Back in the days when I had a large staff, I used to call it the election season booby prize. When the first call came in about campaign signs stolen, defaced, marred, shot at or otherwise mutilated in the heat of battle, I’d spin around in my editor’s chair and bark out the order, usually to the greenest rookie I could spot, “Get us a story about so-and-so stealing signs from so-and-so.”
I have seen still photos, videos, lawsuits, all-night stakeouts and all manner of sub-rosa warfare when it came to the annual rite of larceny. Now, when I spin around in my editor’s chair, no one is there but Denise, my production manager, who is too busy creating ads and laying out the paper to report on campaign sign theft, and the three HVL Lightning mascots, Cricket, Nelly and Tater. The K9 team of a rescue Jack Russell, a rescue greyhound and a vicious Pekapom might be good at participating in sign mutilation, especially if someone made a bacon-flavored sign. But reliable reporters they are not.
Of course it’s happened again. Someone tore up, in an especially savage way, the pro-Amendment 1 signs at the Fletcher voting place. So, please don’t slash, steal or deface others’ signs. If you want to help your side, get out the vote.