NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #72

Boycotting Arizona (Kind Of)

Hypocrisy remains supreme.

Add the city of Columbus, Ohio to the list of governments and groups boycotting commerce with Arizona because of that state’s recent law that requires law enforcement to demand documentation proving U.S. citizenship from people who the officers feel are suspect in that regard.

Michael B. Coleman, the mayor of Columbus, banned city workers from any travel to Arizona on city business. Spokesman Dan Williamson said, “He (the mayor) agrees with those who want to send a message to the state of Arizona that this is not the American way.”

Mayor Coleman did announce two exceptions to his shunning of Arizona however. The first is to allow law enforcement officials to travel west to handle extradition matters. The second, true to the American way of capitalism, will allow the city’s lucrative red-light camera contract with Phoenix-based Redflex Traffic Systems to remain in force.

Earlier in May, the Columbus City Council okayed a new contract with Redflex, doubling the number of intersections with ticket cameras from the current quota of twenty, which generated about $1.54 million in revenue in 2008 and 2009. Williamson’s rationale for the Redflex exception is that closing the program down “wouldn’t make sense to the taxpayers.”

We wonder if each of the roughly 16,000 “taxpayers” who have had to shell out $95 for the red-light camera ticket they received over the past two years would agree with him.

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