El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT Capitol: TxDoT’s Houghton lashes out

ted_houghton_jr_2Last Thursday, TxDOT commissioner Ted Houghton called anti toll activist Hank Gilbert and his organization a “bunch of bigots” in a heated exchange over the use of stimulus money for toll projects.

Gilbert eventually retorted that Houghton was a hypocrite.

Thanks to the Austin Chronicle you can see footage of what happened below.

Follow the jump for the analysis of Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka.
–Ben Wright
Burka on Houghton:

“The level of mistrust of TxDOT is as high as it has ever been thanks to Commissioner Ted Houghton, who decided to do a little bomb-throwing of his own at the March 5 meeting of the Texas Highway Commission, calling one of the witnesses and the organization he represents “idiots.” Senator Hegar fired off a letter to Houghton, which included the following observations:

* I am … compelled to strongly denounce your comments to Mr. Hank Gilbert at the … meeting as completely out of line and wholly unacceptable.

* Regardless of the criticism you may have received over the last few years in your duties as a commissioner and regardless of your thoughts about Mr. Gilbert or the group he represents, he is a taxpayer, and it is extremely inconsiderate for you to dismiss him and the organization he represents as “idiots.” Anyone who holds the prestigious position of Texas transportation commissioner must take both the good and the bad that comes with that position and treat our fellow citrizens with respect; the same respect that he paid you in politely expressing his thoughts and opinions.

* [I]ncidents like this one only underscore the problems of the past and retard future progress. They certainly do nothing to change the perception of many of my legislative colleagues that TxDOT remains arrogant and unresponsive to the people it serves….
Lots of fodder here for the coming battle over TxDOT sunset.”


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Typical Ted – arrogant and know-it-all. I sincerely hope that when the Texas Senate has to vote on his reappointment that they will vote NO. This Gilbert guy is correct – if you use stimulus money for toll roads and then keep taxing gas and diesel – yes we are paying for the same thing 3 times. Ted is definitely the “blonde” in the group.


    March 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm

  2. Great job Ben! You’re “Our man in Austin.”


    March 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

  3. Houghton looks like a reptile or something ( or a toad who’s had too much to drink in his lifetime) just like the rest of the the lizards sitting next to him. I think Mr. Hank Gilbert showed great restraint.

    TxDOT Toadton

    March 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  4. Sometimes, you just have to call them as you see them!!!


    March 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  5. Senator Hegar is a representative from Katy the Houston area that needs no help with their roads. The were representitives of Hurricane Katrina Funding that should have been earmarked for road and bridge repair!!!


    March 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

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