Campaign signs. They pop up like wild daisies. Overnight. Every election. They turn an otherwise dull area colorful, and give us something to look at – that is, until we tire of them.
Typically, a volunteer will be directed as to where to put them up by a political party, candidate or organization. However, regular people who care deeply about a cause also place signs where they feel they will be visible and have more impact.
Sometimes, volunteers unwittingly place them in areas where they don’t belong for a lack of knowing. For example, at this moment there are campaign signs on the National Guard armory fence on Western Avenue in violation of the Hatch Act. The act is extensive, but it basically restricts political campaign activities by federal employees while on duty or using federal property to persuade the outcome of an election.
Frankly, it doesn’t bother me that the signs are there. I don’t even know who the Hatch Act police are.
I am confident it was not an employee who hung them up and I don’t want them to get fined for something they did not do. Suggestion: They could simply remove them.
That brings me to another point. The removal and destruction of campaign signs.
Aside from it being illegal to purposely destroy a sign, or “steal it”, there is an unspoken understanding between rival candidates and opposing parties, and that is: you respect my sign and I respect yours. Recently we heard that some Republican signs were mistreated. Immediately, Democrats were blamed. As a member of the local Democratic Party, I can tell you it is not condoned. We know exactly how that feels. In fact, Democratic signs have also been destroyed and gone missing in great numbers throughout the county in these past weeks.
So, please, do not destroy signs. We understand that the sight of certain signs makes the stomach churn. But instead of vandalizing it, why not put up three more that you wouldn’t mind looking at?
Finally, on Nov. 4, when the battle of the signs is over, kindly help us remove them. They are wonderful to repurpose into other great useful things.
First vice-chair of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party