One year later, Indiana Toll Road lease still divides

Full story: The Indianapolis Star

Like its motto, Indiana was at a crossroads a year ago. In need of money for major road improvements, the state dubbed "The Crossroads of America" decided against raising taxes or selling bonds.
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1 - 20 of 132 Comments Last updated Nov 5, 2007
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Bart

Lafayette, IN

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#1
Jun 26, 2007
 
There are many things in the contract that we weren't told. The Spanish company is guaranteed X amount of revenue each year until the end of the contract, and if they don't get it, guess who makes up the difference. Another paragraph doesn't allow for expansion of east/west roads within a centain distance of the toll road. It goes on and on, Mitch and his buddies sold us out!!
Change Is Good

Shirley, IN

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#3
Jun 26, 2007
 
Just another example of sound leadership from the Governor. People need to see the big picture and realize this is a good deal for Indiana. I'm looking forward to Mitch's next term as governor.
Agent of Change

Lafayette, IN

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#5
Jun 26, 2007
 
And exactly how much was the toll road generating prior to the lease? Bauer and others want to take shots at Daniels, but nothing, absolutely nothing, was being done with the toll road prior to Daniels. I may not agree with everything Daniels does (and I don't), but at least he makes the effort. Bauer and his ilk do nothing to make a difference and then sit around and criticize those who are at least willing to try something.
Practical

Evansville, IN

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#6
Jun 26, 2007
 
"Opponents counter that the lease is a quick-fix dead end. They argue the money will be gone within 10 years and future generations will be left to pay the bill."

What bill are they talking about? We paid for the toll road when it was operated by the state - now, the only people who pay for it are ITR and those who drive on it. We went from a money-losing venture to one that'll help the infrastructure of the rest of the state.

As for the semi drivers who are threatening to take to the side streets, don't expect that to last long. Local municipalities can and will find ways to limit truck traffic on their roads. Your trucks already clog up the highways, passing each other because the other truck is going 1 MPH slower than you - stop being so selfish to think that the roads are your kingdom to rule as you please. You use our roads, affecting our quality of life (increased traffic, air pollution) and expect to get by with the same priveleges as the local residents who pay to live there. I'm not questioning the importance of what you do, but don't be so self-righteous to think you deserve special priveleges.
Tim

AOL

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#7
Jun 26, 2007
 
If Bauer is against anything, I am all for it!
Mike

United States

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#8
Jun 26, 2007
 
Bart,
First, at one time, the contract was available online for review as part of the bid process. Did you ever read the entire thing? If not, then shut up.
Second, explain to me how "Mitch" profits in this deal. I hear this CONSTANTLY on these forums--that Mitch profits from this by making his friends "rich". It is a nonsensical argument--like there is some millionaire's club that meets every week to screw the "common" man. Mitch is worth tens of millions--if it were not for altruism, why would he assume the governor's job, at $100K or so per year, only to be lambasted constantly, just to make his "friends" rich? Your argument is illogical and nonsensical.
Third, we took an asset that we were LOSING millions on every year and turned it into something that generates profits every year--to the tune of $170M so far. AND, most of the profits come from out-of-state drivers (roughly 66% of toll-road drivers are from out of state). Why is taxing out-of-state drivers bad--especially when we receive the benefits?
Fourth, the truckers that say they will divert the toll road to save money are spewing crap. Time is money. Driving through small-town Indiana costs much more in time and fuel than the toll increase. Do the math.
Lastly, the only way the trust fund will not be around is if the legislature gets their grubby hands into it like they did with the tobacco settlement. Did you know that Randy Borror wanted to change the constitution so that the legislature could not rob the trust fund? It died--because others will rob it when politically expedient.
Bart, keep believing the rhetoric that you are fed. It will demonstrate your true intelligence and character.
CHS Grad 1977

Birmingham, AL

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#9
Jun 26, 2007
 
Change Is Good wrote:
Just another example of sound leadership from the Governor. People need to see the big picture and realize this is a good deal for Indiana. I'm looking forward to Mitch's next term as governor.
those drugs that you're smoking must be powerful for you to believe that!!!
Chilly

United States

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#10
Jun 26, 2007
 
Can you tell me where to find the text of this contract so I can read the whole truth? You cite paragraphs so appahrently you have read it?
Bart wrote:
There are many things in the contract that we weren't told. The Spanish company is guaranteed X amount of revenue each year until the end of the contract, and if they don't get it, guess who makes up the difference. Another paragraph doesn't allow for expansion of east/west roads within a centain distance of the toll road. It goes on and on, Mitch and his buddies sold us out!!
Johnny B Goode

Indianapolis, IN

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#11
Jun 26, 2007
 
Quit the whining. Nothing in life or any other state in the union is free. You pay for it whether it comes from your pocket or the government's pocket via your taxes. This is a pure economic deal, trading money today for money tomorrow.

This is an example of Reagan-omics: Spending today on road construction will create more jobs and creater private and tax revenue today - tickle down economics 101 - which is a Republican philosophy.

