Sign of corruption? Campaign signs in Eagle River get the red-flag treatment … but two candidates get a pass

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Candidates for office who are advertising along the highways and byways of Eagle River found red plastic ties on their campaign signs, which indicate the Department of Transportation wants them out of the rights of way, and not visible from a state highway.

A photo safari of signs in Eagle River discovered that all candidates’ signs along the roadways the State manages were tagged, except the signs of Kelly Merrick for Senate and Bill Walker for Governor.

Merrick is married to Joey Merrick, business Manager for Laborers’ Local 341. Walker has the endorsement of most of the big unions and his running mate, Heidi Drygas, is a big union attorney and former commissioner of Labor.

There are laws on the books pertaining to signs on State roads, and separate ordinances that apply to signs on municipality of Anchorage roads. The state typically will remove the campaign signs 30 days after they have been flagged for removal if they are within 660 feet of a State right of way, but DOT can, in fact, remove signs without notice.

State rights of way include public roads, sidewalks, power lines, and ditches along roads.

In 2018, an Anchorage Superior Court judge ordered the State to stop taking down the signs of candidates, if those signs were on private property and the owner didn’t receive money to put it there.

It appears that although the Department of Transportation is flagging most signs, even signs for Gov. Mike Dunleavy, it’s laying off the signs for the unions’ favorite candidates — Merrick and Walker.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Corruption? Hard to say.
    Blatant favoritism? Absolutely.

    The sleaze of the Walker machine is deep and wide.

  2. Well! Then give merrick and walker signs equal treatment. Go to the hardware store buy same ribbon to stick it on their signs for removal. If dept of transportation don’t remove merrick and walker, then show up with citizens trucks to remove the hazzards. Prov20 :23 ‘unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good.’ esv thats inequality.

    • Sometimes one must take a matter in their hands like removing fallen debrie from the roadway causing unsafe road. By the way time for dept of transportation remove the signs off ‘loser hill’ (e northern lights and muldoon rd).

  3. This is a complex topic. The state laws limiting signage on private property within 660ft of a public right of way appear to violate the 1st Amendment. Presumably this has not been challenged to the US Supreme Court because justice is so expensive in the USA. Meanwhile, Alaskans suffer the tyranny of a state government that disrespects our federal constitution. Ask yourself, by what legal principal are Fred Meyer’s or McDonald’s signs treated differently than political signs?

  4. Well, shucks.

    Isn’t that something?

    A ‘normal’ kind of thinking individual would surmise that either ALL signs of said type are acceptable, or NONE of them are, regardless of whom said signs represent.

    Sorry, did I say ‘normal’?

    Sigh…

    • I know you cannot relate to being politically ignorant, but many people like that do exist and some vote too! Some races are close, and that messaging has its effect.

    • Signs help. If you don’t know much about a candidates positions, but see lots of signs for that person, you might go to the polls thinking I’ll vote for candidate A, they must be OK, they are popular w/ my neighbors.

  5. Walker is the Big Unions candidate. He will work with them to take the permanent fund away from Alaskans and push it into capital projects with Davis-Bacon wages to pay union members big bucks. Vote for Bill Walker if you want ALASKA to collapse.

  6. Just more corruption. Apparently, it has become acceptable to cheat, steal, lie, suppress people’s voices and take down signs. Feels like the start if very bad precedence. It’s unfortunate people can’t be honest. What happened to Running a good campaign and take a loss or win with dignity. So sad to see what this state is becoming.

    • When it comes to the inherent hypocrisy of leftists, the ends justify the means, every time — no matter how corrupt, dishonest, illegal, unethical or immoral those means might be.
      The only thing, the ONLY thing, that matters to contemporary (so-called) leftists is the seizure and exercise of raw, naked power.

  7. How do I get people in support of my candidate to want to come put signs on my private property outside the ROW of the state or muni? If that’s the least I could do to get advertising out, bring your sign. Or maybe I’ll just put one up if I could get it dropped off. No Lisa, just Kelly for Alaska US Senator. The other Kelly can stay away.

    • Patrocles, State law prohibits campaign signs on private property WITHIN 660-feet OF THE RIGHT-OF-WAY. Meanwhile, there is no similar restriction on business signage. This dissimilar application of law between different classes of citizens is an obvious violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments and a more subtle violation of the property clause in the 5th Amendment. This is a clear example of tyranny exerted by State government.

