There has been a lot of whining down at the state capitol in the last two weeks as anti-photo radar/red light camera activists have applied serious pressure on legislators to cosponsor and support HB 2579.
They’ve used every excuse in the book and here are some highlights:
“I don’t cosponsor any bills, that’s just my policy.”
“It doesn’t matter if a bill has cosponsors and you should leave it up to the bill sponsor to contact them.”
“If I cosponsor this bill, another legislator who doesn’t like me might kill the bill to even the score.”
“I really wanted to cosponsor, but I just couldn’t find the time to go over and sign my name on it before it was filed.”
“You’ve missed some (arbitrary or made up) deadline and I’m no longer allowed to sign on.”
“All the phone calls and emails are a turn off and you should really back off before you upset your reps and they vote against your bill.”
These are what we call excuses and poor ones at that.
The real deal is that your legislature is mostly bought and paid for by photo ticket money that funds their campaigns.
The Redflex scandal in Chicago isn’t going away, any time soon. Politicians who may or may not be in bed with the camera vendor in other cities and states may claim that Chicago’s corruption doesn’t apply elsewhere.
Anyone using this excuse is either lying, ignorant or both.
Let’s take the entire state of Arizona as an example. More than 10 municipalities, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Chandler, Prescott Valley, Surprise, etc still use a combination of speed or red light cameras. Despite the fact that photo tickets sent by mail are not legally binding in Arizona, millions of dollars in fines are still collected.
10% of that money goes into a fund ironically called “clean elections,” which provides public funding to political campaigns, like members of the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives. These folks, not coincidentally, are responsible for allowing photo radar and red light cameras to litter the roads and scam Arizona motorists.
What’s also NOT a coincidence is that 80% of candidates for Arizona Legislature use “clean” election money to fund their campaigns. If you connect the dots, that means that Redflex and American Traffic Solutions fund their operation and basically own them. If a bill (currently HB 2579) to ban them passes, most of that clean election money will instantly vanish. The political gravy train would stop dead in its tracks and there would be quite a few state senators and reps scrambling to find a way to fund re-election in 2014.
Those are the hard facts and they’re undeniable. Chicago-style corruption with backdoor payola is still likely to be going on, but the scheme in Arizona is right there in plain sight.
Have you rented a car lately? Read that contract? Nobody really does, right?
What you’re probably missing in those pages of tiny print is that American Traffic Solutions has partnered up with your rental car agency to automatically charge your credit card when you’ve been accused of a traffic infraction.
It seems that even the kangaroo court system that has been established to hear photo ticketing cases does not extort motorists fast enough for the liking of ATS.
This is exactly the kind of scam that class action lawsuits were created for.
American Traffic Solutions or Above The Statutes, Inc?
A scheme backed by American Traffic Solutions to conspire with City of Houston politicians in overturning a public election banning automated ticketing machines is backfiring as constituents express outrage as the program expands:
Councilwoman Jolanda Jones may be the most honest politician in Texas since the ATS meltdown. Her proclamation is correct that since the cameras came in without a public vote, they can leave without a public vote.
“We can put it on city council next week. And we can vote for it [the ban].”
Who’s Jim Tuton and the American Traffic Solutions Sue Crew going to sue when the council cans the scam?
A Redflex employee hard at work in the company's North Phoenix processing office. (All tickets are reviewed by multiple "Homers," a derogatory phrase used by corporate managers to refer to the paper processors who usually make little money.)
Ticketing and surveillance giants Redflex and American Traffic Solutions are doubling down on their favorite methods of revenue generation: fraudulent business practices, blatant incompetency, and lawsuits.
Michael Evans got the surprise in the mail that no one wants, a ticket for running a red light in Sioux City.
When he looked at the video of his offense he was confused to say the least, because his pickup is clearly on the interstate.
He alerted the police about the mistake, and they sent out a letter of apology to about 500 people who also received the wrong type of ticket, but along with the apology came new tickets for speeding violations.
Town dunce and Sioux City Police’s Cpt. Melvin William was quick to defend the “theft-by-shiny-badge” scheme, presumably at the request of his new private-camera-contractor overlords:
“Because in one spot we didn’t change the wording that the whole thing should be thrown out? No…There is no error when it comes to the fines that were imposed. They were the right fines for what had occurred. There is no error when it comes to the evidence,”
…Except for the whole “accusing 500 people of the wrong crime” thing.
American Traffic Solutions: “Circle Jerk” Lawsuits In Houston
The ruling was a major victory for the legal strategy of ATS General Counsel George Hittner, who worked with the Houston city attorney to create a lawsuit in which city officials, who want the cameras back, sued ATS, which also wants the cameras back. The case was not filed in state court, which would be the proper venue. Instead, Hittner had the case filed in the federal courthouse where his father happens to serve.
…Phony signatures. Phony tickets. Phony corporate cops that defend revenue schemes instead of constituents’ life and property. Phony lawsuits. Laws and due-process ignored.
Happy Phony Forth of July from CameraFRAUD. Because the USA is where your ability to serve as a milking cow to the state and its corporate allies is patriotic job number one.Now get back to work, slave!
As it stands right now, the Los Angeles red light scamera program is set to expire on July 31, 2011. However, L.A. City Council can’t seem to make a final decision, mainly due to poor attendance at their meetings.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington
OPINION – You own a car. One evening, while enjoying your private property, a series of sensors and cameras detect your movement and computationally decide that you are exceeding the speed limit. A for-profit corporation receives high-resolution images of the alleged “violation,” which then forwards the allegations to another series of for-profit corporations.
Municipal corporations have a budget and, lets face it, payroll is a bitch for any corporation. Instead of a co-op where residents are viewed as equal shareholders in their community, they are instead viewed as revenue machines ready for milking. The true shareholders in these muni corporations are the usual suspects: investment banks like Goldman Sachs (which also owns American Traffic Solutions and Geico) and Macquarie which just gobbled up Redflex.
Yes, big banks, the photo firms, and Anytown U.S.A. have a lot of things in common: They care about money, power, and control.
Lets not forget that a “traffic ticket” in any form goes well beyond the scope of a tax. It is a lawsuit directed at you on behalf of a carefully-vested collective of public and private entities that survive only on their ability to take by force the property of others. This collective includes the very elected officials that are supposed to represent the people and protect their private property: city and town judges, the town prosecutor, police officers etc.
In grade school, this is called stealing. In muni law, it’s considered “revenue enhancement” and your immediate, unquestioning compliance is not requested but demanded. The endgame to this bastardization of law is obvious: corpgov sanctioned theft:
If you’ve got one of the 15,000 traffic camera tickets the city says remain unpaid, you might want to keep an eye on your car. Police will begin seizing or putting boots on vehicles whose owners have unpaid tickets from the five Redflex Traffic Systems cameras around town, the Las Cruces Police Department announced Tuesday. LCPD Police Chief Richard Williams wasn’t available to comment on the new enforcement action, but LCPD spokesman Dan Trujillo pointed out that nothing about the ordinance itself was new.
“Fighting” photo enforcement by trying to change out the politicians who allowed it to happen is like voting for a new board of directors at McDonalds because of a lousy drive-thru cheeseburger. A better solution is to immediately stop patronizing the corporations (City of Scottsdale, City of Mesa, City of Phoenix) and their hired thugs (corrupt police officers, judges, prosecutors).
In Arizona, the advice used to be “careful driving down to Mexico, the corrupt police there will seize your car on a whim.”
In 2011, we can revise the sentiment: “careful driving across town, the corrupt police will seize your car at the command of a private corporation.