Activists Turn Up the Heat on Rogue Legislators; SB 1167 Heads to a Floor Vote

February 16, 2015

From WarOnDriving.com

Arizona Senator Kelli Ward’s bill to ban the practice of Photo Ticketing via red light cameras and photo radar has passed every hurdle it’s faced so far.

However, there are some loud rumblings that not everyone from her Republican Caucus has committed to voting Yes when it inevitably goes to a floor vote. Local activists are none too pleased with this prospect. In fact a scathing email detailing which members are falling out of line was received by us this morning:

When spineless organisms like jellyfish or politicians, who bend to lobbyists like Redflex and ATS, are prodded, an audible *squish* noise can be heard at the contact point.

Unfortunately that’s what can be heard down at the capitol right now emanating from 4 “squishy” Republicans who are on the brink of voting to thwart their own party platform by voting NO on SB 1167. The Republican Party of Arizona voted unanimously to oppose Photo Ticketing Cameras throughout the state.

These 4 Senators threaten to derail Senator Kelli Ward’s bill, SB 1167, which would prohibit these unmanned devices (“SCAMeras”) from being used to issue traffic tickets. While Senator Ward is fearlessly defending both the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, these squishy Senators appear willing to let bad laws trample all over your rights.

These 4 must be called and emailed immediately:

Senator Nancy Barto (R – LD 15)
nbarto@azleg.gov    (602) 926-5766

Senator Steve Yarbrough (R – LD 17)
syarbrough@azleg.gov    (602) 926-5863

Senator Bob Worsley (R – LD 25)
bworsley@azleg.gov    (602) 926-5760

Senator Adam Driggs (R – LD 28)
adriggs@azleg.gov    (602) 926-3016

Remind them that photo radar and red light cameras violate:

  • 4th Amendment: The cameras scan the license plate and run the MVD data (personal information) of every motorist in Arizona that passes by them, tracking people like cattle. This is an unwarranted search.
  • 5th Amendment: Photo tickets demand a fine be paid, or you face the seizure of capital and possessions without offering due process. It’s simply a rubber stamp by an employee of the company who is collecting the fine.
  • 6th Amendment: There is no way to exercise your right to face your accuser, when the accuser is an unmanned machine.
  • 7th Amendment: There is no option for a trial because they’ve taken that right away from you with photo tickets, even though the fines can go as high as $350 in the state of Arizona.
  • 14th Amendment: Two sets of standards have been created for the same offenses. Red light and speed camera tickets are treated completely differently by the courts, which is a clear violation of your right to equal protection under the laws. And no machine can replace a sworn peace officer conducting traffic stops.

Remind them that Major Police Agencies throughout Arizona support SB 1167 and an end to photo ticketing:

  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) supports a ban on photo ticketing.
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) – Sheriff Babeu ended photo ticketing in his county immediately after taking office. He wrote Senator Ward a letter in support of SB 1167.
  • Phoenix Law Enforcement Association voted unanimously last week to support SB 1167.
  • Richard Mack, a former two-term Graham County Sheriff, and current candidate for Navajo County Sheriff has been calling Arizona Senate members in support of SB 1167.

Remind them that study after study proves that INCREASES in accidents are almost always associated with the installation of red light cameras and photo radar systems.

[LINK TO STUDIES]


Feds Closing in on Redflex; The Arrests Have Begun

May 16, 2014

From WarOnDriving.com

Not only is this the first domino to fall in what’s likely to be a long line of destroyed political careers scattered from coast to coast in the U.S., but it’s also another lie that Redflex has been caught in.

For months now, they’ve been denying that their company or anyone associated with it is being investigated by the Feds.

Well, that’s an interesting claim, in light of today’s arrest of the man at the center of the Redflex-City of Chicago Bribery Scandal, as a result of an ongoing Federal Investigation. 

The news of that arrest broke today in the Chicago Tribune: 

“Charges Filed Against ex-City Hall manager of red light camera program”

Then it was later picked up by NBC Chicago:

“Former Red Light Camera Manager Charged with Bribery”

You may remember that this ex employee of the city of Chicago, John Bills, was named as being the architect $124 Million scheme to steer Redflex contracts to the city. For his trouble, according to the local NBC affiliate, he was awarded a very handsome takeaway: 

A retired Chicago official who managed the city’s red light camera program for almost a decade was arrested Wednesday for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to steer city contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.

