Views On Speed Cameras And Taxes

From The Politics Blog

April 19, 2009

Here are some highlights from last week's entries on The Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog, plus selected comments from readers.

Smile for the camera?

Voters who don't want to see speed cameras in their neighborhood now have a chance to vent their frustration.

A petition drive is being launched to overturn the law authorizing speed cameras approved by the Assembly this month.

It's not easy to get a law overturned. Petition gatherers have to collect more than 53,000 signatures - and they can't all come from one jurisdiction; they have to be spread out across the state. And there's a tight deadline.

Still, this could be an issue that generates enough outrage that a legislative result is overturned.

If the petition drive is successful, the question would be on the 2010 general election ballot.

Here is the contact information for the petition organizers:

www.mdscamera.com

info@mdscamera.com

David Nitkin

Blog reader Greg, like most commenters, applauded the effort: "If it was really about safety, then make the fine for speeding in a school or work zone $1,000 and 5 points on your license. I bet you it wouldn't take long before people slowed down in these areas. This is a money grab and guess what, all the politicians, and other users of government cars won't have to pay the tickets, you the citizens of Maryland will. When will people wake up and vote these people out of office?"

But a few people had a different point of view.

"If you are obeying the law, speed cameras are a non-issue. It's the people who break the law who bark the loudest!" Jennifer wrote.

Tea party discontent

There's was intense interest over the past few days in the tea party protests Wednesday at several locations in Maryland and across the nation.

Though discontent over taxes and spending was at the heart of the movement, people seemed to be seeking to raise grievances about plenty of other things as well.

If you're going to one of the protests, wish you were, or think the whole thing is hooey, write in and give us your opinion.

Andrew A. Green

Commenter Joe wrote, "The problem is simple. ... our government doesn't work for the majority of its citizens, it works for whomever lines their pockets with whatever they want most. (Money maybe?)

"The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is the special interest groups they serve, either the very rich or the very poor (both of which are backed by very powerful organizations and/or lobbyists). Neither party serves the hardworking citizens of this country very well. We just pay the debts they continue to create with more of our money and in many cases, more of our lives."

Blog reader Alex had a different perspective:

"I would rather pay taxes and live in a society with a strong education, infrastructure, military and a concern for human rights and environmental issues than live in a country like Sudan or Afghanistan. We should consider ourselves very lucky to have a stable government to pay our taxes to.

"And look at what we are spending money on ... fixing and updating our infrastructure and hopefully investing in new green energy that will power us into the feature.

"Could some one please refresh me as to why people are protesting again?!?!?!?!?"

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