Follow the Money
Frank Corte’s campaign finance report looks like a who’s who of toll road interests: Hilco, Red McCombs, Terrell McCombs, Tim Tuggey, Union Pacific (for the Trans Texas Corridor), Tim Word. There’s several smoking guns, too. Frank Corte has taken money from Gary Bushell, the very same registered lobbyist that TxDOT illegally hired to lobby elected officials up and down the path of the Trans Texas Corridor, which is the subject of TURF’s lawsuit against the state for TxDOT’s illegal taxpayer funded lobbying. Corte also took money from Dan Shelley, the very same “consultant” who worked for Cintra, then went to work for Governor Perry during the exact time frame Cintra-Zachry was awarded the development rights to the Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35, and then Shelley went back to work for Cintra after cinching the deal.
To round out the who’s who list of toll road interests giving money to Corte’s campaign is Zachry’s political action committee. Zachry is a bidder on the 281 toll project, was awarded the development rights to the Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35, and is bidding for the development rights on the Trans Texas Corridor TTC-69. So when Corte claims to be against toll roads (and he tried to wiggle out of his stated position FOR the Trans Texas Corridor in the Free Market Foundation voter guide) after voting for them every chance he got, taking money from a laundry list of toll road interests with deep financial interests in toll projects across the state removes all doubt about where Corte stands on toll roads. He’s for them. In fact, Corte’s lying to constituents in a shameless, misleading attempt to sugarcoat his voting record to get re-elected.
Voting records don’t lie even though Corte does
Frank Corte has voted for every piece of toll legislation since 2001, including tolling existing freeways, market-based tolls (or “whatever the market will bear” in a Robin Hood scheme tolling one corridor to pay for others), the Trans Texas Corridor, putting our highways under the control of foreign companies, paying losing bidders up to $1 million, ending requirement of lowest bid contracts, and even voted to allow no bid contracts (HB 3588, SB 2702, SB 792, HB 2661, HB 3775).