Campaign-sign type size spurs Phoenix suit
Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor The Arizona Republic Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM
PHOENIX - Two Valley residents filed a lawsuit alleging that Building Our Future, a political committee supporting the 2006 Bond Program, is violating the law because the print size of the "paid for" disclosure on their campaign signs is too small.
Russel Childress, owner of Childress Automall in Phoenix and one of the initial proponents of Proposition 200, and Linda Bentley of Cave Creek filed their complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court filed this week.
Voters on March 14 will consider whether Phoenix can sell $878.5 million in bonds to investors to build capital projects across the city, including police, fire stations and an Arizona State University campus.
According to the lawsuit, the literature and/or advertisements "did not contain the disclosure statement in the form and manner required" by law.
Among the requirements is that the statement be "in type at least as large as the majority of the printed text."
For some of the signs, the disclosure is the majority of the text: 20 of the 29 words.
City Attorney Gary Verberg said it was his opinion that the size of the disclosure text had to be measured against the size of the message text, not the disclosure itself. The political committee decided to add more words in smaller type to the signs.
Carol de Szendeffy, the plaintiff's attorney, said that tactic doesn't meet the intent of the law.
Andy Gordon, attorney for Building Our Future, said that these campaign signs are typical of those used all elections. "The disclosure text is never as large as the other letters," he said.