We expect little argument with this article except from a few politicians. When we’re driving down the road in Clark County and take an exit we are often confronted with a forest of large and small political signs. An eyesore? Yes. Useful for citizens? No.
Political signage is an insult to the citizen’s intelligence. Politicians are complicated people. They have track records and experience that may or may not be suitable for the public office they propose to fill. How will a sign communicate anything useful? Obviously it cannot.
Driving by some local political signs we see tag lines such as ‘I care about you’, or ‘Let’s go Further Together’, It becomes self-evident that these simple platitudes are beyond useless. Again, they’re an insult to any thinking person who understands the process to vet someone for an important position. The signage is a significant part of an overall sick political culture that seems to only offer superficial information to citizens with the expectation that it will be enough. Nearly all candidate communications suffer from this situation including ballot statements, mailings, stump speeches, endorsements, and debates. All theater seeking to influence the weak-minded.
Other reasons to explore better control of political signage:
- Incumbents usually have the advantage in sign quantity, and knowledge of the game played to get the better sign locations. The same incumbents usually in bed with special interests.
- Some signs never get picked up and become roadside litter.
- The placement and maintenance of these signs can be dangerous for those managing signs and drivers avoiding these people (almost did not list this one as free societies will have risk).
Is there something we can do? There’s already many regulations about placement of political signs. They can be found in:
- Highway Advertising Control Act
- Washington State’s Department of Transportation
- 2015 Political Sign Regulations for Clark County
All these rules demonstrate existing limitations on signage and we’ve clearly observed that these rules aren’t followed very well. So we propose the political signage rules are better enforced, and if insufficient, to explore further limitations–especially that makes public property and right-of-way off limits for political signs. The team at ClarkCounty.info will explore ways to rid us of this insult to our eyes and intelligence on public property and right-of-way. We are collecting legal opinions about potential obstacles and have already started discussions with a few citizens who inspired this article. This has nothing to do with limiting free speech or limiting any other basic rights. It’s about calling ever-increasing signage what it is . . . a public nuisance.
Related to useful information on candidate, ClarkCounty.info will soon complete the first-level opinions on local politicians based on relevant factors.
We have a team of five members who will score the politicians on thirteen criteria and develop proper backup to support the scores. The scores for the criteria will be rolled up into a total suitability score for each politician. See ClarkCounty.info approach to score and evaluate political candidates.
If you have ideas to help on this topic, please contact us using our contact form.