Tag Archive | "TTC"

Trans Texas Corridor racing ahead

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By Terri Hall

[Editor’s note: The Free Trade cor­ridor net­work that tie Mexico, Canada and the U.S. together are a crit­ical com­po­nent of the North Amer­ican Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) that was nego­ti­ated by George W. Bush and signed into law by Bill Clinton. Both Bush and Clinton were mem­bers of the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion. Fur­ther­more, NAFTA’s chief archi­tect was U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Carla Hills, also a Tri­lat­eral. The Trans Texas Cor­ridor is the first major link of this super-corridor system; if suc­cess­fully com­pleted (e.g., if Texans lose the fight to stop it again), America will be opened up like a can of sar­dines. Please see addi­tional links below for other August Review arti­cles on this topic.]

After Rick Perry’s highway depart­ment announced the Trans Texas Cor­ridor (TTC) route known as TTC-35 was “dead” in 2009, we find out post-election in 2010 that it, along with free trade, is very much alive and well. Cana­dian offi­cials have shown renewed interest in a multi-modal trade cor­ridor along I-35. Win­nipeg recently announced its inten­tion to build an inland port sim­ilar to those in San Antonio and Dallas. One such inland port in Kansas City has ceded sov­er­eign United States ter­ri­tory to Canada and Mexico with the flags of all three coun­tries flying over it. Offi­cials in Win­nipeg said it also intends to run a logis­tics and trade cor­ridor to include rail and high speed high­ways all the way to Mexico as an Asia-Pacific gateway con­necting to Toronto and Montreal.

It should sur­prise no one that former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hard­berger and tolling authority (Alamo RMA) Chairman Bill Thornton took a trip to Toronto in 2006, par­tially at tax­payer expense, to pro­mote Trans Texas Corridor-style trade con­nec­tions and to be cer­tain it includes the Port of San Antonio.

Norris Pettis, Cana­dian Consul Gen­eral in Dallas, notes in the latest San Antonio Busi­ness Journal that “of all the urban cen­ters I deal with, San Antonio is right up there in preaching free trade.” The article also said Cana­dian offi­cials observe an anti-trade sen­ti­ment in the U.S. as a whole, but see an open door in Texas, which they say doesn’t share “pro­tec­tionist policies.”

Thank you, Rick Perry.

Tullos Wells is part of the Lone Star Rail project (pushing an Austin-San Antonio com­muter rail line) and also trav­eled with Hard­berger. He also hap­pens to work for the law firm Bracewell & Giu­liani, one of the biggest players in pushing the pri­va­ti­za­tion of our public roads (and rep­re­sents Spain-based Cintra on pri­vate toll deals here in Texas) as well as pushing these multi-national trade cor­ri­dors. Read more about the Bracewell & Giu­liani con­nec­tion here. It’s not rocket sci­ence to con­clude this is why Rick Perry endorsed Rudy Giu­liani for Pres­i­dent in 2007.

The Trans Texas Cor­ridor has always been about exploiting Texas landowners and tax­payers to open up new trade cor­ri­dors to facil­i­tate the free flow of goods among the three coun­tries to ben­efit pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions. Exec­u­tive Director of the Texas Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (TxDOT), Amadeo Saenz, admitted in public tes­ti­mony Feb­ruary 1 (watch it here), that though TxDOT says the TTC is “dead,” it could change its mind tomorrow and still move for­ward with the Trans Texas Cor­ridor since the statu­tory authority to do so remains in the Texas Trans­porta­tion Code. This is one time we can take them at their word. They are indeed moving forward.

While most Texans have no problem with trade, many have expressed dismay with so-called “free” trade. It’d be more aptly called gov­ern­ment man­aged trade, which is heavily tilted in favor of for­eign coun­tries, fails to insist on reci­procity, and overly taxes Amer­ican goods while pro­viding tax breaks on for­eign imports. The North Amer­ican Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) has done more to hurt the U.S. man­u­fac­turing sector than any other gov­ern­ment policy in recent his­tory. In fact, more than one mil­lion Amer­i­cans have lost jobs due to NAFTA. Given the grim state of the economy and high U.S. unem­ploy­ment, now more than ever, the U.S. needs to recon­sider NAFTA.

A handful of U.S. law­makers recently renewed calls to repeal NAFTA. Pres­i­dent Obama once spoke of his sup­port for rene­go­ti­ating parts of NAFTA, but seems to have reversed him­self since taking office, now bat­tling mem­bers of his own party to push for yet more “free” trade agree­ments to be signed with many other coun­tries, including Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Sin­ga­pore, Chile, Peru, Vietnam and Brunei on an Asia-Pacific regional free-trade agree­ment, South Korea, Panama, and Columbia.

