Feb 4, 2009

Ruling on Rogers campaign sign says those with money get to make their own laws


In a ruling that had to surprise no one, the Republican Secretary of State has decided not to enforce a campaign law when it benefited a Republican.

You will recall that that Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic party, field a complaint in September over a large and prominent campaign sign for U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers on public property owned by the Brighton Area Fire Authority and Genoa Township facing I-96. The sign clearly violates a law that prohibits public property from being used for a political campaign, and it gives the public the impression the municipality is endorsing that candidate. That's exactly what the administrative law judge found, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. However, the examiner also said because the township didn't own the signs somehow the law didn't apply.

The sign belongs to Brighton Republican and attorney Neal D. Nielsen. He is also the fire authority's attorney.

Nielsen donated the land and he was allowed to keep the sign as a stipulation for the donation. The ruling is saying if you have money, the law does not apply to you, or you can make your own law. Normally, one side of the sign has an American flag, and the side facing the highway bears a welcome to Livingston County sign. But, not during campaign season.

I sure hope Judy appeals this.

2 comments:

Republican Michigander said...

""The sign clearly violates a law that prohibits public property from being used for a political campaign""

Horsecrap. As you said right after.

""However, the examiner also said because the township didn't own the signs somehow the law didn't apply."""

The sign was owned by Nielson. The billboard is owned by Nielson. That's his private sign. The law is clear there, and Nielson abided by it. This is just a case of an offended leftist ex-reporter trying to shut up free speech. Ms. Daubenmier lost, as she should have.

Communications guru said...

That is correct; the sign clearly violates a law that prohibits public property from being used for a political campaign. I don’t give a crap if the sign is owned by Neil. The sign is private, but the property is public. Unless the sign can hover above the property it’s a violation. Just because you have the money to donate a piece of property does not mean you can circumvent the law. I can’t go and put campaign signs on the property. Why is his alleged freedom of speech more important than mine?

First, I’m not offended; I just don’t think you’re above the law just because you have more money. Second, I’m not a leftist, I’m a liberal. Third, what does my former profession have to do with anything? Fourth, this is not a free speech issue; it’s a violation of election law.