On the TTC: 3Posted: January 7, 2007
What got me on the subject of the TTC was a pair of billboards advertising the TTC on the stretch of US Hwy 82 between Sherman and Gainesville. It was a fairly obvious piece of propaganda, paid for by Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation (TSRT), whose website is BetterTexasRoads.org. So I’ll start there, and later address a few of the claims made by the billboard.
The first thing we should note is the “.org” at the end of the web address. That, opposed to a .com or a .net or a .tv or a .whatever implies something: that the organization who operates the site is a non-profit, dedicated to making the world a better place – in this instance, making the world better by making our roads safer. (For comparison, here are a few other .orgs: CARE, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Heifer International.)
And, of course, TSRT claims to be a non-profit:
“Q: What is Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation?
A: Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation (TSRT) is a coalition of individuals, employers, trade associations, and public safety organizations dedicated to improving transportation in Texas.
Q: Is TSRT a front-group for a special-interest agenda?
A: No. We are public interest group interested in promoting an improved transportation system in Texas.”
But a list of the “individuals, employers, trade associations, [or] public safety organizations” who are members of TSRT isn’t easy to find, which seems a bit odd. Ashamed to publicly support safer roads, are they?
There is a list of the board members to be found on the site, though it’s tucked away, in one of TRST’s earlier press releases. The three board members are:
Joe Krier, San Antonio Chamber, President and CEO.
Lawrence Olsen, Texas Good Roads Association in Austin.
Donna Williams, vice president of Parsons Infrastructure & Technology in Dallas (and wife of Texas Railroad Commission member Michael Williams).
(In later press releases, however, Joe Krier is simply TSRT’s chairman, and Donna Williams is “a Dallas-based aviation engineer.”)
So it would appear that TSRT is indeed a front for a special interest agenda; the board members all stand to profit (indirectly, of course) from the construction of a massive system of toll roads in Texas. And so we ought to assume that anything they tell us is, if not an outright lie, certainly a misrepresentation of the truth, or a statement based on faulty (or false) and unstated assumptions. With that in mind, we’ll turn to the billboard and a corresponding press release shortly.