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Sen. Duffy caught on red light video, plus other videos, graphs and lots more stuff

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* As you may know by now, GOP state Sen. Dan Duffy has been pushing hard to rid the state of red light cameras. During today’s meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senate President John Cullerton offered up a compromise amendment on the issue which Duffy opposed.

The big news, though, was that Cullerton revealed that Sen. Duffy had been hit with a red light ticket himself [which Duffy clearly deserved, but previously claimed he didn’t]. Cullerton then showed video of the violation. According to notes from my intern Dan Weber, Cullerton’s staff was able to get the video online.


And here’s the video

Duffy’s car is the second one through the light. He barely slowed down.

[Video via: Animal Farm]

…Adding… This, by the way, is how a lot of legislation begins. A legislator has a bad experience and believes there oughtta be a law. I can certainly relate to Duffy’s anger, even though I’ve not yet been hit with a red light ticket, but you’d think he’d have disclosed the ticket earlier.

…Adding more… Oops. Duffy did disclose the ticket. Trouble is, he said he stopped when the video clearly shows he rolled right through

Duffy said he wrongly received a ticket from a red-light camera in Schaumburg. He said he stopped behind the line and inched forward before making a turn because a utility box obstructed his view. He said he wanted to fight the ticket but said it would have cost more than $1,000 to fight the $100 ticket.”

Ummm… Huh? If you watch the video, not only did Duffy breeze through the light, but the utility box appears to be on his right, which wouldn’t have obstructed his view of oncoming traffic from his left. And if a different utility box did obstruct his view, that was one very unsafe roll-through.

…Adding still more… President Cullerton dodge a question today about the staff shakeup at the Department of Corrections. Watch

* Thought for the day

“Almost all scandals, I think, result not from the invention of new evils, but from the imposition of new ethical standards.” – Bill James, The New Historical Baseball Abstract

Notice he said “almost.” Rod Blagojevich’s alleged misdeeds don’t really fit. [Via.]

* The DSCC has a new Internet ad that blasts Mark Kirk for favoring the big banks. It’s pretty much a preview of the fall campaign. Rate it

* A video of Bill Brady’s “unity rally” in DuPage County features this remark at the 32-second mark…

“Most of you know that I’m not a career politician.”

Brady was first elected to the House in 1992 - eighteen years ago.

Watch the complete video

Adam Andrzejewski said in his endorsement of Brady that the state hasn’t created a job since 1997. Watch it.

* Today’s graph from Moody’s shows how fast or slow various metro area real estate prices are expected to rebound. Click the pic for a better look. Our area isn’t doing so bad in comparison to Florida and California, but it could be better…


* From the IEA

We are asking all IEA members to stand in solidarity with our laid-off members on Friday, March 19th by wearing pink. We also invite administrators, parents and community members to join us, in recognition of the effect that these losses will have on the quality of education our state.

The two gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Bill Brady, will be speaking at the IEA Annual Representative Assembly (RA) on March 19 in Rosemont. We anticipate there will be extensive media coverage of the event. With our RA delegates in pink, we will show the state the IEA commitment to fair funding, and the impact that funding cuts will have on the goal to build a quality education system and economy in the state.

* This video is kinda cool, unless all the honking is right outside your back door on Lake Springfield. Your afternoon Zen



  1. - girllawyer - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    He’s not a career politician? Did he happen to mention what his actual career is?

  2. - Red Means Stop - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 11:52 am:

    Seems like Sen. Duffy’s rants against red-light cameras are mostly the result of his being mad for getting caught rolling through a light. If drivers just stop, like the law requires, they won’t get tickets!

  3. - wndycty - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    That was cold blooded of Cullerton. . .LOL

  4. - Responsa - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    Well quite honestly, with respect to the Kirk attack ad, if I were the DSCC I would want to avoid *any* ads that even mentioned the word “bank”. It is absolutely bizarre. If they have convinced themselves that they can somehow neutralize or mitigate Alexi’s bank problems with this approach the DSCC is rather out of touch. C-

  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    Where was Commando Kirk at the Brady fest and who are the two dawrfs next to Plummer?

