LETTER: Don’t be fooled by placement of Madore sign

August 1, 2012

If you have driven State Highway 500 through the Fern Prairie area
lately, you have probably seen the large campaign sign for David
Madore at the Port of Camas-Washougal’s Grove Field airport. It sure
looks like the Port is endorsing this particular candidate.

The sign is on private property, as it turns out, and the Port has an
easement there for the taxi-way. But the property owners have
established a pattern of using this site for large political campaign
signs. They own a 550 foot stretch of highway frontage that would not
be confused with airport property. However, they repeatedly use the
far corner of the next 60 feet, right at the end of the taxiway,
leaving the impression of a Port endorsement.

The easement agreement with the Port gives the property owners free
use of the airport and increased property values. It should not give
them free use of the Port’s good reputation.

In reality, the Port is prohibited by law from taking a position in
any political campaign. They expressed concern about the sign to the
landowners, who persist in using their right to free speech in this
way. This right, especially in political speech, does not exclude
dishonesty or deception. Madore’s campaign has the right to try to
fool you.

Candidates from previous years whose signs were in this location lost
by significant margins. But in those years the Port’s public image
was badly tarnished.

Today’s Port has all new commissioners, committed to public dialogue
and involvement, promoting a new spirit of collaboration between local
governments and moving forward with projects to improve our local
economy. The Port’s reputation has made a big turn-around. Their
image now has real value, and I consider the placement of this sign to
be a theft of our Port’s good public image.

Don’t be fooled. The Port of Camas-Washougal cannot and does not
endorse David Madore.

But more importantly, any time you see a political campaign sign in
this location, now or in future election years, recognize it as a sign
of a dishonest campaign.

Richard Hamby
Washougal, WA