Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Dick Update

The Chron:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced a crackdown on so-called bandit signs Wednesday, pledging to issue fines to political candidates and others who illegally post their signs on city land.

The announcement comes less than a month before early voting in her re-election campaign. Parker said election season is when signs proliferate and that the city spent $450,000 in 2009 to take them down. The $200-per-offense fines aim to recover the city's costs.

"This is about quality of life in our city. This is about visual pollution, and this is about someone trampling on the public right of way and intruding in the public space. And it is about tax dollars – $450,000 a year to deal with illegally placed signs," Parker said during a news conference following Wednesday's City Council meeting.


(W)hether you’re concerned about those signs that break the law or those that clutter our streets and sightlines, it’s all good if the net effect is to convince candidates to leave signs off the junkier placements that serve no purpose.

The Press, with the street artist Shreddi taking matters into his own hands (really; click over and look at his handiwork):

What is it about Eric Dick that gets to you?

Shreddi: I don't think a lot of people have picked up on the fact that politicians use graffiti tactics for their personal gain. Each election year, without fail, we get this illegal political signage jammed all over empty lots, chain-link fences, telephone poles, etc. The problem is, once elected, these politicians persecute the general public for doing the same fucking thing...It's a double standard. It's funny too, because when I pulled down one of these signs, there was another political sign underneath it. So they're even covering each other's tags. I read last year the city spent a million dollars on graffiti cleanup. Politicians could probably cut that number in half if they'd stop posting their mind-numbing graffiti everywhere. Obviously I have no problem with self-promotion, or art in the streets. I have a problem with politicians holding the public to standards they don't abide to themselves. And I don't have anything specifically against Dick....his ballsy sign campaign just stood out.

Lastly, Dick lover Big Jolly:

I kinda like this guy because he isn't afraid to get out there and fight. Oh, and he's also very creative.

Update: Miya Shay, and the videotape.

Update II: In his sneering press release intended as a response to the mayor's enforcement of the ordinance, Dick discloses an endorsement from "The Log Cabin". I am familiar with the Log Cabin Republicans, but does anyone know what "The Log Cabin" is that Dick refers to here? Certainly it's not the maple syrup; could it be that little house in Emancipation Park? Has Dick nailed his campaign signs to its roof?

Is this the same ringing endorsement as the empty lots and utility poles and overhead crosswalks that have also 'endorsed' him? I must admit that I'm not well-versed with all of the changes passed in the recent legislative session with respect to election law: do inanimate objects get to vote now? Do they have to show photo ID if they do?

And if not, then should we alert the King Street/True the Vote thugs to show up at the polls in order to suppress the possible votes of vacant buildings, cyclone fences, weed-filled lots, city rights-of-way, and the like?

When it comes to our freedoms you can't be too scared careful.

I'm concerned that in our habitually low-turnout municipal elections, the boulevard median near my polling place might be able to sway the election. And these days, it just looks a little too brown to ... you know ... be legal.


Time Bandit said...

I can understand prosecuting and fining a person who posts a sign and clutters up the street. But how do you place culpability on the candidate whose sign is posted? Just because his/her name is on the sign doesn't mean their campaign office had the legal intention to post it in the place it was illegally posted.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I see in this scenario an all too easy way for a well funded candidate to harass and under funded candidate by just dedicating a couple of college punks to go about picking up the opponent's signs and placing them on the islands along Westheimer. For some candidates, a $200 per sign fine could drain their coffers dry in one night.

PDiddie said...

I believe the libertarians call it "taking responsibility". Blame Eric Dick for abusing an ordinance no one wanted to enforce for egregiously abusing its violation.

I am tempted to say "What part of 'illegal' don't you understand", but that would be ... I don't know, a little obnoxious.