You may have heard about this already, and I certainly apologize for being late to the party. However, isn’t it better to be late than never?
Here’s the gist. Steve Kolbe, a Towson resident, put up a 4×8 Ehrlich side on his private property. Some anonymous caller alerted Baltimore County who then told Kolbe that he had to remove his sign and threatened him with a hefty fine. Kolbe decided it was time to fight back, has hired a lawyer, and is taking this to court. According to the County statute, it is in fact illegal to put a political sign on your property larger than 8 square feet. Steve’s was 32 sq. ft. So, yes he clearly broke the law. Shouldn’t he just stop complaining and get over it?
Let’s see if he indeed has a case. Kolbe claims that the law itself is in violation of his 1st, freedom of speech, and 14th, voting rights, amendments. It is, after all, his private property. Who’s to say what he can and can’t put on it? Here’s the part that gets me. This law only pertains to political signs. So if Steve wanted to put up a 32 sq. ft. sign saying “roses are red, violets are blue,” he can. Interesting.
I have no doubt that the anonymous caller and the action taken against Kolbe were indeed politically motivated. With a County Council stacked 7 Dems to 1 Rep, they’re a little more than biased, wouldn’t you say? This is why we need to elect men, like Steve Whisler, to the Council, to prevent enacting laws that favor one party or another. It’s time we had some balance.
This wouldn’t be the first time Baltimore County has been taken to task on a law pertaining to political signage. In 2008, Clarence Bell sued the County stating that their 45 day rule (you can’t post a political sign of any type until 45 days before an election) was a violation of his freedom of speech. The Maryland Supreme Court agreed with Bell, and he won. Ironically though, Moehler (Executive Smith’s right hand man) was still attempting to enforce to unconstitutional law up until a week or so ago. Now that it’s officially out of the way, display your signs with pride peeps. Just make sure they are less than 8 sq. ft., at least for now.
Do you agree with Kolbe? Are you willing to show some love and support? Then show up tomorrow at 4:00PM at the scene of the crime, 1233 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson. Gov. Ehrlich will be there to show his support of Steve’s lawsuit against Baltimore County.
Please make an effort to show up with Gov. Ehrlich in support of Steve Kolbe and his fight against Baltimore County governments overbearing regulations.