Ogden: Trans Texas Corridor is dead

NOTE: Senator Ogden's office is now saying the Senator said: "TTC-69 is dead in Walker County" and that we "misinterpreted" his comments. Commissioner Gaines was very clear with TURF that Ogden told him the TTC-69 is dead (the whole enchilada, not just Walker County), and that news was spreading in East Texas enough to panic our supporters who were encountering people who said they were no longer going to the rally because the TTC-69 project had been scrapped.

Then, in another incident, we have a witness who was in the room when the Mayor of Kendleton, Carolyn Jones, also said the TTC-69 project is dead and over, and then went on to say "so there's no need to attend that rally in Austin Saturday." She directly tried to suppress attendance at the rally and deliberately gave out false information to the public. Kendleton and Huntsville aren't even near one another, yet this news hit the same day and we heard about it in two different regions. Jones indicated she had attended a meeting Monday morning, March 31, where she was assured the TTC-69 project was dead. Yet TxDOT's official statement to a CNN reporter yesterday was this: "We just extended the public hearing process on the project. No, the project is not dead."

So who's responsible for holding that meeting Mayor Jones referred to, and why would anybody want to tell all these elected officials that TTC-69 is dead (the same week as our rally, conveniently not during the public hearings) when all the official documents and public information say otherwise? The conclusion is clear: this misinformation is being spread to suppress turnout at the rally and minimize the embarrassment of the politicians in the path of these corridors.  


Ogden says TTC-69 scrapped, elected officials discourage attendance at TURF rally
East Texas, April 2, 2008 – Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Steve Ogden told Walker County Commissioner, B.J. Gaines, that the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) I-69 project is over, scrapped, finito. The word is spreading like wildfire among elected officials in the path of TTC-69, including the Mayor of Kendleton, just in time to tell constituents: “There’s no need to attend that rally in Austin this weekend since the TTC-69 project is over.”

Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) is organizing a march up Congress Avenue and rally on the South Capitol steps Saturday, April 5 from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, and they’re crying foul for what appears to be an effort to suppress grassroots turnout. TURF has been getting calls from panicked supporters who are hearing some residents now believe the TTC-69 has been stopped.

“At this juncture, it’s naïve to believe word one from politicians or TxDOT, an agency run amok, that is misusing our taxpayer money to lobby in favor of the Trans Texas Corridor and prone to $1 billion accounting errors! The TTC-69 public comment period isn’t even completed yet, and the environmental hearings were completed only weeks ago, and now they’re trying to convince taxpayers the project is dead? Who are they kidding?” notes Terri Hall, Founder of TURF.

“You’d think the first call they’d make is to grassroots groups like ours to call off the dogs. The fact that they haven’t called, tells us this claim is an attempt to suppress turnout at what could be a thousands-strong march to the shame of many Texas politicians, and yet another example of our own government lobbying against the people,” Hall believes.

“The claim the TTC-69 project is over is an underhanded eleventh hour dirty trick to sabotage the people’s right to protest this project, and we’re asking for every state law, every Transportation Commission Minute Order, every local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and tolling authority plan authorizing the Trans Texas Corridor be immediately revoked IN WRITING. Until that’s done, we’re pressing ahead. It’s clear we can’t trust a word that comes out of the mouths of TxDOT or politicians,” says Hank Gilbert, TURF Board member and Rally Coordinator.

The Don’t Mess with Texas TURF, Stop the TTC & Tolls Rally will have a host of national, state, and local speakers including the Teamsters, Eagle Forum, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Oklahoma Senator Randy Brogdon (who passed legislation to stop the Trans Texas Corridor from coming through Oklahoma), Texas State Legislators and local leaders like the Chair of the first Sub-regional Planning Commission putting a roadblock in the way of TTC-35.

CNN's Lou Dobbs couldn't believe Texans would allow Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature to steal our land and allow the TTC to be built. "What happened to 'Don't Mess With Texas?'" (see it here). Texans through TURF plan to show Lou Dobbs and our politicians who are discouraging attendance at the rally…don't mess with Texas TURF!

WHAT: STOP the TTC & Tolls Across Texas RALLY, with a march up Congress Avenue then rally on the south Capitol steps in Austin

WHO: Texas farmers, ranchers, and ordinary citizens from all over Texas. Also, entertainment by The Texicans (singers/songwriters of Trans Texas Corridor Blues) and Jack Motley (featured in Truth Be Tolled movie)

WHEN: Saturday, April 5

March begins - 12:15 pm

(the staging area for the march will be at the parking lots at the corner of Cesar Chavez St. & Red River St.)
Rally from - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

WHERE: South Capitol steps, Austin, TX

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