Election sign-nabber strikes Atherton

Atherton resident Alicia Seebold has a "Dobbie for council" sign up in her front yard, but it's no thanks to a sign-nabbing woman who made off with its predecessor on Wednesday morning, April 9.

City Council elections, when they happen at all, are typically low-key affairs in Atherton. Jim Dobbie and Elizabeth Lewis are the two candidates for the special June 3 City Council election to fill the remainder of former council member Alan Carlson's term, which expires in November 2010.

This past week, signs for Mr. Dobbie have popped up around town, but some of them have been disappearing.

Ms. Seebold said she was standing at her kitchen window when she saw a white car pull up. A young woman hopped out, grabbed the sign and jumped back into the car, she said. She didn't see the license plate number, but she filed a police report about the stolen sign, she said.

"I'd be able to identify her if I saw her again," Ms. Seebold said. "I'm going to see this person again some time in town, and it's going to be a little embarrassing for her."

Mr. Dobbie said an election sign in his front yard was also taken that day.

"It's kind of amazing that it happened in broad daylight," he said. "We have 50 to 60 signs out at the moment, and we are going to keep an eye on them. We'll see if we can detect a pattern, and if we can, the police will be involved."

On Friday, April 11, Lindenwood resident Phil Lively said his yard "Dobbie for Council" sign disappeared, as did a couple of other ones in his neighborhood.

"It's an unfortunate thing to be happening, because those doggone things have gone up in price," Mr. Lively said.


Posted by protect free speech, a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm

It's time to enact new laws to stop the thieves from stealing campaign signs. The thief's goal is stifle free speech, steal and destroy property, and drive the costs of the candidate running for office up since any stolen signs will have to be replaced. The new law should make the stealing campaign signs preceding an election carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years combined with a $25,000 fine. In addition, the government should be required to identify the thieve's political affiliation and publish that information in local papers for a year thereby discouraging a party from recruiting surrogates to engage in such devious conduct.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 17, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Yes, creating a police state is the obvious choice for fostering free speech.

Posted by Shocked, a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:13 am

OH NO!!! Horrors...crime is rampant in Atherton...hurry call the police...I hear Sign theives and picking up newspapers are their specialty!!! Plus it might even give them something to do!!

Posted by Protect free speech, a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2008 at 11:35 am

This isn't a problem just for Atherton. The 1st amendment doesn't give you the right to silence someone else. That's not fostering free speech --- it's silencing it.

Posted by Shocked, a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Protect Free Speech...those signs are an eyesore. They are also littering when they are all over telephone poles, fences and the like. Get a grip.

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