Stop the freight train…

Within days of Perry win­ning the Texas pri­mary March 2, TxDOT revealed its inten­tion to extend the SH 130 toll road north­ward. SH 130 from George­town around Austin extending south to San Antonio is the first leg of the Trans Texas Cor­ridor TTC-35. So as pre­dicted, Perry, bol­stered by his pri­mary win, will con­tinue his plans to push the TTC piece by piece all the way up to the Red River.

With Win­nipeg moving a multi-modal trade cor­ridor south­ward along I-35, and the expan­sion of US 281 south of San Antonio underway (which feeds into the I-35 cor­ridor) moving the cor­ridor north­ward, it proves the TTC’s demise was mere illu­sion designed to put Texans back to sleep while politi­cians get re-elected and qui­etly build it, seg­ment by seg­ment under the radar

Har­ness the power of local government

This new TTC seg­ment from Waco to Hills­boro, fills the gaps of “free” lane I-35 expan­sion, and will also likely become some form of foreign-owned toll road, like seg­ments 5 & 6 of SH 130. The good news is, the sec­tion of I-35 where there is a 391 local gov­ern­ment sub­re­gional plan­ning com­mis­sion (TURF co-sponsored events to help spread this method to fight the Trans Texas Cor­ridor for TTC-69), I-35 will be expanded and kept toll-free (read about their suc­cess here). So a por­tion of TTC-35 will bypass the 391 commission’s jurisdiction.

One of the proven ways Texans can STOP the TTC dead in its tracks is to uti­lize this little known gold­mine of a government-to-government com­mis­sion to force TxDOT to comply with the will of Texans within its juris­dic­tion. There are a total of 10 com­mis­sions formed using the local gov­ern­ment code Chapter 391 in Texas, the majority of those formed directly to stop the TTC. To find out more about how to form one in your region, con­tact the pri­vate prop­erty rights foun­da­tion Amer­i­cans Stew­ards of Lib­erty at http://www.stewards.us.

To deliver the final knockout punch, how­ever, Texans must con­tinue to pres­sure law­makers and the Gov­ernor to repeal any and all forms of the Trans Texas Cor­ridor (now renamed “inno­v­a­tive con­nec­tivity plan”) from the trans­porta­tion code and pre­vent any fur­ther con­tracts from being signed.

Dirty little secrets sneak under the radar

The TTC-69 (planned to go from the Rio Grande Valley north­east to Texarkana and even­tu­ally up through Michigan) public pri­vate part­ner­ship (called CDA in Texas) was awarded to ACS of Spain and Zachry of San Antonio in June of 2008.

In August of 2009, Perry-appointed Texas Trans­porta­tion Com­mis­sioner Ned Holmes asked for the TTC-69 con­tract to be approved by the Texas Attorney Gen­eral, Greg Abbott. Perry wants this con­tract signed before the cit­i­zens of Texas can step-in to stop it. Perry’s son, Griffin, works for UBS (to fur­ther con­nect the dots go here), the finan­cial arm of the ACS con­sor­tium who won the devel­op­ment rights for TTC-69.

When TxDOT announced that TTC-35 was “dead,” it also clearly stated TTC-69, also given the name I-69 to make it appear more harm­less, is still moving for­ward. In fact, expan­sion of US 77 is already underway in the valley as part of the ini­tial leg of what will be known as TTC-69/I-69.

In addi­tion, Ports to Plains (to run from Mexico all the way to Alberta, Canada) and La Entrada de Paci­fico, two other active TTC cor­ri­dors, show that nothing has changed there either, except shed­ding the offi­cial con­nec­tion by name to the Trans Texas Cor­ridor. La Entrada, to tra­verse through the Big Bend area, has a dis­turbing new twist with the res­ur­rec­tion of the idea to cede Big Bend to inter­na­tional inter­ests by deeming it an “inter­na­tional” park, essen­tially to join it with Mexico’s “Big Bend” on the other side of the U.S. border.

The idea is to even­tu­ally develop future sea-port con­nec­tions with Far-East ocean ship­ping lanes. The cur­rent strategy in these two cor­ri­dors is to steer fed­eral trans­porta­tion dol­lars into sev­eral oth­er­wise useful local projects over time, and then con­nect the seg­ments into a sin­gular, iden­ti­fi­able system.

Your tax dol­lars at work

An active coali­tion pushing the devel­op­ment of the Ports to Plains trade cor­ridor just com­pleted a trade mis­sion to Alberta, as well as adver­tising the West Texas Trade Summit in San Angelo (Feb­ruary 19), where the stated goal was to pro­mote both trade and multi-national trade cor­ri­dors in Texas and Mexico. Ports to Plains Alliance will also be hosting an “Energy Summit” April 8 – 9 in Col­orado, mir­roring the efforts of other public pri­vate part­ner­ships (par­tially tax-funded) like TTC-69’s Alliance for I-69, and the big I-35 coali­tion, called the North America Super­cor­ridor Coali­tion or NASCO.