  6. - PFK - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:10 pm:

    Omnipresent cameras being used to take out political opponents? Who’da thunk it!

  7. - Brian Costin - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    Hmm… that’s the intersection of Meacham & Woodfield road in Schaumburg, IL. The poster boy intersection for red light camera abuse. The intersection where there was 0 accidents caused by red light running in the year prior to the camera being put up. But still the camera was put up in the name of “safety”.

    $1.2 million in fines in 3 months before it was pulled down.

    Say what you will about Dan Duffy not stopping at the light and that’s the reason for his anti-red light camera bill

    I led the charge against the cameras in Schaumburg, and I have never gotten a red light camera ticket.

    They make intersections more dangerous and are all about the revenue.

  8. - siriusly - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    I got a red light camera ticket last fall. I was angry and freaked out too. Until I went online and watched my own violation. At least I stopped first. Sen. Duffy practically accelerated throught that light.

    One thing that I think would help improve traffic safety, and mitigage the opposition to the use of RLC’s is better signage. The whole point of traffic enforcement is not to nail people with tickets but to get us to drive safer. If a sign was posted right under the stoplight that said “RED LIGHT CAMERA IN USE” - I bet people would stop all the time. But the problem is that the municipalities don’t want people to stop, they want the ticket revenue.

    I think the General Assembly should reform the way they are used, use the RLC’s as incentives for better driving behavior not “gotcha” money-making machines. They shoudl require that additional signage be added when they are in use - I think President Cullerton would even agree with that.

  9. - kimsch - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:27 pm:

    How many birds are on the lake? Looks like hundreds of thousands if not millions.

  10. - all the way over there? - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    at least senator duffy has something to think about as he walks to his far-away capitol parking space. maybe he should start playing more nicely in the sandbox.

  11. - Glory Days - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    As far as Duffy’s ticket is concerned… YES, it is clear that he slows, but does not stop. HOWEVER, what is also BLATANTLY OBVIOUS is that the drivers in the turn lane of the cross traffic, directly in front of Duffy’s view clearly are turning left and have a left turn arrow. Therefore, it is obvious to any driver that there can’t possibly be cross traffic coming from the left. COMMON SENSE reveals that there is no reason whatsoever to fully stop. THIS is the problem with these Red Light Cameras.

  12. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===COMMON SENSE reveals that there is no reason whatsoever to fully stop===

    Then why have red lights in the first place Einstein? If we all use common sense, we wouldn’t need any traffic laws.

    But we do have traffic laws. And the law says you have to stop at a red signal. You may turn right on red after coming to a stop. This isn’t hard to understand Glory Days.

  13. - Glory Days - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    OOPS…that was the case when I got my red light camera ticket. Outrage got the best of me.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===THIS is the problem with these Red Light Cameras. ===

    Maybe not. If there’s a left turn green in the video, there’s probably one for traffic coming the opposite direction, which would put Duffy into merging traffic.

    The fact is he said he stopped. He didn’t. He got a ticket, introduced a bill to ban the red light cams and now it turns out he didn’t stop at all. He barely slowed down.

  15. - Boggles the Mind - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    I don’t understand why Duffy is so upset. He should be more than willing to take his medicine after watching this. I mean, he’s a conservative, right? What is it that conservatives say about the government watching over you? If you don’t break the law you have nothing to worry about? Lol.

  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    Actually, another look at the video does not support your contention whatsoever. In fact, cross-traffic is clearly visible from the right. No way was there a left-turn green arrow at the time. No way.

  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    I dunno, kimsch, but it’s danged loud.

  18. - Obamas' Puppy - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    A generic speech from an empty shirt.

  19. - Adam Smith - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 1:03 pm:

    Responsa is absolutely right about the DSCC ad. Sure the Dems attack is simplistic and tired, but it can impact less informed and/or angry voters. But for that same population being a multi-millionaire FAILED banker is going to be much worse. This ad almost screams for voters to compare these (inane) charges to the calamity at Broadway.

