...I think even The One would be hard pressed to top this one...first the story, out of charming Newark, New Jersey:
Newark red light cams catch more than 20K motorists, make $500K in 5 months
...Red has meant green for the state’s largest city. In the five-month period that ended in April, the red light cameras raked in nearly half a million dollars for the cash-strapped city, according to figures released by the Newark Municipal Court.
Between Dec. 17 and the end of April, the city fined 20,769 drivers with running red lights and other moving violations. More than 12,000 motorists had paid their fines by the end of April. The city’s cut was $492,802.
OK, that's the setup. But I'll bet you can see this one coming a mile away - from Newark's "acting business administrator", one Mike Greene:
"The administration’s main concern was the safety of our residents, not the revenue gain," Mike Greene said. "A side benefit is that those drivers who do run a light are going to be fined."
Oh, BULL-SH*T! If that's the case, why aren't we hearing from the "acting safety commissioner", or whatever title the city of Newark would give to a position that I am sure exists (at least on their payroll)? Oh, wait - because the data "isn't out yet" on it's safety benefits! Hmmm...
Meanwhile, Greene walks right over his half-hearted "safety" claim by going on and on - not about safety - but about the big bucks the cameras are raking in:
"It’s created a recurring revenue stream the city can utilize for its budget," Greene said. "It’s not earmarked specifically for any one thing. But with the economic downturn, it’s good to have the revenue stream."
I'm sure - in a city owned lock, stock and barrel by the Democrats - those dollars are already earmarked for something, if not somewhere (as in an official's pocket). But, like health care reform and cap and trade, remember - it's not about the money! Nothing to see here at the bank, just line up and pay your fines, your fees, your taxes....