Ninety-seven percent of respondents to a recent poll by CNN
said they do not believe U.S. highways and roads should be owned by private
companies, while only 3 percent said yes.
Truckers interested in the issue of privatization of U.S.
highways and infrastructure may have tuned in Tuesday, Jan. 9, to the cable
news network's program, "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer appeared on the
program along with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, to speak out against a recent
announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The DOT issued a press release Monday, Jan. 8, announcing
the department would provide states with "model legislation" to help them
privatize public roads and infrastructure.
A producer from Dobbs' show contacted Spencer for a statement
on the program, and Spencer used the opportunity to denounce DOT's proposal.
Immediately following the piece, CNN published the
preliminary results of the viewers' poll, which showed that 97 percent of
nearly 8,400 respondents were not in favor of privatization.
"It's not a scientific poll, but it's certainly
representative of the viewers of this particular program," said Rod Nofziger,
director of government affairs for OOIDA. "And it's representative of the
majority of the American public.
"This is the second time Todd has been featured in pieces by
reporters for the Lou Dobbs program, and we know Lou is going to follow up on
the issue in the future."
Indiana's elected officials used the legislative process to
lease the Indiana Toll Road to private investors from Spain and Australia for
$3.85 billion in upfront cash.
The U.S. DOT is using parts of that lease and information
from state laws around the country for its model legislation for other states
to use in similar deals.
Officials from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware
have all issued statements recently in favor of leasing or selling their
turnpike systems or toll roads to private investors.
- By David Tanner,