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Speed camera

The sign alerts motorists to the use of traffic cameras on Cedar Street at Highway 22. A Polk County judge has ruled Muscatine must turn off a traffic camera on University Drive, while it appeals a ruling that the camera does not meet Iowa Department of Transportation guidelines.

Thumbs up to Davenport city officials, who this week called for more transparency about how tax dollars funneled to the tourism industry are spent. 

Assistant City Administrator Brandon Wright and Mayor Frank Klipsch laid out the city's demand in front of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau board.

The under-construction plan would overhaul how tourism cash — often collected from taxes on hotel stays — is allocated to agencies, such as QCCVB. The goal, Wright said, was to better track how the cash was spent and if those receiving the public funds were achieving the city's contractually defined expectations.

This is not a knock against QCCVB or any organization. Our interest is in the desire from city staff and City Council to better monitor how tax dollars are spent. At the end of the day, such an effort is precisely the city's role. 

Thumbs down to Iowa Senate for rushing through a ban on traffic cameras before the courts have grappled with the legal questions.

We completely understand the libertarian ideals from which the ban's proponents are pulling. And we share concerns about abuse at the city level. But, with cases in state Supreme Court, it's unwise to ram through a ban that could have drastic effects on public until the constitutional questions are resolved.

A bill to better regulate traffic cameras is working its way through the House. Let's hope reason prevails and, for now, the House version is what ultimately becomes law. 

Thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, for pushing back against White House efforts to scuttle sentencing and reform.

For years, Grassley has been part of a bipartisan group plowing forward with an overhaul of the U.S. criminal justice system. Sweeping changes to sentencing guidelines, sometimes including the elimination of mandatory minimums, has always been a key component. The consensus is that too many non-violent offenders are serving harsh sentences based on outdated drug laws.

But this past month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions lambasted the work of Grassley and his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions has been a hardliner on drugs in particular.

Sessions suggested partial support for the bill, but only if the committee axed sentencing reform. This week, Grassley refused to bow to Sessions. 

Grassley's gotten knocked around a lot, as have most congressional Republicans, thanks to the Trump administration's chaos.

But, on this one, Grassley is spot on. 

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