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Chron story on lawsuit against red light camera referendum

The Chron covers the story.

Boosters of Houston’s 70 red-light cameras are seeking to prevent a November vote on whether to ban the devices, alleging in a federal lawsuit that the initiative was placed on the ballot illegally and that it could violate the Voting Rights Act.

[…]

“This complaint needed to have been brought way back in 2004,” said Chris Begala, a spokesman for Keep Houston Safe, the political action committee opposing the ballot initiative. “If this is, indeed, an untimely, illegal referendum, we need to know that, and the city needs to know that. … All options have to be addressed.”

[…]

Paul Kubosh, a founder of Citizens Against Red Light Cameras who makes a living as a lawyer representing motorists accused of traffic violations, questioned how pro-camera forces could argue the petition may dilute minority voting. “How is this a violation of the Voting Rights Act?” he asked.

Kubosh noted that the PAC claims its internal polls show strong voter support for the cameras. “If they have such good polling, why do they want to block the vote?”

Mary Benton had the scoop on this last week. The point about whether the referendum is illegal according to the city charter has been discussed in detail, and I don’t have anything to add to that. Beyond that, I’ve taken plenty of potshots at Paul Kubosh throughout this saga, but I can’t disagree with either of the things he says here. We’ll see what the court has to say – the story doesn’t indicate if or when a hearing has been scheduled; you’d think it would have to be soon – and go from there.

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3 Comments

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    Charles, this is ground breaking. Are you saying we have finally agreed on somthing?

  2. What gets me is that they say “Keep Houston Safe, which is partially funded by the company that manages the city’s red-light camera program” that is technically true, but from what I remember, (don’t have the finance report handy) is that ATS put up the largest portion of their funding something like $150,000. The rest was put up by their contractors that also would loose out if the cameras were voted out. I don’t recall seeing one donation from any local individuals. That isn’t “partially” funded but mostly funded and entirely funded by red light camera corporations.

  3. […] was litigation filed before the election to prevent the referendum from being on the ballot, as well as questions about […]