As you are sure to know by now, Governor Richardson in one of his pit stops in the state, decided to veto Michael Sanchez's Senate Bill 365. So, the Almighty Marty will be able to continue to run his kangaroo courts and his red light toll booths with impunity.
Governor Richardson explained his veto saying "I see no reason for the state to micromanage this program and jeopardize the impressive results in order to fund other programs." (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required) In other words, the ends justify the means. SB 365 was designed to send as much as a third of the revenue from the Candid Camera system to the state to be used to replace monies that would normally be collected from criminal citations, which the red light "tickets" are not.
"[The Mayor] said that charging $100 for all the tickets would provide enough revenue but that he wasn't positive the City Council would be comfortable charging third-time offenders the same as first-time offenders." (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required)
We showed you how the revenue split worked. We showed you how the city could still run the program and still clear over $9 bucks a citation, but His Honor the Mayor says the City Council would be uncomfortable with lower fines for the 2nd and 3rd toll uses.
To say the least were skeptical that once the dust settles, the mayor, council, et al. will lower the fees to any significant degree. Further, even if they do lower the 2nd and 3rd offense fines, the two year time period serves to make sure that citizens are kept in servitude and fear.
Folks, this is about money not safety. The mayor emptied city hall in order to lobby the legislature to prevent these bills from passing. Our legislators decided that the program had problems and although their legislation didn't address all of them (like the total lack of a fair hearing process) they passed legislation that would at least keep the red light districts from running unchecked despite the full-court press from Marty's many lobbyists.
Presidential Candidate and part-time Governor Richardson decided that Marty's tenuous promises and incomplete statistics trumped public outrage and Legislative direction. After all, who cares about a little thing like due process?
Since the Guv has jumped on board with the Almighty Marty, we'll be living with these things at least for the foreseeable future. So don't forget we've posted information on how to defend yourself at one of Marty's tax collection hearings. Read "Red Light Cameras - How to Beat'em" for more information. And, we've got our Legal Eye working on tips for the speed vans and will be posting them soon.