The Chron covers the story.
Boosters of Houston’s 70 red-light cameras are seeking to prevent a November vote on whether to ban the devices, alleging in a federal lawsuit that the initiative was placed on the ballot illegally and that it could violate the Voting Rights Act.
“This complaint needed to have been brought way back in 2004,” said Chris Begala, a spokesman for Keep Houston Safe, the political action committee opposing the ballot initiative. “If this is, indeed, an untimely, illegal referendum, we need to know that, and the city needs to know that. … All options have to be addressed.”
Paul Kubosh, a founder of Citizens Against Red Light Cameras who makes a living as a lawyer representing motorists accused of traffic violations, questioned how pro-camera forces could argue the petition may dilute minority voting. “How is this a violation of the Voting Rights Act?” he asked.
Kubosh noted that the PAC claims its internal polls show strong voter support for the cameras. “If they have such good polling, why do they want to block the vote?”
Mary Benton had the scoop on this last week. The point about whether the referendum is illegal according to the city charter has been discussed in detail, and I don’t have anything to add to that. Beyond that, I’ve taken plenty of potshots at Paul Kubosh throughout this saga, but I can’t disagree with either of the things he says here. We’ll see what the court has to say – the story doesn’t indicate if or when a hearing has been scheduled; you’d think it would have to be soon – and go from there.