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Brakes put on removal of red light cameras [Houston refuses to give up $10 million cash cow]
chron.com ^ | 3 Nov 2010 | JAMES PINKERTON and BRAD OLSON

Posted on 11/03/2010 11:23:21 PM PDT by smokingfrog

Although voters abolished Houston's red light camera system Tuesday, the 70 cameras have the green light to keep recording traffic violations for months as the city weighs a legal strategy for exiting its contract with the firm operating the cameras, city officials say.

Anti-camera activists slammed the delay Wednesday, insisting on immediately terminating the five-year contract — whatever the cost - with ATS, the Arizona firm that manages Houston's system. The May 2009 contract has a termination clause that requires the city to provide the company with a 120-day notice of cancellation, a period when the cameras will still be in full operation and civil fines issued, according to the city attorney.

"This issue is over, “ said attorney Paul Kubosh, who with brother Michael helped mount the successful campaign against the cameras. "This is not a legal issue, this is a political issue now. The voters don't care what the price of tea is in China. They don't care what the contract says. ... They want the cameras gone and just pay the damages.“

Paul Kubosh warned that City Council members who vote against immediately canceling the contract would be signing their "political death warrants“ and would face the ire of thousands of residents who receive tickets during the 120-day termination phase. He said if the termination clause in the existing contract is too expensive for the city to violate, those who made the bargain should be fired.

-- snip --

Houston City Attorney Dave Feldman said City Council must first canvass the vote by Nov. 15 to certify the accuracy of the Proposition 3 returns - which passed with 53 percent of the vote.

(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cultureofcorruption; democratscandals; donutwatch; fascism; houston; houstoncorruption; howtostealanelection; judicialtyranny; payola; policestate; revenuetickets; willofthevoters

1 posted on 11/03/2010 11:23:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog

Break out some shotguns and go to town. Then start recalling some POS politicians!


2 posted on 11/03/2010 11:34:55 PM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: smokingfrog

An old tire, a quart of diesel, and a match.


3 posted on 11/04/2010 12:40:49 AM PDT by Don W (I keep some folks' numbers in my 'phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call...)
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To: smokingfrog

A delegation just needs to go around town with a pellet gun, shooting out the camera lenses.


4 posted on 11/04/2010 1:40:34 AM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: smokingfrog

Seems to be just the latest example of local political bureaucrat types trying to usurp the will of local citizen voters. It’s also called being an arrogant politician who thinks voters don’t know what is good for them.


5 posted on 11/04/2010 2:39:39 AM PDT by Ron H. (November 2 was only the opening salvo in a long war to retake America!)
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To: kaehurowing
.22 subsonic. Quieter than an air gun in most situations.
6 posted on 11/04/2010 2:44:24 AM PDT by MaxMax (Conservatism isn't a party)
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To: smokingfrog

duct tape time


7 posted on 11/04/2010 3:26:19 AM PDT by blueplum
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To: smokingfrog

8 posted on 11/04/2010 3:29:53 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Good riddance to bad trash-Patrick Murphy is gone!)
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To: Fresh Wind

Looks like that needs a 20-gauge shotgun slug shot through it...


9 posted on 11/04/2010 4:23:03 AM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: US Navy Vet

Nothing need be done.

The camera company gets paid when a fine is collected. After the first defendant declares the cameras to be illegal and the fines are the fruit of the poisoned tree, the fine will not be payable and the company will not get paid.

Once the people quit paying the company will leave.


10 posted on 11/04/2010 4:29:37 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Greetings Jacques. The revolution is coming)
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To: smokingfrog

70 cameras!
70 rounds of buckshot can fix the problem permanently.


11 posted on 11/04/2010 6:20:49 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (The Recession is officially over. We are now into Obama's Depression.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Andrea19; Admin Moderator
Watch the language here, bud. This isn't DU

Second, It's not the voters' fault. This contract was entered into without their approval, nor knowledge that it would be entered into. This was deceit by those in government. You cannot have due diligence when they do things like that.

Once the voters did know what was going on, they voted the cameras down. They did their part. Now it's time to break the contract that should not have been entered into without the voters' consent.

13 posted on 11/04/2010 7:58:11 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: a fool in paradise

Houston ping


14 posted on 11/04/2010 8:01:38 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: 1riot1ranger; Action-America; Aggie Mama; Alkhin; Allegra; American72; antivenom; Antoninus II; ...

