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Hutchison Asleep at the Switch

Location: San Antonio, TX

Hutchison Asleep at the Switch

San Antonio, Texas

October 30, 2006

U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Barbara Ann Radnofsky announced the debut of a rail safety commercial while hammering her opponent's refusal to properly assess rail safety risks and act.

"While my opponent wages her war of choice in Iraq, she has ignored rail security and safety, lifting not a finger while Welded Rail and Tank Safety Act S 763 lies dormant. Special interests, contributing heavily to her campaign, have silenced calls for safety and security on our rails."

Radnofsky's rail safety campaign TV commercial, now viewable at, debuts on Nov. 2 in San Antonio and runs up to the election.

"San Antonio has been the site of train derailments and is vulnerable, like so many U.S. cities, to train accidents and sabotage. Two weeks ago, a San Antonio derailment highlighted the need for action, as residents recalled a June 2004 derailment spewing killer chlorine at many thousands of times higher than fatal levels. The most recent wreck occurred close to downtown San Antonio. Experts say that if chlorine had been involved, residents would have had only minutes to live and little or no hope of escape.

"S 763 would require appropriate design standards for pressurized tank cars, would rank and eliminate the highest risks from pre-1989 tank cars, require track owners to improve rail joint bar crack identification, and require federal track inspection and monitoring improvement."

"My opponent and this administration refuse to look at risks to Texans and all Americans with rails in their cities and rural areas. Railroads can and should be one of our most efficient and safest forms of commerce and travel. We can greatly reduce the risk of accidents, and cheaply so. My opponent has refused to work to get the bill passed. Why? She is a tool of rail special interests who are her heavy campaign donors, and they want no government regulation. She is cynically not considering the risk to the public versus the benefit to her donors."

The latest Radnofsky commercial uses the now-famous sock puppet and describes Radnofsky's opponent as a puppet of special interests, ending with a red circle with a bar over the face of the long-lashed, blonde wigged puppet.

This is Radnofsky's third TV commercial to feature the puppet, who also makes a guest appearance with her handler on the recent post-debate webcast at Radnofsky says that the puppet and handler have been recognized in public several times since the commercials first aired.

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