By Parker Leavitt
The Arizona Republic
Public officials in Gilbert say they’re trying to strike a balance between free-speech rights and common courtesy as they consider giving greater legal protection to negative campaign signs that attack candidates, their families and other personal affairs.
Gilbert Councilman Victor Petersen, an outspoken conservative with “tea party” ties, wants the town to adopt perhaps the most lenient regulations on political signs among major Valley communities.
Opponents say the move will open the door for nastier, more personal roadside messages.
“Political speech is very important to me and important to the history of our country,” Petersen said. “If someone wants to say something negative about me, I’ll stand up for their right to do that.”