Culture of corruption in H-town PING


15 posted on 11/04/2010 8:03:37 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: 1riot1ranger; Action-America; Aggie Mama; Alkhin; Allegra; American72; antivenom; Antoninus II; ...

Culture of corruption in H-town PING


16 posted on 11/04/2010 8:04:32 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: smokingfrog

Instruct the police officers to not defend the tickets in court anymore.

This is a Bullstalin response. Then again Houston is police-state friendly. The chief of police issued a curfew on the citizens (extended beyond Mayor Bill White’s initial curfew) after Hurricane Ike even though he did not have the power to do so.


17 posted on 11/04/2010 8:11:20 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: Andrea19
What do you think the consequences will be if the government sets a precedent of breaking contracts without compensation?

Bill White already did this when he cancelled the lease contracts on those who had booked the George R. Brown which he turned into lodging for Katrinicans. He said "I dare anyone to sue the city".

18 posted on 11/04/2010 8:13:08 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: a fool in paradise

The deadly combination of “corrupt” and “stupid” continues at Houston City Hall.


19 posted on 11/04/2010 8:14:47 AM PDT by TheGrimReaper (Save America - Fire a democrat.)
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To: Ron H.
Seems to be just the latest example of local political bureaucrat types trying to usurp the will of local citizen voters. It’s also called being an arrogant politician who thinks voters don’t know what is good for them.

The city fought the measure even being put to a public vote. Then they ran ads with bogus safety statistics.

Now they drag their heels.

City of Houston does not give a corrupt DemocRats donkey-ass what the public thinks. They also ran some ballot measure to compete with some other measure a few years back and Bill White claimed his measure superseded the public's measure.

20 posted on 11/04/2010 8:16:01 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: ShadowAce
Everything is the voters fault. Everything. Voters in democracies get what they deserve. It's a 100% Democrat city.

Their was no deceit by anyone, either. What deceit? Deceit to enforce the law? If there is 'fraud' the contract would be invalid.

You want to break a contract with a vote? Is that how you handle your own creditors? Didn't like the plan so your house had a vote and you stopped paying your bills?

If every contractor of the millions providing services from feeding soldiers to cleaning gutters had to worry about the government invalidating their contract because some retards passed a ballot initiative, the cost of the contracts would skyrocket or companies would stop providing services.

21 posted on 11/04/2010 10:42:01 AM PDT by Andrea19
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To: Andrea19

Since you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about, stop posting to me.


22 posted on 11/04/2010 10:45:54 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: smokingfrog

Let the officials pay the damages personally. They voted for the damn things.


23 posted on 11/04/2010 10:53:06 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: gogogodzilla

Why waste the ammo? That’s the result of post #3.


24 posted on 11/04/2010 10:56:21 AM PDT by Don W (I keep some folks' numbers in my 'phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call...)
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To: Andrea19

They are getting paid their liquidated damages. But see my #23. Those who voted for the cameras need to reimburse the city for the damages.


25 posted on 11/04/2010 10:56:47 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: MaxMax

Another thing that would be effective is paintball guns.


26 posted on 11/04/2010 2:12:14 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing
Very true, even for one day of blindness would send a clear message.
Not that I would condone it. /evil grin
27 posted on 11/04/2010 2:29:45 PM PDT by MaxMax (Conservatism isn't a party)
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To: a fool in paradise

There’s no police involved to defend or not defend. That’s kind of the problem.


28 posted on 11/04/2010 2:44:09 PM PDT by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: ShadowAce

Sure thing, RINO.


29 posted on 11/04/2010 2:46:56 PM PDT by Andrea19
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To: Larry Lucido
My disagreement is with those who suggest they not be paid damages, which some here are suggesting.

Those who voted for the cameras need to reimburse the city? Are you out of your mind? It's hard enough to get good people to run for office, you want them to also be personally liable for unpopular decisions (like enforcing traffic laws?)

Corporations exist, in part, to limit the liability of the business's owners, and with good reason.

Anyway, I didn't know there were so many liberals here. If you have a problem with the law, change the law. Voting to make it harder to enforce the law alone is asinine.

30 posted on 11/04/2010 2:49:37 PM PDT by Andrea19
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To: ichabod1

An officer reviews the tapes and represents the tickets in court even though no officer was at the scene of the incident.

If no officer shows, the ticket is dismissed.

If the cameras cannot be turned off, then just stop showing up in court. Officers miss other cases.

