Updated Election Results for Nader/Gonzalez State by State

Nader Calls Pennsylvania Turnpike Deal a Giveaway to Foreign Corporations, Big Banks

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 07:00:00 AM


Contact: Chris Driscoll, 202-360-3273, chris@votenader.org

Nader Calls Pennsylvania Turnpike Deal a Giveaway to Foreign Corporations, Big Banks

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader said today that the proposed corporatization of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is an unconscionable "long-term giveaway to big banks and foreign corporations."

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced that a group led by Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citigroup Inc. had won bidding for the 75-year lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a cash offer of $12.8 billion.

Nader supporters will campaign throughout Pennsylvania to defeat the 75-year surrender of this public asset paid for by millions of Pennsylvanians.

"The public paid for the turnpike," Nader said. "The public should maintain operational control. The turnpike is a commonwealth asset for motorists and workers."

"Governor Rendell's proposed deal is a license to print money for the big banks and foreign investors," Nader said. "It undercuts President Eisenhower's dream for a national transportation infrastructure - publicly built and publicly controlled for public accountability and national defense. We cannot maintain a national highway network if key segments are leased to the highest bidder. Pennsylvania is taking a minuscule up-front payment in return for a large downstream private profit over three-quarters of a century (until 2083) to a foreign company which is being handed a captive customer base."

"This is the kind of deal that European imperialists used to impose on countries of the third world in past centuries. These days, $12.8 billion produces very little compared to the value of this commonwealth asset over 75 years. Just one bridge upgrade project in Washington, DC has just cost $2.5 billion. The Governor is proposing selling off a key public asset for short term gain. It's a bad deal and the legislature should defeat it. There are far more details to be disclosed."

Nader has been a persistent critic of the corporatization of the nation's highways.

In February 2007, Nader wrote a letter to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels criticizing his proposal to lease the 175-mile Indiana toll road to foreign corporations.