John Bills, 52, is accused of receiving cash bribes and other forms of payment, including a $177,000 condominium in Arizona.

We’ve said all along that this scandal will eventually lead to the demise of Redflex and this arrest is actually ahead of schedule. When Bills sings like a canary to get some sentencing leniency, who knows what will come out of his mouth.

Better run for cover, politicians with Redflex ties. This won’t be pretty.

And as for Redflex denying that former Arnold, MO councilman and the creator of WrongOnRed.com was telling the truth about the Federal investigation? Well he has a little something to say about that. We asked Hay for his thoughts on the matter and he put them in their place:

“Redflex has no shame, and no qualms with deceitful statements. Just Monday, a representative of the City of St. Peters, MO read a letter in an attempt to thwart the St. Charles County Council from allowing their residents to vote to ban Redflex’s systems. The letter supposedly written to them by the “Redflex CEO” stated that there was “misinformation” being spread and that Redflex and their employees were not under any indictment, or Federal Investigation in 13 states for bribery, fraud, or corruption.
I find this denial by Redflex to be particularly laughable in light of the unsealing of the first criminal complaint and arrest of John Bills in the US Attorney’s supposedly “non-existent” Federal investigation. They would not be Redflex, if they did not deny the painfully obvious.”

Redflex also issued a laughable release to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in advance of what should be yet another blood letting. If you need a cheap laugh, here it is [link].

Needless to say, this saga will continue in entertaining fashion.

Pictured above: John Bills locked up in his cell and preparing to sing..


Redflex, ATS and Red Means Stop Recruit Young Sockpuppeteer with Fake Twitter Following

March 16, 2014

The Scamera bandits and their hired apologists like Red Means Stop just can’t seem to help themselves. You may remember that Red Means Stop is bankrolled by Redflex and American Traffic Solutions. It’s so lovely when those two can work together to create nausea inducing phony public awareness campaigns.

Now that more and more courts and politicians have begun to reject ticket scameras, the only tactic left is to indoctrinate the youth, which is just what they’re attempting. The only question is how to find the right person to advocate for organized crime, masquerading as public safety. It looks like the scamera cartel found their gal in Jordan Hibbs. Hibbs is currently in hot water for purchasing almost her entire following on twitter, amounting to 18,000, to boost her profile. Looks like we have a perfect match! Read more below:

Redflex, ATS Front Group Props up “Political Tool” with Fake Twitter Following

WarOnDriving.com

The key to getting people hooked on bad habits for life is to start them young. Just ask tobacco and alcohol companies, who notoriously catered their ads to minors for decades.It serves as no surprise then, that a failing industry like photo ticketing would be looking to youthful advocates in an attempt to indoctrinate impressionable go-getters and score a new face for their scam. It looks like a woman named Jordan Hibbs, of ASU, has been snatched up by an American Traffic Solutions/Redflex front group. As it turns out, she may just be the perfect person to assume their spokes person roll. Jordan admits, she’s not afraid to “fake it” as long as it elevates her status in the process. More on that is coming up.

Scamera Company Propaganda is a Shadowy Game

This dark side of propaganda certainly has not escaped red light camera and photo radar companies. In fact, their astroturf front groups like Red Means Stop fill their coffers with hefty donations from the two profit-driven camera vendors, Redflex and American Traffic Solutions. The organization will then advocate for “safe roads,” but conveniently ignore best practices to achieve that goal, like longer yellow light times. They  instead claim the only solution is to put up cameras. It’s more than a cozy relationship, it’s dishonest and damaging to the safety goals they claim to advocate.