Did we ever hear a Democratic plan to create the same ecomomic boost without a tax increase?

Indiana ... like or leave it please! Yes, Mitch is not only my man, but man enough to tackle this.
Taking It In

United States

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#12
Jun 26, 2007
 
I agree. And I will vote for Gov. Daniels again.
Agent of Change wrote:
And exactly how much was the toll road generating prior to the lease? Bauer and others want to take shots at Daniels, but nothing, absolutely nothing, was being done with the toll road prior to Daniels. I may not agree with everything Daniels does (and I don't), but at least he makes the effort. Bauer and his ilk do nothing to make a difference and then sit around and criticize those who are at least willing to try something.
CHS Grad 1977

Birmingham, AL

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#13
Jun 26, 2007
 
Bart wrote:
There are many things in the contract that we weren't told. The Spanish company is guaranteed X amount of revenue each year until the end of the contract, and if they don't get it, guess who makes up the difference. Another paragraph doesn't allow for expansion of east/west roads within a centain distance of the toll road. It goes on and on, Mitch and his buddies sold us out!!
amazing that we don't get to read the FINE PRINT until AFTER THE DEAL!!!!

can you say FLIM FLAM!?!?!?!

new nickname for Mitch Daniels...

FLIM-FLAM Mitch Daniels
Big Bauer

United States

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#14
Jun 26, 2007
 
So what - I'm not like my cousin Jack - but I still say RAISE TAXES and fight anything Republicans do - even when they're right!
Come On

Indianapolis, IN

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#15
Jun 26, 2007
 
This could go either way depending on toll reciepts, growth along the toll road, and what we decide to do with the money. I am all for getting programs out of the government's hands. Privatization is a good thing more often then not, but in this case some gov't regulation on toll price is essential. The revenue to the state needs to be put aside to compile interest, if not, it wouldn't be worth it. 4-7% interest on several billion dollars would be a goldmine for the state.

I know most Hoosiers are scared to death of change, but change is what we needed most. The status quo was going to send us bankrupt. I like what Mitch is doing. He understands progress through action. The Dems appear to offer only criticism and little to no beneficial alternatives. Remember: IT IS A LEASE, NOT A SALE. I lease buildings for a living, not sell them, HUGE DIFFERENCE.
GRW

Sellersburg, IN

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#16
Jun 26, 2007
 
Tolls were already far too low. The problem with government control is that tolls should have gone up a long time ago--to keep the toll road in good shape.

Tolls would have gone up even under government control--this is a straw man argument

"Tolls already have increased for truckers. Rates for trucks with five axles increased in May 2006 for the first time in more than 20 years, from $14.55 to $17.90. It now costs $22.60 and will increase to $27.30 on April 1 and to $32 in 2009."
Works Hard

Chicago, IL

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#17
Jun 26, 2007
 
Pat Bauer wrote:
Mitch is bad. I am good, good, good. I do what's right for the party, not the people.
This is closer to the truth than we all realize.......whether it is walking out of the legislature or fighting with the Republican's, Bauer looks to partisan politics without ever looking to the good fo the people. the lease makes sense to me, trucker will pay the fee's. what has not gone up in the past 10 years? We need to focus on the issue, not Bauer. He is a embarrassment to our state and I cannot understand how the Democarats continue to stand for it.
cindy

United States

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#18
Jun 26, 2007
 
why is it supposed to be better when we sat for 30 minutes in the toll lane coming from chicago to 65. there was only 1 toll booth open on sunday afternoon.
Why are we paying

Brookfield, WI

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#19
Jun 26, 2007
 
75 YEARS Ditch?

75 YEARS?

Here's what you do:
Stop smoking whatever it is you are smoking; sober up;table the prescription drug usage; kill sniffing the household cleansers; get a GOOD 8 hours sleep; back away from the pyschic friend hotline and THEN ask yourself if this deal makes any sense to you.
Scott

Indianapolis, IN

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#20
Jun 26, 2007
 
The Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee has promised to pass legislation making public-private leases, like the Indiana Toll Road and the Chicago Skyway deals, illegal. The Senator made specific reference to those two projects. If this happens, the contracts will violate federal law and will be void. When that hapens, the state will have to pay to sever the contract, repay the moneys already paid, etc. This, in part, is why the other states that are considering following Mitch's lead have begun dragging their feet.
Taking It In

United States

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#21
Jun 26, 2007
 
Works Hard wrote:
<quoted text>
He is a embarrassment to our state and I cannot understand how the Democarats continue to stand for it.
Should read:
He is a embarrassment to our state and I cannot understand how the VOTERS continue to stand for it.

“Hey yall, watch this ....”

Since: Jun 07

Rural Boone County, IN

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#22
Jun 26, 2007
 
I wish the details in the deal provided funds to purchase Mr. Bauer a new rug. It is bad enough that he sounds ridiculous, if he had a new rug he may not look so ridiculous. Pat is big labor's stooge nothing more. Mitch has my vote.

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