Campaign signs appearing without permission

Campaign signs appearing without permission
Published: Jun. 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM HST
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EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Campaign signs compete for space on a busy corner in Ewa Beach. One fence belongs to the Gamiao family. Some signs and banners are their without their blessing.

"Sometimes when no one's home we just see signs coming up. We don't know who was here or if anyone was here," Lerma Gamiao said.

The infringement happens outside Helen Cordeiro's home every election.

"I don't own the property out there but I own the fence," she said.

Democratic House candidate Matt Lopresti blames overzealous supporters. He found out about how widespread the issue is in Ewa Beach while going to door to door.

"The gentleman who lives on one of the corners there says people come in the middle of the night to put up signs without permission. They don't even bother to ask," he said.

Marti Townsend of The Outdoor Circle, a non-profit that watches out for Hawaii's natural beauty, said candidates need to remind their campaigners to ask for permission before planting a sign.

"This year, I have to say, is like an arms race. They are bigger, more colorful and more distracting," she said.

Lopresti teaches ethics at HPU. He said getting a go-ahead to place a sign should be common practice and common sense.

"On one occasion they asked me who my opponent was," he said. "They took that sign down and put mine up there just because I asked."

Meaning he asked for permission.  For those who don't and hang a campaign sign anyway, Cordeiro is beyond complaining.

"I take it down," she said. "If they didn't have the common decency to come and ask me I will not bother to call."

As election day gets closer, more fences will get more crowded and colorful. Some signs will just appear and leave more property owners seeing red.

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