I just had a fascinating conversation with Tara Flanagan, who is a candidate for Superior Court Judge in Alameda County. After I informed her that her campaign signs were posted illegally on public property, she demurred and dissembled.
First, she asserted that I should not talk with her about this, but instead I should talk to her “consultant firm,” which posted the signs (like most persons accused of any crime, she sought to shift responsibility to others).
When I pointed out how bad this looked in a candidate for judge, she said that she’d personally spoken with someone at the City of Hayward who told her it was OK (ignorance of the law, or misinformation or a misunderstanding, is an excuse).
She also noted that she’s received no complaints from municipalities (it’s not illegal unless you’re caught).
I wrote about this two years ago, in the last major campaign cycle (http://www.markwelchblog.com/2010/10/09/illegally-posted-campaign-signs/), when I heard the same excuses from other candidates. And the rule is the same as it’s ever been: the firms hired to post signs for candidates will do anything they think is in their interest, as long as they can do it, regardless of the law. And the candidates pretend that they believe that their political consultants won’t break the law.
I won’t vote for Tara Flanagan, because clearly she doesn’t respect the law nor accept responsibility for her own actions; I don’t want such a person to serve in any elected office, but certainly not as a Superior Court Judge!
The picture below is captured from Tara Flanagan’s campaign Facebook page; I’ve blacked out sections that included other people’s pictures and comments.
Below is the Google Maps Street View for the vacant lot at 166th Ave @ E. 14th St. in Ashland (unincorporated San Leandro) where another Flanagan sign is now posted (it’s not in this picture), despite (or perhaps because of) the sign clearly indicating that the lot is owned by Alameda County.