Dumb legislator of the week

June 21, 2010

Here’s our vote for the Dumb Legislator of the Week:

The California Legislature is considering a proposal that would turn all license plates into mini-digital billboards for advertising. [Associated Press]

State Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles) is promoting the idea as a means of generating much-needed revenue in a state with a $19 billion deficit.

The new device would act like a standard license plate when the vehicle is in motion, but would switch to digital ads or other messages when it stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light.

Price claims that California would be the first state to attempt the new system, though other states are apparently considering the idea.

Under Price’s plan, interested advertisers would contract directly with the DMV.

“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” Price said. “It’s an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront.”

San Francisco-based Smart Plate, is developing a digital electronic license plate but has not yet reached the production stage.



  1. Vagabond says:

    Oh give me a break, If you want to rail against poorly though out idiotic and brainless legislation, look no farther that the initiative system.
    Making law by popular slogan for example, I’m looking at you prop 16.
    At least this idea has SOME merit to it (revenue)
    Why nobody has put bar codes on license plates is beyond me, you could put a reader in the front of every cop car and he/she could get an instant read-out about it’s registration fees being current.
    Now that would generate some cash.

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      Who needs cop cars when we could have the bar code scanners at intersections with automatic debits from your checking account for traffic infractions?

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Saveslocounty says:

    That is such a poor proposal that even defeats the purpose of license plates. They are for the identification of a vehicle, period. So now one used in a crime would be reported to 911 as a blue honda civic with license plate for “McDonalds Happy Meals $5.99.” Lame, very lame.
    If Cal Trans wanted to strart a monopoly on billboards along side of the freeway to fund road maintenance and improvement, I would be supportive. I have also seen in other states where fast food restaurants have been build over the freeway with plenty of parking in adjoining rest stops. That would be fine as well and could generate funds by leasing the building space. Government should be more creative in generating revenue while cutting costs. However, this proposal is simply stupid.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. Robert1 says:

    What else could you expect from a democrat? Can’t raise taxes because nobody can afford to pay them,this is the best the democrat party can bring forward?

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • hotdog says:

      Wow Jim, looks like we have a bunch of regressives on this site today. You are right on. I wonder if Rob Bryn has told his pals to blast the ‘commies’ who comment here.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • hotdog says:

      Reason many have trouble with paying taxes is because the neo cons wrecked the country with their greedy political and money games.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
      • zaphod says:

        Military Industrial Complex: the real reason we can’t have nice things. we as a nation are having a hard time paying the interest on Reagan’s original loan ( so did he, remember he raised taxes to pay em)

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Here’s the problem I have with this. WHY is it that California would think they should get any of this revenue for this potential idea?

    First it is on MY car and properity it is on. Do you put a billboard on someone’s properity (i.e. land) for free?

    Second with the vehicle lic. fee I pay, (which keeps going up) why should they then reap profit on something we are paying for? Stop the gimmicks and balance the budget.

    (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
  5. JimSeybert says:

    Three cheers for having an idea – might not be practical, but it’s an idea nonetheless. You may recall that one of the candidates running in the free-for-all that brought Arnold to Sacto was suggesting we sell naming rights on the freeways. Instead of the 405 being named the “San Diego Freeway” it could have been the FedEx 405.

    Quite often it’s the “stupid ideas” that lead to great innovation.

    They laughed at Columbus.
    They laughed at Ghandi.
    They laughed at Wilbur and Orville.
    They laughed at Christian Barnard.

    And, in a comment to “standup” – Thank God for “typical liberals” who have the guts and intelligence to suggest something other than “cut services” as a way to fix the mess.

    (-9) 27 Total Votes - 9 up - 18 down
  6. standup says:

    I can see it now, people are so concerned about reading what’s on someone’s plate that they snarl traffic when the light is green. Stupid idea by a typical liberal.

    (8) 24 Total Votes - 16 up - 8 down
  7. hotdog says:

    I think the heading is editorial in nature and ought to be something else. Freeing the slaves was a revolutionary concept in the beginning. Giving special status for endangered species was considered ludicrous in the early days of consciousness about our environment. And now, we have those who think trying to investigate and challenge climate change is a ridiculous endeavor. I don’t think much of this license plate concept but at least its an idea to help us out of our financial mess.
    But a better way might be to make do with less, rather than create yet MORE consumerism, MORE advertising for MORE STUFF. Let’s do more with less. Drive less, use less water, use less gas. Less is more.

    (-6) 24 Total Votes - 9 up - 15 down

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