Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Tucson Weekly today explores a dead-letter issue in the Tucson City Council race now that Tucson's political gadfly, John Kromko, and his political committee Tucson Traffic Justice failed to qualify a ballot measure banning traffic cameras for the November ballot.
The report itself is relatively innocuous, pointing out that Democratic city council members support the red-light cameras at designated intersections because they have substantailly reduced the number of accidents (the number of collisions at the monitored intersections has decreased from 188 in 2006 to 74 in 2012) and prevented injuries. It's fair to say the cameras have probably saved lives. The Tea-Publican candidates have doubts about the red-light cameras because "freedom!" to run red lights and to jeopardize other motorists on the road, or some such nonsense. Candid Camera Conflict.
One comment from Tea-Publican candidate Mike Polak jumps out:
"How do you know it didn't malfunction?" Polak asked. "They do malfunction, because our roads are in such poor condition here."
Polak's initial question is fair. I have challenged the cameras in court, to no avail (Arizona's courts treat the calibration of the cameras as proprietary and a trade secret not subject to discovery).
But Polak's statement that cameras malfunction because our roads are in poor condition? Damn, Dude. "Mr. Science" you are not. There is no cause and effect between a malfunctioning camera and poor road conditions. And by the way, our roads are in such poor condition because your Tea-Publican friends in the Arizona Legislature have been sweeping stealing HURF funds and state revenue sharing from the City of Tucson for years to "balance" the state budget with gimmicks. Maybe you should demand that your friends in the Arizona Legislature give back the money they stole from the City of Tucson.
Ben Buehler-Garcia, has a nuanced approach: He wants to get rid of the cameras at the intersections, but keep the photo-radar vans that move around the city.
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[H]e said the roaming vans are an effective law-enforcement tool because speeders don't know their location, so they are less likely to lower their speed as they approach the vans and then speed up once they are past them.
"They're more cost-efficient and they're mobile," Buehler-Garcia said. "Folks don't know where they're going to be."
Really? Are we sure this guy even lives in the City of Tucson? Local television and radio news organizations report where the traffic enforcement zones are each day because law enforcement is required to disclose this information. The location of the radar vans is made public on the Tucson Police Department web site under the heading in the right-side menu Radar Van Locations. It ain't a mystery.
What surprises me is what was left out of this Tucson Weekly report. Many of you are aware that vandals have been defacing the back of Karin Uhlich campaign signs with a magic marker referencing the red-light cameras and Uhlich's support for the cameras. There are also a number of hand-made campaign signs around town referencing the red-light cameras and Uhlich's support for the cameras, without any "paid for by" disclaimer, naturally.
"It is a class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate for public offic." A.R.S. §16-1019 (A). Those home-made signs that do not have the requisite "telephone number or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person" are also illegal. A.R.S. §16-1019 (C)(5).
I don't know why the City of Tucson does not remove these illegal signs. It is reminiscent of the home-made Ron Paul campaign signs that the city allowed to pollute Tucson streets for more than four years between 2008 and 2012 year-round.
It would not surprise me if these "Paulites" are among the vandals responsible for these illegal campaign signs, because "freedom!" to run red lights and to jeopardize other motorists on the road.
It would also not surprise me if John Kromko and his Tucson Traffic Justice League friends are behind these illegal campaign signs, because they are the obvious suspects.
But the singular focus on Karin Uhlich, rather than the Democrats on the city council who support the red-light cameras, tends to suggest that perhaps a Ben Buehler-Garcia supporter is the vandal.
We are unlikely to ever learn the identity of this cowardly mystery vandal unless and until this miscreant mans up and takes ownership of these illegal campaign signs.