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Piece of Mind: Vanishing signs of the times

October 24, 2012|By Carol Cormaci

Every so often it occurs to me that I'd like to reinvent myself. Yet again. And maybe I've hit upon a real money-making idea this time: manufacturing political yard signs. Think about it, because maybe you'd like to join me in this venture. At the rate they are stolen or destroyed, we could split a tidy sum if we could manage to dominate the market.

This latest light bulb went off earlier this week when we received a call at the office. A woman on the other end of the phone advised us that a yard sign endorsing President Obama for reelection had been stolen from her property. Not only had her sign been taken, but others in the neighborhood (near Crown Avenue and Baptiste Way) that were touting our president had also disappeared. She certainly didn't sound like the sort to unfairly point any fingers, but she did mention that the campaign signs dotting lawns nearby that endorsed Republican challenger Mitt Romney had been left untouched.

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We get calls similar to this every political season, whether it's during a national election or a local school board race. I happen to believe our caller this week was merely advising us of the thefts, not trying to get a sympathetic story that would have the effect of supporting her presidential choice, but that sort of thing does happen. In my experience, a call comes from a campaign worker who expresses outrage that someone has stolen a bunch of his candidate's signs. The caller will often further point out, very specifically, which candidate he blames for being behind the thefts.

I recall the time a decade or so ago when a supporter of a candidate in a local race howled loudly when his candidate's signs went missing from La Cañada yards. It was, the tipster claimed, no doubt the doing of one of the others running in that particular race. Within hours after we received the complaining call, we learned that a pile of signs representing every candidate running in that election was found dumped in Memorial Park. It appeared there was no bias involved, just the work of either vandals out for a good time, or someone fed up with looking at what can sometimes be unsightly campaign signs lining the streets.

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