Campaign Sign Silly-Season Well Under Way Around Phoenix

Categories: Election 2014

vote-no.jpg
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Campaign signs are the absolute worst -- any claims made on them are typically irrelevant or false to a certain extent, and nobody wants the signs littering their neighborhood.

Even worse, the signs seem to turn politicians and their staffers into juvenile delinquents every single election cycle, with sign theft and vandalism running rampant. This election is no exception.

See also:
-Tonopah Residents Fighting Egg Farm Go After Clint Hickman's Campaign

Take the race for the Republican nomination for state treasurer, for example.

It's been pointed out that former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman's signs -- claiming Hallman's intent to "balance Arizona's budget" -- are somewhat irrelevant, since the Legislature is in charge of making the budget.

Now, one of Hallman's opponents, Jeff DeWit, claims Hallman has been using those signs to conceal his signs, like so:

hallman-dewit-signs.jpg

Hallman released the subsequent statement raising the possibility that the photos were staged:

"Why would we take the risk of embarrassing our campaign to block one or two out of the thousands of road signs currently positioned by all candidates statewide?

"Our campaign can also produce photos showing Hallman signs that have been blocked by DeWit signs, taken down and/or tampered with. But we're not going to accuse a grown man running for office of being behind teenage shenanigans. Candidates running in an important statewide race should have more important things to worry about."

DeWit countered with a video showing Hallman apparently removing one of his own signs from the Hallman sign sandwich, although the editing of the video makes it seem like Hallman was placing the signs:

A representative for Hallman confirmed he was removing the sign in the video clip above. Actually, we have the audio of a voicemail left at Hallman campaign headquarters, complaining about the Hallman signs. When Hallman and a volunteer immediately go to remove the signs, the Hallman rep points out there's "miraculously" someone there to take a video of Hallman removing the sign.

Despite this, DeWit has accused Hallman of committing a "criminal act" by fiddling with campaign signs -- despite no evidence that he's done so -- which brings us to our next case of campaign-sign shenanigans.

The Arizona Capitol Times reported this week that Republican state Representative Bob Robson was cited by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for tampering with campaign signs.

Those who live in Chandler undoubtedly have seen signs in the shape of arrows claiming, "Voted for Obamacare," and pointed at Robson's own signs. (We'll have to point out the factual inaccuracy here: Obamacare is a federal law, passed by the U.S. Congress. Robson's a state legislator who voted for Medicaid expansion in Arizona.)

The legislative district's precinct committeeman describes in a written account how a "stakeout man" allegedly caught Robson as the "wheel man" while an accomplice hopped out and picked up the Obamacare signs.

They figure Robson was driving because of the truck's license plate, which says, um, "ROBSON."

Lastly, as we reported earlier this week, a group of Tonopah residents are suing Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman over his campaign signs, alleging he's using the Hickman's Family Farm logo to promote his campaign.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.



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24 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

16-1019. Political signs; printed materials; tampering; classification

A. It is a class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate for public office or knowingly remove, alter or deface any political mailers, handouts, flyers or other printed materials of a candidate that are delivered by hand to a residence for the period commencing forty-five days before a primary election and ending seven days after the general election.

B. This section does not apply to the removal, alteration, defacing or covering of a political sign or other printed materials by the candidate or the authorized agent of the candidate in support of whose election the sign or materials were placed, by the owner or authorized agent of the owner of private property on which such signs or printed materials are placed with or without permission of the owner or placed in violation of state law or county, city or town ordinance or regulation.

C. Notwithstanding any other statute, ordinance or regulation, a city, town or county of this state shall not remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign if the following conditions are met:

1. The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.

2. The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure.

3. The sign is not placed in a location that is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with disabilities act (42 United States Code sections 12101 through 12213 and 47 United States Code sections 225 and 611).

4. The sign has a maximum area of sixteen square feet, if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two square feet if the sign is located in any other area.

