The race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin) has reached a new low. One candidate, Republican Josh First, has filed a report with the police concerning the theft. Here is his full and unabridged statement on the matter.
Press release: First for Senate Campaign Files Police Reports over Sign Thefts
Date: March 26, 2012
Josh First issued the following statement today, March 26, 2012:
“For several days, our campaign signs have been deliberately targeted and removed, some repeatedly in the same locations, across Dauphin County.
Our volunteer coordinator’s home was violated twice today alone. Not thirty minutes ago a man in a black four-door sedan was witnessed quickly exiting his car in from of Isaiah’s home, grabbing our sign from private property, running back into his vehicle, then speeding off and running two stop signs.
Our volunteers report having to replace signs several times.
I myself placed many signs in the yards of supporters, who requested that we place them there, and have gone back to see them gone.
Removing political signs is illegal, and when removing them from private property the crime includes trespass. Beyond that, everyone knows that it is the act of desperation by campaigns that cannot withstand the pressure of fair competition. Removing campaign signs is a waste of money and energy. At some point, the perpetrators will be caught, and we will prosecute them.
We will continue to replace stolen signs, as we have an abundant supply, and we will continue to encourage the public to watch out for this pathetic behavior and report those who do it.
The police have told us that they believe the thieves are paid to steal, by the sign. Not many campaigns have enough money to do that.
I call on the McNally Campaign and the Seeds Campaign to publicly issue statements that they do not support this behavior and that they call on their supporters to refrain from vandalizing or stealing yard signs. I have already done so with my own supporters, days ago, and I have adjured them to maintain the moral high ground and not engage in tit-for-tat behavior.”
First is one of three Republican candidates, the others are John McNally and William Seeds. The Democratic candidates are Alvin Taylor and Rob Tepliz. The seat, which includes the City of Harrisburg, is one of Democrats’ top pickup opportunities in 2012.