Arizona Republic Loses Respect of Readers for Pushing Agenda of Redflex and ATS

March 21, 2011

We’ve seen this before. The AZ Republic seemingly couldn’t exist if they didn’t find some industry shill for.

For the past 4-5 years since the last economic boom-bust in AZ, the Republic has been the mouthpiece of the ticket camera industry in Arizona which appears to be the next bubble ready to burst. It really shouldn’t be any surprise given the fact that Redflex has embedded reporter Michael Ferraresi for a few years now.

In that time, photo tickets have gone from a 90% pay rate down to less than 30% and freeway camera systems commissioned by both the city of Scottsdale and the state of AZ have been an utter failure. Redflex has gone from revenue in the $100’s of millions down to near zero profit. Their cameras as well as those of ATS have been shut off, by voters and legislative action, in huge numbers while millions of tickets are going unpaid.

After an expose last year, Ferraresi’s name has not been seen on an article about Redflex since, but his influence over the angle the Republic takes on photo enforcement remains.

It would be naive to think that a daily newspaper like the Arizona Republic wouldn’t sell out to corporate interests, especially in a time of economic turmoil that has been responsible for the demise of publications much older and more respected than our local “daily.” However, the reports about Redflex, ATS and police statistics are becoming more and more delusional and shrouded in mystery.

Last week, there was a report about traffic stats coming out of Mesa which suggested red light camera installations and crash data could be interpreted with a positive correlation. However, the study was not available to be viewed by the public and calls by CameraFRAUD volunteers requesting a copy of the study went unreturned. This is bizarre behavior by both Mesa PD and the Republic. The absence of any type of fact checking or public disclosure at all is very disturbing.

Another article appeared last week that seemed to be a glowing PR piece about the business of photo ticketing expanding throughout AZ and the entire country, but had no mention of all the places that have completely banned camera ticketing. There was no mention of the battles in Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Washington, California, Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Tennesse and only briefly mentions Henry Bentley who owns banthecams.org in Florida. There was no mention of others who are pushing a state-wide ban through Florida state legislature.

This article also casts the current AZ referendum as a mere nuisance, but at the same time says that Arizona is a “hot bed” and has critics “among the most vocal.” While the voices coming from this website do carry weight, any meaningful research of 2011 photo ticketing industry news would show that Missouri is currently the most embattled state with the most vocal opposition. Again, the Republic fails to do their diligence.

Of course, they couldn’t help mentioning the IIHS study, which includes the city of Chandler. The writer interviewed a spokesman from that institute, but either didn’t bother to contact the city of Chandler or didn’t include their input because it didn’t serve the purpose of his spin. Several major media outlets in the Phoenix area were told last month by city representatives from Chandler that the numbers from the study were clearly bogus and not relevant to where red light cameras had actually been placed.

The photo enforcement industry isn’t the only topic that the AZ Republic keeps blinders on for, or is co-opted by corporate interests, but this may be the most blatant.

Expect to see more puff pieces and cheer leading for Redflex and ATS as SCR 1029 moves towards a vote in the AZ House, which would place the all out ticket camera ban that Arizonans have been asking for on the ballot.

If newspapers are meant to be predictable and biased towards special interests, the Arizona Republic can be very proud.


Someone at AZCentral.com Likes Us

January 28, 2010

Actually, he may or may not like us, but he seems to be the first one over there to tell it like our supporters see it. Love him or hate him, cartoonist Steve Benson is good at stirring up thoughts and emotions.

Steve has this one right on. Thanks for the imagery. We’ll dedicate our blog space to your work for today.

Courtesy of Steve Benson/The Arizona Republic


Scottsdale Launches All-out Assault on Freedom of Speech

August 28, 2008

Scottsdale Police has arrested a reporter who was videographing anti-camera activists. Two individuals were exercising their first-amendment rights by waving signs on a sidewalk on Shea Blvd when, incredulously, the Scottsdale Police arrested the person holding the camera. One of the charges was even for a non-existent crime: “disrupting the operation of a photo radar van.”

“A Scottsdale man arrested Wednesday night was accused of disrupting the operation of a photo radar van parked in the 6800 block of East Shea Boulevard, police said.

Shelton, 35, was holding protest signs and blocking the van’s cameras, Officer Dave Pubins said.

Last Friday, a grass-roots group called CameraFraud.com gathered at Scottsdale and Thomas roads to protest the use of photo-enforcement cameras.”

The Scottsdale Police is in such an outright tizzy that they even went as far as to issue a press release in a section of their website normally grazed with information pertaining to death investigations and armed robberies.

The arrested reporter is a contributor to local-news site FreedomsPhoenix.com, as well as his own Youtube channel, “RP4409.” He was released on his own recognizance on 8/28 around 5:30 PM.

Best of luck with your proceedings, Scottsdale. You’ll need it, because by acting illegally under the “color of law,” the TRUE law shines though as clear as day.

UPDATE: A few of our readers pointed out an interesting question: If it’s a crime to wave a sign on a city street near photo radar equipment, why didn’t the Scottsdale Police take enforcement action on Friday, August 22nd during the Thomas Road protest, in which footage from local channel KTVK-TV clearly shows activists who may have purposefully been blocking the equipment?

Is it because they were afraid of possible public backlash and blowback for being heavy-handed? Is it because the Scottsdale Police is afraid of the media? Or, perhaps the City of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Police are terrified of cameras catching them in the act when they do something wrong?


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