    I guess the DSCC figures they have to do something drastic to put a tourniquette on Alexi’s campaign. A little phoney guilt-by-association mudslinging is about all they can do to try and change the subject from the Broadway scandal.

  20. - Team Sleep - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    Way to go, Prez Cullerton. That brushoff tells me one of two things: either Cullerton doesn’t care about the ramifications of the early release program or he knows more than is willing to tell.

  21. - One of the 35 - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rich: There is much more red light video available to support contuinued use of red light cameras. Our community just witnessed a violation wherein a school bus blew through a red light and did not even touch the brakes. The entire room at the Village Board meeting let out a collective gasp. A resident in attendance later spoke and said that he was attending to oppose the use of red light cams, but after witnessing the numerous video clips, indicated that he was now in support of their continued use.

  22. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    “Almost all scandals, I think, result not from the invention of new evils, but from the imposition of new ethical standards.” – Bill James, The New Historical Baseball Abstract

    This is true, but doesn’t let anyone off the hook who are public servants. If you want to be an elected official, you have to know when to jump into a race, and when to get out. So, you also need to recognize when standards are shifting.

    Illinois has political leaders past their expiration dates regarding this kind of issue. It seems that many of them have gotten lazy from sitting comfortably in fiefdoms with boundaries they drew themselves.

    As a result, over the past decade, our elected officials haven’t kept up and they are now needing to be replaced.

    Times change - if you won’t change with them, move on.

  23. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:12 pm:

    Why is Giannoulais bringing up banking at all?

    He did a similar thing during the Primary with an ad that made bankers sound like ghouls. With his bank making weekly news in a bad way, why would he continue to claim that his opponent is a pawn of bankers? As a banker, does Alexi Giannoulais know this? As a banker, did his family give money to Kirk in order to do deals that favored his family?

    What is the point of this?

    You would think he would like voters to forget who he is and what business his family made millions, including himself, failing in.

  24. - Scott217 - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:14 pm:

    Rich- Thanks for the mention.

  25. - siriusly - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:19 pm:

    LOL ” all the way over there? - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    at least senator duffy has something to think about as he walks to his far-away capitol parking space. maybe he should start playing more nicely in the sandbox. ” LOLOL

    So true a.t.w.o.t. That guy has earned himself a reputation. It’s not just the sandbox, it’s the whole playground. Someone needs a timeout until they adjust their attitude. In my humble opine.

  26. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:26 pm:

    As a baseball fan, Bill James is a little too out there for me. Catch, hit, run, throw. Simplicity is baseball’s greatest virtue.

    The Cullerton video is weird. Are the the other 58 members of the Senate comfortable in the fact that the president is trolling for video on them?

    Cullerton is a real Eddie Haskell.

  27. - Jake from Elwood - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:29 pm:

    Since when would it cost $1000 to win a red light camera ticket? I successfully defended myself before the suburban hearing officer and it cost me nothing. Only two people out of about sixty or seventy attendees on that day won. (my case was called near the end).

    I am not crazy about the cameras either. From now on, I refuse to turn right on red at any red-light camera intersection.

  28. - Springfield Skeptic - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 2:49 pm:

    Rich, A doctor friend of mine who is also an award winning amateur phtographer. He snapped a pic of the geese and then used the block graph method to estimate the number. He came up with somewhere around 250,000 birds.

  29. - Moving to Oklahoma - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    Great Video of the Snow Geese on lake Springfield.

    In Southern Illinois there is a Refuge, (Union County Federal Wildlife Refuge) that is a staging area for Canadian and Snow geese.

    I always enjoy driving through the refuge on my way to Cape Giradeau Missouri and this time of year there will be 50 - 60 thousand snow geese there. For me, the migration of waterfowl marks the changing of the seasons more so than the changing of the leaves or the blooming of flowers. Thanks for posting that Rich.

  30. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    wordslinger, my money is on a plant by a lobster from the company. I can hear it now. Psst, John here’s the address of the video on Duffy. Hilarious.

