Hutchison TV ad hits Perry on transport policy

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Associated Press

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Details of a new television campaign ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Kay Bailey Hutchison:

TITLE: "Road Signs."

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Starts Tuesday statewide.

SCRIPT:

"This is a free road.

"For now.

"Rick Perry wants it to be a toll road.

"The road your taxes already paid for.

"A giant Perry land grab.

"Like the 600,000 acres he tried to take from Texans.

"So a foreign company could charge tolls, too.

"It's time to end the Trans-Texas Corridor.

"Forever.

"Kay Bailey Hutchison for Governor."

KEY IMAGES: The entire script flashes line by line across a large digital message board on a busy highway. The "free road" being discussed appears to be an empty bridge crossing over the highway. The only sounds are that of heavy traffic and honking horns.

ANALYSIS: The ad attempts to capitalize on populist anger over the Trans-Texas Corridor that has dogged Perry since he first proposed it in 2002. Perry ditched the plan last year in response to the public uproar.

He initially cast the $175 billion network of toll roads as a way to relieve Texas' traffic congestion and pay for new roads, an ongoing problem in the state. While Hutchison clearly recognizes the importance of the issue, her proposals — using "innovation" and creating a committee to study ways to reduce waste — are light on solutions to pay for it.

The ad could mislead viewers by suggesting that Perry could have converted existing roads to toll roads. A 2005 Texas law prohibits such a conversion without voter approval.

PERRY'S TWO CENTS: Perry's camp says it's unfortunate that Hutchison has started the new year with a negative and "factually inaccurate" ad.

___

Analysis by April Castro, Associated Press writer.

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