(Austin, TX) - In Travis County District Court on Thursday, March 20, 2008, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and TxDOT Attorney Kristina Silcocks will square off at a hearing where TxDOT will challenge the court’s jurisdiction over the lawsuit to halt the misuse of taxpayer money for advertising tolls/TTC and lobbying by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
WHO: Texas taxpayers through TURF
WHAT: Lawsuit seeking to halt TxDOT’s taxpayer-funded ad campaign & lobbying activities
WHEN: Thursday, March 20, 2008 @ 9 AM
WHERE: Travis County District Court, 1000 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas (Judge to be drawn that morning)
HOW: The press needs to register request for cameras in the courtroom in advance through the court clerk. Contact Warren Vavra at (512) 854-9093 for more information.
This lawsuit is brought pursuant to § 37, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. TURF believes the law clearly prohibits TxDOT’s expenditure of public funds for the Keep Texas Moving pro-toll, pro-Trans Texas Corridor propaganda campaign.
TxDOT has violated § 556.004 of the Texas Government Code by directing the expenditure of public funds for political advocacy in support of toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor, and have directly lobbied the United States Congress in favor of additional toll road programs as evidenced in its report, Forward Momentum.
“TxDOT is waging a one-sided political ad campaign designed to sway public opinion in favor of the policy that puts money in TxDOT’s own coffers,” says an incredulous Terri Hall, Founder/Director of TURF.
On August 22, 2007, TURF filed a formal complaint with Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle to investigate TxDOT’s illegal lobbying and asked him to prosecute TxDOT for criminal wrongdoing. See the formal complaint here. TURF's petition seeks to stop TxDOT's misuse of taxpayer money in a civil proceeding.