Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 12, 2013

No Headline Provided

Traverse City Record-Eagle

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That's what lobbyists do

Concerning the (May 26) front page headline “Lobbyist knew of Schmidt’s traffic camera legislation,” apparently Sheriff Bensley found it “curious” that a lobbyist representing American Traffic Solutions should contact him about legislation, not yet introduced, that would allow traffic cameras in Michigan.

The report said "The story of how a lobbyist would know the particulars about Schmidt’s legislation nearly four weeks prior to its introduction - and why that lobbyist would contact a local sheriff about camera technology before the legislation’s introduction - isn’t clear.” Sounds sinister!

It should have been clear because that’s what lobbyists do. Lobbyists representing special interest groups such as AARP, the Sierra Club, the United Auto Workers, the Newspaper Association of America and I’d even bet CNHI, owners of the Record-Eagle, all work with state and federal legislatures to craft, and in many cases even help write, legislation favorable to their organizations.

Then there was the revelation by an individual opposed to cameras at intersections stating “ATS is trying to get the cameras in Michigan to make money.” Do you think?

The article was informative but the innuendo that something was going on out of the ordinary was not “new” news.

Gordie La Pointe