CHICAGO (CBS) — Early voting started citywide in Chicago on Monday, and with that, of course, come many campaign signs.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov found signs in Bronzeville – and lots of them – in a place where they did not belong.
Median strips on major streets usually have flowers, or bushes, or trees. There are trees in the median strip on State Street near 27th Street, but not as many as there are campaign signs.
The stretch of State Street in question has dozens of signs mounted in the grass.
“I don’t think it’s a problem myself,” said Patricia Lipscomb.
But while Lipscomb may not mind the signs, the law does. According to Illinois code, it is unlawful for a person to post a campaign sign on public property.
On that two-block stretch of State Street between 27th and 29th streets, there are 44 signs. Kozlov counted them.
They all belong to three candidates – Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney, Michael Cabonargi for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, and Judge Nathaniel Howse for Illinois Supreme Court.
Ironically, those positions, of course, all involve enforcing or interpreting the law – the Illinois Compiled Statues, that very code that says the median strip of State Street is not somewhere that campaign signs are allowed.
“If it’s illegal, they shouldn’t do it,” said Karl Shannon.
In practice, campaign signs on public property are part of the Chicago way. But usually, it’s just a smattering here or there, and according to a representative of the Chicago Board of Elections, campaign signs actually are allowed outside polling places.
But when they’re so blatant, like those 44 on the grass in the middle of State Street, one has to wonder – do the campaign staff know the signs are violating the law, and do they care?
Shannon said the campaigns should pick up the signs and take them away.
“They definitely should,” he said. “Whoever they paid to come and do it or volunteered to come and do it, they should come and pick them up individually.”
Has the city gotten the calls about these signs? Is pickup on the radar of Department of Streets and Sanitation crews? No one within City Hall could answer those questions on Monday, due to the Pulaski Day holiday.