• Fed-up activists say candidates are breaking the law

    By: Berndt Petersen


    ATLANTA - "Illegal" signs: They’ve popped up all over the metro, and one group says enough is enough. 

    Some Atlanta area activists are targeting campaign signs they say have been illegally placed in the public right of way. 

    Every time Charlie Paine sees one, he springs into action. 

    "There are two across the street here," Paine said. "There are three here. There's one on the ground here and another on the street." 

    Paine is part of a group called "Atlantans Demanding Political Accountability." They’ve taken it upon themselves to crack down.

    "It's just unfair that candidates play the game not according to the rules." Paine said. "It's state code and municipal code and they're not enforcing it on themselves." 


    The group is tagging campaign signs that are in the right of way with big yellow stickers—which cite the various codes that regulate them. 

    Paine says his group has printed 1,000 stickers and has already placed more than 200 on signs they believe are in violation.  

    Campaign signs on private property are legal and Paine says they’ve been careful not to tag any of those. 

    As for the method they’re using, the group did not ask the city or the candidates for permission to attach the stickers. 

    "We're just kind of doing it," Paine said. "The signs are illegally placed. We're just trying to make a point." 

    An Atlanta city spokesman says the city is aware of the issue of campaign signs appearing in the public right of way, and that it happens every election cycle. 

    The city is responsible for the right of way along city streets and property, and the state is responsible for the right of way along state roads, routes, and highways. 

    The spokesman said the city’s Department of Public Works has a crew dedicated to removing illegal signs, and they prioritize removing signs that pose a public safety hazard.





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