Dirty tricks politics and sign shenanigans are on the rise as Pima County residents begin to receive their early ballots. The desperation to maintain power has lead one campaign sign thief to get caught on camera.
On August 1st at approximately 10:00 p.m., at mile post 47 ½ on State Route 83, footage was taken of an unidentified male removing a “Sean Collins for District 4 Supervisor” sign which was captured on the attached video. The Collins 4 Supervisor Campaign is issuing a $500.00 reward for any information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
As a result, Pima County Board of Supervisors District 4 candidate, Sean Collins, released the following statement: “A fair election process is one of our fundamental rights as a US Citizen. I am releasing this video with the full intention of prosecuting this person to the fullest extent the law allows.” Mr. Collins went on to say, “It costs thousands of dollars to replace signs in a campaign, not to mention the hard work and commitment of volunteers. I am doing this for every single candidate on the ballot, regardless of party affiliation, because campaign signage theft has become rampant in Pima County.”
ARS 16-1019 makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to “knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate. The Collins 4 Supervisor campaign has turned the video over to the Pima County Sheriff’s department. They are asking anyone with information regarding this matter to call (520) 88-CRIME or the Pima County Sheriffs Department non-emergency number (520) 351-4900.
Collins is not the only victim of sign shenanigans. Candidate for State House LD10, Stephanie Mach says that “There is one location where my signs were stolen twice and replaced with other candidate’s signs so when I returned I simply put my sign back on the original stake that was still in the ground in its original location.”
Todd Clodfelter, candidate for State House LD10, has also experienced troubles with his signs. One supported said that he had discovered that vandals cut the wire he used to affix Clodfelter’s signs to their posts.
At one point, Democrat Dustin Cox didn’t take his opponent’s signs down, he simply affixed his to theirs. Meanwhile Dave Bradley, candidate for the Arizona Senate has attached his signs to public property in violation of the law.
Another Pima County Board of Supervisors District 1 candidate, Ally Miller, has worked tirelessly to replace her signs that have been stolen or otherwise vandalized.
Road signs are one of the most effective and least expensive advertising methods for candidates. Candidates and volunteers work long hours putting up signs that are often one of the only affordable ways to get a candidate known to the public. Incumbents generally can afford the more expensive radio and television ads.
Carroll has been spreading falsehoods about Collins to anyone who will listen. His access to the media, after years in power, has not panned out. Many of the tales he tells about his opponent turn out to be baseless smears.
When Carroll tried to push a story about a supposed foreclosure Collins faced at some unspecified time, the reporter challenged his claim and asked him what he thought his role was in the foreclosure of so many properties in Pima County as a sitting Supervisor. Carroll said that the property taxes in Pima County were not high, the economy was in good shape, and he didn’t know anyone who had faced foreclosure.
Pima County’s taxes are the highest in the state. Sean Collins does not have a property in foreclosure.
The dirty tricks and smear campaigns by the power hungry, or powers-that-be are turning off voters. One Democrat campaign worker said of the sign shenanigans, “This is a matter of the public’s right to know and free speech. The sign thieves should be ashamed and their candidates should denounce the garbage immediately. This isn’t a Pima County BOS race, this is just Pima County b.s.”