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Letter to the Editor


Free speech trumps sign rules, reader says



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July 30, 2014 - Dear Editor,

The article on local regulations on political signs was interesting but, in my view, fell short to the extent it failed to emphasize that while local government may be able to restrict political sign postings on public right-of-ways, it has been found that the First Amendment right to free speech allows for the posting of political yard signs on private property without regard to attempted local regulation ("Political signs," July 9).

We all want to be sensitive to neighborhood aesthetic considerations, but the obligation to ensure First Amendment rights trumps this.

Yard signs may be the only practicable way for many residents to confront the expensive TV and other political ads we already are subjected to, months and more than a year before election time, showing how a Rick Snyder family friend, not surprisingly, got richer with Snyder's help in marketing flatbread, and how we who pay annual real estate and other taxes should feel shame when wealthy family businesses and dynasties "unfairly" have to pay personal property taxes.

When many incumbents are supported by the wealthy constituents who have financially benefitted from the incumbents' time in office, a yard sign is one of few options available to the middle class.

Mike Fetzer

Independence Township

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