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Campaign Signs: Weeds or Flowers?

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Campaign signs are like dandelions: cute at first, and often mistaken for flowers. Given time, however, dandelions — and campaign signs — quickly spread. Soon the landscape is covered with political signs, seemingly with no end in sight.

Should citizens be forced to deal with this? Put another way, “should politicians be allowed to advertise?”

There is a lot of debate over the posting of yard signs. In fact, the posting of yard signs has many times made national news and involved court decisions.

How can you ask a candidate to stop advertising his or her campaign? In fact, most locations that have posted a political sign have granted permission to the campaign. Sure, some signs are located in places that are off limits to propaganda, and those are usually promptly removed.

I will be up front here: I operate a company that supplies these signs. So, my career interest is in support of campaign signs. But, the one I had in my yard this past election season was not printed by my company. The sign was a source of pride for me. It said who I was and what I believed in. I flew the sign like I would a Chicago Cubs flag. I wanted that candidate to win and I wanted others to join me.

Why shouldn't homeowners or business owners post their beliefs on their lawns, in windows, or on cars like a banner of personal pride? We can protest yard sign placement, saying the landscape is being tarnished by the site of rectangular plastic, or we can support our candidate by placing his or her name badge in our yards.

A politician has to be allowed to advertise. Without this privilege, first-time candidates would be sunk. In this respect, yard signs are also helpful to voters. You might not have known about the rising political star in your neighborhood had it not been for the sign you saw stuck in your neighbor’s lawn.

Display your sign unless it violates a local law. Encourage others to do the same. I say this not to promote my business, but to keep alive our system of electing our officials. Like dandelions, campaign signs are temporary. You get a seasonal break.

Just don’t get me started on mailers.

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About Wade Baffa

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I don’t know if they are weeds or flowers, but I don’t put them in my yard. It’s not for aesthetic reasons, but I’m afraid of retaliation. They do things like that here.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Yes, agreed with Joanne. In my neck of the woods, having a sign supporting liberals will mean you are accepted, enlighted and have a right to your opinion. Having a sign supporting the GOP on the other hand invites derision, vandalism and may in fact be cause for a new set of zoning regulations.

    As a center right person living behind enemy lines in liberal heaven, I don’t have any external indication of my political leanings.

    What really drives me nuts is this new tendency of people putting their political leanings on personal ads. So really, you’d only ever date a Liberal? I mean I’ve never seen a right wing person say that they’d never date a liberal, yet it’s common place for liberals to dismiss suitors based on their views.

    When you think about things like the Fairness Doctrine, Card Check and the points I’ve raised, it’s clear the left does not truly value free speech, unless they agree with it.

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Yes, agreed with Joanne. In my neck of the woods, having a sign supporting liberals will mean you are accepted, enlighted and have a right to your opinion. Having a sign supporting the GOP on the other hand invites derision, vandalism and may in fact be cause for a new set of zoning regulations.

    Interestingly enough, my liberal friends who live in largely conservative areas have the exact same problems. Funny how that works, no?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Perhaps the idea of getting to know your neighbors – rather than just putting up a sign that’s clearly contrary to their set of beliefs – would be a better way to proceed? The first tends to promote communication and opening of minds; the seconds seems to act as a stopper.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Lisa,

    Sad, more like it.

  • Cindy

    I don’t want to get to know my neighbors who have clearly contradictory beliefs.

    I have a rope on my property to swing into the lake. The neighborhood kids loved to use it.

    My neighbors hate kids. Kids make noise. My neighbors like “private property” rights. Too bad they don’t favor people actually being able to use their “private property” without public approval.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    So you have tried and it didn’t work. That’s a different case.