Metro's Ban on Political Bus Ads?

It's Illegal, Says ACLU


How about if I take out an ad advocating a total ban on black South Africans immigrating to the USA due to their extreme propensity for violence and rape?

South Africa’s child-rape epidemic
Mar 2, 2010

"South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world, including child and baby rape, with one person estimated to be raped every 26 seconds, according to aid groups and local organizations.

In Khayelitsha, a sprawling, crime-ridden township of more than 500,000 people, many of the victims are children under the age of 10. "


Baby rapes shock South Africa

"Every day the newspapers bring awful revelations: a nine-month-old girl gang-raped by six men; an eight-month-old raped and left by the roadside. "


Rape Troubles Nearly All in South Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Gallup survey of South Africans conducted March 21-April 7, 2009, reaffirms the extent to which the issue of rape plagues the country -- with 97% of residents calling it a major problem.

The Gallup survey results add to statistics from Interpol estimating that a woman is raped every 17 seconds in South Africa, and that one in every two women will be raped in their lives in the country. According to Interpol, South Africa has the highest number of declared rapes in the world, with nearly half of the victims younger than 18.

In a recent survey conducted by South Africa's Medical Research Council in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces, one in four men admitted to having raped someone, and nearly half said they had attacked more than one victim. The report also found acts such as gang rape to be common because they are considered a form of male bonding, or a way to prove one's manhood or power."


One in three South African men admit to rape, Thursday 25 November 2010

More than one in three South African men questioned in a survey admitted to rape, the latest evidence in the country of a violent culture of patriarchy.

Researchers found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women.
I am thankful for the good judgment and leadership Councilman Pete von Reichbauer used as he led the King County Council, Metro Transit and King County Executive Dow Constantine to right action. Metro Transit is no place for political discourse. Commercial ads can be offensive, but non-commercial ads have no place in our cityscape. We are living in an era where people receive the news and issues in sound bites. Opinions are formed using very little healthy skepticism and research from various reliable sources. If it is an opinion expressed in a government [Metro] controlled public place, many people accept it as legitimate and true-- a forum ripe for propaganda.

I take issue with the belief stated by Dow Constantine that the appearance of any advertisement on a bus should never be construed as an endorsement by King County or Metro [as reported in the Federal Way Mirror, “ACLU enters the battle”, 1/5/11]. That is precisely the way most of the public will view the billboard on buses—as being the view and having the approval of King County and Metro, our local government agencies.

Yes, we have the freedom to express our views freely in our United States constitution. However, it does not force the use of public places to provide a forum for opinions. If any group wants to purchase advertising in a private information source such as a newspapers, so be it as long as it is not inciting hate and illegal actions. People have the choice to pick up a book at a library, purchase and read the newspaper, or turn on or off the television. But viewing the sign on a Metro bus cannot be ignored as it invades the cityscape.
Emeritus, your logic is baffling and flawed.

Because people are too dumb to research issues themselves, we should only provide them with info on Cheetos and DUI services?
Could it be that Metro was pressured from a "higher power" to avoid criticizing Israeli war crimes? What is the issue? That KC accepted money to post the ads and then changed their mind? Or is the issue that there would be negative propaganda about Israeli's?
How much does it cost to run an ad on a bus? I've checked Metro's website and the total figure is easily findable but how much for a single bus ad?
Freedom of speech just don't apply to the sides of paid for with tax money bus's?

If you own the bus you can put any message you want on it as long as its not obscene or pornographic or prejudist?

Metro can put anything it wants or nothing if it so chooses as they are the owners of the property?

much to do the same story about Christian values Vs. Gay rights some years back as Church's were trying to use the Metro as a platform and as Atheists were also trying?

but like the entire state of Washington Metro seems to step on its schlong with spiked mountain climbing boots at least 6 times a day?

wasteing money and make stupid choices are a mainstay of these Washington State entitys?

Like a City manager who cant Manage to find a place to live in the City He was elected to Manage?

Good Managing is why we washatonians turn to California or Somalian pirates for Managers?

I'm generally pro-Israel but in this case I support the ad campaign.

I'm all for Muslims merely posting ads critical of Israel's existence on buses instead of the usual Islamic MO of blowing buses up with suicide bombers.
Consumerism is a political value. KC can choose who´s money to take(and get sued fornot delivering) defend their reasons for not doing so to the public. Censorship always makes the censors look like assholes, while catapulting whatever they want to repress. Arguments in favor of Israeli militarization are twisted, and of course bad for everyone.
Consumerism is a political value, censorship a part of propaganda, propaganda is about ideas not products. KC can choose who´s money to take(and get sued for not delivering) and defend their reasons for not doing so to the public. Censorship always makes the censors look like assholes, while catapulting whatever thing they want to repress. Arguments in favor of Israeli militarization are twisted, and of course bad for everyone.
First they banned the Israeli war crimes ads, and I said nothing, because I was not an Israeli war crime...
The Metro ban on political advertising certainly raises legitimate policy questions--many Stranger readers would likely agree that more controversial speech (even messages with which we individually disagree), is, all else being equal, a very good thing in this often too-PC city. But there is almost no question that Metro's ban is constitutionally permissible. In Lehman v. Shaker Heights, the Supreme Court upheld a town's identical policy prohibiting electioneering and other political messages on (and in) its streetcars. The Court held that "a city transit system has discretion to develop and make reasonable choices concerning the type of advertising that may be displayed in its vehicles."

The ACLU is clearly trying to get away from the Shaker Heights precedent by distinguishing Metro's policy on the grounds that the county changed it "AFTER accepting ad revenue and [is] now retroactively applying this new policy." But that is neither factually true nor legally material. After all, Metro is not applying the policy "retroactively"; it's not banning speech that occurred in the past (I'm not even sure how you could do that)--it's applying it prospectively to future advertisements.

Second, certainly the fact that the policy was implemented after the controversial ad in question was approved could suggest that Metro is targeting the views of the Mideast Awareness Campaign. But given that the policy change addresses ALL political speech, not just the viewpoint in question, probably undercuts any viewpoint discrimination claim. The Campaign would have to show that the blanket ban on political advertising on buses does not advance a legitimate government purpose--a difficult task in light of the Supreme Court precedent in Shaker Heights.
Big Brother needs to be assassinated.Yesterday!