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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Update: Answer to Why Political Ads are Not on SF's Lampposts

Happy election day everyone. I hope you have already voted or will do so today.

In a recent blog entry, I mentioned it was really nice to not see those political ads on the city's lampposts. I never really knew why the practice has stopped and I assumed it was because it was just a waste of money with all that paper and labor needed to put it up on every single post in the city.

Just recently, a blog entry in SFGate's "City Insider" was talking about Proposition "B" and it mentioned about rules regarding the posting of bills or ads on city lampposts. They also provided a link to the Department of Public Works website about the city code regulating postings.

In summary of the city's policy, the city does not permit any signage larger than a letter size sheet of paper, and this includes political signage. Here's more info from the DPW's site:

To legally place a sign on a utility pole, it must:
  • Be less than 11 inches in height
  • No higher than 12 feet from the ground
  • Conform to the shape of the pole
  • Be attached with tape or other non-adhesive material such as twine, string or other non-metal banding material
  • Include a legible posting date in the lower right hand corner
  • Be removed after 10 days, if the sign is promoting a date specific event
  • Be removed within 70 days of the posting date
  • Not be installed on historic street light poles, traffic signal poles or traffic directional sign poles.
Good work SF, no more eyesores on our lampposts! Now, let's start getting after the other political annoyances like doorknob hangers, robo calls on my home phone, calling my cell phone (which is VERY ILLEGAL), and all that junk mail you keep mailing me weeks after I voted absentee.

Just mail me a voter information booklet; that's all I need to vote with. I don't read the paid arguments section.


njudah said...

I'm actually against the ban, simply because it hurts lesser known candidates because they can't have as much visibility as incumbents.

Don't forget that the process for doing so was VERY strictly regulated. One had to get a permit, put the number of the permit on the signs, and follow a VERY specific process for posting them. There were a few sign companies that could guarantee the compliance, and they often did everyone's signs.

More importantly there was a strict rule about removal and heavy fines if you did not take them down IMMEDIATELY after the election. I knew of several elected officials who failed to do so and got hit with 1000s of dollars in fines and fees for removal by DPW!

Matthew Melzer said...

Unfortunately, I don't think campaigns calling your cell phone is illegal. Political and polling activity is exempted from Do Not Call.

Anonymous said...

The robocalls are illegal also unless a live operator first answers and asks you for your permission to playback the prerecorded message.