  8. It’s Kelly Sara and good by Dan, keep governor mike, and oust the 9. Got it. TEAM ALASKA will have a new face soon.

    • Anchorage is run by 9 liberal communist Democrats and Juneau is a have for more of the same, nice try though.

  9. Interesting how a mention of how sleazy Bill Walkers political machine gets stuck in moderation limbo

  10. Right to work may be in our future. Long past time, especially when union members working in their official capacity favor union-friendly candidates over others. Cheers –

    • We want our private sector unions Alex, we have to make a living.
      We can’t ALL be contractors …. some of us are workers.
      But we do need to get rid of our Gov unions, that is a conflict of interest (as FDR pointed out)

  11. If you candidate is the best choice, why do you have to try and destroy the advertising of their opponent?
    .
    The targeted candidates should turn this into a plus. Remember when Amy Dembroski’s signs were defaced, and she made it part of her run off campaign? Same thing here. Start putting massive red ribbons all over your campaign signs. If it disappears, put a new one up, with even more ribbons.

    • An unhinged leftist cut her face out of the signs & she caught him red handed.
      She was armed & filming his criminal activity.
      How awesome is that!

  12. The politicalization of the bureaucracy became inevitable once Jimmy Carter allowed the unions to expand from industry where they have a legitimate interest to protect the workers from exploitation in the name of increasing profit to government service where no such exploitation exists. Our history was based on government performing their services in a impartical unbiased manner for all citizens irregardless of their politics. Corruption was inevitable and now is uncontrollable.

  13. MRA should contact Randy Vanderwood at Anchorage/Central Region AKDOT ROW he is the head cheese and ask him. Randy was raised in Chugiak Eagle River. He should be able to answer why there is disparity in the Political signs.
    Could be as simple as the Merrick and Walker Campaign’s removed the ADOT sticker. Old trick, it has happen before, making it easy to play stupid when confronted. The old method of ADOT political sign enforcement was to confiscate the signs. Owners could pick them up at ADOT. I like that method fair and equal treatment.

  14. Are we sure it was the state or could it have been a prank? You can get the red tape and any hardware store.

  15. And if you scratch it a bit you’ll find that those signs for Merrick and Walker were put up by crews from the union halls or apprenticeship schools. Of course that is “member education,” not an in kind campaign contribution.

  16. When I worked a bazillion years ago state employees in Departments of Transportation AND DNR (in Alaska) were responsible for political sign removal from rights of way etc. They behaved sheepishly because of this. They had consciences marred by this command. UNION EMPLOYEES. APEA. I was also an APEA elected representative at one time. But I know nothing.

  17. Have we reason to accept the notion that DOT elves put them there, or that whoever put them there was acting officially?
    .
    Otherwise it seems like a rather good campaign prank which should be returned in kind.

  18. What might be interesting to note, is the land that is being called a DOT right of way is actually owned by the property owner that joins it. Not the State. DOT has an easement to allow for roads, and drainage, ect, but the owner should have the say on other uses unless said uses obstruct road signs or interfere otherwise with the roadway, or drainage systems. From that we should assume that the people posting these signs have permission from the land owners. Or maybe this is why the sign farms occur mostly on undeveloped property with absentee owners. The solution seems to be that if the candidate can’t prove that they have permission from the landowner to post on their property, they should be removed or charged with trespass.

  19. Curious how any references to the Walker mafia being sleazy never get past the moderator.
    Wonder why?

  20. Walker is in bed with big labor and sold his soul to China. Do not give this man a ranked vote! I recently wrote to Dunleavy’s Office about the vote changing Dominion Machines and actually received a response stating they were older machines from 1998 and could not connect to the internet. I was also told they were properly certified by the state and passed Logic and Accuracy tests. I guess I’m just supposed to believe them after all the problems with them around the country. Sorry, not buying it! Ex-Army Intelligence Officer Seth Keshel showed the map of the USA during the 2020 election and how foreign IP Addresses (mostly from China) were directly connecting and hacking these machines in the battleground states and Alaska was also hit with the same attack. The State of Alaska needs to remove these machines from our voting process!

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