So don’t fall for the rhetoric, Texans. As Ronald Reagan used to say, “trust but verify,” and the ver­i­fi­able facts point to the Trans Texas Cor­ridor briskly moving ahead on all fronts. Remain vig­i­lant to stop the biggest land grab in Texas his­tory and to pro­tect our sov­er­eignty. Your freedom depends on it!

Make the connection…

Read more about how pri­va­tizing gov­ern­ment func­tions comes at great cost to tax­payers here.

Read Ed Wallace’s article on Perry’s cronyism regarding pri­va­tizing and tolling our public roads here.

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Terri Hall is the founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion that has ral­lied Texans to suc­cess­fully oppose the Trans Texas Cor­ridor, which is a crit­ical com­po­nent in the for­ma­tion of the North Amer­ican Union (or North Amer­ican Com­mu­nity). The NAU was pro­moted by former Pres­i­dent George Bush as the Secu­rity and Pros­perity Part­ner­ship (SPP), and called for deep inte­gra­tion between Mexico, Canada and the United States. For fur­ther information,Terri can be reached at terri@texasturf.org or 210 – 275-0640.

Addi­tional Resources on The August Review

Toward a North Amer­ican Union

The North Amer­ican Union and the Larger Plan

Con­quering Canada: The Elite Recon­fig­u­ra­tion of North America

The Plan to Dis­ap­pear Canada

North Amer­ican Union “Con­spiracy” Exposed




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Giuliani Linked to “NAFTA Superhighway”

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By Cliff Kincaid

Evi­dence shows that NAFTA, the North Amer­ican Free Trade Agree­ment involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is being expanded without con­gres­sional approval or over­sight as part of a plan to create an eco­nomic and polit­ical entity known as the North Amer­ican Union.

Brit Hume said on the Fox News Sunday pro­gram that it is pos­sible that Repub­lican fron­trunner Rudy Giu­liani could over­come his con­vo­luted pos­turing on abor­tion and secure the Repub­lican pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion in 2008. But Giu­liani has some other major prob­lems. These include for­eign clients, one of whom is con­structing part of the “NAFTA Super­highway” project that has people in Texas and around the nation up in arms.

{sidebar id=1}Hume, the mod­er­ator of Tuesday night’s Repub­lican pres­i­den­tial debate in South Car­olina, will be in a posi­tion to ask Giu­liani about it. Ques­tions will also be posed by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wal­lace and White House cor­re­spon­dent Wen­dell Goler.

Evi­dence shows that NAFTA, the North Amer­ican Free Trade Agree­ment involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is being expanded without con­gres­sional approval or over­sight as part of a plan to create an eco­nomic and polit­ical entity known as the North Amer­ican Union (NAU). Fed­eral doc­u­ments uncov­ered by Judi­cial Watch quote par­tic­i­pants in the scheme as saying that an “evo­lu­tion by stealth” strategy is being used to put the pieces into place. Doc­u­ments also speak of devel­oping a common secu­rity perimeter and a common iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card for cit­i­zens of the three countries.

With the excep­tion of Lou Dobbs of CNN, our national media have ignored not only the process that is well underway but the growing outcry over what is hap­pening. Res­o­lu­tions against the NAU have been intro­duced in 14 state legislatures-and have passed in two-and thou­sands of people have turned out in Texas to protest a Trans-Texas Cor­ridor (TTC) highway system, which will link the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Critics say the project is being funded by for­eign inter­ests, could run roughshod over pri­vate prop­erty rights, and could facil­i­tate illegal activ­i­ties, such as the traf­ficking of people and drugs, from Mexico.

The TTC, which is viewed as being part of the “NAFTA Super­highway,” is only part of a much larger process of inte­grating the three nations. This writer attended and cov­ered a Feb­ruary 16, 2007, con­fer­ence spon­sored by the Center for North Amer­ican Studies at Amer­ican Uni­ver­sity (A.U.) that was devoted to an emerging “North Amer­ican Com­mu­nity,” which is what con­fer­ence orga­nizer Robert Pastor, a former Carter Admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial, prefers to call it. Aca­d­emic lit­er­a­ture dis­trib­uted to con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants dis­cussed a common legal frame­work for the U.S., Canada and Mexico and pro­posals for a North Amer­ican Court of Jus­tice (with the authority to over­rule a deci­sion of the U.S. Supreme Court), a North Amer­ican Trade Tri­bunal, and a Charter of Fun­da­mental Human Rights for North America. One of Pastor’s stu­dents at AU sug­gests that he even favors a North Amer­ican Parliament.