  31. - Amuzing Myself - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 4:27 pm:

    Agree with the poster that suggests better signage. Municipalities that fight it will show more clearly why they’re really wanting these cameras. And they should just have to use camera revenue to put up the signs, so it’s not “coming from the children”.. blah, blah, blah.

    More disturbing to me, though, is that Cullerton could get his hands on this video. Is this public info anyone has access to? If not, perhaps that should be discussed. And if it’s NOT public info, how did Cullerton get it? Seems there’s an interesting privacy question here. If this video is available to anyone, then couldn’t other government camera footage be made available. Yikes.

  32. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 5:00 pm:

    The graphics seem out of synch in the DSCC video somehow.

  33. - aaronsinger - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 5:15 pm:

    Agreed with jake from elwood, I will not turn right on red anymore, nor do I pull up into an intersection when turning left. My sister got a ticket in Chicago from a red-light camera, the ticket said there was a no turn on red there and that she failed to stop. Video clearly showed otherwise and there was no evidence of any no turn on red sign, and yet she lost her appeal.

    I think red light cameras can even encourage bad driving, from drivers who are most concerned with not getting ticketed than in driving safely, whether that’s speeding up through a yellow light, or trying to see if an intersection has a camera, or whatever.

    You won’t convince me that these cameras are truly about safety and less about governments reaching for revenue.

  34. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 5:59 pm:

    …”whack”…. Not “synch”.

  35. - Former Duffy Supporter - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 8:29 pm:

    I have followed the debate and watched the video presented at other hearings, including pedestrians being hit by right turn drivers at a speed much slower than Senator Duffy’s violation. I’m disappointed in Senator Duffy’s self serving bill. Turns out that it is about safety (post the video of the little girl and the balloon). Pass the presidents amendment about red lights and move on. Lets get to work on the budget, the debate on cameras should be over.

  36. - Dave Heinzel - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 8:42 pm:

    Thanks for linking to my video on snow geese. For those looking for more information, there are several details (and a discussion) at my web site here:

  37. - Gregor - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 10:34 pm:

    Too bad they shot down Duffy’s bill, his on-camera violation aside, he and his experts made a believer out of me at the hearing. The cams do not prevent accidents; they cause accidents, and they are sometimes useful to document those accidents, but really, they are mainly there to make money.

    As far as the school buss blowing off a stop, that video actually makes Duffy’s experts’ case for them: the cams will never stop anybody who is going too fast for conditions, or is driving distracted, and those are the most likely people to blow off a red.

    What DOES have independently verified PROOF of making intersections more safe are these things:

    Adding one to two more seconds of yellow light before red.

    Make all the lights red, all 4 ways, an additional second or two before any green lights up.

    Adding those black and yellow striped “backing plates” to traffic lights, which improves their visibility and extends reaction time. We have a number of them up in Springfield now, and you can see the difference a quarter mile away.

    All of those measures make any intersection about 50% more safe. But they don’t provide a revenue stream. Any intersection that gets a camera, it should be mandatory to put all those three measures in effect, plus proper warning signage. Then see how much revenue the cameras make, because it’s all about the SAFETY, right? Right??


    Don’t give up on this, Duffy.

  38. - just sayin' - Monday, Mar 15, 10 @ 10:58 pm:

    More trademark buffoonery from Dan Duffy.

    He should apologize not only for his self-serving behavior, but also for potentially putting people in physical danger.

  39. Pingback ArchPundit | Big Red Light Camera Is Out to Get Senator Duffy - Tuesday, Mar 16, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    […] * As we discussed yesterday, one of the leading proponents of banning red-light cameras was called out yesterday for not telling the truth about his own red-light ticket. Senate President John Cullerton showed video of Sen. Dan Duffy clearly running a red light. Duffy responded… “That was an interesting play there. Obviously the president of the Senate and the red-light camera companies are doing everything they can to intimidate me,” said Duffy, who said he won’t stop trying to abolish red-light cameras, even though a Senate panel rejected the idea Monday. […]

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