You may have read an interesting article this week in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the fact that the North Texas Transportation Authority rarely hires, or considers hiring, minority owned contractors to manage NTTA projects. Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price commented that the NTTA runs a “Good Ole' Boys' Club.” Apparently so if roughly 95% of all projects are awarded to white males.
The Dallas Blog did a bit more investigating and found that Ray Hutchison, husband to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, advised the Collin County Commissioners' Court as bond counsel with Vinson & Elkins, LLP, on the pros and cons of pursing private activity bonds to build a toll road between Denton and Collin counties. Dallas Blog came to the following conclusion, under the headline of, “Ray Hutchison Promotes NTTA's “Good Ol' Boys' Club”:
Mr. Hutchison works full-time for Vinson & Elkins earning a substantial salary there. TxDOT and NTTA coordinate to build toll roads in the North Texas region. Yet, the NTTA recently earned notoriety for flagrantly hiring very few minority contractors.
I actually want to go one step farther and question Senator Hutchison's sincerity on being anti-toll. Her husband defends the practice of toll privatization on behalf of the NTTA, an agency that doesn't believe minorities are up to the task of building roads as much as Anglos, but meanwhile Kay Bailey has the audacity to slam Rick Perry on allowing the building of privatized toll roads across Texas?
How can you be anti-privatization of roads when your husband brings home paychecks due to work where he advises pursuing bonds that allow private entities to build toll roads?
It looks like to me we have another case of Senator Hutchison sticking her finger in her mouth and pointing toward the sky to figure out which way the political winds are blowing on a particular issue. It is politically convenient to say you are against privatizing toll roads because that is popular, but as long as your husband gets paid to promote doing just that it's rather easy to turn the other way and play dumb. What voters don't know, won't hurt them, I suppose is what Kay Bailey is thinking.