Washington: Activist Judge Shuts Down Anti-Camera Vote

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
washington activist judge shuts down anti camera vote

A judge with a history of overturning the will of Washington voters decided Friday to block the public from a say in the use of red light cameras. Chelan County Superior Court Judge John E. Bridges sided with traffic camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) which filed the suit to prevent a repeat of what happened in Mukilteo. In November, residents were allowed to vote on an anti-camera initiative, and 71 percent voted to ban the devices.

“Defendants We the People Wenatchee, Washington Campaign for Liberty, VotersWantMoreChoices.com, Bancams.com and intervenor-defendant Matt Erickson are enjoined from submitting proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 to the city of Wenatchee and/or Chelan County for inclusion on the ballot, and defendants Chelan County and Skip Moore (in his official capacity as Chelan County Auditor) are enjoined from taking any action to process proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 or to include proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 on the ballot,” Judge Bridges wrote.

Bridges endorsed the ATS position which held that the legislature gave the city council — not the people — the ability to decide whether to use red light cameras and speed cameras. He also sided with the company’s argument that no contract with a photo enforcement firm could be voided in any way for the duration of the contract. Under this reasoning, a city council could sign a long-term 50-year contract with a camera vendor. Such a decision would be binding for a half-century as the public could vote out the council or take any other steps to undo the decision.

The decision is at odds with that of a Snohomish County Superior Court judge who ruled last year with respect to the Mukilteo initiative that it would have been premature to side with ATS in attempting to stop the election before it happened ( view order). Erickson argued that the ATS legal challenge and the inevitable appeal was a transparent attempt to thwart the democratic process.

“The unavoidable result of the city filing a pre-election challenge is to distract the signature-gathering drive for proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1, at least if those gathering signatures care to have a voice defending their position in court,” Erickson wrote. “One could say that the decision to seek a pre-election challenge of proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 was a ‘can’t lose’ proposition for the city and ATS, for even if they lost in court, they could perhaps impact the signature drive sufficiently such that it could prevent the proposed initiative from qualifying for the ballot.”

Appointed to the bench by Democratic Governor Booth Gardner, Bridges is best known for siding with the election of Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, over Dino Rossi, a Republican who was declared victor in the first two counts of the ballot.

A copy of the judge’s order is available in a 1.2mb PDF file at the source link below.

Order Granting City of Wenatchee Motion (Chelan County, Washington Superior Court, 5/20/2011)

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • Kkt Kkt on May 24, 2011

    Election boards are not controlled by either party. The last recount was done by hand with representatives of each party able to challenge every ballot, and Republicans challenged more than their share of votes. Yes, some ballots were found that were missed during the initial count, but their numbers matched what was issued, they were not voted twice, and there was no evidence that they were tampered with. You can be sure one campaign or the other would have would have challenged anything suspicious and probably the most conservative judge in the state couldn't find anything that would hold up. Have you looked at where state revenue comes from and goes to? Puget Sound supports the rest of the state.

  • Sgt Beavis Sgt Beavis on May 24, 2011

    Perhaps it's time for those folks to consider taking things in their own hands.

  • Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
  • FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.
  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/tesla-model-y-worlds-best-selling-vehicle-1234848318/and any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.