Signs of mischief: The ACLU blocks Robinson's uneven enforcement

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It's un-American. Township officials in Robinson appeared to be selectively enforcing the rules on campaign signs posted on public property.

The township had sent a letter to John "Jack" Cairns, chairman of the Robinson Township Republican Committee, informing him that the local code banning signs on public property such as utility poles, rights of way, trees and rocks would be strictly enforced this year. That's all well and good, but no such letter, at least initially, went to the Democratic Party.

The American Civil Liberties Union called Robinson on it, sending a warning letter last week to township officials. "It's a little fishy," said Witold J. Walczak, state legal director of the ACLU.

With three of the township's five commissioner seats up for election on Nov. 5, the stakes are high for both parties. All the more reason for local election laws to be fairly and equitably enforced.

On Friday, the Republican Committee of Robinson was told by the ACLU that the township had decided to suspend its enforcement of the sign ordinance, which the civil liberties group interpreted as admitting fault. As a result, campaign signs for candidates of both parties are as plentiful as pumpkins.

No need now for the ACLU to follow through on its threat to seek a restraining order against the township. The whole flap wouldn't have gotten this far if local officials had treated Democrats the same as Republicans right from the start.

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