I had heard that all of a sudden, a slew of Karen Benker campaign signs were popping up in strange places. I called the City Clerk to verify what I heard about sign placement. During the candidate orientation (which Karen Benker skipped), it was made pretty clear where you can and can’t place campaign signs. She or her volunteers have decided to ignore that advice.
Signs are being placed in the right-of-way in front of businesses, clear violation. But in a more despicable act of campaign incivility, Ms. Benker (or her volunteers) must assume because her opponent was able to put a sign in a vacant lot that a Benker sign should also be there, in front of or blocking her opponents sign.
Here’s a tip: signs placed on commercial property, even a vacant lot for sale, is still private property where permission is required before placing a sign. A Benker volunteer was witnessed placing just such a sign, and I find it hard to believe that a landowner who approved Katie Witt‘s sign placement would also allow a Karen Benker campaign sign. In another example a Benker sign was placed 1 foot from the shoulder in an area that the right-of-way is at least 10 feet from the shoulder.
From what witnesses saw, the “Benker Brigade” wasn’t exactly like fairies sprinkling pixie dust – more like junkyard seagulls dropping, well, you know. Many of these misplaced signs sounds as if they ended up being dropped into a pile at the City’s garage courtesy of Code Enforcement. Like they have nothing better to do. I guess if I had more time on my hands I could go around and place signs hither and yon without regard to silly city codes, but I have a job, family, this hobby – basically a life.
This reminds of a similar situation during the January ’08 special election between Richard Juday and Gabe Santos. I even wrote something about it called “(Illegal) signs of desperation“. While you might hear from some sources that all parties are equally guilty in this first big day of sign warfare, I’m hearing from sources closer to the situation that this just isn’t the case. Could it be history repeating? Is someone getting worried or desperate? I think someone may need to pool their campaign funds for a possible legal defense. And this has nothing to do with signs.
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