Posts by Christine Welborn

Kaufman’s Costly and Illegal Scandal – Part 1

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Following the public pushback over red light cameras across Texas, camera companies, such as American Traffic Solutions (ATS), have turned their attention to counties, rather than cities. Shockingly, several counties engaged these firms in clear violation of state law.

The problem with ATS’s strategy was that the governments they sought to engage do not have the authority to issue civil penalties to enforce local ordinances. Cities are given that authority in the Local Government Code (LGC); that power does not extend to counties. Every civil citation issued to local residents by Kaufman County under the ATS contract was illegal. (LGC 54.012 & 54.044)

ATS targeted rural counties such as Kaufman, Smith, and Hays, appealing to money-hungry County Judges who would support traffic-camera contracts designed to help bolster their revenue. As is often the case in local government, they relied upon complicit District Attorneys and incompetent county lawyers to rubber stamp unlawful contracts.

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Drivers Beware: New Cameras Spreading in Texas

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Texans do not want their tax dollars paying for traffic cameras that are a revenue stream disguised as a public safety measure. While state lawmakers have failed to act, citizens across Texas are fighting to ban red light cameras, and winning.

Red-light cameras are voted out in almost every city that puts them on the ballot. A statewide ban passed in the Texas Senate, but stalled in the House, and now thousands of citizens have signed a petition, recently delivered to Governor Abbott, to add a state-wide ban to the Governor’s Special Session call.

Meanwhile, cities are fighting to hold onto their cash-cow cameras. In recent years, even counties have tried to get into the game, which they don’t have the legal authority to do. With red-light cameras on the chopping block, the new ploy is cameras set to catch cars speeding in school zones and passing school buses while the stop arm is deployed.

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Tarrant County Property Tax Town Hall Meetings

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Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen has scheduled two Town Hall meetings this month to address county property taxes. Nguyen is advocating for Tarrant County and JPS Hospital district – which both levy a property tax – to provide relief by adopting a 20% homestead exemption.

If you care about property taxes, you should attend and express your opinion!

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Bipartisan Support for HB 2139

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Due to the magnitude of the fraud Direct Action Texas has uncovered over the last 2 years, we have been calling for sensible reforms to come out of Austin. One of these is a bill authored by Representative Mike Schofield (R-Katy). House Bill 2139 would allow prosecutors to treat organized election fraud activity the same way it would treat other forms of organized crime, raising each penalty level one degree. Testimonies given in the House Committee on Elections revealed overwhelming bipartisan support.

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Missouri Takes Action Against Voter Fraud

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Stealing votes through mail-in ballot harvesting is not unique to Tarrant County, or even Texas.  Last fall, a harvesting scheme was uncovered in St. Louis, Missouri.  Candidate for State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr. was the victim of this type of fraud in his race against incumbent State Rep.  Penny Hubbard.  Numerous ballots were found to be fraudulent.  His race was stolen.

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