Protection for political yard signs has won approval in the State Senate. For some people, they’re pimples on the neighborhood. For others, they’re a symbol of their loyalty to a candidate, a party, a cause. For some, they’re targets – yard signs promoting political candidates. In some places it’s almost sport to steal them or damage or destroy them. In most places, the penalty is light for someone who does that if there’s any charge at all. Ballwin Senator John Loudon says the theft, destruction, or damaging of a yard sign should be a crime, not a municipal ordinance violation. Loudon says the experience in a community near his district underlines the need for the new law. If his bill becomes law, a person who steals or damages a yard sign could spend a year in jail and be hit with a $2,500 fine. He says yard signs are protected speech and freedom of speech should be strongly protected.