Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Tuesday, August 15

Gov: Blackwell (R) Turnpike Privatization Plan Bashed

As reported in the Youngstown Vindicator, Democratic candidates and elected officals from the Mahoning Valley gathered at Smaldino's Sunrise Deli in Youngstown yesterday to slam the ill-considered proposal by gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) to privatize the Ohio Turnpike. Bottom line, Blackwell's proposal "could mean a private company would benefit at the expense of motorists who travel the road and those who maintain it."

Columbiana County Treasurer Linda Bolon (D-East Palestine), running for the open 1st Ohio House District seat against County Commissioner Jim Hoppel (R-East Liverpool), "was worried partly because the proposal contains no clear plan stating the amount of the toll increases or if the Ohio Turnpike Commission would continue to maintain the road." Increased rates "could cause many of them to use secondary roads instead."

Columbiana County Commissioner Sean Logan (D) said "the plan could take many motorists off the turnpike, which would lead to heavier traffic and other possible short- and long-term problems for nearby routes as well as a need for more money to keep them maintained."

State Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood (D-Niles), running for re-election in the 65th Ohio House District against Councilman Arno Hill (R-Warren), "blasted Blackwell's plan" for allowing "a private company to make a huge profit" while "not providing citizens with a voice on the toll increases or how the turnpike is maintained." She also said it "could affect Ohio's economy if companies see the added tolls as a reason to avoid the state."

These criticisms are buttressed by this report that an economic development expert and a financial analyst who reviewed the plan in June estimated that the plan would raise only half the money Blackwell predicts, and also fails to take into account the $771 million cost of rebuilding the 51-year-old highway twice over the contract's 99-year life.

Blackwell has already backed away from his constitutional amendment to cap government spending. Is it time for him to drop this disastrous idea as well?


At 2:21 PM, Blogger redhorse said...

Did you notice the email from Strickland's team today saying a similiar event will be held in Lorain too?

Looks like they're just trucking west on 80 and bashing Kenny.

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Blackwell dropping his disastrous gubernatorial campaign? That is what I would like to see!

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Earl said...

"Is it time for him to drop this disastrous idea as well?"

Heck, no- it's great... as a boat anchor!

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Joe R said...

Oh yes privitization of government responsibilities.

Its simple, means lower quality of service for higher cost, to companies that are big contributors of the Repulicans in charge of giving out the contracts.

also see: Haliburton


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