTC Trying To Conceive
TTC Toronto Transit Commission
TTC Trans Texas Corridor
TTC Toutes Taxes Comprises (French)
TTC Trident Technical College (North Charleston, SC)
TTC Temporary Traffic Control ) are alarming and confusing. But this is sure: the Texas Department of Transportation isn't going down without a fight. It wants the highways. On July
18-20, TxDOT hosted the 2nd Texas Transportation Forum to address changes resulting from the recent legislative session, and THE NEW AMERICAN was in attendance.
For the greenhorn greenhorn
a raw, inexperienced person; especially a new cowboy. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]
See : Inexperience , the TTC refers to the Texas segment of the NAFTA NAFTA
in full North American Free Trade Agreement
Trade pact signed by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 1992, which took effect in 1994. Inspired by the success of the European Community in reducing trade barriers among its members, NAFTA created the world's Superhighway--a planned system of highways to run from lower Mexico through Canada--and a statewide network of corridors. Multiple projects comprise the TTC, the most recognizable being TTC-35 that parallels 1-35. Designed for passenger, freight, rail, pipeline, and cabling capabilities, and financed through a suspicious series of contracts with Cintra (Spain), it has spawned perhaps the biggest battle in Texas legislative history, threatening to scar the entire state, then nation, if tolerated. At best, it would chomp (jargon) chomp - To fail. huge sections of private property, disrupt local tax bases, aid illegal immigration "Illegal alien" and "Illegal aliens" redirect here. For other uses, see Illegal aliens (disambiguation).
Illegal immigration refers to immigration across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. , threaten local law enforcement, and pour millions of profit dollars into foreign coffers (through its operation as a toll road) at taxpayer expense. At worst, it is critical infrastructure for the establishment of the impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
2. North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. Union, the joining of Mexico, Canada, and the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. in a EU-style union.
The Texas Transportation Forum drew state and national transportation leaders to address transportation issues and to promote the corridor and the use of 3Ps (Public Private Partnerships). 3Ps are a new way to attract funding for supposed public-works projects in which private corporations put up some of the capital to build public-works projects in return for being granted control of the "public property" as a profit-generating enterprise. During his keynote speech keynote speech
See keynote address.
Noun 1. keynote speech - a speech setting forth the keynote
keynote - the principal theme in a speech or literary work , Texas Governor Rick Perry James Richard Perry (b. March 4, 1950) is a Republican politician and the Governor of Texas. He assumed office in December 2000 when then-Governor George W. Bush resigned to prepare for his inauguration as President of the United States. Gov. stated, "We should remain committed in our pursuit of public private partnerships."
Acknowledging the criticism the TTC has garnered from Texans since they learned it was scheduled to be built without their go-ahead, conference speakers admitted a tactical error by not being forthcoming with Texans about the corridor(s), and promised more transparency in hopes of soothing constituent anger while racing toward the 2009 session, critical to Superhighway success. J. C. Sandberg, counsel and senior public policy advisor at Baker Donelson, a well-known law firm including transportation and federal public policy in its areas of practice, summarized current thinking, "What happens in Texas in terms of transportation is being watched by Washington. They're looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. what works for duplication in other states." If this agenda can be bullied through in Texas, many other states in the United States will also see corridors spring up in their neck of the woods.
Once Texans learned of the legislative deception, they fought back. During the 2007 session, firestorms erupted as a few informed legislators battled on behalf of angry constituents against the rogue TxDOT and Governor Perry. Fallout is still uncertain, but significant ground was gained for anti-corridor folks, which encompass nearly everybody except the governor and TxDOT. At the conference, Dana Levenson, a managing director at Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba , was pessimistic in his assessment. "Six months ago, there was lots of progress, but in Texas, there were steps backward in terms of 3R The legislation seems to have stopped a good deal." But he was optimistic that by the 2009 session (the Texas legislature meets every two years), "the money out there looking for opportunities will still be in the market for Texas projects." State Representative Lois Kolkhorst, who led legislature opposition to the corridor, added, "The forum explained how global trade has created hundreds of billions of dollars in international private equity that now seems to be looking for a safe harbor Safe Harbor
1. A legal provision to reduce or eliminate liability as long as good faith is demonstrated.
2. A form of shark repellent implemented by a target company acquiring a business that is so poorly regulated that the target itself is less attractive. . However, we should be wary of the investment community using 'urban congestion' as a vague excuse to build a NAFTA corridor that could erode our sovereignty. It's important to constantly delineate between building local toll projects and building an international NAFTA corridor."
