File under It’s That Time of Year: Trace Duryea, the chairwoman of the East Hampton Republican Committee, sent the following about a rash of theft and vandalism she said has targeted political signs. (The press release appears in its entirety at bottom.)
In other sign-related news, East Hampton Village police have been busy in recent days removing the placards from road right-of-ways. Signs are prohibited on public property in the village, whether for real estate notices or your political candidate of choice.
East Hampton Town allows temporary signs on public property for up to seven days, provided they do not cause traffic hazards. Beyond seven days, signs “shall be deemed litter and may be removed by the town, and in addition, appropriate penalties for littering may be imposed,” says the town code.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 13, 2011
CHAIR OF THE EAST HAMPTON TOWN REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE CALLS ON ALL PARTY CHAIRS TO DENOUCE THE PILFERING AND DEFACEMENT OF CANDIDATES' SIGNS
In a statement issued today, Trace Duryea, Chair of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee (EHTRC) expressed deep disappointment over the pilfering and defacement of the party's candidate signs. She called upon her fellow party chairs to denounce this practice.
"The East Hampton Town Republican Committee deplores the defacement and unauthorized removal of candidates' signs, no matter what political party. We do not sanction and will not tolerate any such behavior by our supporters. The Republican committee believes in the electoral process and the first amendment rights of every citizen to express their views in the up coming election. The first amendment rights of our neighbors must never be compromised by illegal and thuggish behavior."
Defacing or removing political signs from public and private property is a crime. Political signs are expensive and replacing hundreds of removed or defaced signs can run into thousands of dollars for campaigns.
Ms. Duryea continued, "I hope my counterparts in the Democrat, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties also will pledge to the voters that they will not tolerate illegal and thuggish behavior that denies our neighbors and friends their constitutional rights in this electoral season."
Ms. Duryea confirmed that a large number of her party's candidate signs had been stolen or defaced.