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LETTER: Stolen Political Signs Silence Free Speech

Political signs supporting the Democratic party have been stolen repeatedly in Holliston.

Dear Editor:

Dozens of lawns signs in support of all Democratic candidates have recently gone missing in Holliston—and yes, this started well before Hurricane Sandy made an appearance. It is discouraging to wake up after a calm night to see that every one of your candidates’ signs has been mangled or stolen. Some people have experienced this repeatedly during this election season. Beth Greely, the Democratic Town Committee chairperson had signs defaced that were on her fence, her personal property, yet again.

This is my first year working on an election; I am a new member of the Democratic Town Committee, and as such have participated first-hand in the effort required to make phone calls to find out who might like a sign, picking them up, and spending hours driving around town installing them. These signs cost money, too, paid for by donations to a candidate’s campaign. Locations must be noted and the signs tracked. It’s a lot of work. We also make sure to obey all town bylaws for displaying signs.

More than the cost in time, effort, and money, it takes some measure of courage to display a sign on your lawn, to make your political leanings visible, and to make a conscious decision to participate openly in the free speech granted to us by the Constitution. It certainly takes more courage than creeping about the town, stealing and destroying signs in the dark of night.

We believe that the opposition campaign had nothing to do with this, as they are honorable folk who believe in Constitutional rights and would not stoop to such a small-minded act of petty vandalism. We are also hopeful that the opposing campaign will join us in denouncing this attempt to silence voices in our community. Whoever is trashing one party’s signs succeeds merely in casting a shadow on their own party. It is my fervent hope that no Republican signs go missing, either.

We ask that no more signs of any candidate’s—Democratic, Republican, or any other—be “disappeared” before the election on November 6th. If your sign has gone missing, please call the DTC for another one. We will replace it if possible.

And, please vote on November 6th! Let freedom ring!

Sincerely,

Dianna Vosburg 
Member, Holliston Democratic Town Committee 

Darlene Hayes November 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Ms Vosburg, Very well stated. Thank you.
Anne Babcock November 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Theft of political signs should be reported to the police. Police in Westborough have responded with their own message: "Anyone caught stealing a sign will be charged with larceny." http://westborough.patch.com/articles/steal-a-lawn-sign-get-charged-with-larceny
Darlene Hayes November 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Looks like some people don't play well with others. Ms Vosburg letter is very polite. Too bad some feel trespassing on private property, theft and vandelism is permissible if it may lessen other canidates visibility. It is a crime, dishonest & waste of police resources. Disappointed that the opposing team has not spoken out opposing the disappearances, destruction & vagrant disregard for private property.
Darlene Hayes November 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
It is shameful that the opposing campaign has not come out publicy to oppose this illegal, irreverent behavior. One is to assume then if you don't speak out against this it may be perceived as acceptance and condone this behavior of theft and defacement on citizens private property in our community.
Darlene Hayes November 02, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Well, foot tapping waiting for the opposing campaign to speak out against his behavior is appalling.

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