Robert Bush 8:35 a.m., May 25
Teamsters, Lawyers Square Off in Mexican Truck Debate
Each Side Accuses Other of "Gross Self-Interest at the Expense of the Public Good"
Representative Hunter: "Here in America, we prefer that our trucks not be engulfed in flames."
PULLED OVER ONTO THE SHOULDER, INTERSTATE 5 HEADING NORTH - Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa Jr. calls the decision to allow Mexican trucks unfettered access to U.S. roads "Russian roulette with U.S. highway safety." San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner says that Mexican trucks just aren't safe. And local Congressman Duncan Hunter says that stopping Project Floodgates, which authorized Mexican truck access, is essential to "keeping America working."
But Marty "Firebug" Firebaugh, President of the California Association of Trucking and Transportation Lawyers (CATTL), says that all these views are "short-sighted" and "ultimately counterproductive." "I understand that Hunter wants to protect American jobs, but does he have any idea how many unemployed lawyers there are in California right now? More Mexican trucks means more Mexican truck-related accidents on California's roadways, and that means more Mexican truck-related accident lawsuits and legal proceedngs in California's courtrooms. And at the end of the day, if you're a congressman looking to close up California's massive budget deficit, you're better off having an employed lawyer than an employed trucker."