image

Sen John McCain with lobbyist group, Red Means Stop

Enter Jordan Hibbs, a high profile attendee of Arizona State University. She has amassed what would appear to be quite a following on Social Media, specifically Twitter, where she boasts 18k followers. That high of a number for someone who isn’t a public figure didn’t make sense to one ASU student who did some investigating and pointed out that most of this following was fake and probably purchased by Hibbs. Hibbs admitted as much in a mea culpa press release, posted on her website.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, Jordan. But dark times await this young politico, or “Political Tool,” as AZCentral.com called her. She not only still works for Wrong on Red and ATS/Redflex via proxy, but she’s now listed at secretary for the group. If she was truly interested in advocating safe driving, she’d ditch the triangle of fraud that exists between her organization and the two vendors who make money by shortening yellow light times and lying about their products’ safety record.

image

Hibbs proudly boasts of her role with Astro-turfing Red Means Stop

Stick with these folks, Ms. Hibbs, and you can throw any hope of restoring integrity out the window. You’ll be longing for the days that you only had to apologize for buying some fake friends online.

Observe:


Former Redflex Executive: We Bribed Politicians in 13 States

February 9, 2014

WarOnDriving.com

For a calendar year, revelations about Redflex’s shady and illegal business practices have been fed to the public through a steady diet of damning admissions. Journalist David Kidwell of the Chicago Tribune has written about the subject comprehensively.[link to archives]

During the period since the first blockbuster article by Kidwell in March of 2013, Redflex has been hemorrhaging contracts and money, but curiously not in Arizona, which houses the Australian-based camera vendor’s U.S. headquarters.

Paradise Valley, AZ could not have turned a more blind eye to the corruption as they not only renewed with Redflex in 2013 for a whopping 5 years, but agreed to double the size of their contract and hardly even considered using a different vendor, such as American Traffic Solutions (ATS), who also operates nearby in Scottsdale.

Phoenix, AZ also renewed their contract with Redflex without even putting the issue up for public debate, which they later admitted was improper (code language for “illegal”).

Now that Redflex and their designated scapegoat, Aaron Rosenberg, have exchanged lawsuits it’s starting to become clearer that bribery wasn’t just an issue in Chicago, but “Standard Operating Procedure” for the camera vendor.

The former EVP, Rosenberg has not taken too kindly to the remaining brass at Redflex blaming all their transgressions on him and him alone. He’s firing back, not by proclaiming his innocence, but by presenting evidence that he was just a cog in Redflex’s bribery machine.

It’s getting ugly, real ugly.

With just a few pages released by Rosenberg’s attorneys, we now have black and white evidence that shows illegal campaign contributions and gifts being used to sway politicians and party officials in Florida and Arizona. More info will be released from Rosenberg’s side, but probably not until summer of 2014. [Lawsuit]

Here’s what we know so far:

Arizona – Illegal campaign contributions to both the Arizona Democrat and Republican Parties by Mr. Rosenberg that was reimbursed by Redflex and signed off on by then-CEO Karen Finley.

Florida – Two dozen state legislators and their wives were invited to an expensive dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, which was paid for by the company and not reported. Internal emails and expense reports show the dinner cost over $3,200.00.

And this is just the beginning. Rosenberg is alleging bribery was all part of the standard ops in 13 states.

The latest from the Chicago Tribune foreshadows what’s to come:

In his counterclaim against Redflex, Rosenberg said he was simply “carrying out orders” and that other company executives also participated in a “pattern and practice” of wooing potential clients with perquisites including meals, golf outings, professional football and baseball games — all covered under a liberal company policy for “entertainment” expenses.

“A budget for these items was approved, and there was never a distinction between these types of entertainments and expenses that are considered gratuities and bribes,” Rosenberg alleged in the filing.

Rosenberg said that during his tenure Redflex “bestowed gifts and bribes on company officials in dozens of municipalities within, but not limited to the following states: California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.”

Arizona and Florida seem to be a main focus of Rosenberg and his attorneys and for good reason. Arizona is the hub, where the executives are housed and will almost certainly be where most of the bodies are buried. After all, Redflex “won” the competition with ATS for the statewide freeway photo radar contract from 2008-2010 and it certainly took more than just a convincing slide show to woo Janet Napolitano and the state legislature, who looked the other way while she jammed this massive program into a byline on the state’s budget.

