‘Impeach Trump’ signs falsely linked to Spanberger campaign

'Impeach Trump' signs falsely linked to Spanberger campaign
Updated: Sep. 4, 2018 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Some of the signs were posted in illegal locations and do not identify who paid of them....
Some of the signs were posted in illegal locations and do not identify who paid of them. (Source: NBC12 viewer)

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Several political signs referencing impeaching Donald Trump are posted around Chesterfield County and appear to be falsely linked to a 7th District Congressional candidate.

Abigail Spanberger's name appears on several of those signs, but campaign managers said they didn't put them out, nor do they belong to them.

"We don't know specifically who it was, but it was somebody in opposition to the campaign," said Spanberger's campaign manager, Dana Bye. "At the end of the day, it's just a really unfortunate, disappointing tactic that they would use."

Republican opponent Dave Brat's campaign spokeswoman Katey Price said Monday their campaign had no knowledge of the signs.

"These were unauthorized campaign signs posted by an unknown third party that the Brat campaign had no knowledge of," Price added. "To allege that the Brat campaign had anything to do with them is simply false."

Signs were posted in several locations, including Courthouse Road, Hull Street Road and Woolridge Road near Timber Bluff Way.

While it's not illegal to post third-party political signs, where signs are posted can be against the law.

"Signs are not supposed to be posted by any campaign on public property," said NBC12 political analyst Ravi Perry.

That includes utility poles, which is where two of the signs were posted over the weekend.

But Perry said there's a catch.

"The problem is it's not really an enforced law because we don't have the capacity to do so," he said. "Obviously we have many more pressing issues that we need our law enforcement to be on the front lines of."

Perry said the best way to try and figure out if you're dealing with an authorized sign is to look for the fine print.

"It will say 'paid for by' the candidate and the office that they're running for," he added.

According to the Federal Election Commission, "Any public communication made by a political committee - including communications that do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate or solicit a contribution - must display a disclaimer."

Starting Tuesday, election season will ramp up and you will start to see more political ads and signage in the area.

"We probably have at least 5,000 [signs] going out the doors over the next few weeks," Bye said. "We've got these regular signs, much larger, sort of barn signs, because at the end of the day this is really about name recognition and folks showing their support."

If you are concerned about political signs in your area, you're encouraged to contact the campaign office for the candidate listed on the sign or the Virginia Department of Transportation, which coordinates sign removal.

Bye said the signs posted around Chesterfield County were removed over the weekend.

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