Election Sign Theft Isn’t Just Stealing


Burbank Review

by Stan Lynch, Managing Editor

The recent court case, in which a campaign worker was fined for taking a couple of signs belonging to a rival candidate, got me to thinking how the justice system treats such matters.

Going by the letter of the law, taking a candidate’s sign from someone’s lawn or business is theft.  But it is much more.  It is a form of voter suppression.  Of course it doesn’t rise to the level of goons standing in front of a polling place intimidating voters — as has happened in the past presidential election.  But it is a serious matter.

Just as it makes sense to require voters to show a driver’s license or some other form of photo ID in order to reduce the fraudulent voting that has marked the past two president elections, it makes sense to change the way we deal with crimes like taking another candidate’s signs.  While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seems to turn a blind eye to voter fraud for blatantly political reasons, our City Council should consider taking some positive action regarding this mater.

Perhaps a new section to the Burbank Municipal Code could address the taking of candidates’ signs.  There should be a distinction between teenage pranks and the deliberate acts of adults.  It would be more appropriate than labeling the crime as “theft.”

In the case of Scott Trinidad, a volunteer for School Board candidate Steve Ferguson, who was caught on surveillance video taking two signs for rival candidate Char Tabet, he was charged with theft. Because the value of the items taken (about $8 for the two signs) was under $50, the crime was an infraction. That’s similar to getting a minor traffic ticket.  After his plea in court, he was fined $200. When the penalties required by the State of California were added to it, the price tag was close to $950.  That is a hefty penalty to pay.  Perhaps a more appropriate penalty would have been community service — something like taking down all the old campaign signs after the election on April 9, is over.


    1. Some very good points made by Mr, Lynch. I know Mr, Ferguson says that that Trinidad was to take a “diminished” role in his campaign, but is this really true. He is seeing going door to door campaigning with the candidate and comes to all the functions, interviews, etc with him. How is this diminished. So if a teacher does wrong, will Mr, Ferguson have them take a “diminished” role? Will he be able to fire someone or just let him continue on. AND where are all the Tabet signs that are owed. How come Ferguson has not made good on his promise to reimburse?

      The teachers are backing a guy who has these values? Great our kids are in good hands! Not!!

    2. I’m sorry that Mr. Lynch has taken a perfectly valid and relevant point and sullied it with the utter trash that is born of (and borne by) those touting a particular ideology. Lynch writes, “…in order to reduce the fraudulent voting that has marked the past two president elections.” Lynch obviously ascribes to the notion that, when one does not like the results, the only reasonable conclusion is that the election was “stolen.”

      In fact, and as has been demonstrated time and again by nearly countless independent and law-enforcement-based studies, fraudulent in-person voting is virtually non-existent. Does that mean no one EVER attempts it? Of course not. In this past election we know of one very well publicized example of a Republican woman in Las Vegas who voted once, and then attempted to do so a second time at another precinct. Fortunately, existing systems in place – and not the requirement for ID – saw her stopped and charged with that crime.

      If it weren’t so serious a crime, involving issues that see characters assassinated and reputations cavalierly smeared, it would be funny to to put the myriad excuses given by Mr. Lynch’s ilk to explain away their loss (both in the electoral college, and in the popular vote). So, it was all that fraudulent voting, was it? Where and who, for example? But wait, others among them claim it was all those “gifts” the President gave to the greedy 47%, presents such as the mythical “Obama Phone.” (Actually, “Lifeline” phone service instituted by that noted Socialist Ronald Reagan, and updated to include cellular phones by the renowned supporter of collective economies, George W. Bush.) Hey, how about those “thugs” referenced by Lynch? (Never mind that it was actually two members of the so-called “New Black Panther Party” who were photographed outside a polling place in 2008, and the NBPP is reported to have as many as a dozen members across the entire nation!) Quick, run and hide – there are BLACK folks at the polling place! Black folks (wearing black AND in black sunglasses) = Threatening thug to Lynch as his friends. Why can’t black folks enjoy khakis and polo shirts like REAL Americans?

      It’s really too bad that Lynch and his sort can’t stick with reality, and to criticizing that which actually warrants criticism. School Board candidate Steve Ferguson’s campaign manager was caught on camera stealing the signs of a competitor. Ferguson apologized and said the guy was given “reduced duties,” which is miles from the complete repudiation and termination he should have announced. Just as bad, there are those out there now trying to turn Ferguson into the “victim,” this apparently because some are being so critical of the candidate premised upon his hand-picked #1, and his willingness to keep the now-convicted criminal with his campaign.

      Why aren’t the whole truth and reality enough for Stan Lynch? Why does he have to pollute the point with the drivel and smears that are unworthy of even the cable “news” network and sleazy pols that promote them?

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