State senator pitches ban on political signs at street corners, medians, other public rights of way

Sen. Steve Kaiser, R-Phoenix, has introduced legislation that would ban political signs from street corners, medians and other public rights of way. || Photo by Tony Cani via Twitter

By Howard Fischer || Capitol Media Services  January 20, 2023

Sen. Steve Kaiser has introduced legislation that could make him a hero of Arizona motorists — assuming it gets approved and survives a likely court challenge.

The Phoenix Republican wants to ban political signs from street corners, medians and other public rights of way. Kaiser said SB 1116 simply does what his constituents want.

“They hate those things,” he told Capitol Media Services.

“They cause a ton of bad traffic because you can’t see around them, people put them in the wrong spot,” Kaiser explained. “It creates a ton of trash.”

And then they can get defaced “and everybody freaks out.”

What they also are, Kaiser contends, is unnecessary.

“It’s the least effective way to reach voters,” he said. Kaiser said text messaging and digital ads are both more effective and cheaper.

Yet Kaiser, in his 2020 and 2022 campaigns, put up signs around his district.

“If my competitor’s going to do it, of course I’m going to do it,” he explained. Of course, that war of escalation only increases the number of signs that pop up along the roads.

Kaiser also denied that banning these signs becomes an incumbency protection act, denying challengers the ability to create the same name ID that those in office may already have. Instead, he said, the effect would be the opposite.

“Incumbents usually have the most signs and have better funding to carpet bomb an area,” Kaiser said. “They also are better organized and know exactly when to place and where to place, and usually have professionals doing it for hire.”


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January 2023