This was the Hutchison campaign’s daily blast at Perry for today: Rick Perry continues to avoid critical questions about the Trans-Texas Corridor. While he may think his proposal to seize nearly 600,000 acres of private property is dead and a settled matter, the question for some has turned to how we prevent the TTC from ever coming back. And to that question, Rick Perry dodged yesterday: See video. As for today’s schedule, Hutchison will be in the San Antonio-area for events and a media tour to promote Proposition 11. The Youtube link is to a Perry press conference. He was asked, “Would Proposition 11 prevent future Trans-Texas Corridors from seizing private land?” Perry answered [omitting banter], “The Trans-Texas Corridor is a dead subject both through the Legislature and the Department of Transportation.” “It’s very important to delineate what we’re talking about,” he continued. “This is where a government entity can take a piece of property and hand it over to a private developer to enhance tax revenues. When we’re building highways in the State of Texas, that still stays the sovereign land of the State of Texas. So the next road that’s built, and there’s eminent domain, [and] when the next water line goes into San Antonio, we can continue to have growth in this area and this city. That is eminent domain that is important to public use, versus going out and condemning a piece of property somewhere to increase the revenue. Very important difference between the two.” I don’t blame the Hutchison campaign for doubting Perry’s willingness to abandon the corridor. I doubt it too. But I don’t think it’s legit to say that he ducked the question. What he said was perfectly clear. He supports eminent domain for certain public uses such as highways and water lines. He doesn’t support it when a local govenment uses it to build condos and increase revenue. It must have been a slow day for the Hutchison campaign to make an issue of it — or for me to write about it.
Politics & Policy