Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

An Open Message to the Beams and MacFarlane Campaigns

Posted by Jim Walsh on Monday, August 30, 2010

(From an e-mail sent to the Beams and MacFarlane campaigns)

As I drove to work in Columbia from western Howard County this morning (Mon., 8/30/10), I was disheartened to see that Mr. MacFarlane’s campaign has joined Dr. Beam’s in littering Homewood and Folly Quarter Roads with numerous illegally placed campaign signs. Last Monday (8/23) morning, I noticed that Dr. Beam’s campaign had placed 5 or 6 campaign signs next to stormwater management ponds and in other open spaces where there could not possibly have been any consenting homeowner. This morning, the litter was more than doubled with placement of Mr. MacFarlane’s signs in similar areas and in an even more obvious improper space, i.e., the interior of the traffic circle at Homewood Road – Folly Quarter Road – Sheppard Lane. With nine weeks left before the general election, I fear that more candidates will be emboldened to join you in trashing this corridor. I suspect that other areas that I do not regularly drive may also be suffering from overzealous misplacement of signs.

I understand that neither of you personally may have placed these signs, but their placements reflect negatively on your campaigns. Please advise your volunteers about placing signs only with property owners’ consents, and where signs are permitted. I ask you both to remove the offending signs and cease placing signs improperly.

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9 Responses to “An Open Message to the Beams and MacFarlane Campaigns”

  1. DonaldB said

    Will you please share this message with Ed Priola and Alan Klein for similar violations?

  2. Jim Walsh said

    I don’t doubt that there are other violators, but I singled these two out because (1) they are “carpet bombing” this stretch of roadway, and (2) they are the ones I see everyday.

  3. Frankie said

    Ehrlich blew the State Highway Administration rules out of the water with his placement along U.S., Interstate and State highways. This allowed O’Malley to do the same without people accusing him of asking his own SHA not to enforce against him.

    Then some genius in Baltimore County challenged the sign restrictions, even though Republicans are typically underfunded in Maryland, leading Howard and other counties to completely throw their sign rules out the window. Now it’s every candidate for his or herself with no enforcement from any agency.

    Priola does seem to be the worst “offender” (if it were an offense any more).

    • Jim Walsh said

      As I understand it, the Baltimore County challenge was to restrictions on placement of signs on one’s own property. Nothing has changed to allow campaign sign placement on someone else’s property without permission.

      • Frankie said

        You are right that the Baltimore County challenge was limited to that issue. The result, though, was that other counties got scared and threw out their whole sign code to avoid law suits. The official statement from Howard County was that the sign code was nullified “as to restrictions on size, duration of display and location.” That included the requirement that signs be on private property. You could make an argument for trespass, but the county will never risk accusations of selective enforcement for the same reason – they risk a law suit.

  4. Frankie said

    Here is the article: http://www.explorehoward.com/news/73097/county-will-not-enforce-campaign-sign-law/

  5. HoCoJoe said

    McFarlane and MoonBeams learned how to place “illegal” signs from Maryann Maher who has signs on many county roads that are clearly on the County right of way. So much for any comprehension of the law – the issue in Baltimore County was about timing and size – not about campaigning on county or state property which is clearly illegal with the exeception of signs at polling places on election day.

  6. Jim Walsh said

    To his credit, I received an e-mail from Mr. MacFarlane at 5:13 p.m. and his signs were removed by the time I drove home around 6:00 p.m. Dr. Beams signs remain.

  7. HoCoJoe said

    Mary Ann Maher has to top them all for placement of signs on county and state right of ways – its shocking that She can’t seem to find anybody to post Her signs legally – guess Her and Beams don’t care about rules? These jokers certainly don’t need to be elected if they can’t follow the rules…..

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