Posts Tagged ‘fraud


The end of red-light SCAMeras in Arizona?


Ticketing cameras have been popping up in increased numbers over the last decade. Some of them only measure speed, others red-light running, some actively scan licence plates, and some do a combination of all those. To be honest, we all want to be safe on the road. Nobody likes it when someone runs a red light and certainly not when someone runs a red light and causes an accident. The question remains however of whether or not these ticketing cameras help curb the problem of speeding or red-light running. In fact, some argue that the cameras do more harm than good.

I agree with the sentiment that these cameras do more harm than good and I think anyone that lives with them would agree. I remember here in Arizona we had speed cameras on the highway and red light cameras on the corners. It was nearly a death trap on the highway where everyone would be cruising along ([above the speed limit] and when you got in the area of a speed camera everyone would slam on their brakes. Of course, logic should tell you that if everyone is suddenly slamming on their brakes that there is eventually going to be an uptick of rear-end collisions.

Whiplash anyone?

So while the cameras may have stopped people from speeding, did it actually make us more safe? If we traded decreased speed for an increase in rear-end collisions then I’d personally say that the safety of our community was degraded and I think that many would agree.

Likewise with red-light cameras and safety. We may have stopped people from running red lights but we have also increased the likelihood that people slam on their brakes at the sight of a yellow light instead of safely proceeding through and avoiding a rear-end collision. I know that I personally know where the cameras are at in my neighborhood and I try to avoid them. If I can’t avoid them then I approach them with caution – I’m always super paranoid that if I stop on yellow (to avoid running the red light) then I will be rear-ended by someone behind me who isn’t paying attention or simply isn’t expecting me to stop. I literally go through these intersections staring at my rear-view mirror! Scary – shouldn’t my eyes be forward and scanning the road in front of me?

We have all heard the reports when these cameras were being put in about how safe they made people – how people drove slower and ran less red-lights. But were those “studies” done by independent organizations, by lobbyist, or by the camera companies themselves? It seems to me that these studies very well may have been done by the latter two groups. This is even more true due to the fact of all the scandals and judgments handed down against these camera companies – everything from bribery to changing the yellow light timing to ensure more captures.

Here in Arizona we are pushing to finally rid ourselves of this cancer and return ourselves to a more sane, logical, and Constitutional way of nabbing those who break traffic laws by passing SB1167, entitled “Photo radar; prohibition.” So far the bill has managed to pass all paces and has picked up some notable endorsements, to include:

  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) supports a ban on photo ticketing. (citation needed)
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) – Sheriff Babeu ended photo ticketing in his county immediately after taking office. He wrote Senator Ward aletter in support of SB 1167.
  • Phoenix Law Enforcement Association voted unanimously last week to support SB 1167
  • Richard Mack, a former two-term Graham County Sheriff, and current candidate for Navajo County Sheriff has been calling Arizona Senate members in support of SB 1167. (citation needed)

Tomorrow, 23 February 2015, is the day that the Arizona Senate votes on SB1167. Please consider contacting your Senator and telling them to vote YEA for SB1167. If you do not know their contact information then click here. The email I sent simply said “Please represent me by voting YEA for SB1167.”

Other items that you may want to consider that make red light cameras Unconstitutional:

  • 4th Amendment: The cameras scan the license plate and run the MVD data (your personal information) of every motorist in Arizona that passes by them, tracking people like cattle. This is a unwarranted search.
  • 5th Amendment: Photo tickets demand a fine be paid, or face the seizure of capital and possessions without offering due process. It’s simply a rubber stamp by an employee of the company who is collecting the fine.
  • 6th Amendment: There is no way to exercise your right to face your accuser, when the accuser is a machine.
  • 7th Amendment: There is no option for a trial because they’ve taken that right away from you with photo tickets, even though the fines can go as high as $350 in the state of Arizona.
  • 14th Amendment: Two sets of standards have been created for the same offenses. Red light and speed camera tickets are treated completely differently by the courts, which is a clear violation of your right to equal protection under the laws. And no machine can replace a sworn peace officer conduction traffic stops.

Below is a link with a collection of studies on whether or not red-light cameras increase public safety.

Red Light Camera Studies show increase in accidents

Arizona can do this. I reported in May 2010 about how Arizona got rid of the speed cameras on the highways – so this is totally possible, especially if we all call our politicians and tell them to support this bill!


Fraud OK for us IRS says

Well, the IRS shows it’s true colors. “Fraud is OK in our house!”

(Original here)

Thousands of individuals claiming the first-time homebuyer’s $8,000 tax credit may have been attempting to scam the system, including purported four-year-olds and illegal immigrants, according to a watchdog report released on Thursday.

Nearly 74,000 individuals who claimed the tax credit did not appear to qualify for it, at a cost of half a billion to the government, the inspector general for tax administration for the U.S. Treasury Department said in a report to be delivered to lawmakers on Thursday.

