June 7, 2014 1:26 am ET
Election law violations go unnoticed … or just unenforced
Source: Signs of the Times?
It’s election season, which means that the signs are everywhere … literally.
Funny enough, Chief James Johnson said he is committed to the strict enforcement of election laws, and that any campaign sign violations that occur during this time of year will be investigated thoroughly.
Excuse me while I snicker over that one. That is not the case.
Now, for those who think that I am looking to grind this particular ax, I want to say that I didn’t go looking for something else to pin on the chief. My days filled with the gym, golf, and music, along with my blog, round out my schedule well.
But, since we’re here…
There are good people out there who are knowledgeable about these matters, and the results are noted in my blog. The question I have is why a 16-year veteran councilman doesn’t understand the law, or why the person who is running to succeed said councilman isn’t versed regarding this simple matter.
This isn’t rocket science, folks. The law is pretty clear.
So, with that said, why a veteran councilman would allow his candidate to engage in such an illegal activity is beyond me.
It’s the candidate’s responsibility to know the law, and I can insure you that Mr. Yeatman received the same campaign sign law regulations in the mail that I did when I ran. The instructions are clear, direct, and simple to follow.
As I said, this is not rocket science.
I have been accused of causing problems for certain candidates and their families. To those accusers, I have this reply—I have never once written one word involving an elected official’s family or otherwise that was not part of the already published mainstream media. I do not impede upon one’s personal life or choices, regardless of the public’s propensity for such stories.
Now, if a candidate chooses to violate the law and it is brought to my attention and verified, then I will report on it. I believe that is my duty.
I have never turned down a rebuttal to anything I have written, but I guess the bottom line is that it’s hard to rebut the truth.
Now, back to matter at hand. Here is a copy of the law that deals with the present issue. It’s very clear.
§ 23-1-102. POSTING PROHIBITED.
A person may not post, place or affix a sign:
(1) Except for bus shelters, class B, as defined by the Baltimore County zoning regulations, on a building or other property owned, leased, or controlled by the county;
(2) On or within the confines of a public park, recreation area, or other landscaped grounds owned or operated by the county;
(3) On a flagpole, street lamppost, or tree owned by the county;
(4) On a traffic-control sign or device, including stoplights and their standards, stop signs, yield signs, one-way street signs, or any other sign or device that directs traffic or controls traffic signals or on the supporting post of the sign or device;
(5) That blocks the view of a traffic-control sign or device by motorists or pedestrians in a manner that creates a hazard;
(There is more under Article 23 of the code covering this.)
What really bothers me is the arrogance of this activity. For one, it is flat out illegal. Second, there is no excuse for either of the two people involved for the total disregard for our laws, not to mention the corruption of power of a councilman’s name and the weight it carries.
This galls me because of my encounter with Mr. Yeatman and what I perceived to be his arrogance at a legitimate question that I asked at a candidate forum.
My summation of that event is that I think that Mr. Yeatman did not like the fact that I made the connection to Mr. Olszewski backing him, nor did he like my question that challenged his stance on Fort Howard.
His request for my identity (not like it’s hard to point me out, since my picture is on the blog and my website) had no relevance to the question I was asking. Remember, I am a citizen just like everyone else, so I have the right to ask any question I want. If challenging a candidate’s position requires a third degree, then I have a serious problem with the potential leadership skills of said candidate.
Throw that issue on top of this overt disregard for the law and you can see where this leads in the future.
We already have had 16 years of that type of “leadership” (a term that depends on your point of view). I strongly feel that the 7th District does not need another four years of this type of arrogance … or this abuse of power.
With all of that said, let’s see if the Chief is a man of his word. Let’s see if he deals with the issue as he promised he would.
Frankly, I would not count on that. Talk is cheap, you know.
But cheap talk is not in the best interest of the voters.
Just look at the pictures—they speak volumes regarding character.
And away we go…