Signs, signs, everywhere signs
Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind
- Five Man Electrical Band
July 24 just can't come quickly enough.
What's special about July 24, you ask? Well, thanks to Columbia County's fine sign ordinance, political candidates must remove their signs within three days after an election. So surely, by the Friday after the Tuesday party primaries, all of those hideous campaign signs will finally be plucked from the roadsides.
And then, just maybe, the current candidates for office will quit whining about their precious placards.
This has become a perennial feature of political races. Candidates buy signs, their workers post them all over the place, and then each starts blubbering to the media -- that's us -- that their opponent is breaking the law, stealing their signs, hiring illegal aliens, whatever.
Sometimes the complaints have merit, even if it's unlikely most voters really care:
Four years ago, the treasurer for one candidate got caught in the act by a police officer, mowing down another candidate's signs with a pickup truck.
Two years ago, one candidate accused his opponent of personally stealing one of his signs -- and then it turned out the sign-remover was acting on orders from the property owner, who hadn't given permission for the first candidate to put up the sign in the first place.
Also two years ago, in the last election, one candidate (who currently is running for re-election) enlisted the help of a legal think-tank to threaten to overturn Columbia County's sign ordinance -- because it keeps signs off the roadside. The empty threat fizzled, thank goodness.
This year, we've heard (and seen) it all: Signs disappearing, signs posted without permission on private property, signs posted illegally. What we'd like to hear is candidates spending more time talking about their qualifications for the jobs than whining about signs. And what we'd like to see are fewer of their signs.
Hurry, July 24.
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