“Some of our findings, while preliminary, are somewhat disturbing,” inspector general Russell George said in an interview. Among the most striking instances of fraud include four-year-olds, non-U.S. citizens and IRS employees inappropriately claiming the benefit, he said.

The report comes amid a heated debate about the popular credit, which the real estate and homebuilding industry is fiercely lobbying to protect. It expires at the end of November, and some say it simply doles out cash to those who would have purchased a home without it.

A subcommittee of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will hear from IRS, IG and other officials at a hearing Thursday.

About 1.4 million tax returns have been filed to take advantage of the credit at a cost to the government of about $10 billion. Many powerful lawmakers want to extend it, including some that back broadening it to all homebuyers and doubling its benefit.

Extension in its current form would cost about a $1 billion a month. A proposal in the Senate to double the credit and extend it until June would cost about $17 billion.

In response to a report last week citing thousands not qualifying properly for the credit, the IRS said it intends to vigorously root out fraud in the program.

An IRS spokesman also said potential for fraud exists whenever a new refundable credit is put in place. The agency has opened 107,000 civil cases related to the credit and identified 167 criminal schemes. Also, they have selected thousands of returns for those claiming the credit for deeper audits.

The report finds that 582 taxpayers under the age of 18 claimed about $4 million using the credit, with the youngest being 4 years old.

It further faults the IRS for failing to take its advice that a third party be required to document an individual claiming the credit actually purchased a home.

The IRS refuted some of the findings of the IG, and argued for example that some findings are premature because some taxpayers may eventually purchase a home.

Under the law, the credit should be claimed after purchase.

The IRS has responded to some of the IG’s advice, including installing computer filters so those who filed for a home mortgage interest deduction could not also claim the first-time tax credit.

“The IRS is having a very mixed bag in terms of its implementation of this important tool to help the economy,” George said.

A 2008 law created a $7,500 tax credit for those who haven’t purchased a home in three years and who meet certain income limits, with the intention of jump starting the moribund housing market. A 2009 law boosted the credit to $8,000.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, want to extend the credit but the housing chief for the Obama administration on Tuesday expressed doubts the United States could afford to extend the credit.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the administration would decide in coming weeks whether it backs an extension.


ACORN is a Criminal Enterprise

(Original article here)


ACORN was trying to register Mickey Mouse during 2008 Election

Each week we look forward to the Friday News Dump, that special time when the Government “dumps” a news story that will be unfavorable to them should it be well publicized. The theory being the public will be too busy to pay attention to the news during the busy weekend and when the news cycle begins on Monday, the “dropped” story will be old news.
Yesterday, Obama Administration literally dropped one of its biggest supporters: ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)
The week didn’t start out so well for ACORN. First they announced they had to fire several workers in Florida for registering false names during the last presidential election. (Imagine that…pitty someone didn’t warn voters about them last year.)
Then a very damaging YouTube video was posted by BigGovernment showing ACORN workers in Baltimore giving advice on how a prostitute and a pimp could avoid paying taxes on the underage El Salvadorean sex workers the couple were going to import.
ACORN quickly fired the workers, saying that it was an isolated incident and that it was just a smear campaign by Conservatives.
In what can only be called a classic “one-two” punch, a SECOND video, this time showing District of Columbia workers doing the exact same thing.
Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer, ACORN Regarding Recent News Reports:
We are their Willy Horton for 2009. We are the boogeyman for the right-wing and its echo chambers. If ACORN did not exist, the right-wing would have needed to create us in order to achieve their agenda, their missions, their ideal, retrograde America.
Three Scandals in one week to an organization that was connected in the last election to our current President and nary a word on the major news sites. Well it’s a good thing you follow The Hippo’s Ass. We report what the main News Sites fail to cover.
Which brings us to the Friday News Dump. The Administration announced that ACORN was being dropped as a “participant” in the upcoming census. MSNBC’s response? They showed an in-depth report on whether ShamWow really works or not.
Shouldn’t someone be investigating these “community organizers” who stand to reap millions in tax payer dollars as part of the TARP bills recently passed to “help” the economy? Rep. John Conyers of Detroit was supposed to, but mysteriously he dropped the case one day before his wife Monica Conyers, a Detroit City Council member was brought up on bribery charges. Rep. Conyers claimed “powers that be” put the kibosh on the idea. Hmmm….. Anyone in the media care to follow that up? Didn’t think so.
The kicker of the whole story? You have a National Community Organization that is connected to the President of the United States, being involved in voter registration tampering, tax evasion advice at TWO locations and counciling a prostitute how to hide underage El Salvadorean girls and what happens?
The State of Maryland may prosecute the FILMMAKERS who exposed ACORN as the Corrupt Organization they really are.
An you wonder why more than 1 million people marched on Washington D.C today?


"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain