Friday, May 25, 2018
Politics

Florida lawmaker out to outlaw red-light cameras

Opponents of red-light cameras could have found a better advocate for their cause than state Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami.

On Thursday, Campbell's HB 4011 outlawing red-light cameras will be heard by the House's Economic Affairs Committee.

What's the matter with Campbell sponsoring a bill that many Floridians would cheer?

A Honda minivan registered to her husband, Hubert, has five red-light camera violations, according to records obtained by the Times/Herald from American Traffic Solutions, or ATS, a Scottsdale, Ariz., vendor that provides the cameras for most cities and counties in Florida.

Because of a lawsuit won by the Times/Herald, the tickets are public records.

Two of the tickets, a May 10, 2010, violation in North Miami and a July 16, 2010, violation in Hallendale Beach, remain uncollected.

A ticket costs $158. If unpaid, a traffic citation is issued and may result in the termination of the vehicle registration and suspension of the owner's driver's license.

ATS provided a photo of the Honda Odyssey minivan at one of the violations. It has a Campbell campaign sticker on it.

Two videos show the minivan making reckless turns on red, one left and the other right.

When reached Friday night, Campbell explained she was filing the bill for her constituents.

"My constituents complained and the people are hurting," Campbell said. "I promised them when I went to Tallahassee that I would repeal the red-light cameras."

But asked about the five tickets, Campbell said she didn't know about them. Or at least four of them. She said she did know about a ticket she received in the mail for an Oct. 22 Miami Gardens violation.

But she said she had no clue about the others.

"Something is definitely wrong," Campbell said. "You are the one who just told me about it. This is news to me."

Despite the video footage of the minivan blowing through the red lights, Campbell wasn't buying it.

"It's a lie," she said. "That camera is a made-up story. You can do anything with the computer now."

ATS spokesman Charles Territo said it was unlikely Campbell wouldn't have gotten notice of the tickets, and he vouched for the accuracy of his company's records and the photographic evidence.

"I don't know how she wouldn't know, unless her husband didn't tell her," Territo said. "Someone there knows about them because three have been paid."

Comments
North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions Thursday as a group of foreign journalists looked on. The explosi...
Published: 05/24/18
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Published: 05/23/18
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18