Austin, TX – Saturday, April 5, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) hosted thousands of citizens for a march up Congress Avenue and the Don’t Mess with Texas TURF protest rally to stop the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) and tolls across Texas on the South Capitol steps. Front row center was a contingent from the City of Kendleton, whose Mayor Carolyn Jones spread misinformation telling constituents the “TTC-69 project was dead so you don’t need to go to that rally Saturday.” One of her constituents quipped that “she must think we didn’t learn to read or write. Well, we did and we’re not stupid. We couldn’t wait to get to this rally.”
A similar contingent from Walker County attended in protest of Senator Steve Ogden’s (R – Bryan) comments stating the TTC-69 project was “dead” (though he modified his remarks to claim he said “dead in Walker County”). TxDOT’s official statement in response said the project is “not dead,” and they, in fact, just extended the public comment period for TTC-69. Some folks believed the rumors, which made constituents hopping mad. Saturday’s rally couldn’t come soon enough.
Texas farmers, ranchers, and ordinary citizens from all over Texas (East Texas, North Texas, Houston, San Antonio, and everywhere in between) as well as folks from out of state (as far away as Michigan) attended the rally.
Oklahoma Senator Randy Brogdon (R – Owasso) told participants the TTC is a threat to liberty and to our sovereignty. Brogdon mentioned a transportation bill he helped kill in the Oklahoma State Legislature that had the potential to erase our borders and destroy our country’s sovereignty, giving unfettered access to Mexican and Canadian truckers on U.S. interstate highways and would have erased Oklahoma’s 11th Amendment rights.
“Folks, it is plain to me that anything designed to tear down and eliminate our borders is a direct attack on the sovereignty of this Nation. And anyone involved with helping to destroy our Nation’s sovereignty is involved in a treasonous act and should be held accountable,” Brogdon proclaimed with conviction.
Brogdon also spoke of the needed u-turn in the TTC when it hits the Oklahoma border.
“Well, Governor Rick Perry is going to have to build the largest Texas turnaround ever built in the State of Texas, because the NAFTA Superhighway ain’t crossing the Red River into Oklahoma,” roared Brogdon to the enthusiastic crowd.
Texas State Representatives David Leibowitz (D- San Antonio) and Nathan Macias (R – Hill country) both encouraged grassroots supporters to continue the fight to stop the TTC and tolls.
“Our congressional delegation was asleep at the switch when NAFTA was passed. They didn’t ensure Texas got enough funding for the increase in traffic due to NAFTA and now they’re asking us to pick-up the tab,” noted Leibowitz.
“Thank you for your commitment to the cause, and please don’t give up the fight,” emphasized Macias.
Macias noted the Republican Party platform from 2006 had a plank against the TTC and against tolls on existing corridors. He stated the platform is a document created by the grassroots. He recognized many legislators aren’t listening to the citizens, and he encouraged them to stay involved in order to return our State government to one that’s of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Mae Smith, Mayor of Holland and Chair of the first Sub-Regional Planning Commission putting a roadblock in the way of TTC-35 gave attendees the tool they can implement TODAY to stop the TTC. By forming a commission allowed by Local Government Code Chapter 391 in the Texas Statutes, it forces TxDOT to coordinate with local units of government before they can proceed with building the TTC.
The booklets explaining the 391 commissions compiled by two private property rights groups called American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range went flying off the TURF table.
Other speakers touched on themes of loss of sovereignty, runaway taxation, eminent domain abuse, outsourcing of jobs, and the overall threat to the freedom to travel.
Participants also enjoyed some home-grown entertainment by The Texicans (singers/songwriters of Trans Texas Corridor Blues) and Jack Motley (featured in Truth Be Tolled.com movie).
For more information please visit the TURF web site at:www.TexasTURF.org.
TURF rally038: Terri Hall, Founder of Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF)
TURF rally044, 047: Senator Randy Brogdon – Oklahoma
TURF rally122: Texas State Representatives David Leibowitz (D- San Antonio)
TURF rally148: Mayor Mae Smith of Holland, Texas
• Terri Hall, (210) 275-0640, Founder of Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF) EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Hank Gilbert, (903) 871-2424, TURF Board Member/Rally Coordinator EMAIL: email@example.com