The con­fer­ence orga­nizers and par­tic­i­pants believe NAFTA, which promised eco­nomic inte­gra­tion, has to be expanded into the legal, social, polit­ical and even cul­tural areas. Pastor, though a Demo­crat, suc­ceeded in per­suading Texas Repub­lican Sen­ator John Cornyn to intro­duce a “North Amer­ican Invest­ment Fund” bill to send more U.S. tax dol­lars to Mexico. Both polit­ical par­ties are seen favoring the process of bringing the three coun­tries together into an entity like the Euro­pean Union that now gov­erns Europe and super­sedes the sov­er­eignty of member governments.

One obvious problem is cor­rup­tion in and illegal immi­gra­tion from Mexico. Public sen­ti­ment in the U.S. forced Con­gress to pass-and Pres­i­dent Bush to sign-a law cre­ating a fence on the U.S. southern border. Nev­er­the­less, Bush and the Democ­rats con­tinue to press for amnesty for illegal aliens and ways to increase the flow of for­eign workers into the U.S.

The Giu­liani con­nec­tion to this con­tro­ver­sial process is through Bracewell & Giu­liani, a law firm he joined as senior partner in 2005. Bracewell has already come in for crit­i­cism because it rep­re­sents Citgo, the oil com­pany con­trolled by Venezuela’s anti-American and terrorist-supporting ruler Hugo Chavez.

Free­lance colum­nist Dianne M. Grassi broke the story of Giuliani’s law firm acting as the exclu­sive legal counsel for Cintra, the Spanish firm that has been granted the right to operate a toll road in the Trans-Texas Cor­ridor (TTC) project. Grassi com­ments, “Most inter­esting to the whole story is not only has Mr. Giuliani’s involve­ment in the NAFTA Super­highway not ever having been pub­licly addressed, but how a for­eign com­pany is awarded the building of a mass highway system, versus main­taining it, for the first time in U.S. his­tory, and nego­ti­ated by the law firm of the top Repub­lican can­di­date run­ning for Pres­i­dent of the United States. And truly dis­turbing is how such will not only have national and home­land secu­rity and sov­er­eignty impli­ca­tions but how it is delib­er­ately being kept away from the Halls of Congress.”

Grassi’s rev­e­la­tions are easily con­firmed by checking the web­sites of Bracewell and Cintra. Bracewell calls the deal “the first pri­va­ti­za­tion of a Texas toll road.”

Terri Hall, founder and director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), notes that Giu­liani clients with an interest in acquiring Texas roads and infra­struc­ture have also invested in his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. She com­ments, “This could explain why Giu­liani has spent so much time fundraising in Texas. The monied pro­po­nents of the Trans-Texas Cor­ridor, of which there are many, would like to see this man become President.”

Iron­i­cally, Ryan Sager of the New York Sun reports that Giu­liani, before he became a pri­vate busi­nessman with global clients, opposed NAFTA.

It turns out that Cintra is a finan­cial partner with an Aus­tralian com­pany, Mac­quarie, on a toll-road project in Indiana, and that Mac­quarie acquired the busi­ness and assets of an invest­ment bank known as Giu­liani Cap­ital Advisors.

Sunday’s Wash­ington Post notes that Giu­liani Cap­ital Advi­sors “was sold for an undis­closed amount as Giu­liani was preparing his run for president.”

The Post article also dis­closes that Giuliani’s secre­tive lob­bying firm, Giu­liani Part­ners, has made more than $100 mil­lion over the last five years and that its clients “are required to sign con­fi­den­tiality agree­ments, so they do not com­ment about the work they receive or how much they are paying for it. Though now run­ning for pres­i­dent, Giu­liani refuses to iden­tify his clients, dis­close his com­pen­sa­tion or reveal any details about Giu­liani Part­ners. He also declined to be inter­viewed about the firm.“  The paper pro­vided some details, based “on a review of cor­po­rate, gov­ern­ment and court records, along with scores of inter­views with clients and gov­ern­ment offi­cials who have inter­acted with Giu­liani Partners.”

Many ques­tions remain about Giuliani’s con­tro­ver­sial work for for­eign inter­ests. But his con­nec­tion to the Trans-Texas Cor­ridor is already a matter of public record and cries out for scrutiny. Will Fox News per­son­al­i­ties ask him about it on Tuesday night?

— — —  — -

Cliff Kin­caid, serves as editor of the Accu­racy in Media (AIM) Report in Wash­ington, DC.


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