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Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006

Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto's traffic cameras are a bad idea (" Drivers will hate Kodak moments ," Mike Seate column, Dec. 14 and

They are, at best, the law enforcement counterpart to those maddening automated phone menus. They are, at worst, a dangerous step toward a surveillance state. They are, at least, another reason to avoid Pittsburgh.

To politicians still unconvinced, let's consider the question from another perspective.

Suppose we mandate surgically attached cameras and microphones for all Pittsburgh politicians.

It stands to reason that 24/7 monitoring of Pittsburgh politicians might have prevented, or at least identified, those complicit in the fiscal crimes and policy blunders that have besieged Pittsburgh and spread costs far beyond city limits.

If monitoring politicians stops just one bribe, patronage job, eminent-domain seizure, misuse of public money or shady backroom deal, then aren't a few implants worth it for the greater good?

Mark Crowley Plum

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