Saturday, February 11, 2017

San Francisco's "predatory government"

David Chiu: Bike guy

A letter to the editor in the SF Chronicle by District 5's Ted Loewenberg:

Regarding “Cameras urged to capture speeding drivers” (Feb. 9): San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu thinks that adding speed cameras to our streets will improve safety. Like red-light cameras, the primary effect is to improve the revenue flow to city coffers and the private companies that make and operate these devices.

Across the country, automated traffic cameras have revealed the corruption of public officials who award these contracts and the illegal practices of handing out tickets to innocent drivers. Traffic safety comes from everyone in the public space paying attention “with due regard for safety.” Fleecing the public by using robot cameras does nothing to make our roads safe.

Ted Loewenberg
San Francisco

Our predatory City Hall supports Chiu's legislation, as Aaron Bialick, former Streetsblog editor, tells us on the MTA's blog. Bialick went from the anti-car Streetsblog to the anti-car SFMTA.

More on David Chiu when he was a San Francisco supervisor. For still more on Chiu, click on the "David Chiu" label below.

A 2014 Chronicle story on traffic cameras: Red-light cameras boost coffers, rile drivers

Of course the city's two anti-car groups---Walk San Francisco and the Bicycle Coalition---like the camera idea.

See also San Francisco has become a predatory government by the City Treasurer:

...According to emerging research, San Francisco levies more fines per capita than most California counties. Also, we assess more fines per capita than Philadelphia, Louisville, Ky., or Nashville, which are comparable city/county localities.

As treasurer, I’ve made a priority of protecting San Franciscans from predatory lenders, working with the Board of Supervisors to ban new check-cashing and payday lending businesses. As a gay Latino elected official, I couldn’t live with a financial system that preyed on people who look like me.

But I’m also the official debt collector for the city. I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable when our local government levies fines on people who cannot afford to pay them. Basically, we are guilty of a form of predatory government...

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Adlai Stevenson bares his sole

From Timothy Egan:

When Adlai Stevenson was told that all thinking people were with him in his race for president, he famously responded: “That’s not enough. I need a majority.”

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Latest on the Bowling Green Massacre

Kevin Drum in Mother Jones:
Now, before you all get too bent out of shape, I'd like to point out that there's some good news here: only 14 percent of Trump's supporters want to invade Mexico. Not so bad, eh? I'd also like to point out that a week ago I predicted that lots of Trump supporters would hear about the Bowling Green massacre but only a few would hear that it didn't actually happen. Well, I was right. Belief in the BGM outscored disbelief 51-23 percent. (emphasis added)

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