White says ‘No’ to private toll contracts
Not in favor of selling Texas roads to private, foreign toll operators
(Austin, TX - October 20, 2010) Though the “official” transportation question at Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate never got asked by the Star Telegram’s Dave Montgomery (they ran out of time), TURF Director Terri Hall asked her most burning question to the former Mayor of Houston Bill White directly afterwards: “What do you think of these contracts that sell Texas highways to foreign companies?” White didn’t hesitate to answer, “No, I don’t support that.”
Governor Rick Perry’s no show gave the candidates vying for his job the opportunity to spend an hour telling voters why Perry needs to go. Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass had the best zingers like this one when asked if there is anything positive Perry has done for Texas: “Since Perry supposedly only works 7 hours a week on state business, I can’t imagine the shape we’d be in if he actually worked full time.”
Perry’s about ‘theater instead of management’
White offered the most practical approach to governing, focusing on building consensus. He, too, criticized Perry’s light work schedule and said he’s “more about theater instead of management.”
White repeatedly leveled criticism of Perry for the onslaught of revelations about how he’s steered public money, contracts, and plum political appointments to campaign donors and for the revolving door between the Governor’s office and lobbyists.
TxDOT blunders must be fixed
Both White and Glass took swipes at the mismanagement of TxDOT with White condemning the $1 billion accounting error and Glass using the accounting error to call for cleaning up and cutting jobs at the embattled highway department, “TxDOT misplaces a billion dollars like I misplace my car keys.”
Each candidate gave a two minute closing. Again, White was pragmatic and spoke of policy initiatives like college tuition being too high while Glass addressed the “wasted vote” perception that third party candidates find difficult to overcome.
“The two top guys spent $40 million trying to convince you the other guy is not fit for office. I agree with both of them,” quipped Glass. Then she went on to say that Perry has taken the conservative base for granted and still “won’t respect you in the morning” come November 3 if he’s re-elected.