BTW, when I had jury duty in traffic court, they held us over lunch (go and come back) to wait for the officer to try to come to the court. None of us could be seated on the panel (I didn’t make the cut) until all of us affirmed that we did not know any of the individuals involved in the case. To me, they should have tossed the case out when the officer didn’t show up at court on time. If the defendent was not there “before lunch” it would be considered a forfeit in the county’s favor.


31 posted on 11/04/2010 2:51:37 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: Andrea19

The voters had no say in red light cameras (until this election) just as they had no say in the smoking bans.

Even the bar owners that supported the restaurant ass. push for a ban in RESTAURANTS didn’t support the expansion of that policy to the bars (incrementalism).

We can vote for city council, but have no input. They are going to do what they want to do (empire build).

We’ve even had mayors in Houston issuing “executive orders”. Now our PRESIDENTS have signed executive orders because of a state of emergency that was entered into in wartime (and never surrendered that power). From where comes the “executive order” to issue edicts for Houston’s mayor?

Deceit was used in saying that the cameras would reduce accidents. They didn’t. It isn’t enforcing the law. There is no ticket written against the driver, they are issuing a revenue ticket against the car owner.

Laws mean things.


32 posted on 11/04/2010 3:03:59 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: a fool in paradise

Wow, you just about stated that perfectly. Correction, it was dead on.


33 posted on 11/04/2010 3:12:45 PM PDT by A Texan (Oderint dum metuant)
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To: a fool in paradise

You would think that a smart city attorney would have put some kind of cancellation clause in the contract with the red light camera company that they would not be required to pay if the cameras were found to violate people’s rights or declared illegal/not allowed for whatever reason.


34 posted on 11/04/2010 3:25:45 PM PDT by smokingfrog (Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.)
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To: smokingfrog

There has to be a golden parachute for the connected company when the jig is up.


35 posted on 11/04/2010 3:26:55 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: Andrea19
You obviously don't understand contract law.

You can walk away from any contract you have made. Don't like your house note... Walk Away. Don't like your credit card agreements... Stop paying.

You can walk away from any contract. That does NOT mean there wont be consequences... You will get a bad credit rating, you will get charged fees you will probably be sued. You can not be compelled to complete a contract against your will. That would be illegal.

The city should immediately stop enforcing the red light camera provisions. They and the company will probably have to go to court or at least mediation and decide what the penalties for breaking the contract are and the city will have to pay them. Or as other have suggested someone needs to get a ticket and contest it and then have a judge dismiss the case because the fine is no longer legal then that will provide grounds to have the remaining tickets dismissed.

Also executives in corporations are not totally insulated from being sued due to actions they take as part of the company!!! Any one in a company can be sued. This is why many executives carry E&O (Errors and Omissions) insurance. I know I have a 2 million dollar E&O policy myself because of the nature of the work I do. That's all without even getting in to maleficence and fraud.

36 posted on 11/04/2010 3:31:26 PM PDT by Syntyr (Happiness is two at low eight!)
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To: Syntyr; a fool in paradise
You obviously don't understand contract law.

I usually don't mind trying to teach people about things, but I will not try to teach an insulting idiot newbie.

Leave him/her alone. It's not worth the trouble.

37 posted on 11/04/2010 6:08:18 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: a fool in paradise

Yep, they tried to fool the stupid people with the “Red Light SAFETY Cameras” save lives bull-sh!t...Got about 47-48% of them last I heard...

They waited until the last few weeks of the campaign to run those idiotic radio ads...

Personally, I think we should wait till the 120 days are up...Then make a clean break with the contract...On day 121, then we should resort to some unconventional tactics...

Mayor Parker sure has been rather quiet about this issue, and something tells me she would be amiable if we cooled our jets till the contract termination clause is completed without incident...

If we see crews going around and taking the hardware down on day 121, then that would be ok with me...We should press the city to not half azz the effort to deactivate and remove the hardware either at that time...Be a shame for that equipment to be damaged in the meantime...


38 posted on 11/04/2010 6:41:23 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus' sayin')
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To: stevie_d_64

I haven’t run any lights and never got sent a ticket (although I did see a camera misfiring at drivers legally going through a green light at Westheimer and 610 one night, however).

I’m not worried about getting a ticket in the next 120 days, but the city will have to take them down sometime.

And hey! That’s a job that Obama can chalk up in his “shovel ready” column.


39 posted on 11/05/2010 8:29:40 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: a fool in paradise

hehehe, got dat right brother!!!


40 posted on 11/06/2010 6:35:55 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus' sayin')
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