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Originally posted by sillinous
Oh, this is awesome! This story (I'm assuming its the same story) made it onto the Libertarian presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik's website!!!!
You guys have to check this out! Not only did it make it on Badnarik's website, it also made it to the press in his local paper and they presented the story in a very favorable light. The ACLU is representing him to fight against a $181 ticket! That is awesome!
If I hadn't already used all of my Way Above Top Secret votes... two on you already... I'd vote for you again LOL
BeingWatchedByThem gets two thumbs up though.
Editorial: Overpass incident may hurt future political opinions
Our community deserves a better explanation of why a man displaying a political sign on a county overpass received a ticket from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department because it raises serious questions about muzzling free speech in the middle of an election year.
A 20-year-old Oshkosh man got a $181 ticket for showing a political sign over the County Trunk GG overpass of U.S. Highway 41 July 31. He faced north so the southbound traffic saw the sign. His crime? He displayed an “unauthorized sign.”
The Sheriff’s Department said a complaint call was received and a deputy dispatched on two consecutive days, with the ticket issued on the second day.
The wrong response in this era of public sensitivity to terrorism would have been to neglect the complaint. Moreover, standing on the overpass also treads from common sense and safety. There are six feet between the concrete edge of the bridge and the white line that marks the vehicle lane. The concrete edge is two-and-a-half feet tall. There is nothing but open air above it and rushing traffic below it. An argument could be made for warning a person about the risk of personal safety. But those weren’t the reasons given by the Sheriff’s Department.
Which explains why the American Civil Liberties Union has an interest in the citation issue. The man expressed a political opinion on public property and got ticketed. The First Amendment affords a citizen the right to speak an opinion on an issue.
What’s next? Citations for holding signs alongside a right of way on Opera House Square or the sidewalks of downtown Oshkosh? Does that mean that a person who puts an election sign in the terrace (the land between a sidewalk and the street) will be cited?
It is reasonable to ask a citizen to stop holding a sign on a highway overpass if there is a legitimate concern for public safety. It is another matter if authorities remove a man who is perceived as an irritant displaying a political sign.
The department needs to explain to the public if safety was the overriding concern because a citation for displaying an “unauthorized sign” does not hold water.
The Final Thought: A Sheriff’s Department $181 citation against a citizen who displayed a political sign on an overpass needs clarification because the intent for the ticket could chill the posting of other signs before fall elections.