Under current Texas law, Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) are the contracts used to authorize corridor projects, with "facility agreements" drawn up as needed as needed prn. See prn order. under an existing CDA (1) (Compact Disc Audio) The compact disc file extension that is seen on the computer in Explorer or some other file manager. CDA files are actually pointers to the locations of the individual tracks on the CD medium. See CD-DA. umbrella. After vetoing an overwhelmingly popular bill (H.B. 1892) that simply would have stopped the corridor, Governor Perry ann-twisted lawmakers, forcing a "compromise" bill (S. 792) to solve the state's transportation problems. S. 792 imposed a two-year moratorium on all new CDAs, and (prior to passage) included the critical Amendment 13 to stop new facility agreements under existing CDAs. While the compromise addressed all corridor projects not yet under contract, Amendment 13 was specifically crucial to slowing TTC-35's advance. According to capitol insiders, the addition of Amendment 13 enraged en·rage
tr.v. en·raged, en·rag·ing, en·rag·es
To put into a rage; infuriate.
[Middle English *enragen, from Old French enrager : en-, causative pref. Perry, and he relentlessly pressured legislators to drop it. Ultimately they succumbed and passed the moratorium bill without the important amendment.
No one was happy. While the moratorium on new contracts has crippled other corridor projects, for now, since construction contracts hadn't been signed, progress on TTC-35 is technically and legally possible. The good news is that TTC-69, following Texas' Gulf Coast to Louisiana, is hobbled. The moratorium is very real, but doesn't apply to TTC-35.
David Stall of Corridor-Watch, a statewide grass-roots effort to oppose the corridor, thinks TxDOT will consider its position in the 18 months before the legislature convenes again. Although authority remains for TTC-35 to proceed, it might not be politically expedient to do so. "The next two years are a watershed period for Texas. Perry and TxDOT are one force against the rest of Texas, and have so angered Texans they might be advised to proceed carefully. Overt efforts to cram the corridor down Texans' throats will further strain already damaged political relationships." The arrogance displayed by Team Perry exasperated Texans almost more than the corridor, as bullying the legislature and ignoring constituents was only the beginning of Perry's overbearingness.
With almost unbelievable hubris Hubris
An arrogance due to excessive pride and an insolence toward others. A classic character flaw of a trader or investor. , Governor Perry vetoed bill H.B. 2006, which rejected the Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo eminent domain eminent domain, the right of a government to force the owner of private property sell it if it is needed for a public use. The right is based on the doctrine that a sovereign state has dominion over all lands and buildings within its borders, which has its origins in decision that would allow state and local governments to take private land for the benefit of another private entity that would develop the land (it passed the House by a vote of 143-0), virtually ensuring TxDOT would have no trouble with corridor land acquisition. He vetoed the bill after the legislative session had ended so that his veto wasn't overridden.
TxDOT certainly won't be idle before the next legislative session convenes. The moratorium months can be used to proceed with existing contracts or precontract PRECONTRACT. An engagement entered into by a person, which renders him unable to enter into another; as a promise or covenant of marriage to be had afterwards. When made per verba de presenti, it is in fact a marriage, and in that case the party making it cannot marry another person. activities such as Environmental Impact Studies without violating the moratorium. If activities are completed before the next session, will TxDOT go ahead and sign contracts for new segments of the TTC anyway? "We don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. ," Stall continues, "It's a political chess game at this point."
Down, but Not Out
TxDOT and Perry were knocked around, but not out. S. 792 only hinders TxDOT's bolt toward the corridor finish line. CDAs (actual contracts) are now subject to review and reauthorization, and the public gains access to information and more disclosure about the TTC. The bill also prohibits the non-compete clauses that limit or stop construction of alternate (free) highways. And some authority to contract toll agreements has been returned to localities.
The governor claims to be unaffected by the moratorium, but capitol insiders believe that his claim that projects will continue "moving forward" is simply a way to "spin" the loss of momentum in order to continue courting foreign money for the projects.
There is much at stake, much more than just the foreign money to be invested in road construction. Overarching all corridor issues is its importance to the NAFFA NAFFA North American Fantasy Football Association
NAFFA Nonappropriated Fund Financial Analysts (Analysis) Superhighway for transporting goods from China through Mexico. In one Texas Transportation Forum session, Judge John Thompson promoted the TTC-69 Corridor as "necessary for the tsunami of freight coming through Texas." This "tsunami" will also adversely impact the property rights of all landowners in its projected path as well as our jobs and national security.
So this is no time for complacency. If followed with persistent grass-roots activism, the moratorium could prove to be the first in a series of victories stopping the Trans Texas Corridor and the entire NAFTA Superhighway cold.