Like It or Not: Campaign Shame

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Opinion piece by William Perry

It’s bad enough that we have to endure misleading political advertising during campaign season. But what really gets me is when a campaign breaks the law in order to promote their candidates. I’m talking about the campaign signs that litter our communities and highways!

Politicians, or their over-eager campaign staffers and volunteers, place campaign signs in the public right of way all the time. And it’s a violation of state law and many local ordinances. Why? Because it’s just plain ugly.

Politicians might argue that "everybody does it" or "I need to do this to get my name out there". Tell it to a judge! Guilty!

They’re called “yard” signs for a reason—because they should be in yards, or on other private property after the candidate has earned the owner’s support. This may sound like a petty pet peeve of mine but consider this: if candidates can't follow the law while asking for our vote, why should we believe that they'll follow the law if they win? If they are serving in public office, what other laws or ordinances will they ignore if they can't follow these simple rules?

Several of the nine candidates running for mayor of Atlanta seem to be frequent offenders. I've always day-dreamed about a way to somehow embarrass candidates into removing illegal signs. And finally, I found it!

This is Stacey Hopkins, and she created a Facebook page I love. Stacey, why don’t you tell us about it?

Stacey: Well I was driving around my community, and I noticed all of these illegal signs that are placed in neighborhoods that sometimes stay there for months or years after the election is over. And I figured, how can we get them to remove the signs? And it came to me – we’ve got to shame them. Shame, shame, shame! So I went home, jumped on Facebook and came up with the page “Campaign Shame.”

William:  Stacey, I love this, people can take a pic of these signs, post them on the page and shame these politicians for littering our public spaces.

So the next time you see a campaign sign as you exit the highway, or one stapled to a telephone pole in your neighborhood, join the online protest, and shame, shame, shame them.

It’s a beautiful idea.

DISCLAIMER: This segment represents the views of the commentator and not necessarily those of FOX 5 Atlanta.