Citizens Screwed by CAMPO

RECEIVED Sat., Nov. 10, 2007

Dear Editor,
    The people of Central Texas really got screwed with the recent Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization vote for the five freeway-to-toll-roads surrounding Austin. Although greedy developers, contractors, corrupt government officials (Texas Department of Transportation and its underlings), and other profiteers are mostly to blame for that, the fault also lies with an apathetic populace too lazy and ignorant to participate in local politics.
    Now, with the recent passing of Proposition 12 [“Texas Voters Approve Props; Travis Narrowly Passes Cancer Measure,” News, Nov. 9], people seemed to have willingly spread their butt cheeks and said, “Here, TxDOT, do it deeper, please.” I am completely flummoxed by this. Why would voters pass all these propositions, especially Prop. 12? We’ve now given TxDOT, one of the most corrupt state agencies in history, up to $5 billion more to spend without accountability. This money will most certainly help fund the hugely unpopular Trans-Texas Corridor and be used to promote and build more private partnership toll roads. What the heck is going on with our local elections? What possible thought processes could have lead the small percentage of people who bothered to vote to pass Prop. 12?
Fancy Fairchild
   [Editor replies: Throwing around completely unsubstantiated accusations of corruption because one doesn't like a particular department's plans pollutes the entire dialogue. This kind of casual viciousness is one of the things that discourages rather than promotes citizen involvement. Perhaps one answer to your question, "What possible thought processes could have lead the small percentage of people who bothered to vote to pass Prop. 12?" can be found in the vitriolic tone of your letter. Can't there be very reasonable difference of opinions, even when those differences are extreme, without vilifying those with whom one disagrees?]
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