5. The sign contains the name and telephone number or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.

D. If the city, town or county deems that the placement of a political sign constitutes an emergency, the jurisdiction may immediately relocate the sign. The jurisdiction shall notify the candidate or campaign committee that placed the sign within twenty-four hours after the relocation. If a sign is placed in violation of subsection C and the placement is not deemed to constitute an emergency, the city, town or county may notify the candidate or campaign committee that placed the sign of the violation. If the sign remains in violation at least twenty-four hours after the jurisdiction notified the candidate or campaign committee, the jurisdiction may remove the sign. The jurisdiction shall contact the candidate or campaign committee contact and shall retain the sign for at least ten business days to allow the candidate or campaign committee to retrieve the sign without penalty.

Jeff Kee
Jeff Kee

The one with Pres Obama is ridiculous. Most of these campaign signs are full of lies and false promises. One again AZ will vote for some asshole as governor, we have the most uninformed and ignorant electorate.

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

DeWit had me until he started bashing unions, which have nothing to do with this situation. Having his three daughters in the video was cute and endearing... up to that point.

Jared Pflaster
Jared Pflaster

The biggest problem I have with the signs is that they put them way out on the street corners and near the street so I can't see around them to tell if there is oncoming traffic. These signs are a public hazard!

Jesse Boyd
Jesse Boyd

Just no. That's a campaign I can get behind!

AkaTed
AkaTed

I vote for Huppenthal best political sign of 2014 :) He care's for kids of Color :) after making another shit statement last night on the news 

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

There should be a law against putting up these signs at all, just like the people they represent, they are nothing more than trash.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay the last 2 words.................................without penalty

for anyone else it would read........to the fullest extent of the law

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz i think they are a obstruction of vision in many bad intersections. they place those damn signs so they are blocking your view of oncoming traffic. if an accident occurs i think whoevers signs block the view of that intersection should be held accountable or have to pay fines at the very least. i really wish someone would research just how many accidents occur during election time where those signs were a factor (i have a feeling they might be some high numbers). some cities have ordinances about people flying signs or people putting out signs  because they block peoples vision............but they do nothing about people putting up big old 4X5 signs right on the corner as long as it has some crook running for office blocking vision

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

@Cozz Amen. I traveled through southern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia recently, and while I did see campaign signs they were few, far between and not nearly so obnoxious as the ones that proliferate like weeds all over Arizona at election time. They are an eyesore, a hazard, and a complete nuisance. I am told by my in-laws back east that most cities and counties back there have strict ordinances on campaign signs, controlling where they are placed, how large they can be and how even long they can be displayed. Then again, most voters in those states have access to other sources of info on candidates and/or know how to obtain information on them. For your average, room-temperature-IQ Arizona voter, if it wasn't for campaign signs (and noxious, intelligence-insulting TV ads,) they probably wouldn't have a clue who to vote for. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy ... Political Criminals exempt themselves from Criminal Liability.


How fucking special.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy 

Totally agree, they are not only an eye sore, but more important a safety hazard for sure.
But then again, the politician's the signs belong to are a hazard to all life in general.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy ... any responsible civic-minded citizen would REMOVE and DISPOSE of those ILLEGALLY PLACED hazards to life and limb.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@getmeouttahere @Cozz


If you see an illegally placed sign in the Public Right of Way remove it and throw it in the trash.


Help Keep American Beautiful!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@getmeouttahere 

Doesn't matter what they use, the voters are clueless here anyway, look at who they elect and then re-elect...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Arizona voters are insane as it gets. 

I think they like being made fools of.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz if we block an intersection or the view of the people in it...................its a crime or we are responsible  for what occurs. they do it (to about 200 intersections) and its their right to do so...............BULLSHIT!!!! they are endangering lives. and if you try to clear the view and potentially save lives....???...... you are the criminal.?? bullshit again.......there should be laws regulating that shit (laws that are enforced)

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay yeah, but unfortunately the law protects their right to block our vision and potentially cause fatal accidents....................aint the system just grand?? protect the criminals.

(someone in my area keeps tearing down or removing enough sections to see every election season...............i respect whoever is doing it and would love to buy them a drink)

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy 

Yup, try putting up a sign on a corner for your business and see what happens. You will get a citation from code enforcement.

Just of of the many laws that don't apply to politicians.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy ... the LAW in Colorado, and many states is that it's ILLEGAL to place campaign signs -- or any sign -- on PUBLIC rights of way, such a medians, utility poles, etc.


Arizona, being a stupid state full of stupid people might be different.

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