Innovators in Action 2008


From Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes reason online

Reason Foundation is heralding U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and Texas Gov. Rick Perry as "Innovators in Action" for their work in developing fresh solutions to cope with our growing infrastructure and traffic problems. In Innovators in Action 2008, Ms. Peters and Gov. Perry author columns explaining their visions and policy prescriptions for the future of transportation funding and construction.

"From crumbling roads to collapsing bridges to gridlocked roads, our nation's infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and expansion," said Leonard Gilroy, editor of Innovators in Action and director of government reform at Reason Foundation. "Governor Perry and Secretary Peters have led us down a new path, a path that shows there are better and more sustainable ways to fund, build and operate infrastructure. Their leadership offers hope that after years of falling behind, we can build a 21st century transportation system that protects our mobility and spurs the economy."

In addition to Peters and Perry, the Reason Foundation publication features essays by and interviews with U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, Utah Senator Howard Stephenson and Representative Craig Frank, New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak, the late Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson, Denver Regional Transportation District CEO Cal Marsella, King County (WA) Executive Ron Sims, and BASIS Charter Schools co-founder Olga Block.

In their own words, this bipartisan group of leaders reveal how they are reducing government spending and reforming bureaucracy; how they are collaborating with the private sector to build new infrastructure and deliver cost-savings and better services to taxpayers; how they are advancing market-based transportation solutions to reduce congestion and improve mobility; how they reforming public education delivery and advancing school choice; and how they are reforming urban public transit operations.

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  1. Wow! Another steering committee! Great idea!

  2. Excuse me, but when did a “market-based transportation” system become synonymous with the state using eminent domain — forcibly evicting people from their properties, which doesn’t sound too libertarian to me — in order to grant monopoly road-building privileges (and monopoly control over development near the road) to a few big corporations?

  3. One interesting aspect to “choice” as it pertains to private toll roads is that contracts with these companies and governments frequently have noncompete clauses that forbid the government from making improvements on adjoining roads for the life of the agreement. In the case of the Sydney Harbour tunnel in Australia, the operators actually pressured local authorities to close an alternate route to boost traffic (and tolls). Just part of things you ought to know…

  4. How can these . . . officials . . . be innovators? No mention of Urkobold and his orbital brothel but these chumps get mentioned?

  5. And don’t forget- these private road operators also have governments turn into collection agencies when drivers licenses come up for renewal. If they say you owe them money, you can’t get your license renewed.

  6. Here are some of the “innovations” that this scheme included: a $1.07 billion accounting error; a competitive bid process where the losing bids were paid for (else alternative bids would not have been forthcoming since everyone knew who the winner was going to be); non-compete clauses where private operators can block public road construction designed to alleviate traffic congestion; massive unprecedented use of eminent domain; innovative political maneuvers required to overcome massive (>85%) public disapproval of the project; innovative “no security” measures obviating inspection of goods arriving by truck from Mexico until they reach Kansas City; innovative marketing that convinced Reason Magazine and others that this was constitutional, free market oriented, and a good idea.

  7. Rick Perry does not have a track record of innovation, except perhaps in corruption.

  8. Reason’s begging for my money but they still have the cash to publish something heralding Rick Perry? Yay for corporatism!

    Stuff like that sometimes make me think Lew Rockwell has a point with his attacks on reason.

  9. Stuff like that sometimes make me think Lew Rockwell has a point with his attacks on reason.

    He has a point, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a jerk.

  10. Perry is a piece of trash and shouldn’t be honored for anything.

  11. Yeah, rick perry is an innovator – he’s found out ways to achieve the state’s largest land grab in history for roads that connect to Mexico and are tolled.


  12. Yeah, sure. Promise to confiscate millions of square miles of privately owned land by the use of force and you become a “reason hero” That just makes me sick. Rick Perry is a far from a free market hero as any other power mad politician. Fuck that.

  13. Cal marsella from RTD in colorado,youve got to be kidding me.
    The regional transportation district is consuming taxpayer money faster than we can hemoage it!
    He is head of what is redevelopment by way of eminant doamin.
    I was unedr the impression that REASON was against this type of social engineering.
    This is hit and run allright. Coloradans get hit with the bill and then run over by the train of eminant domain.
    ps youre series on eminant domain with drew cary is great,but please dont make these politicians heros. They are not!

  14. Why does Rick Perry get to live in a house that costs $10000 a month? And I have to rebuild his stupid fucking mansion too? Where’s miiiiiiine?

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