Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Is it wrong to admire a scoundrel, er, “W. Howard”?

In Everett, Washington, traffic enforcement cameras — so-called “red-light cameras” — have stirred up a lot of people, many airing their ideas or just venting on HeraldNet, the local paper’s website. Among the most persistent contributors to the comments/letters section has been “W. Howard.”

Readers got suspicious. Once he said he was from Lynnwood; in another post he implied he lived in Everett. But no matter what town he was from, he was always for the cameras, which he claimed would prevent pedestrian deaths and save the children.

He thus bucked the stream in the growing controversy over the cameras, which seem so big-brotherish, so totalitarian. Even when one is caught red, er, lighted.

But, hey, learn your lesson. That’s what “W. Howard” said, anyway. Get over your paranoia.

The “paranoid” turned out to be right about W.H., though. The newspaper traced his posts to American Traffic Solutions, Inc., far from the Evergreen State in Scottsdale, Arizona — which just happened to make and sell the cameras under question — all the way back to Bill Kroske, vice president of business development.

That makes Kroske a Saul Alinsky of marketing.

But a scoundrel nonetheless, mimicking a Music Man-style pretense of being “part of the community” just to stir up business.

Thankfully, the scoundrel was revealed as such by a free press and in public debate. The First Amendment rides to the rescue!

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

13 Comments

  1. Drik says:

    Sounds just like when PBS shills for all of the unconstitutional programs that the current administration is trying to push.

    Should call them P(ravda) B. S.

  2. JAY says:

    SOUNDS ALSO LIKE THE VARIOSU BUSINESS ( AND UNION-BEING FAIR TO BOTH SIDES) WHO FORM “PRIVATE CITIZEN” GROUPS TO ARE FOR OR AGAINST A SPECIFIC ISSUE.

    LIKE THE ‘CONCERNED CITIZENS’ OR WHATEVER NAME THEY USE, AGAINST THE FLORIDA INITIATIVE TO ALLWO LOCAL RESIDENTS TO VOTE ON MAJOR CHANGES. RATHER THEN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, WHO ARE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR.

    SAME DIFFERENCE.

  3. Paul Jacob says:

    Well, it didn’t take a new law or a regulatory regime or a court case for justice to be done . . . just good ol’ fashioned free speech.

    Mr. Kroske (aka W. Howard) is in some hot water:

    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110518/BLOG48/705189786

  4. JAY says:

    Everyone including you works to stir up business. He should have disclosed who he was and then made the same arguements.

    Who pay your salary? Maybe you push their agenda?

  5. JAY says:

    THIS BLOG IS TOO NEGATIVE FOR ME.

  6. Paul Jacob says:

    Dear Jay,

    This is a positive story in my mind. Someone tries something a little underhanded and gets found out. That’s as it should be. And as you point out, his points are valid, or not, regardless of who is is or who he works for.

    As to who pays my salary, I’m hoping YOU do. (BTW, can I have a raise?) But as for pushing the agenda of those who donate, our mission is clear: we work to protect initiative & referendum, which is something both Right and Left (and everyone) can use to take their ideas to the voters. That’s an agenda everyone should support. If you investigate and ask around, I think you’ll think you’ll find that folks all across the spectrum have worked with us and that our agenda is very clear.

    http://www.citizensincharge.org/blog/trevorf/come-one-come-all

  7. JAY says:

    You can have some of my debt if you’d like.

  8. JAY says:

    CICF’s financial transparency would be interesting to see.

  9. Mark Read Pickens says:

    I’m glad you were able to fix your caps lock key, Jay. Otherwise, people might not take you seriously.

  10. S Rubicon says:

    Hopefully, now that this despicable tactic is exposed, the papers will make sure the public knows the advocate had a financial interest in the product he was hawking in the papers editorial columns. Truth be told, since this guy is marketing for the company, his company should be charged advertisers fees for the column inches he used.
    This is but another example why we all must be sure what we read, & whom is doing the writing. I fear we already have many papers publishing stories or commentary that is nothing less than propaganda.
    As for the camera’s… make sure if you are caught to checkout the light timing feature. There are numerous stories cropping up about some municipalities adjusting the timing of the red, yellow, and green lights. In short, the yellow is not on as long as traditional yellow lights are on. That small adjustment means they catch many additional violators who under normal conditions, would have made it through. In short, they did not violate the red light law, they were trapped into it!

  11. JAY says:

    Bottom line: If he was an advocate for red light cameras, then he should be allowed to debate his arguements, even if he didn’t live there, the same way out of state petitioners are allowed to collect signatures for initiatives in other states.

    The guy lied (not a wise decision) and now is in trouble wis employer.

  12. JAY says:

    And also: If the guy was getting paid to work for a red light camera company, he should still be allowed to debate his arguements. A person’s pay check has nothing to do with their defending of an issue, just like petitioners getting paid per signature..

  13. John Ken says:

    Just don’t run the red light and you won’t have to worry about it.

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