Judicial candidates violate law with campaign signs

It’s hard not to see this sea of signs for judicial candidates. They line every street and corner. As news4’s Marissa Sulek shows us, many are breaking the law.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -It’s hard not to see the sea of signs for judicial candidates, they line every street and corner. However, many names running to interpret the law, the signs their names are on, are breaking it.

“It gets really bad during these judicial campaigns,” says Metro Council Member, Dave Rosenberg.

Rosenberg has run his own campaigns. He knows Metro Code says candidates can’t stick a sign anywhere they see fit.

“And it’s just common sense,” says Rosenberg. “If every business stuck all of their advertisements all over the place, it would look horrible and it does look horrible.”

He says it’s true for any advertiser, not just campaigns. People can’t place signs in the public right-of-way.

“It’s supposed to be a $50 fine per sign,” Rosenberg explains. “And if that ends up being enforced that would really not be to anybody’s benefit.”

If a sign is on a home’s front lawn, that’s allowed because the property owner gave the candidate permission. Signs on the side of the road, that don’t belong to anyone’s property, Rosenberg says people can move. He says some already have.

“The Metro Code specifically empowers anyone who wants to go pull those illegally placed signs out of the yard, out of the ground,” says Rosenberg.

He believes if more people pulled signs, campaigns would stop violating.

“I had constituents who were aggravated by it, and I told them they could go get them,” Rosenberg comments. “So, one day they said they got 125 signs and even counted out where they came from.”

Rosenberg wants candidates to pay for advertising and get endorsements; following the law they one day hope to uphold.

“It’s just if you can go do it for free, it’s really not a level playing field,” he says.

Nashville Department of Transportation says residents can report signs in the right-of-way to hubNashville. NDOT crews will respond to requests.

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