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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lawn sign (abuse) season is here

With ballots in the May elections going out in a couple of weeks, the campaign signs are popping up all over. Yesterday we saw a bumper sticker that said "Charlie [Hales] rides a bike." Well, that settles it.

Hales's leading opponent in the mayor's race, Eileen Brady, is also on a first-name basis with the folks passing by her lawn signs. They say "Eileen" in big letters, and everything else is fine print. Meanwhile, state attorney general candidate Rosenblum is going with simply "Ellen." They're all like "Adele" or "Prince," apparently.

As the signs pop up like lawn weeds around town, some of them are invariably placed in locations in which they don't belong. A reader who gets cranky about such things wrote us yesterday to complain:

Over the past weekend (April 13 - 14) there has been an eruption of Mary Nolan "lawn signs" in the Multnomah and Markham neighborhoods in SW Portland. Many are posted illegally.

As an example, one is prominently displayed on the NE corner of SW 26th and Barbur, where 26th goes under Barbur and I - 5. That sign is smack in the middle of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) right of way, in apparent contravention of both Oregon state law and City of Portland (CoP) ordinances. See attached photo.

A second is in the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) right of way at SW Garden Home and SW 30th. That one, too, appears to be in violation of CoP ordinances. Photo attached.

A third is at the NW corner of SW 26th and Taylors Ferry Road, in the PBOT right of way. Apparently illegally. Photo attached.

A fourth is in the ODOT right of way on SW 35th Drive, east side of 35th Drive, in the 9600 block. That property, down to Falling Creek, is ODOT land, part of the ODOT Baldock Maintenance facility. Photo attached.

I hope that these are the result of an ignorant and overzealous volunteer. I hope that Ms. Nolan will get these apparently illegally planted "lawn signs" removed, immediately, and review all lawn sign plantings to assure that there is no repetition.

Ms. Nolan has been in the elections / campaign business for years. There is no excuse for this stuff. That a campaign of a candidate for Portland City Council can't, or won't, abide by City Code regarding political sign placement speaks volumes about Ms. Nolan's fitness for elected office in Portland.

If Ms. Nolan can't educate or control her campaign and her campaign staff and have them act within the provisions of state law and city ordinances, there is little reason to believe that as a City Councillor she will abide by the City Charter or city ordinances.

Oh, the joys of campaign season.

Comments (14)

The message these send to me: "I can't find people who will agree to place these on their front lawn, and I'm desperate".

Simpler solution. Take a large felt marker and cross out "lan" on Nolan.

Make sure the public employee unions don't know who you are though.

Nahhh. Ol' Cranky is planting a single lawn sign in various places and taking the picture. Amanda's Army will stoop to any level. ; - )

They're all like "Adele" or "Prince," apparently.

LOL! Thanks; I needed that. It's one of the best lines I've seen this cycle. Actually, I think it's the only true one thus far.

It's a shame that so many states now have laws against defacing political signs. I used to live at the corner of a very busy intersection, which meant that just about everybody assumed that it was okay to put in open house signs, "Entrepreneur Seeks Apprentice" sign spam, and big political signs in blatant violation of city regulations in my front yard. Even better, I had a neighbor around the corner who regularly took offense at political signs from any candidate to the left of Margaret Thatcher, so he'd come over, throw the offending signs in my garbage, and then put up his own. The one time I caught him at it, he threatened to call the AARP and claim "elder abuse". So much for his rugged individualism.

Anyway, I had fun for a while. The "Entrepreneur Seeks Apprentice" signs were easy to deface: just cover over the "Apprentice" with a few white stickers matching the sign, write "Sex With Children" over it, and put the sign back out in time for morning rush hour, and they never come back. The Tea Party nutjob signs were easy, too: one sticker reading "Endorsed by NAMBLA!", and my neighbor was getting angry calls from the candidate in question, demanding that he take them down. It's a shame that he stopped, because I had plans that involved leopard-skin print bras, Christmas lights, and a stuffed deer head. If the candidate in question didn't make the evening news, it wouldn't be for lack of trying.

I made an error on the second photo location. That's S.W. Spring Garden and
S.W. 30th, not Garden Home and 30th. My error, not Jack's.

Seen one Garden, seen em' all.

And PDX Lifer, who's "Old Cranky"?

Out here its the Nolan signs that seem routinely improperly sited.

By contrast, out here in the wilds of residential Southwest, there are a _lot_ of Jefferson Smith signs, but I've yet to see one improperly sited.


The "cranky" comes from paragraph 3, word 28 of Jack's post. "Amanda's Army" is irony. The little emoticon at the end is a "wink, wink," as in, "I'm just kidding."

But seriously, Fritz said she was "proud" of the occupiers illegally planting themselves in the park blocks for weeks. So I'm sure she has no objection to a little sign or two on public land.

Remember the Charles Lewis IRS episode the last time the Nurse ran?

You didn't even mention Gary Coe's sprouted up all over Beaverton. Maybe we should predatorily tow away his signs since they're parked all over our city!

We're talking Portland politics here. In order to maintain the the image of Portland as "The Happenin' PlaceĀ®", certain local politicians will be allowed to ignore particular inconveniences such as state laws, city statutes and ordinances by invoking their right of Because-My-Lawyer-Said-It-Was-Okay.

Remember, we've already elected folks who fear nothing but a successful lawsuit, and likely will be doing it again.

Nonny, I agree; MN signs are sprouting like weeds in illegal areas. Apparently, law is just a minor inconvenience - but of course as a Gold member of the mafia, it's only to be expected.

Place a lawn sign on my property without permission and you will have a complaint filed with the elections folks.
In fact that is what should happen to the ones stuck in the public right of way.
Either that or yank them up and publicly deposit them at the candidates current place of guberment job

Those signs are not sustainable. I don't even think they are recyclable. And isn't it litter (not to mention the aforementioned trespassing on state property?)

Any Portland Mayoral candidate who even buys those signs ought to be disqualified for violation of City Code 1.00.00A (Title: "The Basic Rule"): You must be sustainable in all things you do.


This mornin, about 8:30 AM, all four of the signs detailed in Jack's opening post were still in place.

Coming home about noon, all four of the signs detailed in Jack's opening post are gone.

Me thinks somebody at the Nolan Campaign reads this blog.

I have photos of 4 additional Nolan signs in residential Southwest also on public rights of way (ROWs.

I think I'll send those to Nolan.

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