Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > Speed Trap & Traffic Enforcement > Economics & Politics
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:


Economics & Politics Discussion of the economic and political market driving factors of automated enforcement technology.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2009-11-11
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Maryland Politicians, Judges, Bureaucrats Drive Toll Free

Article: Maryland Politicians, Judges, Bureaucrats Drive Toll Free

E-ZPass lanesAmong the 15,000 Maryland state employees who drive on area toll roads without paying are judges, lawmakers and powerful bureaucrats. The Maryland Politics Watch website used a freedom of information request in August to discover that 128 of 188 legislators took advantage of a perquisite giving officials a scrutiny and bill-free E-ZPass transponder -- despite already receiving a $600 yearly travel expense allowance from taxpayers. After being exposed, the General Assembly leadership moved to limit the fallout by abruptly canceling the program on September 25.

"Currently, many members of the General Assembly have non-revenue E-ZPass accounts or E-ZPass accounts with non-revenue accommodations," Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D) wrote. "This recession requires us to find efficiencies and reduce unnecessary spending wherever possible; therefore, we have asked the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) to terminate the non-revenue E-ZPass program for the legislative branch. Individual lawmakers will continue to be eligible to submit for reimbursement for tolls incurred on official legislative travel."

When Maryland Politics Watch informally attempted to learn the names of the politicians driving on toll roads at taxpayer expense, the MdTA initially claimed "privacy and security" concerns prevented disclosure. The agency then wrote to lawmakers informing them of the inquiry, allowing fifty-six lawmakers to cancel their accounts to avoid embarrassment before a formal request for the list of names was granted.

Authority to issue the free rides came from section 6.15 of the MdTA's contract with bond holders, a document that received little public scrutiny. The hidden provision applies to, "officials and employees of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the state." Ambulances and other emergency vehicles also receive a special transponder that allows free passage.

Maryland Politics Watch author Adam Pagnucco slammed Democrats for taking advantage of the system.

"Delegate Ben Kramer (D-19) is a millionaire developer who has dumped $220,450 of his own money into his last two political campaigns," Pagnucco wrote. "Does he really need a free E-ZPass? [In Montgomery County] one of our Senators and thirteen of our twenty-four delegates drive toll-free, including some of our most liberal members. We get no moral high ground this time."

Pagnucco was equally harsh with the GOP.

"Fifteen of the fifty Republicans in the General Assembly carry free E-ZPasses," Pagnucco wrote. "This is the worst hypocrisy of all. Over and over again, the Republicans have called for big spending cuts while jealously guarding their E-ZPerks."

Last month, Senate Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman (R) asked the Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell whether the judicial branch planned to give up free rides for judges. Source
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Illinois Plans Toll Road Within a Toll Road NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-10-16 09:30
New Virginia Toll Lanes Designed to Create Congestion NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-07-10 19:51
New Virginia Toll Lanes Designed to Create Congestion NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-07-10 19:51
Study: Toll Transponders Hide Cost of Tolling NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-07-03 10:54
More Lawmakers Get Toll Free Driving NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-06-26 14:00


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 18:00.


©2019 SpeedTrapHunter