Opinion

Letter to the Editor

Campaign sign theft reaches a new high

Editor:

The Southeast Iowa Union story, “Signs, signs, everywhere signs,” Oct. 22, is timely but the message regrettable. Theft of campaign signs seems to have reached a new high in frequency.

I ought to know. I’ve found myself the Henry County Democrats “sign guy” for 16 years.

The Union story is timely as I recently provided the Mt. Pleasant Police Department a list of names and addresses of 15 city residents having had Democratic signs stolen. Some more than once. These are the ones I’ve heard from.

To be sure investigating sign theft need not be a law enforcement top priority, but it should be a concern. Citizens supporting both major parties rightfully express annoyance to anger about the theft of property from the sanctity of their homeplace. And, we can assume signs are littering our byways with nearly 4 feet of heavy gauge wire awaiting a mower.

What seems regrettable is that this pettiness is happening at all. Election preference by posting a campaign sign is considered speech. Theft is not.

I would welcome a civil discussion with the thieves. Over coffee I could explain the merits of my candidate, and they could explain the merits of theirs. We likely will not agree, but we can prove worthy citizens in the process.

Let me know. I’ll buy the coffee.

Dave Helman

Salem