Steve Walsh, writing for the Gary Post Tribune has a story on the effect privatizing the toll road may have on elections this November. (I seem to recall Gary Post Tribune links going stale pretty quickly, fwiw.)
With Republicans fighting to keep their narrow control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the 2nd District has been featured in recent articles in the New York Times and the Times of London as the poster child for voter discontent in America.
Gov. Mitch Danielsâ€™ popularity remains low, especially in the seven counties along the Toll Road. A recent poll by Indianapolisâ€™ WISH-TV shows a majority of Indiana citizens believe the lucrative Toll Road deal was a mistake, even though it is funding a record-breaking amount of road construction projects, known collectively as Major Moves. The plans call for spending $11.8 billion on road upgrades over 10 years.
. . .
At the Oasis Family Restaurant in Westville, the lunch crowd included truckers who fear rising tolls under the private company, and with less than two months to go before the November election, they said they plan to take out their frustration on Republicans.
The story has two quotes noting the foreignness of the Australian/Spanish consortium as a source of the objection. That’s a mistake. The sale would have been just as objectionable, in my mind, if it had been to Wal-Mart or Halliburton. The loyalties of any large corporation aren’t to their country of origin, but rather to their stockholders and to the bottom line. Indiana’s mistake in this is 1) transferring transportation infrastructure to a private, for-profit entity; and 2) setting up a scheme whereby the motorists of Northern Indiana are taxed to pay for road construction throughout the state.