Published October 24th, 2012
Political Signs Politically Correct?
By Sophie Braccini
Getting a bit overwhelmed by signs? Photo Sophie Braccini
They're everywhere. During election season they're like mushrooms after the rain; they seem to sprout spontaneously at night out of the most fertile electorate ground, especially at roadway intersections.
It may interest you to learn, though, that strictly speaking, these signs are not legal.
The Moraga sign ordinance indicates that political signs can be set at election time on public land; but California code specifies that, to be lawful, a sign ordinance has to be 'content neutral', not setting specific rules based on what the sign says, ruling just on its size, luminosity, location, etcetera.
However, it's likely that residents would be displeased if Town employees spent their time removing signs. So the Town looks the other way, at least for a month or so, as candidates freely redecorate the town. And sometimes, things get a bit rough.
Recently signs urging residents to remove Council Member Karen Mendonca from office appeared alongside her own campaign signs-they were swiftly removed by an unknown person or persons. The resident who put up the signs, Doug Home, came to a recent Town Council meeting to notify his elected representatives that his 20 signs had gone missing. "I strongly support your right to post any sign you want," said Mendonca.

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