Red Light Cameras Hot Issue In 2011 Election
But it’s citizens may not be happy with this designation based on the number of political candidates officially opposed to the city’s RLC program.
Local pro-liberty group, Cook County Campaign for Liberty reports 85% of respondents to the group’s recent survey are opposed to the $100 tickets given out at the select 190 traffic intersections citywide.
Campaign for Liberty sent out 240 surveys to candidates running in Tuesday’s election and got responses from 28 people, a 12% response rate.
Red light cameras was just one of an array of subjects Campaign for Liberty asked candidates to respond to in order to determine a candidates “Liberty Score”.
In most cases, respondents to the survey were either aldermanic candidates running for an open seat or challengers to incumbents.
“Up here in the 45th, red light cameras is an issue voters complain to me about all the time,” said Micheal Fitzgerald Ward running for alderman in the 45th. “I’m opposed to them.”
50th ward alderman Bernie Stone was the only incumbent to respond to the group’s survey and says he is against Chicago’s RLC program. On his survey Stone wrote “I voted against them originally.”
Campaign for Liberty’s Scott Davis was impressed with the anti-RLC responses.
“I was surprised 85% of respondents are in favor of eliminating RLC completely,” Davis said. “I think a lot of candidates know this is a populous issue because it hits poor people the hardest. This issue is a winner if they can run on this and expose it.”
While the vast majority of candidates who took a stance on the issue were opposed to red light camera tickets, at least one candidate supports the cameras. David Pavlik, running for 32nd ward alderman against incumbent alderman Scott Waguespack, is proposing to divert a portion of RLC revenue collected at cameras locations within his ward back to the ward.
But it’s not just candidates running for alderman who are using the issue of red light cameras as part of their campaign platform. As reported here earlier this week, Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle had a press conference to announce his issues with the city’s RLC program.
In addition, 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly embraces red light cameras, even going as far as to request the installation of cameras at two intersections in his ward.
Of course, in suburban Schaumburg, anti-red light camera activist Brian Costin has made RLC a component of his campaign.
Download Cook County Campaign for Liberty’s full list of candidates publicly opposed to red light cameras.