The record speaks for itself. In 2003, Linda Harper-Benz was sitting pretty in the plum spot of the Chair of a subcommittee that oversees transportation spending.
Near the end of the legislative session, and after her colleagues roundly rejected a measure letting cities use photos from red light cameras as evidence to ticket drivers, Harper-Benz used her privileged position to sneak the same measure into a major transportation bill.
She did such a good job that her handiwork went unnoticed. Harper-Benz’s sneaky red light camera measure became Texas law.
Not too long after, a company owned by the same friend who owns her Benz just so happened to enter the market selling components for red-light cameras.
Here’s more from the Lone Star Project:
Linda Harper-Brown (R-HD105) sits on the Texas House Transportation Committee and is the biggest advocate for red-light cameras in the Texas Legislature. Harper-Brown also drives a $55,000 Mercedes Benz, owned by a transportation company that, along with its sister company, has sold red-light cameras and received more than $12.3 million in Texas state contracts.
A formal bribery complaint has been submitted to the U.S. District Attorney and the Public Integrity Section of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office (Source: Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2010).
Harper-Brown is also known as a relentless promoter and defender of red-light camera traffic enforcement. Even when it meant bucking her extreme-right soul-mates , Linda Harper-Brown has offered amendments, inserted legislative language and generally used her personal and political influence to promote the use of red light cameras by cities to photograph and fine motorists at road intersections (Dallas Morning News , July 11, 2004).
Why would a hard-right Republican, who talks about personal liberties and limiting government, make invasive red light traffic cameras a central focus of her official duties?
The answer may be simple – she was bought off.