Arlington GOP Surfaces Proof of Systematic Political Sign Vandalism

Comments At Arlington County Board Meeting, November 13, 2021.

It’s time for my annual political yard sign report to County Board. The good news is that I recovered about 450 signs from the medians and polls or two-thirds of the total. This is a significant improvement over 2020 when two-thirds of my signs were trashed.

The bad news is an ARLnow report forwarded by the Arlington GOP that one of their number caught a County resident on a moped confiscating Youngkin signs from the medians and published photos to prove it.

Kudos to the GOP operative who came upon the scene and had the presence of mind to record the vandal’s license plate. It was the first time in recent memory that someone has actually obtained prima facie evidence of systematic political sign removal in the county.

If the operative follows through with a formal complaint, it may deter further organized efforts to undermine the electoral process in Arlington County.

Yet Fox 5 reported after the election that someone had defaced Youngkin signs with the epithet “racist” following his upset victory on November 2. Clearly optimism that the political climate has improved is premature.

Another cause for concern is Chairman de Ferranti’s response to my earlier criticism of the Electoral Board’s arbitrary decision to extend by several weeks the period for yard sign display in the medians. Ferranti said he agreed with the Zoning Office’s “interpretation” of the County’s sign ordinance, despite the fact that the Zoning Ordinance, 13.11.2.E.1 explicitly limits political sign displays to 31 days before the election.

It looks like the sign ordinance has gone the way of other provisions of County Code, which are honored in the breach whenever they prove to be inconvenient.

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