22 August 2008

stephanie ware shining a light on the organized crime gang running lafayette, la. consolidated city-parish government


by Stephanie Ware, LPI
Host of Acadiana Uncovered, 1330 KVOL A.M.

Over the last year, I have found myself in a completely different area of life than I was always used to. The day I stepped into the arena with the Valiant Lafayetteers (the opposition to the ticket extortion program), which we were named by a friend in Alexandria, was a day I will never forget. It was the day that I woke up and truly understood that government has to be watched and politicians need to be held accountable for their actions or lack thereof. The duty of citizens does not stop at the polls, unfortunately.

One example of government gone bad is the Red Light/Speedvan scam that has been placed on the heads of the good citizens of Louisiana. Politicians and bureaucrats alike, at least in Lafayette, were told by officials that this program is illegal in the State of Louisiana. And, instead of listening to those officials who knew better, Lafayette Consolidated Government and Tony Tramel, who is the Director of Traffic and Transportation in Lafayette, chose to "throw the deck up and see where the cards fall." Literally.

First and foremost, Louisiana has a specific state law (LA R.S. 32:365) prohibiting even police officers from recording vehicles in violation of traffic safety laws with citations for such violations to be mailed to the alleged violator at a later date.

So, it is baffling to know that our local politicians gave Redflex Traffic Systems permission to do what police officers themselves are prohibited from doing.

Let’s not forget the fact that the Louisiana Legislature denied legislation four times that would allow this type of program in Louisiana. However, Lafayette Consolidated Government, hiding behind their Home Rule Charter, did it anyway. I guess, as someone once said to me, it is easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

Well, now our local government will need to answer to its citizens and ask for forgiveness by answering the class-action lawsuit that has been filed against it.

What is very shameful to me is that the guise Redflex tries to sell to the public is that it’s all about our safety, and we are all a bunch of lawbreakers who need to be controlled; however, it is very clear that these programs are all about creating a new revenue stream for government.

Not only is it, in my opinion, not the role of the government to control and change the behavior of its citizens, but it is also disgusting to place a sneaky new tax on the over-taxed citizens of Louisiana and tell us it’s for our benefit.

Not only did Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. come into the State of Louisiana and violate numerous state and constitutional laws, but its salesman, Charlie Buckles of Lafayette, has continually tried to push this program by delivering inaccuracies and promises to local governments.

A little wink, wink, nod, nod and this wonderful program can be yours too! Mr. Buckles is not a registered lobbyist is he?

Before citizens decide to give in and pay the extortion notices, I encourage each one to do the research. Google is a powerful tool and much is to be found by searching "Redflex."

I also encourage the citizens of Lafayette and Louisiana for that matter, to look into the window of your government and ask yourselves, "What’s really going on?" You may want to keep one phrase in mind to help you see through the foggy glass – "Follow the money."

see also
the newspaper.com
redflex series
the redflex label in the footer of this post