Campaign season is upon us each summer and fall. Alaskans are once again subjected to campaign signs along our state maintained highways in violation of state law. Most of the illegal signs are for governor, state senate, or state representative. Those who are elected are charged with making and implementing this and many other laws of our more or less civilized Alaskan society.
During the 2006 primary campaign, we had 4′ x 8′ campaign signs along major highways, even hanging from trees and cranes. The Alaska Dept. of Transportation is hard pressed to enforce the law and generally won’t take any action unless they receive a complaint. They do notify all the campaigns about the law and gives each campaign 30 days to remove an illegal sign, once a complaint is received. If the campaign staff doesn’t remove it, however, D.O.T. is hard pressed to actually get the signs removed.
While candidates and others may assert free speech, it is easy enough for legislators who currently violate the law to change that law. There have been some half-hearted attempts by a few legislators to change the law to reflect reality. Is that a wise thing?
So what is the solution to this?