Letter | Illegal campaign activity
March 29, 2012 · 12:33 PM
The increasingly-heated school bond electioneering has introduced a very disturbing activity on our island - the illegal removal of campaign signs along public roads.
Irrespective of your personal position on this issue, I think most of us would agree that suppression of dissent in any manner, shape or form should not be condoned in a free and democratic society.
Under WA State law statute RCW 29A.84.040 "Political advertising, removing or defacing" - "A person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable to the same extent as a misdemeanor that is punishable under RCW 9A.20.021. The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation."
"Misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than ninety days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine."
The Mercer Island Police department has provided me with the above information. Please call them at 206-275-7610 if you see anyone removing or defacing campaign signs. Please report the time, place and any other details such as the license plate number of any vehicle involved.
You will be doing a service to your fellow Mercer Islanders by protecting our collective right to political dissent and free speech!
Claus V. Jensen