Monday, February 20, 2012

Toll Increases Will Follow A Turnpike Lease

* Is the leasing/selling of the Ohio Turnpike already a done deal? Is the Director of the roadway trying to get the public accustomed to the idea that someone else would run it?

Ohio Turnpike Commission Executive Director Rick Hodges is urging critics of the idea of leasing the turnpike to slow down.....

....The Ohio Controlling Board last week approved a $2.85 million contract for KPMG Corporate Finance LLC to study the turnpike and the 101 rest stops on the state’s free interstates. The goal, pushed by Gov. John Kasich, is to see whether there’s a way to turn those assets into needed cash.

“Everybody needs to be open-minded,” Hodges said about the process....

Yeah, sure.  Be opened minded that employees of KPMG were campaign contributors to the Kasich campaign.  Be open minded that the Ohio Turnpike made huge profits.

We know that it has been said that the group that bought the Indiana Turnpike overpaid for their lease of that highway and the group is now in deep debt.  It is also a fact that the Indiana roadway has seen a decline in truck traffic because tolls have increased dramatically for trucks and cars. They are staying away in huge numbers.

Just as Kasich overestimated the amount of money he would get for the prisons, he more than likely overestimated what the state would get out of a deal for the turnpike.  There is no magic solution to the state's budget problems, other than creating jobs. If people had jobs, more money would go into the state treasury's coffers.

Speaking of the Ohio Treasury----

Repeat candidate, Republican Josh Mandel, is bring in big bucks for his campaign as he travels around the country to special events given in his honor.  Unfortunately, Mandel is neglecting his job as Treasurer as he continues to skip out of meetings.  Mandel is wasting money even in his own campaign.

Dayton Daily News:

....In the “where are they now” files, famed former political consultant Dick Morris – the man who advised former President Bill Clinton in the days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke – is now speaking at fundraisers for Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

Mandel paid $10,000 to Triangulation Strategies for a speaking fee at an Oct. 12, 2011 event for Mandel, according to research by American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC.

Mandel spokesman Travis Considine confirmed that the campaign paid the fee to Morris, saying Morris spoke at a fundraiser for Mandel in Ohio.

Wow.  Mandel's campaign went for a washed up, Fox News pundit.  How pathetic.  Is Mandel unable to do a pep talk on his own to his campaign followers?

If and when Josh Mandel is the GOP candidate, I think that Sen. Sherrod Brown should debate him as much as possible.  So far, Mandel appears to be short on ideas, except for those being fed to him by his far right supporters.  Have we heard how Josh Mandel feels about women being given access to health care, screenings, and birth control?