Back in the 80’s my parents had a ‘Dukakis for President’ sign in their yard. I can recall it frequently being the target of unwanted 7-11 slurpees. When my father ran for a position on the city counsel, his signs were often stolen. And more recently, when my parents supported a democrat for the Utah senate race, their signs were defaced. I have to admit I tried to think of many elaborate ways to catch and punish these cruel perpetrators, including hiring someone full time to watch the signs, installing video cameras, and electrifying the signs with a few thousand volts. However, the unfortunate nature of campaigns is that signs get stolen, defaced, or dumped on by tasty beverages (what a waste!).
Recently, in podunk Grantsville, Utah (I’m only saying podunk because the citizens there better be outraged about this, or they are podunk), a former campaign manager was sentenced to six months in jail and nine months probation FOR STEALING A CAMPAIGN SIGN! Even I, one who thinks that campaign sign stealers probably deserve at least the 5th circle of hell, think that it is too extreme. Why not just fine these filthy thieves a few hundred bucks. Isn’t that a good enough deterrent? Grantsville is officially now on my list of “podunk, creepy, good-place-to-film-a-horror-movie cities list.”