Of course, Arizona Legislators in 2008 were way too ethical to accept bribes, right? Well actually, they would beg to differ with that – [Fiesta Bowl bribery scandal]


Mary Rose Wilcox, Redflex Apologist Busted for Lying about Car Accident

September 10, 2013

Mary Rose Wilcox, of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who is little more than a crook with a fancy title, was in her little red Corvette, riding through the ‘hood.  Things went sideways in a hurry when it looks like she burned up a turn, most likely to impress her ride-along activist pal and somehow the front end of her car was mashed up pretty badly.

More from WarOnDriving.com

Ahhh, the infamous “red light runner.” Apparently this is a careless person who exists only to attempt to cross intersections during a red cycle just for thrills. This mythical creature is always used as an excuse to necessitate ticket cameras being placed at every street corner. “A camera will stop these people!” – the politicians and lobbyists always say. (Of course we know accidents always go up when scameras are installed)

Sometimes this thrill seeker can even run red lights that don’t exist! How mysterious! Well, that’s according to Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and her accomplice, Lydia Guzman. In an article published today in The Phoenix New Times, a “red light runner” was accused of causing an accident that damaged Mary Rose’s taxpayer-funded red Corvette.

[Continue Reading at WarOnDriving.com]

Mary Rose Wilcox lying about accident

Somehow a “red light runner” ran a nonexistent red light at this intersection and smashed into Mary Rose Wilcox’s red Corvette. How would that be possible Mary Rose?

 


Redflex, ATS and PD License Plate Scanners Come Under Fire

July 18, 2013

Just as the Mayberry-ish Town Council in Paradise Valley sold their residents and visitors down the river to beleaguered Redflex Traffic Systems on a 5 year contract, media outlets are finally reporting on license plate scanners.

PV has agreed to install these scanners all over the town and they’re using Redflex to do it.

More from WarOnDriving.com:

Uncovered: License Plate Scanners Save, Store and Send Every Driver’s Info to DHS

Something more savvy motorists and privacy experts have known for years is finally being reported on.

Companies like American Traffic Solutions and Redflex, along with police agencies are scanning every driver’s license plate they come in contact with. That data is stored, saved for years in some cases and used for Federal data mining by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

It’s no surprise that (former) Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano would want to track innocent motorists and spy on their every day activities. Her now defunct freeway photo radar dragnet, installed and run by Redflex was performing that task on a massive scale in Arizona. She was quickly promoted to her post at DHS as “Big Sis,” which she resigned from last week ahead of what are likely to be major scandals brewing which will be far worse than this one.

Sadly, in Napolitano’s home state Arizona, some municipalities still have little regard for privacy, such as Paradise Valley. That town has just agreed to a 5 year contract extension with scandal-ridden Redflex Traffic Systems which will add license plate scanners to their data mining repertoire.

Hundreds of news outlets in the U.S. alone have reported on the findings by the ACLU that license plate data is stored for years by various municipalities, but one in Indianapolis spilled the beans that this info is being sent to DHS.

The video clip below paints a grim picture of out-of-control surveillance by police and private companies of innocent motorists.

Privacy experts like those at the ACLU want you to know that…

image


The Cameras Are Coming Down in Mesa

June 10, 2013

News last week out of Mesa via WarOnDriving.com

Another Arizona city is taking down their unpopular automated ticketing camera system.

This time it’s the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, which has a population of more than 400,000 residents. American Traffic Solutions has been issuing scamera tickets in Mesa intersections and via mobile devices since 2006. Their driver-distracting cameras and illegally parked radar vans are no longer welcome in the city after the Public Safety Committee voted to not renew the contract.

In 2011, a similar LAPD panel in Los Angeles voted to kick American Traffic Solutions out of that city as well. The main reasons given by the panel were that accidents had increased and most people who were sent the wallet-busting $500 citations by ATS simply ignored them.

It’s no surprise that Mesa would follow suit, given the public outcry about confusing intersection lines and the loss of due process. On the panel’s recommendation, the cameras will be torn out in 2014.

Mesa can look forward to their intersections being free from a private company with a profit motive spying on every motorist passing through.

Last summer residents spoke out on local news about the chaotic situation and uneven law enforcement for drivers:

No words from the ATS sockpuppets yet about their ouster. But it’s easy to assume their legal team and internet shills are going to  play their typical games with the media.


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