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Signs are political, period

Gene La Rue

When is a political campaign not a political campaign?

I am constantly reminded by the Valley’s media that the voters’ part of the political process is completed until the next campaign starts posting its signs, roughly 90 days before the next election in November. All the signs should already be taken down or fines and (worse) “bad press” will be doled out to whoever chooses to ignore the law. I drive up from Sacramento a bit and see the specter of elections past: NH 2020 signs from Grass Valley to Truckee.

What are these things doing now? Are they here to remind people the issue called NH 2020 is still contentious, divisive and unsettled? Or are these signs actually masquerading as simple tools with a dual purpose: first, to keep the issue of “developmental growth” versus “managed growth” in the public’s eye as long as committees are working on drafting proposals toward a final document; and second, an ingenious way to attack politicians who have been inextricably tied to the proposal’s fate? In talking with people from both sides of the NH 2020 issue, I can clearly see that an argument for the latter has much more merit.

It turns out that some individual people have been tied to the future of NH 2020 because they are either in politics now or want to be in politics in the future. During the last campaign, the politicians’ positions on NH 2020 were closely watched as voters decided who they wanted in office aligned to their way of thinking. When the votes were counted, it looked like there was no clear winner in the issue. But the politicians tied to it either took their lumps or planned to regroup for the next battle in eight months.

NH 2020 signs are political in nature and all the laws applicable to the posting of political signs need to apply to this issue as well. That means all NH 2020 signs need to be removed now and they cannot be replaced until 90 days before the election in November. Saying that the NH 2020 signs are not political is patently absurd.

Gene La Rue



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