Company Uses Activist's Death To Fight Red Light Camera Ban She Supported

Campaigns have a tendency to bring out the worst in people and that's never truer than when a lot of money for companies and officials is on the line.

One of the reasons it is so hard to beat outrageous bonds is because contractors can spend hundreds of thousands on a campaign for a bond when they can expect millions in return.

Campaigns against bonds have to generally be funded by local individuals that just don't want higher property taxes. It's an uphill battle to say the least.

This current municipal election cycle seems to be bringing out greater dirty tricks than normal.

Last year, the citizens of Arlington gathered enough signatures to put proposition 1 on the ballot for the May 9th election. This proposition would remove red light cameras from the Arlington city limits.

The effort has been lead primarily by two Arlington ladies, Faith Bussey and Kelly Canon.

Canon said it was the realization that it was all about the money that drew her to get involved.

“I got involved, because I immediately saw the injustice of the photographic traffic enforcement system. I joined forces with other like-minded citizens who also wanted to do something at the local level to bring the cameras down. After a lot of research, we were able to start our petition drive and really educate our fellow citizens that the real motive behind the red-light camera system was money, and it needed to be stopped.”

Seeing as the city makes $2 million from fining citizens through these machines, many city council members aren't too happy about that petition.

Several months ago, Councilman Charlie Parker, tried to use the death of an Arlington resident, Kel Walters, to promote keeping and expanding these eyes in the sky.

Tragically, earlier this year Walters was killed in an accident and the driver was never caught. Parker made the argument that had a red light camera been there, they would have caught her killer.

Now it is the first talking point of the “street team” hired to fight the proposition and keep money in the pockets of the camera company and government. According to Bussey, they traced the Vote No on Proposition 1 website to the same IP address as the company that runs the red light cameras. It's located in Scotsdale, AZ so that's where the $110,000 a month that the city pays for the machines goes.

I'll admit it, if I were close to losing a million a year and possibly starting a trend for citizens in other cities to stand up, I'd spend a lot of money and say whatever I needed to win just like these guys.

But back to Kel Walters. If you're like me, it's pretty disgusting to use the death of a friend and neighbor to sway voters (personally, I'm having trouble writing this because I don't want to to the same for the other side), but what really takes to new limits of despicable is one of the last things she did was sign the petition to get the red light cameras banned!

That's right. Arlington City Council members are using the death a young activist to fight against the very proposition she wanted.

Bussey, who worked with Walters had this to say about her and the actions of these hoodlums,

"I knew Kel Walters and worked with her briefly. Anyone who knew her knew that she loved liberty and believed in limited government. She signed the petition to ban red light cameras before she died, but we were never going to use that for political gain. The fact that her death is openly being used as a talking point by the red light camera company and their political consultants Murphy Nasica shows that they have no scruples, no low they won't stoop to, and need to be sent packing."

These tactics aren't unusual. The more common form is “it's for the children.” Even in this election people like Councilman Parker are trying to say it makes it safer even though several studies show that red light cameras may increase accidents. One way to truly make the roads safer is a longer yellow light, but that also brings down ticket revenue and our city officials don't seem too big on that option.

Too often these tactics work. People don't pay attention to who or what they're voting for or against. They get a mailer with a few pieces of information or they read a single post like this one and make up their minds. Being an informed citizen is hard and finding real facts in local races is one of the toughest parts.

We're all prone to exaggerate against a side we dislike and hype up our own side, but there are lines that are simply beyond the pale. Using a young woman's death to fight a measure she supported should be considered crossing that line.


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